What you want in a man should not be set in stone.
Relationships are confusing and knowing what we actually want out of one is even more confusing.
It’s kind of a sad truth, at least for myself, that I can’t even trust myself to know what I like sometimes. And, I really don’t think that I’m alone in this one when it comes to relationships. Sometimes it seems that people think they have a type, but this type isn’t always what will make them the happiest.
My sister always tells me that she’s into guys who are outwardly emotional and artistic. Guys who have dealt with lots of hardships in their lives. While this is what she THINKS she wants, she always ends up in bad relationships with people who don’t really make her happy.
What she thought was outwardly emotional turns into emotionally unstable and clingy. The tattooed arms that she thought made her partner artistic really just helped her find guys who were crying out for attention or were unsure of themselves. And the guys who were outspoken about their life hardships really just seemed to want sympathy. They used those life struggles as excuses.
Unfortunately, she judges a book by its cover. She never gives guys a chance who look or act differently than what she thinks she wants. In reality, it might be the clean cut, sports-loving guy who is emotionally deep, artistic and has a strong character built from hardship under the surface.
I have a feeling that she isn’t the only one I know who does this. So, I reached out to find out the qualities women want in men… or at least thought they wanted in a partner. Turns out, that completely changed once they found new partners.
1. A man who caters to me
“Well for me I thought I wanted a man who catered to me. Who just said yes to me. Who liked what I liked. When I got together with my current husband, I realized what I wanted was whatever he was giving because of the love I actually had for him. So, I think one relationship changes and makes you realize what you really want.”
2. A man who buys me things
“I think the biggest thing that’s changed is what I imagine ‘romantic’ to be. My first boyfriend was very romantic in the traditional sense — gave me lots of flowers and chocolate and jewelry, wanted to pay for everything, told me how beautiful I was constantly and so on. After two years I was very much over that! My second long-term boyfriend was incredibly caring and wanted to take care of everyone, including me, so I thought that was romantic for a while until it got to the point that I started to feel like a kid around him (being told off for smoking was a low point!).
My current partner doesn’t buy me flowers spontaneously because he knows that if I want to, I’ll buy myself a potted plant. He doesn’t book weekends in five-star hotels for us because he knows I’d rather go snowboarding. And he doesn’t try to look after me all the time because he knows I’m his equal and can take care of myself. So, I guess romance has changed for me from flowers and chocolate to something that, when you’re with the right person, you define for yourself.”
3. A man who compromises
“I think one of the biggest things that has changed over time for me is what I am willing to compromise on. When you’re younger it’s all about the giddy feelings, the wanting to do whatever makes the other happy, and compromises silently happen. As I’ve gotten older, I find myself not wanting to give up certain things/patterns of my life. This then creates a challenge for when you want someone in your life because the compromises have a louder voice. How do you keep true to yourself (being happy with yourself so you’re the best for the other person) and balance the addition of someone into your life?”
4. A man who’s clean-cut
“I never thought I would be with the person that I was dating. He is 13 years older than me, covered in tattoos, has piercings, is not a doctor or a lawyer; however, I’m totally in love. I didn’t know I could be this happy. We have been together for almost four years now and I still get butterflies. He is nothing like anyone I thought I would ever date. I actually developed feelings for him while I was still dating my ex, who met my description of what I originally thought I wanted in a partner.
I am so happy I allowed myself to be more open-minded when it comes to who I am dating; otherwise, I would be missing out on someone who is so intelligent, funny, sweet, respectful. So as it turns out, I was wrong with what I thought was my ideal boyfriend. And luckily for me, I ended up dating someone who exceeded my expectations.”
5. A man who is with me all the time
“I always thought I’d want some lovey-dovey obsessed partner. But as I got older in the relationship I’ve found that I love our independence. I love him to the moon. I think it’s because we can be together all the time and be happy, but we have happiness without each other as well. We can be our own people rather than just a duo as a couple. People look for perfect and half the time that’s not what you’re going to find. You have to, as a couple, make your own kind of perfect.”
6. A tall man
“I always wanted a tall guy. But my being 5’3″ and him being 6’4″ means always having to beg him to bend down for a kiss… And never just being able to plant one on his lips when I feel like.”
7. An unpredictable man
“I thought I wanted someone artistic and creative. But now I am so glad I married a solid, steady, predictable personality. The artist/guitar player type is fun to date. But unless he’s really got his act together and is focused on family primarily (which some can do), it’s hard for them to have a consistent presence. And I really like the intimacy of this dependable lifestyle.”
So, for all you ladies out there who are looking for the perfect relationship, try giving someone a chance who you would never consider before. You might be shocked at what you find when you consider the qualities women want in men for the long haul.
— by Shannon Ullman for YourTango
Shannon Ullman has the spirit of a vagabond, which has led her on adventures all over the world. She’s taught English in Asia, lived out of a van in New Zealand, road tripped all over the US, and backpacked through Europe. Follow her blog to read all about her adventures.
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