When I was single, I used to meet men who’d tell me they weren’t ready for a relationship. Young and naive, I used to believe them…until I found out they had moved onto another person and started a relationship with them. If you can relate, and you only have time to read one paragraph in this article, let this be it: men mostly look for two things before they decide whether or not a relationship can go the distance.
I know men who used to love being single. They’d tell me that it was just too much fun that way, that being in a relationship would take it all away. They’d go from dating one girl to another (all smart and beautiful) but then somewhere in the dating timeline, they’d meet one person who’ll change their life, one person that makes them want to swap Saturday nights out with the boys for a night in.
What is it about a woman that make men think ‘wow, she’s the one I want to be with’? I always knew it has nothing to do with looks and from chatting with many men on this topic, I’ve found that the two qualities they appreciate are so so simple.
The woman who gets the guy does not try to change him
A lot of women date men, not for the person they are but for their potential. They may want a man who has a steady job and things going for him but then they’ll meet someone who doesn’t meet their criteria, someone who doesn’t have the ambition she was hoping for. Still, she won’t give up. She thinks she can change him, motivate and inspire him. People don’t change unless they want to and when you’re trying to change someone who doesn’t want to change, it makes them think that they can’t receive love for being who they are.
Men (and women) want to be seen and loved for who they are. Most men who are in happy and long term relationships tell me that they chose to be with their partner/wife/girlfriend because they did not try to change them.
Excerpts straight from the guys themselves:
“It was that she just loved me for me. She never wanted to change me, and also that she makes me want to be the best version of me that I can be. She pushes me to follow my dreams”, Josh 28.
“Maybe because I could be my actual self around her. As we were friends or had known each other for a couple of years before. The key to life is compromise and the majority of women don’t know how to compromise”, Andrew 27.
The woman who gets the guy is with him because she loves/likes him, not because she ‘needs’ him to complete her or fill a void.
I wrote about co-dependency in another article. In summary, I talked about the dangers of handing over the reigns of your happiness to another person. Not only do you lose control over your happiness, it also puts a lot of pressure on your partner to fill your void, to be your everything. I speak to many men in their 30s who tell me they’re wary of women in their late 20s and 30s because they know women are just ‘on a mission to find a husband’. They want to be a guy they marry for the right reasons, not because they just so happen to be there at the right place at the right time. They want a women who loves them for who they are.
“I don’t feel she is with me because she ‘needs’ a boyfriend. I feel she likes me”, Al 29.
Other reasons that made men want a commitment:
“Main thing for me is that she makes my life more interesting than anyone else. Also, I have never met a character like her. So I wouldn’t want to give her up because I’ve never met someone like her before”, Aiden 28.
“It was more about me to be honest. Realising that perfect doesn’t exist. Or something close to it. That’s she’s flawed like we all are. But she’s kinda and generous and I know she’ll be there for me. And that I love her”, Brian 39.
“I was sold on her from date one: personality, looks and attitude. She walked in the room with this air of strength that took me a back. But it is her heart, her love for genuinely care in sharing it with people in different forms. That’s why I love her. Also I would say values definitely and behaviour that’s consistent with it”, Esteban 25.
“I think we had a good chemistry. And our personalities and values matched”, Nick 30.
“I think committing to one woman comes down to how well you connect. There needs to be a match in ideals and you need to be able to laugh, a sense of humour is very important, at least to me. You must love her personality more than her looks or body. Physical attraction is generally what starts a relationship but what keeps you committed is her personality and your common goals and ideals in life”, Daniel 35.
“It was the physical attraction. And I enjoyed our time together as friends”, Matthew 26.
Quick tips for those looking for a long term partner
- Don’t date someone for their potential. Date them for who they are now.
- Check in with your expectations when it comes to dating. The perfect relationship doesn’t exist.
- If you are going to love anyone, prepare to love them for the good and bad. No one is perfect.
- Don’t depend on someone else for your happiness. It’s your job.
- Inspire change. Never push a guy into a person they don’t want to be. It never works.
If you want to learn more about men and commitment, you’ll love this book on men and commitment.