I hear over and over from women who e-mail or meet with me: “How will I know if he’s the right guy for me?” Or: “How can I learn to trust my judgment and stop wasting time with guys who aren’t right for me.”
Sydney, an outgoing thirty-six-year-old single mom, reflects on an interesting trend she has noticed in her relationships when she says, “I always tend to go for guys who are emotionally unavailable. I think it’s because I fear getting hurt and so it allows me to keep my distance. I like to be in control and keep busy so that I don’t have to get too close to anyone.”
Sydney has been dating Kyle for six months and is beginning to question where the relationship is headed. She tends to approach relationships warily since her divorce two years ago and has a tendency to pick guys who avoid commitment or who are unavailable. In the beginning, Kyle came on strong and showered her with affection and gifts but recently he doesn’t always return her text or phone messages. Lately, Sydney’s not sure what to make of Kyle’s inconsistent behavior and wonders if he’s a keeper.
Is Your New Guy The Right Guy?
The vast majority of the women that I’ve interviewed have questioned whether they should stay or go in a relationship. According to author and dating expert Sandy Weiner, the first step is to get clarity around “deal breakers” and “deal makers” before embarking on a new relationship. It’s crucial to know those things that are important to you and do not compromise too many of your values and beliefs.
There is no such thing as a perfect partner. You might want to ask yourself this question: Is there something about the way that he treats me that makes me a bigger and better person? If the answer is no, ask yourself: Am I settling for less than I deserve in the relationship?
Mira Kirshenbaum’s book “Is He Mr. Right?” offers a valuable model for looking at compatibility. One of the central premises of her groundbreaking book is that chemistry is the best way to figure out if someone is right for you. Surprisingly, she’s not just talking about sexual chemistry but also the feeling that you enjoy being around your partner and have fun together.
5 Dimensions of Chemistry according to Mira Kirshenbaum:
1. You feel comfortable with each other and it’s easy to get close. In other words, you feel that you can be yourself.
2. You feel safe in the relationship. This means that your partner doesn’t have significant mental health issues, can take care of himself, and you feel free to express your thoughts, feelings, and desires openly. You are comfortable being vulnerable and honest with your partner.
3. It’s fun to be together. Kirshenbaum writes, “Couples who do have this dimension of chemistry going for them have a shortcut to intimacy and a buffer against the stressful times we all face.”
4. You have real affection and passion for each other. This is where sexual chemistry comes in and it should go hand and hand with affection.
5. You feel there’s real mutual respect. You accept, admire, and respect each other for who you are. According to Kirshenbaum, if you don’t have respect for your partner, it will eat away at chemistry until you have nothing left.
Are you wondering if you are wasting your time with the wrong man? It’s understandable that you’d have a need for certainty before continuing to pursue a relationship with new love interest. Here are some signs that can help you decide if your relationship is worth pursuing.
Here are 10 signs that your guy is the right guy for you:
1. You admire your partner for who he is as a person. You like and respect who he is and how he carries himself through the world. If you can’t respect the way a person lives their life, let alone admire them, it’s hard to keep any relationship going.
2. He keeps his agreements. He calls when he says he is going to call. He takes you out when he says he is going to do so. When a man is interested in a woman, he keeps his agreements.
3. He makes time for you on a regular basis. He makes you a priority because he values your relationship. Even when he is swamped, he makes time to spend with you. This includes regular text messages or phone calls to show that he’s thinking of you.
4. He’s comfortable talking about the things that interest you and asks you questions about your hobbies, friends, and family.
5. He makes plans to do things with you and includes you in his inner circle. If something special is going on in his life, he invites you and encourages you to come. If he has young children, that’s the exception because he is wise to take it slowly.
6. He takes you on dates. Ifyour dates have become mostly focused on being alone and having sex, you’ve become a “friend with benefits.” These relationships rarely lead to a committed relationship.
7. He’s affectionate in public. He’s comfortable holding hands and showing other signs of physical affection around friends, family, and when you are out in public.
8. He makes you feel good about yourself. A partner who truly cares about you is a boost to your self-esteem. He values you and gives you positive reinforcement such as compliments.
9. If you have kids, he’s receptive to meeting them after you’ve been dating for awhile. Don’t waste time with someone who doesn’t appear to be a good fit for your family. However, it makes sense to take it slow if one or both of you have kids.
10. He talks about your future together. If he says he’s not ready for a commitment, take him seriously – he’s just not that into you. Don’t waste your time on a relationship that is headed no where.
If you feel that your guy is the right guy for you but you still fear commitment, you might want to consider the following: Know that no relationship is conflict free, but you are worthy of having a relationship that makes you happy. If you aren’t there yet, embrace where you are now. What is it that holds you back from achieving a satisfying relationship? And once you have it, what will you do when you get there?
The best partner will compliment you and bring out your very best. When you are with him, you will begin to see untapped possibilities within yourself and in the world. In any relationship, you will face ups and downs and your love will be tested. However, where admiration and respect are found, love will be sustained. But where these things are absent, love will die. Finding a partner who likes and respects you as much as you do him will give you the best chance of finding love.
Read more about dating, sex, and relationships after divorce: