My grandfather used to say that there is always time to consider our options, right before we fall in love. He meant that we often disregard that moment prior to losing our better judgement.
It is an instant when we could still make a rational decision and back off. Immediately after it, we throw all caution to the wind in the name of love.
What do we look for in a man?
I used to think he was wrong. I wanted to believe that for love to be the real deal, it needed to be rash. I changed my mind later on in life.
But until that moment, I made the huge mistake of disregarding the big red flags men I dated waved in front of my face.
Some of those red flags were as simple as not calling back when he said he would. Or maybe he forgot his wallet when it came to picking up the dinner tab.
Or he loved partying a little more (ok, a lot more), than he loved me. One guy I dated lost his temper when he drank. He spewed all kinds of insults at me. Then he called the next day to apologize, saying he´d never do it again.
At least by then I was old enough and wise enough to know he was lying. Still, it took me a lifetime of ignoring strong signals indicating the man was not ‘the one,’ to know what I needed to look out for the next time around.
At a certain point in my life I made a long list of qualities I wanted in a man who I´d share my life with.
The list was so long and detailed that I thought I would never find such a guy. It included things like being bilingual and bicultural, as I am.
Not only did I get that, but a lot more. As it turned out, this man is also a writer, like me, and has a son close in age to my daughters´.
That was a huge bonus when it came to building a blended family. We´ve been happily together for seven years and married for almost three years.
We may all have our individual lists of qualities we want in a guy, but I´ve come to realize there are some that should be non-negotiable. Basic things that every women deserves and should expect from a partner.
Just as a reminder, in case you are about to reach that point of no return that my grandfather mentioned, here are some of those qualities.
He is respectful
No matter how you cut it, a potential life partner needs to respect you, your family, your children if you have them, your work and your lifestyle.
If there is a lack of respect from the start, that means the relationship is bound to be problematic.
Any hint of an insult or dismissive talk or actions is a no-no.
He is reliable
Maybe a “bad boy” was an attractive prospect when we were younger.
But at a certain point in life we need a guy who does what he says he will do when he says he will do it.
If he is late, keeps canceling plans or disappears for days when you’re dating, imagine what he will do later on in the game.
He shares your values
This doesn´t seem so important when you´re young and still finding out what your own values are.
But when you’re older and perhaps have children from a previous relationship, this is a must.
Wildly different views on really important topics such as religion, parenting, politics, can ruin a relationship down the line.
He is supportive
If he asks you to quit your career, give up on your dreams and aspirations, to be with him, forget it.
If he can´t help you raise your children, if you don´t have the feeling that he is a team-player, what do you want him in your life for?
If he is to be a real partner, he needs to be supportive and involved. Of course, that goes both ways.
He trusts you
It may seem flattering if a man shows he is jealous of another guy. But beware.
If he can´t trust you right off the bat, he may have deeper problems like low-self esteem and insecurity.
Maybe his former wife or girlfriend cheated on him. Perhaps he has control issues.
His jealousy has nothing to do with you and everything to do with him. Unless he shows you that he trusts you, run the other way ASAP!
How to find out whether he has these qualities
Aside from actually dating him yourself, you can find out what other women feel about a potential suitor.
How? Undolus.com is a service that is complementary to either an online dating app or service, or just dating, period.
By signing up to it you can run background checks and read reviews of men you have dated or would like to date. You can also leave your own reviews!
This is a convenient way of learning about your date before it´s too late. You may also choose to be contacted privately by other women, and reach out yourself, to discuss the man in question.
I invite you to try Undolus.com and sign up using code VF20 for a 20% discount. I urge you to leave feedback for your dates.
This way more women will be able to find a partner with the qualities we all deserve in a suitor.