Your Non-Negotiable List
Each woman has her own completely legitimate set of criteria - can't have back hair, must have health insurance, should have twins running in his family, loves to rollerskate, is George-Clooney charming, prefers wine to beer and so on. But there are certain conditions beyond honesty, respect and good communication (the trifecta of any relationship foundation) that every woman, no matter what your taste in men, deserves to have in her life's co-pilot. Here's a checklist for what you should demand from your man.
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When apart for a few hours or a few weeks, for no pinpointable reason, reconnecting with your man ought to give you the warm-and-fuzzies, even after countless kisses, unlimited hand-holds and hugs galore. Maintaining the butterfly feeling is proof that your guy is putting forth the effort to keep romance alive.
Freedom is an excellent indicator that your man trusts you. Freedom comes in many forms – freedom to have a girls-only weekend in Mexico, freedom to explore a new career, freedom to be alone – all of which circle back to your man trusting your decisions and giving you space for your own growth.
Inside and out, every quirk, every "flaw", every everything about you should be understood and adored by your man. Never should you feel the tendency to be a chameleon, adapting to what you think he wants you to be. You should already be everything he needs. A good guy will go the extra mile to make you feel great about your insecurities.
A safe place to be 100-percent YOU.
In a healthy relationship, you should feel safe, liberated and loved enough to be who you are – all the dimensions of your being – all the time... figuratively naked. So if that means you are a buttoned-up badass by day and someone who dances around singing into a hairbrush by night, so be it. A forever-guy will not only allow it, he will love it.
Patience, generosity and consideration.
These are the triplets of kindness, each one of equal importance. Patience means he can deal with tension calmly and productively, looking at life's challenges as opportunities to teach and to learn. Generosity of mind, spirit, heart, wealth, time – anything you want to share (even dessert!) – your guy must want to share equally with you. And finally, your man should be considerate of your feelings, your time and your goals. He should be considerate of how his decisions impact you.
Tack these demands onto your mirror and use them as affirmations. The right man will come along when you have the courage to stand your ground. Hey, it's your life and your every happiness, right?