The One. The perfect woman. The perfect relationship. The perfect marriage.
It’s something that is on most single guys’ minds. They want to be married someday—to a great woman.
But what kind of woman do men want to be with? When was the last time you sat down and took a look at what qualities that woman needs to have to be a great partner for you? Not Al Bundy or Homer Simpson.
For many years, I had the habit of looking at a woman sitting in a coffee shop. I would turn to my buddy and say “Wow, that woman is girlfriend material.” So without me knowing a single thing about this woman, except for the fact that she looks attractive and sweet, I would project that I would like to make this woman my girlfriend.
Then I realized this was a dumb habit to keep up.
Hot, sweet and sexy alone isn’t going to cut it in a decades-long marriage.
Then again, for you that could be true. But if you’re reading this article on this particular site, chances are you’ll agree that physical beauty fades; or more accurately, it changes over time. So the hot, 25-year old, whose body and face you are sexually attracted to won’t be the same 20 or 30 years from now.
If that’s the case, you might as well make sure you enjoy the other amazing qualities about her.
In my dating and relationship experience, I’ve discovered four items that you might want to add to your “must-have” list of qualities for a wife or girlfriend.
You plan a romantic picnic and it’s pouring rain that day. Does your girlfriend: a) pout, complain, blame and resist reality or b) feel disappointed but goes with the flow and chooses to enjoy the day with you no matter what?
This may seem like an insignificant example, but life—more often than not—doesn’t go exactly as planned. Both good and bad. So knowing that the woman that you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with can respond flexibly and positively to those changes is a great thing. Of course that flexibility goes for you, too.
I would say this also encompasses beauty because a woman who values taking care of herself in the right ways will be beautiful. Does it really matter to you that she is a yoga teacher or takes pole-dancing classes?
It’s more important that she values physical exercise and healthy eating; that she loves and respects her body enough to enjoy dressing nicely (simply because she likes it); that she knows when to take time out for herself so that she doesn’t get burnt out. Find a woman who prioritizes her own wellbeing—she has her own tank refueled so she can give back to you, her family, the world.
3. Loves you as you are right now
She loves you for you. You are not a project to her. She is not in love with your potential. There are few things worse than being with a woman who you makes you feel as though you aren’t good enough. For me, it was where I felt that in order to keep her, I needed to earn more money. Get in better shape. Not make silly jokes. Dress better. It was exhausting and demoralizing. It’s easy to spot this dynamic when it’s overt, when she’s actually telling you to make these changes. It’s tougher when it’s more subtle.
Of course, it’s important to distinguish between whether she is not loving you as you are now or if you are not loving yourself as you are now.
4. Is a good giver and receiver
As women have made and continue to make great advancements in politics, business, sports and other areas, they have rightfully gained and enjoy their independence. They can live fully-successful lives on their own, not needing a man to provide for them. All of that is great.
When it comes to romantic relationships, good men like to do nice things for their women. In my experience, when my partner doesn’t allow me to carry her luggage, to bring her flowers when she’s had a rough day, to pamper her when I’m inspired to, over time it feels frustrating. I feel less connected to her, like she’s put up a wall between us.
At the same time, I like a woman who also enjoys giving, too. You want that ideal balance—and of course, the receiving part goes for you men, too. Let her do nice things for you and most importantly, show your appreciation.
This is not the ultimate list. There are likely other traits that might be just as important to you. But these are qualities that typically fly under the radar for most guys. This is your life and your relationship, so don’t let the cultural norms have you flying blindly on auto-pilot.