4 ‘Must-Haves’ You Think You Need In A Man That Will Actually Kill Your Relationship

David Mao
David Mao

In my experience 20-something men are a little slower to get into the commitment race, while my 25-year-old girlfriends are running at the finish line, blinders on – looking for the perfect partner. Maybe it’s the ladies that need to slow down a bit.

Women: who has a list of unreasonable dating requirements? Are you wrongfully labeling them as “standards”? How many times have you told a girlfriend she’s too good for a dude?

To be fair, in many cases, your instincts may be right. She may be too good for that dude.

If he’s a dick. If he devalues her. She’s too good. You’re too good too. So, walk away. Own the fact that you have options. Because you do. There are like 107 million single people in the United States. A little under half of those singles are men. You can afford to walk away.

Learning to read the signs is a big part of successful dating because unfortunately we don’t live in a world where people always say what they mean and mean what they say. I’m a huge fan of Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo’s He’s Just Not that Into You. It’s a tough-love guidebook for the dating woman. Check it out.

But at the same time, if you’re eliminating men because they aren’t putting you number one. You need to really figure out what you’re looking for. Do you know how unhealthy that is? We are all trying to figure out the happy balance between showing up for a partner and showing up for ourselves. Cut him a little slack and try and see the good in what he’s doing.

Remember: the goal is to build lives we are proud of and become people worth being with. Pump the breaks for a minute.


1. He’s not texting you first thing in the morning.

You know what his lack of morning text says about him? He’s got goals. He’s got motivations beyond you. He can get up for himself in the morning. You should be able to get up for you.

If you have anxiety over an unsent text, you shouldn’t be dating. It’s not his problem that you need his love-text to fuel your daily fire. Don’t do that. If you have to write yourself sweet messages, write them on stickies. Put them on your mirror. Read them out loud. Don’t depend on him for a morning pick-me-up.

2. He’s not putting you at the top of his “to do” list.

He’s got a life. He’s focused on bettering himself. He’s got friends. (Praise)!

Do you want a man with a life? With a career? With passions? With friends? The answer is “hell yes”. If you’re upset that his career is taking the front seat, or that his pickup basketball game and beers with the guys is taking up one of your two weekend days together, then take some time. Get your shit together. Schedule some YOU dates. Independent humans fall for independent humans. You deserve those things. So does he.

3. He’s not asking you to hang today.

This doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. Don’t be insecure. He’s setting boundaries. He’s focusing on him. A man with boundaries is a sexy thing. It means he knows himself and that what he needs and today is not you. Instead of feeling dismissed. Create your own boundaries. Pick a day. Turn off your phone and paint your nails, read a book, daydream. Spend time without him. Focus on the things you need to focus on. Fall in love with taking care of and spending time with you.

4. He is not taking your side on an issue.

This doesn’t necessarily mean you aren’t meant for each other. It means he’s a man sure of what he believes. He should listen to and respect you (always), but he doesn’t need to agree with every word that comes out of your mouth. If he’s challenging you (in a healthy way), he’s probably right for you. Don’t fight about it. Don’t rule him out. Just listen.

So there you go. That’s what I’ve got for now. Think about it.

And be kind to him. He’s human.

Also, when it doubt… love yourself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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