I’m writing this based on my own experiences. And I have to clarify that I never dated for fun or kill my time. I am a single mom with two teenagers. After 11 years of marriage, now my ex and I are good friends. We help each other out a lot with the kids. I’m very lucky, yes. I didn’t date much at all (one boyfriend in college and that’s it!) before I got married. So, after my divorce, I needed to find out how the dating world works. It’s very overwhelming, to say the least. Anyway, after a lot of coffee, lunch and dinner dates and over five years later, I think I’ve figured out certain things about men… a type that I am looking for, and so should you, especially if you’re looking for a serious relationship.
1. He has a job.
And I mean a valid, legal, legitimate job. Or at least if he’s between jobs, he has a good ‘potential’. Why is this important especially if you’re not looking for a guy to take care of you? Kudos to all strong, independent women out there. I agree that we women should not be looking for a guy to come and take care of us. However, men excel when they feel accomplished and confident in themselves. And usually, it comes from their profession. So, if he’s out of a job or it doesn’t look promising, his confidence is way down low. He will not have a focus and confidence to build a good relationship with anyone. Be friends if you want but he’s definitely not a great catch.
2. He’s “available.”
And I’m talking about legally, physically, and emotionally. I don’t know about you, but I don’t date married men. Even if they say they’re being separated and will get divorced as long as XYZ happens, I’m out. My time is more valuable than dealing with “unfinished” business. I also found that most married/separated men do not really like you. They’re mostly bored with their wives so they’re looking for something ‘fun’, that’s all. So, if you’re looking for a serious relationship, stay away from married men. And if he’s really divorced, aka legally available, is he emotionally available? I’ve met a lot of guys who were so obsessed with their exes after the divorce. Some men are still so in love with their exes, while some hate their exes so much. Either case, their emotion is so messed up. They’re not available to invest in a great relationship with you. And you know you deserve so much more than that.
3. He’s polite.
I’m sure every woman likes to have her man as a leader. But sometimes a leader comes with arrogance because, let’s admit it, every man has an ego. So, you have to find a man who is capable of being a leader but also polite. Arrogance is a turn-off, for me anyway.
4. He’s kind.
This one is easy to spot. Observe how he treats people around him… a waiter, a bus boy, a taxi driver, his boss, his staff, his friends, etc. Does he treat them with decency and respect?
5. He’s free of any unhealthy addiction.
To me, I want to be with a man who loves his life and takes care of his health/body. If he doesn’t, who else will love him more than himself? Addiction clouds a person’s judgment. I can’t expect a man who has an addiction to be 100% into building a great relationship with me. I personally take great care of myself, so I expect the same standards from my man as well.
6. He has a good relationship with his parents/family.
Unless he went through an abusive childhood, he should get along, at least sorta ok, with his parents and siblings. I understand every family has drama. But family is where he started. At the end of the day, family is all each of us has in our lives. Does he take care of his parents/family especially as they get older? It shows how he deals with differences and challenges among his family members. It dictates how he will treat you, as one day you might become his family.
7. He communicates.
This is a very important character. Some men might be more reserved than others and will not show their emotions easily. However, there should be a way that he ‘communicates’ with you. Does he answer your questions and concerns? Is he willing to work out a problem with you? Does he let you know the best way he ‘communicates’? If he cares enough about you, he will let you know what his style is. And one thing I have to emphasize, especially when a relationship is still new and you are still learning about each other, (I taught my kids this too), a good guy will ‘call’ you to arrange a date. Yes, texting is convenient and easy and all but if he’s truly interested in you, he picks up a phone and calls. Because with texts, he can do that with ten women all at once. But he can talk to only one person at a time. If he’s serious about you, he should call (but give him a heads up that this is how you like to be treated. If he listens and does as you ask him to, he’s a great catch!).
8. He makes you feel very important.
Even a shy guy or very reserved guy will ‘show’ you that you’re important to him… in his unique ways. You will know, trust me. I’d like to emphasize on how he ‘makes’ you feel important and ‘shows’ you that he cares. I promise you that one day you will meet that man who makes you feel like you are the most amazing and wonderful woman in this whole world. I personally don’t get my hopes up when a guy ‘tells’ how crazy he is about me and how beautiful I am, etc. I always wait and let him ‘show’ me. Actions really speak louder than words. Of course, sweet words make me feel good, but only action will prove that it’s true and real. I heard it somewhere that we should want and be with someone ‘who says I love you every night and proves it every day’. If you haven’t read/done “5 Love Languages”, I strongly recommend you find out what yours is. It really makes sense when it comes to how each relationship works or fails. For example, if your love language is quality time, the fact that he makes an effort to spend time with you is huge. That definitely makes you feel important and he values a relationship with you.
9. He’s your biggest fan.
He supports you with what you do and is not intimidated by your success. He tells you his opinion even if it doesn’t agree with yours, but he won’t push you to go his way. He lets you decide and be your own boss but he’s there for you no matter what. He checks your blind spot and is always supportive of your decision.
10. He makes you feel like you can always be 100% yourself around him.
If you have to worry about how you dress, act, eat, play, etc or walk on eggshells all the time around a man, he’s not the one for you. The right guy should make you feel at ease and comfortable in yourself, even with your quirks and all.
11. He treats you with care and respect.
Please don’t let anyone tell you that chivalry is dead. It is so not. A great man for you out there knows how to treat you exactly how you want and should be treated.
12. He lets you have your own life and space.
Because if he knows you well enough and confident in himself, he knows you need your privacy to do your own things, but you’ll come back to him when you’re fully recharged. He is not FOMO type of guy and is not clingy to you all the time.
13. He sticks around even when you try to push him away.
Sometimes life throws you some challenges and you might feel like you’re not ready or worthy of a great relationship during those times. Well, be honest with your man. Tell him what problem you’re dealing with and how you plan to tackle them (or even simply ‘I have no clue yet’). If he’s serious about you, he will try to solve a problem with you. He will stick around to fight it with you. If he doesn’t, well, you know your answer.
14. He makes you laugh.
It’s very simple, yet very important. It shows that he knows you and loves to see you happy. It also is a sign that he’s comfortable being with you that even when he makes fun of himself to make you laugh, he doesn’t care how silly he looks.
Relationships are not always easy nor free of problems. But if you feel like it’s so difficult, then it’s not the right one. When you’re in a right relationship, you should feel confident that you’ll be ok even when you’re dealing with some challenges in life (problems with kids, work drama, health issue, etc). You know that even when the world is falling apart, one thing for sure is he has your back and you have his. You have that comfort to fight and overcome your challenges.
I am confident that there is someone for everyone. You just have to know what you’re looking for, what you deserve and won’t settle for less. Make yourself whole first before being in a relationship with someone. The right guy will not make you feel whole. He will compliment you and make you happier than when you are alone.