I know what you’re thinking… Only ten things?! My list is at least double that amount because I want everything! Making a list and focusing on what you want from another person can be a great exercise, but my challenge for you is to create a list with no more than ten traits that you absolutely, positively can’t live without in another person. (Your list can be shorter if you’d like.)
As a dating coach, I’ve had countless clients tell me that making a list felt scary and risky because once they really focused on what they wanted, they were afraid that their dating possibilities would shrink. Yes, your prospects will get smaller but that’s precisely the benefit of making a list—You won’t be wasting your time with the wrong guys any more. You’ll be more in charge of your love life, because you’ll know what you want. You’ll be able to turn down dates and feel confident that dating a guy who doesn’t have what you need is a huge waste of your time and his. It’s an amazing shift in attitude, that makes your dating more purposeful and focused.
So what should be on that list? Everyone is different, but here’s my list of the top 10 things you should look for in a guy:
1. He makes you feel loved.
Do you feel cared about, liked, and loved by the guy who you are with? Sure, it’s great to go on a fancy trip or have an exciting weekend, but how do you feel in his presence? If you feel special and valued, and he demonstrates that you’re the woman he wants to be with, then this guy is worthy of your time.
2. He’s fiscally fit.
Does your guy respect the value and importance of money? Does he spend more than he has or is he so cheap that it makes you cringe? Is saving part of his relationship with money? It’s important to feel that your guy is able to support himself and that he has a healthy, mature relationship with money.
3. He doesn’t get jealous.
Is your guy ecstatic when you land a new job, get a promotion, or have a great time without him when you’re with friends, coworkers or family? Being with someone who is resentful and envious when something good happens to you is draining and not good for your emotional wellbeing.
4. He respects you for who you are.
Your guy loves you, for who you are, complete with all of your imperfections. He will always treat you with respect, whether it’s just the two of you or you’re with others. He may not always agree with you, but you always feel respected by him.
5. He has confidence.
A confident guy is able to say he’s sorry and stand up for himself, and he isn’t afraid of being wrong. His confidence brings out the best in you.
6. He has a sense of humor.
Life is full of unanticipated ups and downs, so being able to have a sense of humor, even during the more difficult times, is important. Can the guy you’re with laugh at himself? Does he not take himself too seriously? Humor warms the soul and sharing laughs both publicly and privately is one of the most intimate shared experiences you can have with someone.
7. He listens and talks.
(As long as he listens twice as much as he talks!) Communicating with your guy is the most important component of your relationship. You deserve to be heard and to have a partner who is genuinely interested in what you have to say. He should also have the desire to talk things out when things get rough.
8. He wants to make you happy.
This one is a no brainer. He has to want to make you happy and he has to do whatever he can so you will be. There is a caveat, however. He won’t always be able to take your pain away or put a smile on your face, but you know that his priority is for you to be happy.
9. He’s self-sacrificing.
He shows you how much he cares about you by putting you first. For example, you’re boarding a plane and he offers you the better seat, he goes to the store on his way home because he knows you’re working late, or he watches a movie that he doesn’t really want to see because he knows you were really looking forward to it. Relationships are give and take—sometimes you’ll need to watch a TV show you don’t like or offer to drive on a road trip when he’s tired, but he should do the same for you.
10. He focuses on you.
Does your guy ask questions about you? Does he want to know about you? Is he genuinely interested in your hopes and dreams? Or, does he have a knack for turning the conversation back to himself? When you’re important to someone, they want to know more about you and aren’t just there to shine the spotlight on themselves.
A guy may look like your type, have a good job, or have lots of friends, but the bottom line is simple—Do you feel like your best self when you’re with him? Do you look forward to being with him? And is your relationship stress free? Do you feel like a million bucks and know that he would rather be with you than anyone else? That’s when you know you’re with a keeper.
Fran Greene LCSW is a nationally renowned relationship expert. Flirting is her hobby, love is her passion, and her dream is for her clients to have loving relationships. She has a private practice working with singles who want to find their perfect match and couples who want to improve their relationships, and is also a sought after online dating coach. In her book, Dating Again with Courage & Confidence, Fran makes dating uncomplicated, and helps singles reclaim their confidence, enjoy the dating process, and meet the love of their life. She is also the author of The Flirting Bible. Her upcoming book The Secret Rules of Flirting is available now for pre-order.