There are a lot of lists out there for women about how to find The One -- that special person you could build a life with. But as a guy, I find it's not something we talk about all that often. It got me thinking... what qualities would make for a great partner for my life, as a guy?
Your life is better when she's around. Things start to click. You land that new job. She helps you get your stuff organized. You start cooking again. You start really reducing that debt. She just makes you want to be a better person.
Your close buddies and family can't help but be charmed by her. Maybe you don't care what other people think, and that's fine. Isn't it nice, though, when your family and friends are just as enamoured with your girlfriend as you are? When you can all hang out and she holds her own? When she can tell dick jokes and listen to grandma talk about Jeopardy?
She's motivated and handles her business. Motivation is a huge turn-on for me. Somebody who can handle her business (whether that means working hard at her job, or juggling clients as a freelancer, or planning her future) is somebody who you can rely on. Boo co-dependency!
She has your back. Ah, Michelle Obama...what a woman! It means so much to know that your partner is in your corner and you owe it to her to be in hers. When you feel supported, it makes a world of difference.
She calls you on your shit. The flip side. Somebody who cares for you wants to you succeed, and she will help you, even if it means tough love. I'm not talking about nagging (which is THE WORST). I'm talking about somebody who keeps it real when you need her to. She gives you honest feedback on your writing. She plays devil's advocate. She calls out your messy room. Yeah, I'm mad at first, but I appreciate it later.
You trust her, but you are still a bit jealous. I used to brag that I was never jealous about my girlfriend. Now I realize that a little bit of jealousy is not a bad thing. I like the thought that I have to work to keep my relationship going, and I like knowing that people out there think my girlfriend is hot. At the same time, I don't want her to actually cheat on me....I just like the idea that she is desired, but I'm enough of a stud that she is gonna stick around. It's an ego game, I guess. But I think a bit of jealousy (note: I'm not talking insane, angry jealousy here...) shows you care.
She is funny. This is so important. Dating somebody without a sense of humour, or even a wildly different sense of humour, is torture. If she laughs at your jokes, and you at hers, she is probably a keeper. Humour = hot.
She is in the same place as you. In my experience, timing and location can impact relationships more than just about anything else. Does she want to travel the world? Is she stable? Does she just want something casual? Is she interested in having kids? Is she religious? A lot of these questions can be deal-breakers, and the more you have in common ("oh, I just want a casual, no kids relationship where we travel the world and pray to our God the Giant Spaghetti Monster too!"), the better.
You have sexual chemistry. This is critical. She isn't your friend, she's your romantic partner. If the sex isn't happening, and it can't be saved with therapy and lots of talking, then you may need to DTMF (Dump The MotherF***er -- all credit to Dan Savage). To further steal from Mr. Savage, it helps if both of you are GGG (Good, Giving, and Game) for just about anything in the bedroom.
She makes you feel...like a natural man. I'm not naturally a terrifically manly man. I play basketball and keep in shape, and I'm (pretty much) straight. Also, I look good in a suit. In a lot of ways, however, I can be pretty effete and/or childlike. Consequently, it is important to me to be in a relationship with somebody who doesn't constantly emasculate me. Even the most liberal, bicycle-riding, hippy-dippy, skinny-jeans wearing, bi-curious dandy likes to feel like a high-status man sometimes.