How to Spot a Great Guy

The 10 essential things to look for

  • A healthy man has a learning curve.
    For instance, if you tell him that you need more time together or need him to stop doing something that is obnoxious, he will shift his behavior because he loves you and does not want to lose you. He is willing to learn from his mistakes and modify his actions. For instance, if he begins a friendship with a flirtatious girl and you let him know that this is creating a problem, he will be concerned about your feelings and come up with a solution. When you discuss relationship obstacles, he works on them. He would never admit to a substance abuse problem and then refuse to address it. Or agree to appropriately separate from his mother (who dislikes you) but then go running back to the nest.

  • If he is healthy, he will seek his own solutions.
    For instance, if he has a problem he will reach out to others for help, find resources, have a conversation, go to therapy, attend a twelve-step program-anything that will move him closer to making the changes that he needs to make. (You could do worse than give him this book. No, wait-make him buy his own damn copy!) Petty pride, laziness, or stubbornness will not keep him from taking the steps that he needs to take to have a full relationship with you.

  • A healthy man will not try to have power over you.
    He won't leave you wondering where he is and what he is doing. Or leave you hanging just to prove a point. Or make you feel that you have to disappear for a few days to recover the power you once had. Even if he has more money, status, and power, he will not make you feel that you would be nothing without him. A healthy man is willing to take you into account instead of pushing you away. He is willing to listen, meet your needs, and include you in mutual decision making. Because you matter, he does not want to have undue influence or control over you. And he can trust that he is loved, even when he is not in charge. When it comes to who takes care of whom, and who makes the decisions, and who gets the last say, he is willing to negotiate (because really, all of life is a little like Let's Make a Deal).
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