My last boyfriend was, well, a creep. I don’t want to go into a bitch fest about him, so lets leave it at that.
Now that I’m entering the dating scene again, I have made an attempt to list a set of “musts” that I think will help me to make sure I’m with a nice guy. These “musts” are all things that I expect of myself as well, so I don’t think its asking for too much. I think this list is a good list for anyone (men or women) to reference and apply to their own lives, so I’ve tried to write it in a manner that everyone can use. Just replace the Hes with Shes if you’re looking to date a chick.
#1. He must have a job – I don’t care if its a terribly high paying job, but he must have some sort of job that allows him to support himself in a socially acceptable manner, read – be able to keep a roof over his head and food on his table. Also, I should hope that this job is one he enjoys, at least mildly, because a person who is happy at work is happy away from work, and I like to be around happy people. If his current job is not what he intends to do with his life, I expect that he is taking steps (college, job training, etc.), to eventually be doing what he wants to do with his life. The only exception to this is if the guy is somehow independently wealthy. Even this I would approach with caution, because I like a man who is somehow contributing to society. Some lazy, trust-fund baby isn’t going to do it for me.
#2. He must not have addiction problems. I think the reasons behind this are obvious. For me, this also includes must not be a drug user. I do not like drugs, and have a very low tolerance of them. People who are recovering from addiction problems, naturally, can be very nice people, and although they can be somewhat riskier than people with no addiction problems, it might just be worth the risk. Proceed with caution, but do not exclude them entirely.
#3. He must have a car. There are a few exceptions to this rule, if he lives in a crowded city, like New York, I think there are more reasons not to have a car than to have one. I certainly would not own a car if I lived in New York. I live in Denver, and I suppose if you live downtown you might be able to get away with not owning a car, but a person who makes this life choice (which I totally respect) better not be expecting me to drive them everywhere just because I do have a car. You make the choice to walk, bike, etc., and you should stick to it. I am nobody’s taxi … except for my son.
#4. Fathers to illegitimate children for whom they do not provide are a no go. And don’t give me that crap about the mother of your child is a bitch who won’t let you see your child, I’ve fallen for that shit before and I know better now. No mother denies a man the chance to see his child unless there are very good reasons (usually abuse or addiction problems). If there aren’t good reasons, you should certainly take the initiative to take her to court for your custodial rights. If you haven’t done this, I can only assume it’s because there is a good reason for her to cut you out of her child’s life and you know you’ll lose in court, or you are a dead beat dad who just doesn’t want to pay child support. Either way, if this is you, you are an asshole and I think you should be sterilized. Similarly, a mother who does not take good care of her children should be steered clear from. She has severe mental issues for which she needs professional help.
#5. He must be looking for the same thing that I am in a relationship. I am looking for something serious, but I don’t by any means want to rush into anything. Naturally, I do not want to waste my time pursuing someone who just wants casual sex, nor do I want to get involved with someone who has a goal to marry as quickly as possible. Also, I would like to have more children one day, so a dude who has gotten a vasectomy is not a good idea for me (for the record, a guy who naturally is unable to have children would still be an option for me, so long as he would like to have kids, because I would also love to adopt one day). If you do not want children ever, that’s kind of a big deal, so you should probably find someone who also shares that life goal.
#6. He must have similar values to me. I’m not saying we have to agree 100% on everything, but, for example, I am very liberal and I don’t think things would work out well between me and an ultra conservative. I do not think things would work out well between me and a racist, or me and a homophobe. Those traits just don’t jive with my life style, and my traits probably wouldn’t jive well with their life styles either.
#7. He must have some kind of Faith. For me, a guy with some sort of spirituality is important. I think having a measure of spirituality shows that you are able to focus on and be part of things outside of and bigger than yourself. A lack of Faith shows, well, a lack of faith. If your whole life is dedicated to just working your way to the point when you die, if you are unwilling to commit yourself to something bigger than yourself – whatever you may believe that is – I think that you are likely a very self absorbed, and frankly a small minded person. I am a Christian, but I do not believe that it is the only Faith out there that has meaning. I would be open to a person of any Faith (so long as they are open to mine … and others). Faith does not mean religion, necessarily, either. Although I prefer the religious type, Faith can be found in a discipline or providing selfless service as well. I do not, however, consider it to be Faith if you are one of these people who says you are “spiritual, not religious” and proceeds to prove this by burning some incense and putting a Buddha statue somewhere in your living room. That is not faith. No, you don’t have to go to a religious institution every week, but you do have to show some kind of dedication to your Faith that extends beyond decorating or one little, trendy practice, like burning incense. Sorry.
#8. He must be nice. Now, of course, not everyone is nice all the time and it would be totally unrealistic for me to expect that (not to mention hypocritical, because I am certainly not nice all the time). But for the most part he should not ever go out of his way to hurt someone, he should be cognisant of other peoples feelings and needs, and should try to follow the golden rule as much as possible. Being nice just for the sake of the person you are trying to impress is not going to cut it. Good manners are included in being nice, but good manners alone don’t cut it either. I’ve known a lot of boys who are always complaining that girls don’t ever go after nice guys, but these guys complaining in reality aren’t actually so nice at all. They put on an act of forced chivalry, at best. Most of the time they suck even at that. Also, there is a difference between being nice and being a pussy. Nice people stand up to injustice when they see it, whether its to protect yourself or a loved one from getting screwed over by a scamming salesman, stopping to help someone in trouble, or making a statement with your wallet. Nice people do something.
#9. He must live in the middle ground between being too clingy and too independent. Calling you more than once a day just to chat is clingy. On the flip side, if I don’t hear from someone in three weeks, I assume I’m dumped and move on. There’s a reasonable middle ground there, and I think its a pretty wide area to reside in.
I compiled my list of musts through my own experience and through that of friends. I think its pretty good, don’t you? Of course, it is kind of embarrassing that I’ve had to make this list, based on prior experience, but I think its a list that other people would do well to read as well, so at least I’m not alone.