After my last relationship broke up, I decided I was no longer interested in ‘testing’ the market. My next relationship must be purposeful and worth the time. While the soul searching was on-going, I realised I didn’t have a full picture of what I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I knew quite well that for instance I needed someone with good looks who could deliver on TLC. I said to myself, he must be ‘God fearing’, treat women well blah blah blah.
I thought I knew everything I was looking for; however, I discovered with each day either by observing couples around me or with the guys I was meeting, that I really wanted a little more... make that a lot more!
Inasmuch as looks are important, I’m not overtly interested in drop dead gorgeous men; but the brother must be fine enough for me to want to be seen with him... don’t blame me, I just want to secure my children’s fate! His entire carriage must be endearing. He should be confident and well groomed. Good spoken English too... you can’t be throwing grenade at me or my friends!
When we’ve got the ‘front page’ sorted out, we’ll probably be hanging out more and then I’ll look out for the content which would include:
VERBAL INTIMACY – I have found out over time that communicating is important for me. He must be good at talking and listening. He has to like sharing his deepest emotional thoughts and desires. We can’t be having secrets and telling half truths; I want to have fun in my relationship and not be playing undercover cop. Besides, verbal intimacy is all that’s left when the body’s no longer hot and steamy sexy.
INTELLECTUAL/INDUSTRIOUS/ENERGY LEVEL – I like guys who are smart/bright and upwardly mobile; he has to be knowledgeable and be able to discuss important issues – the world doesn’t start and stop at Old Trafford or Emirates stadium. I am academic/career-oriented hence any man who thinks my pursuit of a PhD is a waste of time is a NO NO.
He also has to be industrious with an energy level that matches mine. For me nothing is too difficult to achieve, I therefore would find it difficult to cope with someone who’s sloppy, lazy or contented with simply ‘earning a living’.
FAMILY ORIENTED – if the reason we’re dating is for the possibility of spending our future together then alienating yourself from all semblance of family life would raise an alarm in my head. Simply put, he must be committed to marriage and family. IMHO, a guy who hates or treats his family badly would do same to you. I’ll expect that he treats his parents and siblings with respect and care.
SPIRITUALITY – I CANT date a guy who’s in a different religion or has different sets of spiritual commitments even within my religion. This is not about hating on any religion but I think life is a lot easier when you share similar beliefs. Before you begin to preach, my parents were from two extreme ends, one a devote Muslim, the other a mass serving catholic, so I know firsthand what I’m talking about, and I’ll rather just save myself all the hassles!
FINANCIAL INTEGRITY – in the long run, every girl looks to end up with someone who will be able to care for her material needs too. Before you scream independent woman, think about it; would you rather have him feeding off you... huh? I didn’t think so...
A man must be financially responsible. If he’s spending his entire salary on Arsenal kits/PS III console/throwing parties, you’d better watch out. If he’s too obsessed with making billions and thereby hinting blood money or fraud, you better put your shoes in your channel purse and slip out the back door!
VALUES/TRAITS – this may be an offshoot of spirituality but then it has a lot to do with upbringing too. You’ll score more points if you’re polite, patient and punctual. Add affectionate, sociable, a good sense of humour and emotional generosity to that list. While self confidence is a plus, I’d expect that he’s unassuming hence can accept criticism and admit it when he’s wrong.
EMOTIONAL HEALTH/ADDICTION – Do you know anyone who’s emotionally unhealthy? Ahh... you don’t want to meet any... trust me!
I once had a course mate who was also in my study group, for some reason, everyone was always trying to avoid him, so I put on my Mother Theresa apron and tried being nice... big mistake!
To put it mildly, dude was an all time pessimist (was that mild? ... shrugs) he would worry unnecessarily about everything, from his grades to his girlfriend. He was also a chronic cynic and more often than not, he was depressed. Being friends with him was emotionally draining!
I’ve learnt my lesson so I try to stay away from people who are emotionally unhealthy. The tell-tale signs usually include workaholic syndrome, victim mentality, obsession, anger (especially those ones associated with yelling and object throwing). I think it’s wise to steer clear of people with addictions, be it alcohol, pornography, gambling, sex or drugs.
|You can't change him, unless he's willing to. BEWARE!!!|
Over time, I have edited this list of mine and although I know that relationships are about compromises sometimes, these issues seem key to me. While they aren’t cast in stone, they remain my basic yardstick. I do believe that although I can teach a guy to prioritise his spending and be a lot more frugal, it’s up to him to want to learn and adjust. I definitely would not venture into trying to change a guy’s religious affiliations or doctrinal beliefs, hence, I’ll just ‘jump and pass’!
So there you have it people, let the missiles start flying!