Today I’m delighted to share a post from my dear friend and brilliant colleague, Dr. Tina Tessina, Ph.D., a.k.a. Dr. Romance.
Tina takes on one of the biggest challenges we face as single women: how to become an expert man-picker. For those of you looking to bring love in to your life, I encourage you to heed her advice about these real-life qualities, skills and behaviors that signal that he’s a good man with potential to be a good partner. Enjoy!
1. Good Judgment
Good judgement is important because it means you can count on this man to help you make good decisions. He will be balanced and think clearly about whatever needs to be done.
When you know your partner has good judgement, you can relax and trust him to do the right thing. If he can trust you, too, then you have the ideal conditions for a working partnership.
Look for: How does he run his life? Does he do well in his own life? Does he handle work well, and take care of his business, pay his bills, make good choices? Is he wise about his money? Pay attention not to how much he sweet-talks you, but to how thoughtful he is about what he does in his life.
Intelligence is important only to a point. There are various kinds of intelligence, and sometimes those who have a lot of academic credits are somewhat lacking in the good judgement we just discussed. You want someone smart enough to work well with you, and to handle what life hands you as a couple, but academic learning may not be the only way to tell.
Look for: It’s not too difficult to recognize intelligence. Smart people so well in life in general. But it’s important to realize that intelligence is not character. Good judgement and character are more important.
3. Honest, Reliable
What you want is a man who is honest and keeps his promises. Someone who won’t do things behind your back (unless it’s to buy you a surprise for your birthday) Reliability, responsibility and accountability will give him the strength of character he needs to keep his marriage vows and promises.
Dependability and Integrity are very valuable in a marriage, because they mean your relationship will be based on honesty and trust. If there’s a problem that makes him dissatisfied in the relationship, he’ll be honest enough to tell you, and not just look for instant gratification outside the marriage.
Look for: You can see honesty, dependability and integrity quite easily. How does he handle his business dealings? Can he speak up when something isn’t working? Men who cheat are used to taking the easy way out – they want to be liked more than they want to have integrity. Does he feel that he’s above the rules? If he does, and has parking tickets fixed, or cheats on his taxes, those are not good signs. Will he discuss a problem with you until it’s solved, or does he walk out? Men who walk out could also go elsewhere when problems arise in the marriage. If he was married before, why did it end? Look to the entire content of his character to see if he’ll be faithful.
Affection is important to women, and often somewhat difficult for men. If your man has trouble showing affection, how will he be as a father? If he equates affection with sex, and cannot be affectionate without expecting sex, you might feel very dissatisfied in the marriage.
Affection and kindness are the lubrication of a relationship. Being able to express positive feelings toward each other helps you get past awkward moments, recover from spats, and reassure each other that your love is still strong. It’s also a vital characteristic for both parents to be able to express to their children. Children raised in a combination of affection and discipline grow up secure and with a strong and balanced sense of self.
Look for: The key is in his ability to be affectionate in a way that does not inevitably lead to sex. While sex is important, and both of you deserve to have your sexual needs met, a man who pouts if affection doesn’t lead to sex is emotionally immature. If he’s reluctant to touch, to say loving things, or to be close to you in non-sexual situations, he may have a problem with affection. It’s important to talk about it, because he may be concerned about overstepping bounds. But, if he’s just repressed in the affection area, your relationship is not likely to do well.
5. Financially Responsible
This is incredibly important, because financial irresponsibility, whether on the part of the woman or the man, will create life-long stress and deprivation. If he gambles money away, spends it on drugs or even just he latest tech toys, or you overspend, the relationship will not work. Running up big debts on credit cards, paying too much for luxury items or houses, lead to problems we can see all around us today.
A marriage or living together relationship is actually a business as well as a romantic arrangement. Couples are supposed to have income and expenses, and wind up with a profit, which we call savings and equity. Two grown-up partners, who can manage their money well, will be able to create the life they want, support their children, prepare for the future, and have some left over for fun. Good money managers live within their means, and are more concerned about whether their purchases are sensible than whether they’re fashionable.
Look for: Look at how he’s living. Unless he’s still a college student, he should have a job, an apartment or house, a car, and some savings and disposable income. You should have the same financial skills. If your relationship is becoming serious, you need to have a discussion where each of you discloses your financial situation with the other. Both of you need a financial plan for into your later years, and should be able to talk about your shared financial future.
For Where to look for a man, try www.lovefilter.com, Launching today (Thursday, May 9, 2013) Dr. Tina B. Tessina, PhD “Dr. Romance” is the Chief Romance Officer of LoveFilter.