This article from YourTango was written by Teresa Maples.
What is “husband material” anyway?
If you are single and looking for Mr. Right, this question has probably crossed your mind more than a few times. If you are a romantic, you probably think the sparks and fireworks you feel every time you are together will be your guide.
If you’re more pragmatic, you likely have a list of attributes you want, and you dismiss men who don’t live up to those expectations. Both of these approaches require modification to accommodate real human beings with strengths and weaknesses.
With that in mind, let’s consider how to look for the best traits in a lifelong partner…
1. Know yourself.
The more you know about yourself, the more you can share with your date. Sharing your whole life history on the first date is probably too much information. Ideally, give him little spoonfuls of information about yourself and see what he does with them.
Does he change the subject back to himself, or does he seem interested in your feelings? Do you feel comfortable exposing your feelings to him, or would you rather keep them to yourself? The key to successful relationships is to find a balance between not sharing anything and sharing everything.
2. Know him.
If you want a quality man for a lifelong husband, then accept him for who he is today, not who he might be in the future. Everyone chooses to continue to grow, or they get stuck where they are at until they have sufficient motivation to change. What you want to see in him is the openness to change and grow over time. Take your time getting to know him; intentionally disagree with him and see what happens.
Pay attention and be aware of his habits. If he “forgets” to brush his teeth, remember, you don’t have have to kiss him. Everyone, including you, has annoying habits. When you choose each other for a lifelong relationship there will be qualities you adore in each other and qualities that are a bit annoying.
3. Know your dealbreakers.
Dealbreakers are behaviors and attitudes that would cause you to break off the relationship. They might include poor hygiene, poor employment history, and/or cheating. If you don’t want to be cheated on or lied to, tell him.
Look for clues from his behavior to tell if he is being open and honest with you. Identify for yourself how you want to be treated by a lifelong partner. Consider whether he is willing to accommodate your dealbreakers. If not, be ready to leave the relationship. He won’t magically change in the future.
4. Do you want a provider, a partner or both?
In the past, a man was considered “good” if he provided money for his household. Now, men are expected to be emotionally available partners. Good “husband material” men grow emotionally, together with their wife and family. Male roles are changing for the better. Today, there is room for him to be a provider and a partner. Husbands and dads are considered strong when they are emotionally attuned to their families.
The way to find the best husband material is to know who you are, know who he is, and to recognize that each person is a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses. No one is going to be a perfect mate in a lifelong relationship. As a team, you can construct a mutually beneficial relationship that lasts a lifetime.
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