I think we all had one.
Whether it was scribbled in neon sparkle pen in our childhood diary or is an ever changing mix of the nonsensical and logical only within our minds – we all currently have or had a list.
The list of ALL the qualities our future Mr. Right must possess.
I had a list too — of course, this planner and lover of to-do lists did — and now, just a year and a few months into marriage, I thought I would share with you qualities that may have not made my list, but I am so thankful for now. (And, no this is not to be perceived as I have marriage figured out, or my husband is perfect, or we never fight, and everything is rainbows and sunshine and happiness…not at all…just a few thoughts I’ve had as a (very new) wife after spending some time as a single lady.)
Cause let’s face it – when the tall, dark, and handsome becomes shrinking, gray and wrinkly – these are the characteristics that will remain…
–> A Man who is NOT a picky eater. I have all the sympathy in the world for food allergies (hello my own medically necessitated gluten free diet) but listen up ladies: unless you’re marrying a chef (and if so, please have us for dinner) or you plan to eat out every. single. night (which could get old, expensive, and unhealthy really fast), you will definitely want a guy who eats what is placed in front of him. Because hear me when I say — meal planning is not for the faint at heart. (Shout out to all of you who LOVE cooking gourmet dinners — your future husband is quite a lucky man and again, I ask (beg?) please have us for dinner).
–>A Man who Calls You His Partner, His Teammate. Each marriage is different in how it is structured, what exact roles each person embodies, but to have a husband who considers you his partner, his teammate is invaluable. Don’t settle for a man who just wants a pretty face, a maid, a roommate, or someone to manipulate and abuse. Look for a man who respects, honors, adores, and cherishes ALL of you – mind, body, and soul.
–>A Man who Thinks the House Always Looks Clean (even when you know the next door neighbors can see the generations of dust setting up house and having grandkids on your mantle). Don’t get me wrong – you don’t want someone who won’t pick up after himself or is all laissez faire about living in complete disorganized chaos (although maybe that’s fine with you – in which case – more power to you), but you definitely don’t want a man who gives the baseboards the white glove test every night. (I mean unless he’s willing to budget for a maid that’s not you…in that case, accept his generous offer and rejoice daily in no more cleaning!!! 🙂 )
–>A Man who is Kind. He is kind not only to you or his immediate family, but kind to strangers, to fellow co-workers, acquaintances, and in the words he speaks about others.* To find someone truly kind is a precious, rare gift on which no measurable value can be placed. As Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.”
(*No matter how kind your guy is — the exception to this rule is when his alma matter plays their rival school in any imaginable sport…just know this and accept it now…it will be better for you if you do.)
–>A Man who is Patient. Ladies, let’s keep it real here – sometimes our emotions and our response to those fearsome feelings can just get plain ridiculous. (Please observe the following scene, being played out in homes across the world…well, since the beginning of time:
Man: What’s wrong?
Woman: (with tears streaming down her face) Nothing.
Man: (frantically scrambling to think what he did): Ummm– you sure, honey?
Woman: (bursts out sobbing) Well, I’m just overwhelmed and anxious cause dinner didn’t taste right, my friends’ Instagram pictures are so much better than mine, my boss yelled at me last Tuesday and I think he’s still mad, the house is dirty, I just can’t get everything done, my head hurts, I’m such a bad wife, my jeans are tight, my best friend’s dog died, I have a pimple, and last year at this time we were on vacation, and, and, and…I just need to cry.
Man: [blank stare]
Woman: (deep sigh, wipes tears) Whew, ok, I feel better now. Thanks, babe.
Man: [blank stare continues]
So there you have it — make sure he has patience. And a lot of it. This patience with a little kindness mixed in (see above) will make your emotional roller coaster rides a lot less lonely.
–>A Man Who Knows How to do Laundry. Now, even if the delegation of household responsibilities means you are the one doing the laundry on a daily basis, it’s always good to have a husband who knows his whites from darks and could actually wash (and attempt not to shrink) your clothes during a busy, stressful week or just because, since he’s awesome like that.
–>A Man who Takes Pride in you, his home, his family, and his work. Don’t find someone arrogant, seeing himself as above everyone and everything, always sure that he has somehow achieved the highest place, but make sure your man has a sense of responsibility, of drive, of some type of ambition. Some of the most humble men I know are some of the hardest workers, best dads, and loving husbands because of this principle. They are proud of the life they have worked for and the gifts they have been given.
–>A Man who gives Good Hugs. Any woman’s magazine or internet advertisement will tell you to find someone who is great in the bedroom or who kisses you passionately all the time…but ladies, after those long work days, the death of a loved one, the moodiness of that time of the month, or staying up all night with a sick child…what you’re really going to want is your guy to offer you a sweet, enveloping hug given with no agenda or payback required. (Of course, his sweetness and hugs could lead to other things…but I digress…)
–>A Man Who Knows How to Laugh. Ever laughed so hard your stomach hurt more than after your Pilates workout? You want a man who is willing to be sore right along with you because he was laughing just as hard. Whether it’s saying random things, being silly after too much caffeine, sugar, or both – you don’t want to spend life with someone “too good” or “so above” laughing at the goofy, random, unexpected situations life brings.
–>A Man Who Loves Jesus More Than You…and more than his job, sports, his hobbies, more than his life. Because only then can he find the strength, integrity, and courage to deny himself and to truly honor the commitment he made to you and your marriage.
(We woman need to love Jesus this same way to preserve our marriages — because as wonderful as marriage is, it shows your selfishness in ways you have never dreamed…)
So, let me encourage you when you update your “must have to be Mr. Right” list again, physically or mentally, to include some of the above. Maybe not all appeal to you, but trust me when I tell you these traits will last far longer than any physical attribute ever will.
P.S. This is definitely not to say looks don’t matter – I mean, look how lucky I am in that regard?? 😉 (And this will be my last blog post as after my embarrassed husband reads this sentence, he will have to shut this site down…) This is just a reflection, a reminder that true beauty reaches deep past the skin to penetrate the heart, which fills the mind so it can shine out of the soul.
I would love to hear your feedback on this whether you’re single or married. What would you add to the list? Subtract?
There’s no shame here and if you’re worried about being embarassed– let me just put your mind at ease — my original list had approximately forty-three items including (get ready…) “Not too hairy.” (Insert red faced emoticon here…)
So please share! We can laugh and dream together! 🙂