I don’t know about you, but when I went through my divorce, I swore I’d never go through another one. Whether I stayed single for the rest of my life – a long time, considering I was only 32 at the time – or whoever I found was going to be stuck with me, I wasn’t going through that particular hell again. And my divorce wasn’t even that contentious.
If you’ve gone through your own divorce, you know I’m right. Sure, the idea of being alone with 17 cats is enough to make any woman reach for a bottle (or two) of wine but it’s better to be alone than in a bad relationship. Been there, done that, and we didn’t even get a t-shirt out of the deal.
Meeting new people is hard, though. Are you swiping them, snapchatting them, or even going old school and meeting them in bars? Either way, how are you supposed to know if you’ve found a good one? Especially, if you no longer trust your own instincts? I mean, hello, you thought you loved the last guy and look where you are now? Am I right?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Once you know if the chemistry is just right (and we all know how fun it can be to figure that one out), it’s time to look at other cues. If your guy has even a few of these traits, he’s probably the right one for you.
1. He’s your friend first.
Before you fell into bed with him, okay, or maybe after you did, he became your friend. You share similar interests and you enjoy each others company enough to spend time doing things the other wants to do. This is someone you can talk to and be yourself with at all times. They accept the good, bad, and ugly about you. Best of all, you accept the same in them.
2. He believes in you even more than you do.
How many times have you considered a career change, writing a novel, signing up for a marathon, or just signing up for a cooking class and stopped yourself because you were convinced you couldn’t make it work? Your right guy believes in you and knows you can do anything you put your mind to. And even if he’s figured out that you burn everything in the kitchen, he’ll still encourage you to take that cooking class because he has faith in you.
3. He supports your goals.
This is different than when you’re afraid to try something new. The right guy for you is your number one fan whether you’re trying to lose 10 pounds, go for that new job, or start saving for a trip to Europe. He’ll not only encourage you to keep going and working for your dreams and goals, he’s probably right next to you, helping you out.
4. He accepts you as you are.
You might want to lose 10 or 20 pounds, and he’s supportive of that. At the same time, he loves you the way you are and wouldn’t change a thing about you. Dye your hair or don’t. Wear the tight jeans or don’t. Spend an hour doing your hair…or don’t. Sure, he thinks your gorgeous when you go all out, but he also knows you’re beautiful just as you are. He’s not out to change you.
5. He doesn’t walk away when things get rough.
In the beginning, your relationship might be all sunshine and roses. Eventually, though, real life kicks in and you’re not going to see eye-to-eye on something. The guy who’s right for you won’t bail on you. He’s coming back around to work things out. You don’t have to agree on everything, you simply have to find the balance between you, and he understands that.
6. He gets that your kids and family are part of the package.
Got kids and an involved ex? If your new guy is right for you, he understands that all of you are a package deal. He’s not threatened by your ex being around, and he’s not looking for ways to get away from your kids (unless you are). Once you’re divorced, new relationships aren’t just between you and him, they’re between you, your kids, him, and anyone else who’s a consistent part of your life. Your guy understands that.
7. He has patience with your kids.
No one should expect your children to love a new person from the moment they meet. Your guy isn’t threatened by it. He knows it takes time to build a relationship, and it may never be a warm and fuzzy one with the kids. That’s okay. He’s around for the long haul, and since he knows he can’t have you without them, he’ll keep trying to find common ground with them – not just because it’ll make you happy, but because it’ll make your future that much easier to navigate.
8. He wants to meet your family.
He might be nervous about the interrogation that will surely follow meeting your parents, but he won’t back away from it either. Your parents, your aunts, your cousins – whoever it is in your family that’s important to you, well, he wants to meet them, and he’s not afraid for them to meet him. He’s got enough confidence in your relationship and in himself to be willing to take any awkward questions and stares, and he won’t bail if your dad starts cleaning his gun or discussing where he hides the bodies.
9. He thinks of the future.
Maybe neither of you are ready to think about marriage, and that’s okay. But the right guy knows that you’re building something together. Whether it’s plans for family trips, a cruise, or just next Thanksgiving, he’s making plans and making sure you’re a part of them. He makes it clear he wants you in his life now and in the months and years to come.
10. He doesn’t play games.
The right guy for you calls when he says he will. He shows up when he says he will. He does what he says he will do so that you can depend on him. You won’t find him playing mind games by telling you one thing and meaning another. This man won’t keep you guessing about where you stand with him, and he’s around all the time – not just when it’s convenient for him.
11. He’s learned lessons from his own past.
These days, it’s no surprise when the guy you’re dating is divorced with or without kids. Even if he’s never been married, everyone has a past. The right guy for you learned from his and actively works to avoid repeating mistakes. You can thank the previous women he ghosted, had one night stands with, or should never have dated in the first place – they’re life lessons that have made him the man he is today.
12. He keeps coming back for more.
Freaked out because he seems too perfect? Think you’re too old to go through this again? Worried that your kids will never love him the way you do? After a divorce, we all have our reasons to freak out about our relationships. The anxiety is enough to make us crazy sometimes. Your perfect guy isn’t scared off by your freak-outs. He may talk it out or try to get you to laugh it off, but either way, in the end, he always comes back for more.
I would be so wrong for not mentioning one last thing…
13. The sex is great.
Even when it’s just a quick romp in the sheets, and not the long, loud passionate scream-inducing love-making you’d rather have, it’s still pretty great. Sometimes one steamy kiss is enough, and sometimes, one touch makes you crave him more than a chocolate brownie topped with ice cream and drowning in chocolate syrup.
Knowing if you’ve found the right guy is more than great sex, though – it’s the whole package. It’s dependability and great sex. It’s finally having someone in your corner when life gets tough and great sex. Great sex alone doesn’t mean he’s the right one, but when he’s got all the right traits, and he makes your panties melt, you know you’ve got a keeper.
Whether you dumped your ex or you were left in the lurch, no one wants to go through the hell of a divorce a second time. We’re all scared of rejection, getting it wrong, and finding ourselves facing another divorce battle. The second (or, let’s be honest, the third or fourth) time around, you’re better off looking at the whole package instead of a handsome face, fat bank account, or, yes, I’ll say it, how good he is in bed.
Hotness, money, and even virility don’t last forever, but a strong man who loves and supports you is a treasure. It may take time to find the right guy, and, take it from me, when you find him, you’ll wonder if he’s too good to be true.
You may even try to sabotage or over think your own relationship. The best thing about the right guy for you? He’ll look your crazy in the eyes and keep coming back for more. He sees in you what you can’t see for yourself, and he loves what he sees.
Take it from someone who knows. Dating after divorce is NOT easy.
My poor guy spent six months proving himself to me as I questioned him, me, us, and everything I knew about relationships until finally, one day, I took a leap of faith. He was the best thing that had ever happened to me, and I would have been a damn fool to let him go. Once you realize that particular fact about your guy, you’ll know you’ve found the right one for you.