By Amy Elizabeth
Ladies, the best piece of romantic advice I can offer is to make sure your guy is boyfriend material before you commit to him. You’ll save yourself plenty of tears if you hold out for a man who meets the following criteria:
1. Is he giving?
True love is undoubtedly about giving, not receiving. However, a man in love would do anything to make his girl happy. When a man gives, he’s not only demonstrating his love, he’s also displaying he’ll be a good provider. A woman is always free to give her man as much love and affection as she wants, but if she gives too much materially, she risks not only emasculating him, but also takes on the male role in the relationship. Although the dynamic can be reversed, most women want to be the feminine, receiving partner. A feminine woman knows how to make her boyfriend feel appreciated and always is sure to let him know she’s grateful.
2. Do you feel safe when you are around him?
No matter how independent a woman may be, she wants to feel protected by her man. Years ago, I had an ex who was stalking me. While I was at dinner with someone else, my ex kept blowing up my phone. My date cowardly asked if my ex-boyfriend ever resorted to violence. Needless to say, the fact my date cared more about his own safety than protecting me was a major turn off. The men I loved most always made me feel like they had my back. Not that any of these men ever resorted to fist fights, but they certainly weren’t afraid to defend my honor.
3. Does he cherish your feelings?
A good man should cherish his woman’s feelings. If you tell your guy he hurt you, a good boyfriend will take that to heart and not repeat whatever it was that caused you pain. If your man doesn’t consider your feelings, you’re not being cherished. This guy will need to be trained if you plan on keeping him around.
4. Is he a man of his word?
One of my pet peeves is a guy who promises the world, but doesn’t follow through. It is very important that if a man says he’s going to do something, he does what he promised. Even small things like calling when he says he’ll call are a testament to a man’s character. You want a boyfriend you know you can count on!
5. Does he make your life better?
Is he a hairstylist once told me to never commit to a man unless he makes my life better. This may seem like a nobrainer, but in my early twenties, I had a boyfriend who made my life worse. He created a lot of unnecessary drama and rarely had my best interests at heart. Always remember: your relationship should enhance your life, not create any unnecessary turmoil. If you feel like your man is genuinely a blessing on your life, he’s a keeper.
6. Is he happy when good things happen for you?
Sometimes in relationships, one person will become jealous when something good happens to his or her partner. A man may feel these negative emotions because he is afraid that if his girlfriend has newfound success, he might lose her. In a relationship, both partners should grow, so beware of a man who holds you back. A man who is boyfriend material wants to see you blossom.
7. Do you love who you are when you are around him?
Does your guy make you feel happy, free and beautiful? Or does he cause you to feel insecure, anxious or maybe even jealous? You want a boyfriend who makes you feel completely loved and secure, a man in whose presence you become more radiant and energized, a man who ultimately makes you feel like a Love Goddess.
8. Does he inspire you?
We are put on this Earth to grow into our best selves, and our partners are meant to help in this process. I’m a bit nerdy, so I like a guy who can teach me something about politics, spirituality or great literature. However, a man can inspire you in other ways; for instance, he may make you want to be better in business, live a healthier lifestyle, volunteer for charity or simply to be a kinder, more compassionate person. Basically, you want your man to make you a better woman, whatever that means to you.
9. How does he handle conflict?
When swans fight, they ruffle their feathers at each other and then moments later, sail away in peace. If you’re in a long-term relationship, naturally there are going to be some moments where feathers are ruffled. I would stay away from the avoidant types who disappear when there is conflict and definitely the types who won’t stop ruffling their feathers. A man who is quick to forgive and doesn’t hold a grudge is the kind of guy you want to sail away with in peace.
10. Has he talked exclusivity?
Unless your guy has told you he’s not seeing anybody else and wants you to be his girlfriend, never assume he’s your boyfriend. If after several dates, he hasn’t asked if you’re seeing anyone else, he might not be looking for a girlfriend. Keep in mind, a man could really like you, but just not want a relationship, so don’t take it personally if that’s the case. When a man is crazy about you and wants to be exclusive, he will make it known.
Girls, if after reading this list, you realize your guy isn’t boyfriend material, don’t be disheartened. It is possible that with a little time and effort, your man can be trained. Keep in mind, however, that you aren’t simply looking for any boyfriend- you want someone who cherishes you. If your guy didn’t make the cut, have faith the universe will send you someone who will. As for the boys who need to step up their game, they can make an effort to win your heart, but exclusivity only belongs to the man who proves he deserves it.