A good man. That’s pretty much what we women want in our lives, someone who treats us well, makes his own way in the world, and is kind to puppies and small children. Doesn’t sound like a lot to ask, does it? But sometimes we get confused between ‘good’ and ‘right’. A man might merit a series of ticks all the way down our Good Man Checklist: Car... check. Home...check. Good in bed...check, check, check! And yet, he might be totally wrong for us. But how can we tell, before we find ourselves in too deep and cruising for an emotional bruising? Here are a few signs to pay attention to:
You don’t share any interests
Opposites attract, granted. He’s the Yang to your Yin? No problem. But what if your interests are so diverse that you can’t go out together without one of you being bored or feeling put-upon? He likes rallying, you’d rather sun yourself on the beach. He likes to walk home with 5:00 a.m. dew on his face... and that’s about the time you’re rolling over in bed for dream number three. That’s a problem. Add to that wildly diverging opinions on religion, politics, sporting teams, women’s rights, race issues and heavy pepper vs. slight... you’ll probably find yourselves bickering more than canoodling.
Your parenting styles are different
If your idea of discipline is a ten-minute time out and no dessert, and his is a solid cut-tail and a boof that will rattle the dishes in the cupboards, you are SO backing the wrong horse. The last thing you want is to simmer in resentment while he goes hunting for a slipper, afraid to contradict him in front of the kids. Furthermore, they’ll soon learn to play you two off each other in a game of good-cop/bad-cop, and you’ll both lose control, and their respect.
The sex is so good it makes you stupid
Don’t get us wrong; we love good sex. Who doesn’t? But if it’s so mind-blowing you find yourself forgiving a long list of character flaws and transgressions that you’d otherwise kick him to the kerb for, you need to cross your legs until you’re thinking straight again.
Other people say he’s wrong for you
We like to be wrong and strong, especially in love. But sometimes we have to acknowledge that we’re too close to a situation to see it clearly, (especially when the sex is good... see above!)
But we have to rationally assess the feedback we get, and weed out the trivial from the vital. If Auntie doesn’t like his long, scraggly hair, and you think it’s a great hand-hold during your—ahem, wilder encounters—let that one slide. But if your girlfriends are constantly pointing out that he’s rude, sexist, racist, condescending, or just plain un-nice, maybe you should hear them out. Then decide for yourself.
He doesn’t make you feel good about yourself
If your love is good, it will make you feel good. Simple logic. If you wind up feeling fat, stupid, hapless, hopeless, or just plain unhappy after you’ve spent time in his company, consider it a huge red flag. Your man is supposed to build you up, not pull you down.
You can’t stop thinking about someone else
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional daydream about a past love, or sneaking a glance and a tight, Levi-clad butt at the bar. Just because you’re in a relationship doesn’t mean you’re six feet under!
But if another man is constantly on your mind, that’s something different. Whether that ‘someone else’ is the right man for you is debatable, but not being able to focus happily on the man you’re with is a sure sign something is wrong.
Your gut knows
Women’s intuition is a powerful weapon. It signals like crazy when we’re about to walk alone down a dark corridor, when our kids are lying to us, and when a salesman is feeding us a line long enough to hang us from. And yet, if our stomach goes cold when we’re with a man, we ignore it. Don’t. If your subconscious is warning you something isn’t wrong with a relationship, stop and reflect. That angel on your shoulder is trying to tell you something. Listen hard.