I never knew what to look for in a good man, so I kept going after my “ideal.” I looked for superficial things when I met guys: looks, if they were sexy and good in bed, if they needed to be taken care of, etc. I also read so much into Hollywood moments– if I had had a run in with an old friend in the rain and we both got stuck under his umbrella a la “Singing in the Rain,” then he was the one for me! Not very mature or realistic standards to set myself to.
I never felt comfortable with apparent “good guys” either. They all seemed boring to me. It was the bad boy who made me feel like I had the potential to love and be “alive.” I may have been attracted to bad boys, but sadly, I had a very immature notion of a good partner. When my priorities changed, my “ideal” man changed, and it has made all the difference in the world. Here is a list of things I believe are really good indicators that you may be on your way to a better relationship (when you read this list, though, know that these qualities must also be in you!) No one is “perfect” and no one will have all these things (or maybe they will!) but the idea is to be able to see what you should be looking for when you are ready to date again. That good qualities are not necessarily based on looks or “chemistry” but rather on the more concrete truths of their history and the way they have lived their life up to the point of meeting you!
Above all else, know that it takes TIME to discover these traits in someone. You cannot meet someone and instantly know that they possess all these things. If you think you can, you have a very shallow notion of getting to know someone and this may need to be something to think about during recovery. These traits can only be determined over many months, often years of getting to know someone.
He or she has….
-an honest nature
-a good reputation among his/her peers
-no history of cheating or fooling around
-no history of drugs or other addictions (unless it is WAY in their past and resolved through their actions)
-a history of stability and commitment in a loving relationship, maybe even children and marriage
-an ability to express love and kindness to his or her children and others
-financial stability and security (knows how to handle his or her money).
-an ability to experience intimacy (not just intensity)
-a strong, loving family
-values, morals and beliefs that YOU agree with and respect
-an ability to be independent and take care of himself or herself
-interests other than sex and dating
-normal healthy behavior
-not just out for himself or herself
-a genuine sense of gratitude (is grateful)
-a genuine love of life (is happy)
-compassion, sensitivity, kindness, hope and a positive outlook on life
– a loyal nature
-a willingness to communicate and resolve conflict
-willing to compromise for the sake of the relationship
-well-roundedness and smart
-fun, funny, can laugh at himself or herself
-optimistic, but realistic
-not afraid of struggling,
-able to defer gratification
-not avoidant of his or her responsibilities
-able to give and receive
-displays no abrupt or extreme behaviors
-his words match up with his actions
-open with you, not secretive
Again, we all have skeletons in our closets. We all come with baggage. But some are still carrying theirs around and others are creating more. Despite your own personal preferences as to what you can handle and what you can’t in a person, this is definitely a list of qualities to look for.