Well, it’s official. Half of all American adults are now single. Some, I’m sure, by choice. But it is safe to admit that many are frustrated or losing hope. In my experience with the discussions I have had, my guess would be that the majority of the second category is probably accounted for by women.
There are many potential explanations for this. It could be that her dating skills could use a little brushing up, or it could also definitely be that men are having a hard time keeping her attention past the first date. But there is an obvious disconnect here that is not allowing the right people to find each other and come together to form a bond.
So in the interest of hopefully saving some of you a little time, I’ve put together a short list of things to look for in a potential male partner.
1. He lets you live your own life
I think this is a lesson that is best learned through experience and developing maturity. In our younger years we can get caught up in the excitement of someone new and want to spend every waking second with them. Sure, for awhile, this is great as long as it’s temporary. Even if you end up moving in together you will each have your own individual passions, dreams, work schedule, and interests.
In the long run, maintaining your independence will be one of the keys to both of your happiness, and sanity. A man who can potentially fit into your life in the long term will understand that’s exactly what you are doing: Fitting into each other’s pre-existing lives, not completely taking it over.
Trust is an important factor here. If he has the confidence to let you do your own thing without needing to check up on you all the time or demanding that you tell him where you are, it is another positive sign.
2. He is passionate about living his own life
You won’t find a man who is comfortable with the first point if he doesn’t possess this quality. Whether it is running a massive company, saving the whales, or volunteering at the pet shelter, a man with long term potential will have his own dreams and passions to pursue.
Without his own purpose, he can easily begin to smother you or fall into the trap of making you the source of his happiness instead of realizing he needs to find it within himself.
When the man in your life has his own purpose and drive, he will be happier as a person and bring that happiness into your relationship with him. Always be weary of planning a future with someone who has no future plans for themselves.
3. His friends are legit people
As the saying goes, “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” What’s more, though, is the type(s) of people a man chooses to really commit his time to, as well as the types of people who commit their time to him, will tell you a lot about who he is.
If his friends are honest, trustworthy people who are doing great things with their lives, it is a good sign that you are with someone whose character can be vouched for simply by his close connection with them.
4. Your friends approve of him
I know, I know, more friend talk. But the importance of your friends liking the man that you may spend decades with, I think, is underrated. When we are in a serious relationship all parts of our lives mesh together. Family, friends, significant others. Whether it is a random dinner or a holiday getaway, the man in your life is going to be spending a lot of time around those who are important to you.
It is also important to note that often times when we are enamored with someone, we may not always be in the state of mind to look at them or our relationship with a critical eye. Someone who is an onlooker may see or notice something that you do not, and their input is valuable. Not everyone has to like him, but if they are good honest friends they will be truthful about what they think is best for you.
5. He stays composed in a variety of situations
Not everyone is going to be comfortable in every scenario, but if you are going to live your life alongside someone, you probably will face just about every scenario together. Good times, bad times, sad times, and happy times. A man’s ability to be strong and supportive no matter what happens is an essential key to a solid relationship.
If you find that he crumbles under pressure, snaps at you when stressed, cannot talk about his feelings and keeps things bottled up, or anything else that prevents the two of you from facing things side by side – it may be time to re-evaluate what your future together would look like.
6. He is honest
This one should be self explanatory. How can you trust your heart and future with someone who you have found is consistently dishonest with you?
This includes being honest about the small things, because that is the only foundation you will have in order to trust him with the big things.
7. He still puts in consistent effort
Effort and romance are not something reserved for the honeymoon phase of the relationship. They are not things that you do to impress a woman or to “get her,” they are part of your personality and the way you live your life.
If a man stops putting in effort to show you how much you mean to him fairly early into a relationship, you can rarely expect him to revert back to who he was (pretending to be) in the beginning. Do not allow yourself to become too comfortable or dependent to the point where you are unable to walk away if he is not the man you thought he was.
Real love for you will keep him trying for as long as you are together, whether that is five years or fifty.
8. He always makes you want to be better
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A clear mark of a healthy relationship is when the mere presence of the other person in your life motivates you to become the best version of yourself, without changing who you really are.
9. He has a warm heart
No matter how many misconceptions there are out there that women want to be treated badly – they don’t. Nobody does. Kindness also suggests being respectful towards her, and others (also very important).
When it comes to actually committing to someone for a long term relationship, kindness is absolutely essential.
10. He is funny
If you’re looking to keep a woman’s attention, it has been said that “manners matter, good looks are a bonus, but humor is a must.”
Having a great sense of humor is essential in many different parts of life. It helps you deal with stress, and it also makes you more pleasant to be around. A man who can make a woman laugh will never lose, and when he can transplant that quality into other aspects of a relationship, there won’t be any complaints.
It goes without saying that every woman is going to have different taste and be looking for a different kind of guy. The point being made here is that if you are looking for someone who is honest, trustworthy, and can generally be seen as the type of man who could have the qualities you need and desire in a long term relationship – a person who at least roughly fits these guidelines will likely be a safe bet.
Picture Credit: CW/Gossip Girl