October 27, 2018

Qualities To Look For in a Man Before Getting Married – 7 Relationship Experts Reveal Exactly What To Look For in Mr. Right

Qualities To Look For in a Man Before Getting Married

“A busy, vibrant, goal-oriented woman is so much more attractive than a woman who waits around for a man to validate her existence.”

~ Mandy Hale

# Explore the below 5 attributes
Dr. Joy McNeil

After working in mental health for nearly a decade, I have had the opportunity to observe couples and individuals navigating a process of singlehood, marriage and divorce.  While the divorce rate continues to remain relatively stable, in that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce, it’s important to reevaluate the essential qualities of a husband. 

After all, building a marriage solely based on romantic love is like deciding to make a cake with ingredients for the frosting only.

Based on my research and observations, the following five qualities are essential for women who want a lifetime partner:

1.  Attraction – Contrary to some belief systems, physical and mental attraction are important.  If she does not have physical attraction to him, she may likely try to conjure feelings in some other way by making excuses.  She may say, “but he’s got good conversation” or “I would like him more if he lost his belly.”  This is not helpful in the dating or even the latter engagement process. 

Furthermore, the mental attraction and conversation with each other, should not be forced but require minimal effort.  In short, the chemistry and appeal is essential for someone you get to wake up to for the rest of your life.

2.  Fiscal Responsibility – Is he responsible with his money and investments?  Is his credit stable? Is he paying his bills on time or overextending his credit cards?  Does his discussion signal a desire for a debt-free life?  A financially-sound mate will be able to navigate the money matters of the household well.  Because money is one of the top reasons for divorce, fiscal responsibility is essential in a husband.

3.  Consideration – A man who is considerate does not think only himself and his needs but also cares for his partner’s needs well.  A considerate person reacts to challenges, not with criticism but with care.  In a world where many say whatever they want to say on social media, the considerate person is proof that there is calm and kindness in a cold world. 

4.  Family Connection and Communication – How does he speak to his parents? Does he come from a broken family? Do his decisions reflect family brokenness, grief or other unresolved issues?  Is he helpful to family members and friends? What does his circle look like?  A woman can tell a lot about a man from his interactions with his circle and support system.  How he treats others is a sign of how he will treat you. 

5.  Boundaries – To be able to work well as a professional and have a strong personal life, a person has to have solid boundaries.  That means a “no” is no and a “yes” is yes.  He communicates his boundaries, wants and needs clearly and succinctly.  While we all change our minds from time to time, a woman who dates a great boundary keeper won’t spend all of her time worrying about where she stands with him.  A great boundary-keeper is a winner in almost every area of life.

Determining these five qualities in a partner is only the beginning of the process towards creating a sustainable relationship, but these qualities are essential.  Those who desire marriage must view dating soberly and preciously, not haphazardly.  While there is fun to be had, there’s a foundation to build first.

Joy McNeil, PhD, LPC, TFCBT – www.thewellingplace.com

# Review the below 9 attributes
Jacklyn Bystritsky

Deciding to get married is a major decision in life so you want to be as sure as possible that the person you're marrying is the right choice for you.

I say 'as sure as possible' because it is impossible to be 100% sure that you are making the right choice. But there are certain qualities in a spouse that are important to have because if your spouse has those qualities, then that will increase the chances that you are marrying a partner who is a good choice for you. 

These qualities are as follows:

1. Respectful - He has great respect for you and everyone around him; he is courteous and polite 

2. Honest and Trustworthy - He does not lie to you or others; you feel safe with him and know you can trust him

3. Loyal - He is faithful

4. Sincere - He is selfless and genuine; he does not act as if he is better than you, he sees you as his equal

5. Responsible - You feel assured that he will follow through on his word; he will take care of things such as help you with chores; you feel safe knowing he will feed the kids when you're working late, he'll prepare dinner, he'll help you pay the bills, etc

6. Reliable - You know you can depend on him when you need his help

7. Mature - He does not behave in any immature manner

8. Kind - He is generous with his time and attention towards you and others who might be in need at the moment

9. Grateful - He does not take you for granted; he appreciates having you in his life; acts proud that you are his woman

Jackie Krol, LCSW – www.psychotherapistjackie.wordpress.com 

# Watch out for the below attributes
Ashley-Davene

“Marriage hath in less of beauty but more of safety, than the single life; it hath more care, less danger, it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows & fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but it is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful.’ -Forces of Nature

You don’t get sick of him aka your chemistry, connection and foundation is strong

‘Through the good and the bad we’ll give all that we have’… we are beautifully imperfect souls, humans, and it’s so important that we love not just all the great things about our future husband, but also his silly jokes, crooked smile & sometimes messy habits like not making the bed, wearing the same shorts three days in a row, etc. accepting their weaknesses, getting a kick out of their idiosyncrasies, this is the sign of longtime compatibility, deep love and real foundation.

A man of value who is ready to commit // sees commitment and marriage in his future

Men of value appreciate a woman who doesn’t play games, lives and speaks her truth and is not afraid to share her love and feelings for him. The man you will want to marry will not be afraid of commitment, he will be able to talk about it with you & you sharing those future hopes and dreams will only bring him closer, not push him away.

He listens and communicates

Like I said, a man of value will appreciate a woman who is real and present and shares her hopes, dreams, and feelings with him. So much of conflict comes from bottled up feelings and emotions in situations because we are often afraid of expressing ourselves, for many reasons, perhaps past partners didn’t listen, we are afraid of losing them etc. etc. but great communication is a key piece in great long term relating.

A man who can listen, just listen and hold space for you to share all kinds of different things, is such a blessing and will alleviate a lot of issues. Masculine essence in general communicates less than the feminine, so it may not just be in straight words, but look to receive it in their way, acts of service, thoughtful gestures and perhaps even words affirming in his way, that you have a solid important lasting place in his heArt ❤️

He makes you laugh

Laughter they say, is the best medicine and it’s the truth! A man who can lighten the situation by making you laugh, a man who can look at life with a sense of humor, a man who isn’t afraid to be silly! Is an incredible catch indeed and can be so healing and good for long term success. Life can get really heavy so its key to remember to play! Go back to the simple dates, sharing popcorn in the living room under a homemade pillow fort sipping on whiskey over ice and sharing sweet kisses, laughing at nothing and everything. THIS is the stuff of life.

His future goals and ambitions align with yours

Note that I didn’t say he’s super rich etc etc etc. financial stability is amazing and you can be a big support and inspiration to continue to build and grow together, but really, as long as your comfortable that’s not what matters at the end of the day, what matters is, he follows his passions, he follows his dreams, your visions align and you believe in each other. You can see your future through his eyes.

You can see yourself raising a family & having babies with him

 I’m not saying right away, but just the presence of him will inspire you to put down roots and raise a family. Ive always said that one of the first jobs ill take on as a mom for my children will be choosing their father… a good man who you know you can trust with their heart and their safety and well being. A good man you know will be there who will love you and remain true through thick and through thin. This is the man to marry.

You like the idea of growing old with him / He’s your best friend

You would gladly walk through every heartache again if it meant being with him at the end of it all. You’d choose him time and time again. The idea of growing old can be scary but it gives you such deep comfort in knowing that he will be there, by your side, holding your hand, still making you laugh with his silly jokes, planning the best dates, holding you while your babies have babies and so on. That’s how you know you’ve found the one… you know you can live without them, you have, but you don’t desire to. Wherever they are, that’s where you belong. Their heart is your home.

Don’t settle, you’re worth it. And when you find it, appreciate it, fight for it, the relationship is worth it.

Ashley Davene, Relationship Counselor - www.ashleydavene.com

# Watch out for the below 6 attributes
Jessica Colarco

You have done all the internal work.  You have created a balanced life.  You feel good about yourself and you are ready to open yourself up to a committed relationship.  You are in search of a partner to share your life with.  What are you looking for in a partner?  What qualities should you be looking for? There is a lot of research out there on what makes a marriage successful.

I’d like to share the key qualities of a good partner from what I’ve seen in my practice.

1. Similar outlooks on life

Having similar interests is extremely important in successful relationships. Recreational companionship is most often cited as a top emotional need.  Another important component to similarity is having long term goals that align.  Where do you both see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

2. Supportive.

Finding someone who is truly a team player is important for long term commitment.  When your life is hectic he is ready and willing to pitch in to help you out and vice versa. 

3. Empathy

Is he understanding of your feelings and where you are coming from?

4. Communicator.

Being able to both identify and verbalize one’s needs is a critical quality in a spouse.  Can he tell you how he feels and is he willing to be vulnerable with you?

5. Respectful.

A man who values you as an individual and treats you with dignity and respect is a man that is worthy of your commitment. 

6. Marriage takes work.  

There is no ideal formula for a perfect mate; however there are tried and true qualities in a partner that promote a healthy and happy marriage.  Any marriage will go through trials, but having a partner who has similar values, is supportive, is empathic, who communicates and is respectful can add up to a partner ready and willing to take the journey with you. 

Jessica Colarco, LCSW, PLLC – www.jessicacolarcolcsw.com

# Ask yourself the below questions
Kate-Kelly

When considering marriage or long- term commitment one should always look inward first to make certain that we are not trying to have our needs filled by someone else. Once we have made sure that we are not seeking someone to make us happy, then we can look for other things that contribute to long -term compatibility.

First, one should always make sure that their internal dialogue is healthy and kind.

We cannot seek validation and love from others without placing undue hardship on them by seeking an unobtainable goal. We cannot get our internal need for love, validation, and acceptance met from another person. That has to come from within. If it does not you risk being unhappy in any relationship you are in and potentially living out some dysfunctional family dynamics from your parent’s relationship (assuming that’s where you learned these things).

Look for qualities within yourself that you love before looking for them in another person.

Self- love involves acceptance of the things we do not like about ourselves as well as love for the things we do like. We cannot change anything if we do not accept it first. Have you or someone you know said “I love them so much but I wish they would ….” Everything after but is the truth and the same goes for our internal dialogue. I can almost guarantee that if you have said this statement at some time in the past you have a tendency to reject parts of you. You cannot fix this by fixing your partner nor should you marry someone who has potential to be but is not yet what you want.

Make you love them as they are if they were to never change anything at all. Expect them to stay the same while being supportive and encouraging them to be the best version of themselves they can be. And make certain you do the same for you.

Once you have made certain that you have met this need for self-love and are not seeking a person to make you happy because you are happy with or without them, then you can consider whether or not you have what it takes for long term compatibility.

Obviously, the first thing we need in our ideal relationship is love with the caveat that we understand there will be days where we do not love or even like each other.

This is normal and an opportunity for growth in any relationship if we avoid the tendency to build unnecessary resentments. By love I do not mean lust or infatuation. Do not get married if you have only known them 6 months. Take the time it takes to develop a deeper emotional connection through shared experience and maybe even a hardship or two. How we handle stress is going to be important down the road and if you are not compatible on this level, things may not go well the first time you cope with a major upset.

Do you have similar interests? Morals? Concerns? Energy levels?

Do you have things in common that you can share as well as things that you do apart so that you always have a companion and when you do wish to do something without them there isn’t an unspoken rule that you can’t. In the beginning of any relationship we often wish to be around each other all of the time. That obsessive quality generally wears off after the oxytocin diminishes (6-18 months). Usually you will gain shared experience and depth of understanding in return, but if that is not the case then consider whether or not this is the right person for you.

Do you have good, open communication?

When there is a disagreement do you avoid talking about it or can you discuss in a rational manner. Are you afraid to tell them when something is wrong or upsetting you or do you feel like you can talk about anything? Do you play emotional gymnastics in order to get your point across in order to avoid psychological torment or can you just say what’s on your mind as you think about it? All of these are elements that are essential in terms of healthy and direct communication.

Do you have similar sex drives and compatibility in terms of intimacy?

Generally speaking, minor problems can be solved with open communication but the bigger ones often require more assistance. One thing that is unlikely to change is libido. If you are a twice a week person and your partner could care less/ is fine with once a month, you both will end up dissatisfied in this area. Sexual intimacy is an important aspect of communication with your partner and when this area struggles it’s generally a symptom of a larger issue. If you are considering marriage consider whether or not you both will be satisfied with this area long term.

A look at their relationship with their family, their parent’s relationship, and other family dynamics is also important.

If you intend to marry someone you are also marrying their family. Make sure that you will be able to tolerate these people- after all, your person is one of them. If you hate their family you will likely hate them long term as you come to see reflections of them in your partner. A look into their past relationships will also help you to determine if this is someone you should keep around for the long haul. How did they treat their ex? Are all of their exes “psycho”? If so it shows a lack of accountability for their role in the relationship. What did they do that helped it to disintegrate?

Last, why is marriage important to you in the first place.

Could you be happy/ satisfied without a ring and a ceremony? What is it about marriage that is important to you? Does it signify commitment, security, an external symbol of your love for each other? Our culture impresses upon us the importance of marriage but it’s also backed by a multi-billion- dollar wedding industry. It behooves us to make sure we are doing this for the right reasons which, as with everything else in relationship, boils down to good communication.

Kate Kelly, MSW, LCSW – www.willowcreekwellness.com 

# Take a look at the below checklist
Amy-Sherman

While dating, you may meet many men who hopefully will be your Mr. Right. 

Here is a checklist to make it easier for you to identify the ideal love match for you.

- He does nice things to make you feel special

- He is easy to talk to

- He shares many of the same interests as you

- He makes you feel very comfortable around him

- He shares a similar vision for the future

- He is a genuine nice guy and a "good friend"

- You share similar quirks

- He has some good insights into making a relationship work

- He supports and encourages you

- He is attractive and finds you attractive

- He has most of the criteria in your "must-have" list

- He makes you feel happy when you’re with him

- He appreciates your individuality and autonomy

- You are a better person because of him

- You feel invigorated, not exhausted when you’re with him

- He is romantic and loving

- You feel respected

- You find talking to him is easy

If he possesses most (all) of these, sounds like you've found a keeper.  How do you know you are ready to move forward -- and get married?  If you know you have a good thing and you want to spend the rest of your life with him, then you are ready. 

If he expresses his desire to be with you forever, and you don't get scared at that thought, then you are ready.  If losing him would be devastating and being with him is exciting and fulfilling, then you are ready.  If you've stopped looking for someone better and are satisfied you found "the one," then you are ready to take the next step - Marriage!

Remember, your relationship should always include these characteristics:

  • You feel safe and comfortable expressing your feelings and needs, without fear of being reprimanded or belittled.
  • You support each other’s goals, encouraging in a non-competitive, accepting way.
  • Decisions are made together, with respect given to each other’s opinions.  No one person is superior to the other and there is a balance between giving and receiving.
  • Conflicts are mutually resolved.  There is willingness to compromise so that no one person is left feeling wrong or devalued.
  • You share common interests and ideals, but are able to pursue outside interests, including friends, hobbies, schooling, etc.  There is a balance of closeness and separateness, yet when you are together, you are able to play and have fun.
  • You maintain your autonomy, so that if you are left alone, you are able to function, taking care of all your responsibilities and commitments easily.

Amy Sherman, M.A., LMHC – www.yourbabyboomersnetwork.com 

# Time is maybe the most important factor when it comes to choosing a life partner
Sally-Leboy

Knowing what you want and feeling entitled to find it is the right time to start looking for a life partner

Therefore the first person you need to get to know is yourself. Knowing who you are and what is important to you automatically narrows the field of acceptable men.

What kind of person are you?  Are you kind, generous, intelligent, family oriented?  You will want someone who shares those qualities.  Are you outgoing, cultured, athletic and social?  Are you adventurous, a traveler? Or do you prefer quiet evenings at home? Are you religious, political, intellectual?  Are you upwardly mobile; are possessions important to you? 

People are complicated and while there isn’t a right way to be, there is your way and you need to know yourself well enough to know if your partner is someone with whom you can be compatible.

This doesn’t mean that your partner has to be just like you

One of the blessings of marriage is that it can open us up to new possibilities.  If he likes to travel and you don’t, maybe he will be able to bring some new experiences into your life.  But if you want children and he doesn’t, or if religion is important to you but not to him, creating a happy life together gets a lot more challenging.

I think shared values are very important

They are defining of our sense of selves. It also helps to have some interests in common.  Not necessarily everything, but enough to be able to share goals and spend quality time together.

High on my list of attributes is the ability to listen with respect

Criticism and defensiveness spell death for a relationship.  Will he talk to you openly and respectfully?  Will he consider what you have to say?  Does he always need to be right or is he able to collaborate and compromise?  Those are questions you need to ask of yourself too.  Good relationships require a foundation of trust and respect. You have to give it as well as get it.

Any history of drugs, alcohol, gambling or infidelity is a red flag.  If he (or you) have had problems with any of these you need to be sure that they’ve been successfully addressed and that there is a real, ongoing commitment to sobriety.

Time is maybe the most important factor when it comes to choosing a life partner.  

You need to know him, and that is only possible when you have known each other long enough to establish the trust needed to both assess and honestly communicate who you are and what you want.  Take that time; it will be worth the wait in the long run.

Sally LeBoy, MFT – www.sallyleboymft.com

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