Get the score sheet out. Here are 30 no-doubt-about-it signs that you’ve got one hell of a man on your hands. This one just might be the man of your dreams.
Do not let this elusive creature get away.
We live in a world that’s obsessed with the bigger, better deal, one in which there’s a false promise that we’re always “one swipe away” from a Groundhog day opportunity where we can start over fresh with a new stranger.
This often leads to very good men and women being cast aside as the misguided chase glitter. So, consider this list a wake-up call that you’ve found a proverbial unicorn. And if he fits the bill, show a little gratitude for the great guy you’ve got (and offer him the same in return!).
1. He can talk about the future without a disclaimer. References about Friday, next week, or even next month are made without winces or any “if we’re still together” statements. In fact, he’s already mentioned what he’d like to show you during the holiday season.
2. He doesn’t just ask how you’re feeling—he actually wants to know. This is a man who cares about what his partner is thinking and feeling, their ideas on different topics, and what’s going on with their life. Instead of serving up a quick fix with glazed-over eyes, he shows support by offering real feedback … maybe even over a shared bottle of wine.
3. He makes a real effort. He doesn’t fall into a rut the second you’ve committed. Ironed shirts, thoughtful gestures, combed hair, brushed teeth, random flowers, opened doors and impromptu reservations at your favorite restaurant after a bad day at work aren’t reserved solely for the courtship period.
4. He’s clear about who he is. If he wants kids, he says so. If he doesn’t believe in marriage, you’re made aware. He has a good sense of his short and long-term goals, and doesn’t want to waste anyone’s time (his or yours).
5. He sees you as a whole and complete person. Not body parts or a pretty face or a bad hair day (or a basket case having a total meltdown over your bad week). He loves the complete person you really are and appreciates that you have many layers, some of them more attractive than others.
6. He truly believes in you. Whether you’re signing up for a marathon, applying for your dream job, attempting a soufflé, or preparing to ask for a promotion, this man thinks you have what it takes to achieve your greatest goals and cheers you on enthusiastically.
7. He’s great in bed. Sex with him is actually sexy. Seduction starts before you’re in the bedroom and lingers long after the act itself is finished. He loves your body (and the soul in it) and finds pleasure in pleasuring you.
8. He’s ambitious. He doesn’t rest on his laurels or talk himself out of going after his dreams. He enjoys testing his limits, challenging himself, and working to grow on many levels.
9. He’s truly got your back. We’re talking old school your-enemies-are-my-enemies-banned-from-my-kingdom sh*t here.
10. He’s the perfect balance of attached and independent. You have a great time together and he lets you do your thing when apart. He doesn’t whine when you go away with girlfriends or follow you around events like a lost puppy. Instead, he’s able to hold his own and hold your hand with equal ease.
11. He does “little big things” for you. Sure, he finds the fact that you’ve been watching Sex and the City reruns since the 90’s a little weird, but he will gladly indulge your favorite season whilst making you a much-craved grilled cheese as you collapse in exhaustion from a hard day at work.
12. He makes date night an event. The man makes more than reservations—he makes a plan.
13. He’ll pucker up, even with dragon breath. He doesn’t just kiss you in the morning, but also when you’re sick and snotty and coughing like you’ve smoked three packs a day.
14. He’s nice to your family and friends. Even the super annoying, nosey, do-they-have-any-manners-at-all-because-I-don’t-see-signs-of-any ones.
15. He can let things go. Yes, he hates that you leave all the cabinets open, doesn’t understand why you need to constantly remind him to (insert annoying reminder here), and would really have appreciated you not saying that to his best friend—but he’d rather enjoy the night with you than get into a petty argument over something that looks trivial from a big picture perspective.
16. He can apologize … and mean it. When he’s wrong, he’ll say he’s wrong and will work to not do it again.
17. He’s always there for you. Having a moment? He’ll text you like other men, only his will say, “Call you in 5.”
18. He’s honest. Not brutally or sparingly, but openly and consistently.
19. He knows how to make you laugh. Even when you’re in the middle of what feels like the worst possible moment to crack a smile.
20. He knows you. Like knows-you-knows-you, and that’s why he loves you.
21. He loves to share new things with you. His sweater. His last couple bites of ice cream. His favorite headphones. Even if it isn’t something he would do on his own, he’s always game to see you smiling while doing something you enjoy. He knows you’ll do the same for him which makes the fashion exhibition tolerable.
22. He totally understands your irrational fears. Waking him up when you hear a noise is always a tricky move, but hey, there may actually be a demon under the bed who’s ready to grab your ankles, and that’s why he knows he needs to get up and make sure the door is locked.
23. He takes care of himself, and the things and people he cares about. His mental and physical health matter to him and he works to take the best possible care of himself that he can. He offers the same care and respect to those in his life.
24. He’s not afraid to scrub a toilet. I once had a live-in boyfriend announce, “I don’t clean.” Guess what? We broke up.
25. He can cook a meal or two. OK, so maybe he can’t figure out how to poach pears, but the guy can make a steak and a side dish … and sometimes surprises you with it.
26. He’s got a thing for successful women. Intimidated by your success? More like turned on by it.
27. He knows where his projections end and you begin. We’re all insecure and have scars that sometimes rip open, but he’s able to see that you aren’t his critical ex or mother, and can let you know when he’s triggered and feeling insecure in an effort to work through it together.
28. He’s empathetic. He genuinely cares about others and shows compassion to the people around him on a consistent basis.
29. He makes you a better person—to yourself, him and others. Whether he’s reminding you not to be so hard on yourself, cheering as you go after your goals, or showcasing respectable characteristics that leave you wanting to do/be better, this guy has you aiming higher. Is there anything better than having a constant source of inspiration that you want to constantly get down with? #Winning
30. He can communicate like an adult. Having a disagreement means having a real conversation to come to a solution that benefits both parties. No yelling, passive-aggression, stonewalling, ultimatums or tantrums, but an actual grown-up information exchange. Swoon.
This article was originally published with YourTango; republished with the kindest permission.
Further reading from YourTango:[image: via shutterstock]
About the Author
Brenda Della Casa is the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Managing Editor of Preston Bailey Designs, A Huffington Post Blogger and the Founder of BDC Life In Style. Facebook: BrendaDellaCasa, Twitter: @BrendaDellaCasa, Instagram: @BrendaDellaCasa.
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About the Author:
Looking for real talk about the most important relationships in your life? Who isn't! YourTango is our go-to destination for cathartic love advice, sexy tips, brave personal essays, and an amazing network of experts who solve our trickiest dilemmas. Whether you're single, married, divorced, or in-between, the online magazine is not afraid to cover the stuff we all think, but don't say out loud. (Also, the articles and hilarious memes on their Facebook page bring tears to our eyes!)
Originally published in The Advertiser.
A note from the author: On Valentine's Day, I can't write a romantic letter or poem to my husband. I refuse to pretend there's a happily ever after. I won't mislead anyone who is reading this into believing that romantic, mind-blowing, center-of-my-universe love is the main component of a strong and steady relationship. If I wrote a love letter to him, it would read something like this:
If I sat here and tried to list all the things I love about you, I might never finish this letter. My fingers would be bleeding from typing for so long, and I would miss Valentine's Day all together, because I might need until Christmas to finish.
Rather than listing the wonderful things about you that make me love you, I'm going to take a moment to thank you for all the things that you are not, all the things you don't do, the things you could never be.
Doesn't sound like much of a thank you, does it? Bear with me.
You aren't my dream come true. In my dreams, my man would never falter. He would meet all my needs before I knew I what I needed. He'd always know what to do and say and how to take care of everything. On bad days when I'm at my worst or when the kids are getting on my nerves or when everything seems to go wrong, I'd rather have you, because you're real. You don't have the all the answers, because no one does. You don't have infinite patience for when I'm being unreasonable. You don't love everything I do, because not everything I do is lovable! If you were always dreamy, imagine all the pressure that would put on both of us! Thank you for being genuine, human, flawed, and most importantly, for never even trying to pretend that our life is like living in a dream.
Thank you for never trying to be a "knight in shining armor." I love that you know when to don your armor and fight beside me. And I love even more that you know when it's my job to slay my dragons alone. There are battles in life that we are meant to fight by ourselves, and I'm glad you never rob me of the opportunity to hone my own strength and gain wisdom from a tough battle. If you were my knight, would I know how to fight for myself? Would I feel like I always needed you to rescue me? Would I ever want to be that weak?
We've both heard over and over that you should never settle for anyone. We've heard that to have a great relationship, the things that are important to you should be important to your partner, too. Well, I'm glad we settled for each other.
You crank your stereo up when you're alone in your car and you love going to concerts, yet you settled for a woman who can't stand loud music. You've settled for someone who wakes up at the crack of dawn even though you prefer to stay up late at night. I've settled for someone who hates the beach even though it's one of my favorite places. You, an Italian-American from New York, settled for someone who thinks pasta and bread are not a big deal. I, the avid reader, settled for you, who rarely cracks open a book. Imagine the passion, excitement, lust, joy, adventure and contentment we would have missed had we decided we could not settle for one another.
When I was a little girl, I thought that "happily ever after" might actually exist, even though I never saw it in real life. I'm glad you don't try to make me happy every single day. Thank you for being smart enough to know that it's not your job to make me happy. If I couldn't find happiness within myself, nothing you do or say could instantly turn me into a happy woman. You've spared me from failed attempts at cheering me up or sweeping me off my feet during times when I just need a few minutes to cool down. I'm glad your life isn't dedicated to making me smile all the damn time because a life of nothing but smiles is not a real life. I'm glad you don't constantly compliment me/encourage me/inspire me/esteem me and that you don't make me feel like I'm the center of your world every single day.
Don't you think we would miss out on some amazing make-up sex if you were so perfect that we never got into a fight? We'd be so good at pretending to be happy that we wouldn't know what real happiness felt like. I'll take the life that we have and all of its challenges, victories and struggles over a futile attempt at non-stop happiness any day.
I know that you will almost always be here when I need you, but since you're not a mind reader, sometimes I will have to ask. Grief, strife, fear and disappointment will make both of us fall short for one another once in awhile. Thank you for always taking care of yourself first. If you didn't, you wouldn't be able to care for me during times when I really need you. And even though you'll never tell me everything I need to hear (again, because you're not a mind reader), if I look closely enough, I can see your love, appreciation and admiration for me in so many things that you do.
I'm glad you threw the fairy tale away long before you met me. And there's no one else in this sometimes crazy, sometimes dreary, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly world I'd rather have by my side. While it's fun to share our dreams, discuss our fantasies and pretend that little problems don't exist from time to time, I don't know if I could enjoy reality with any other person as much as I enjoy it with you.
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