You’re newly single and looking for love, but the dates you’ve gone on have been less than ideal.
You thought Joe was going to be your Prince Charming…but he turned out to be a dud.
Then Phil, who smooth-talked his way into your heart turned out to only want to get into your bed.
You want love—you truly do—but you’re starting to feel like you’re looking for a needle in a gigantic haystack.
How can you keep from wasting your time and energy on the wrong men? If only there was a guide that would tell you exactly the things to look for in a guy to know whether he was worth your time or not.
Well…guess what? I’ve created just such a guide right here! This article will help you tune in faster to whether a man has potential or not so you stop wasting time on the wrong ones.
Things to Look for in a Guy to Make Sure He’s Right for You
Paying attention to how a man acts when you first start dating will help you understand whether there is the potential for something long-term or if you shouldn’t waste your time on him. Let’s look at those things to look for in a guy so you know one way or another.
1. You Have Similar Values
Whether it’s having similar religious beliefs, both wanting to get married, or both of you supporting the same political party, these are fundamental building blocks of a relationship.
Consider what having dissimilar values might look like: imagine dating a man who, unlike you, didn’t believe in marriage. Going to church is a big part of your life, and he’s a proud atheist. You believe in fighting climate change, he’s a climate change denier.
Do you really see this being a great and long-lasting relationship? Of course not. You want someone who feels similar, if not the same, about what matters to you.
But don’t fret if you don’t have identical values: Dr. Gary Brown, a couples’ therapist in Los Angeles, says you don’t have to feel the same about everything:
“You can have a very successful relationship, without having to share all of the same values. You just have to share the same basic ‘must-have’ values.”
Not sure what your must-have values are? Take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you. You might find it easier to list deal-breakers to help you filter out men who don’t share your values.
2. He Wants a Relationship
You know you want a relationship, so it stands to reason that one of the things to look for in a guy is that he wants one, too. And yet, I know countless women who overlook this tiny—yet hugely important—characteristic. They try to convince themselves that down the road, this man will tumble into love with them and be a great partner.
When a man says he doesn’t want a relationship…believe him! Don’t waste your energy trying to convince him otherwise. You’ll just end up frustrated and hurt.
On the other hand, if this man is making every indication that he is looking for something long-term like you, it’s all systems go! Of course, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll end up together forever, but you at least have the possibility.
3. You Have Conversational, Physical, and Emotional Chemistry
These three types of chemistry are essential for a serious relationship. Sure, you can have physical chemistry that will peter out after a few months when you realize you have nothing in common. But the alchemical cocktail of all three makes for a great combination.
When you talk (in person or on the phone), do you never run out of things to say to one another?
When you’re together, do you feel a magnet pulling you to one another’s bodies?
Does he make you feel safe, secure, and cared for?
If the answer is yes, then you are off to a great start with a fantastic match.
4. You’re in a Similar Place in Your Lives
We go through different phases in our lives. In our 20s, many people get married and start having kids. In our 30s, it might be all about moving ahead careerwise. In our 40s, maybe those kids leave the nest. I’ve found that people who are at similar phases in their lives are more compatible. Maybe his son left for college last year and now you’re nervously preparing for your daughter to leave. He can support you and let you know what to expect.
Maybe you’re both dating post-divorce but are ready to find love.
These similarities are a good thing! On the other hand, if your kids are grown and you’re done raising kids, you probably don’t want to date a man with young children. It’s all about being attuned to what you want in your life right now and looking for a partner who wants the same.
5. He Respects You
Respect is one of those foundation pieces that make for a great relationship down the road. If he respects and supports you, he’ll always do so.
If it’s too early to gauge whether he does respect you, look to see how he treats other people in his life like friends, family, or even the waiter at the restaurant he takes you to. It’s hard for people to cover up their negative flaws for long, so if you see signs that he’s rude to people, he’s probably not going to be the most respectful partner to you.
6. He Makes an Effort in the Relationship
Is he texting or calling you as much as you are him? Do you take turns planning (or even paying for) your dates? Do you feel like he’s actively trying to take the relationship forward? If so, that’s great, because that’s one of the things to look for in a guy who wants a long-term relationship.
There’s debate about whether a relationship is ever truly equal, but there should be a general give and take that balances things out. If there isn’t, if you feel like you’re doing all the heavy lifting, it’s time to move on. Somewhere out there is a man who wants to give as much as you do.
7. He Has His Sh#% Together
My mother is a divorce attorney (ironic, I know), and she’s seen firsthand that the #1 reason for divorce is finances. That might be because one person was hiding a serious spending problem from the other. It might be something else. But you’re at a point in your life where you need a man to have his stuff together financially.
Don’t get me wrong; I am not telling you to date or marry a man who is wealthy for his money. Date or marry for stability. You want a man who is established in his career, who knows how to stick to a budget, and who is open about his finances. He doesn’t have to be rich; he just has to have it together.
8. He’s Emotionally Balanced
When I say “emotionally balanced,” what I mean is that he can handle stressful situations without falling apart. Anxiety, stress, depression…these things happen to all of us. It’s how we handle them that matter. When you’re part of a couple, how you handle them also affects your partner.
It also means that he’s emotionally mature. He isn’t going to run from a conversation about feelings, and he knows how to communicate his own.
In a nutshell, you want a grown man!
9. He Treats You Like a Partner
You are not a child. You have likely been adulting for quite some time, so you don’t need a man who just wants to control the relationship and you.
You need someone who will care about your opinion and make decisions with you. Essentially, you want to be treated as an equal partner in this relationship.
If a man is domineering or throws a fit when you don’t do what he wants, this is not a partnership. You won’t be able to change his need for control, so move on.
If He Doesn’t Have These Qualities…
Now that you know a few of the things to look for in a guy to determine whether he’s long-term material, you have to address what to do if he doesn’t make the list. Few will. The key is identifying quickly whether a man is who you need a partner to be, and if he’s not, letting go of your desire to make him that partner.
Don’t settle for a “good enough” relationship. You may think that the guy you’re dating is almost the things you’re looking for, but if he’s not those things now, he won’t suddenly change and become them. When you settle for a “good enough” relationship, you are selling yourself short from ever finding what you truly deserve in love.
Know that a better fit is out there. I know you may have been looking for Mr. Right for a while, and you’re probably tired of looking, but realize this: you’re closer to finding him than you’ve ever been. You’re getting better and better at filtering through the wrong men so you can make way for the right one.
Don’t be afraid to be alone. It’s far from the end of the world. In fact, there are tons of benefits to being on your own. And if you’ve always found yourself swinging from one relationship to another with no breathing room in between, you might find that being alone for a while helps you reset your expectations about what you want in a mate.
I know a lot of people mindlessly date. They aren’t putting a lot of effort into really intuitively paying attention to what the person they’re dating is communicating with his actions and words, but trust me: if you put a little more energy into it, you’ll be able to see quickly whether a man is worth your time or not.
Do you have other things to look for in a guy that you’d add to this list? Leave a comment below to share with the Sexy Confidence community!
If you’re ready to break destructive patterns that are keeping you from finding love, check out my Breaking Your Love Patterns course.