I'm an expert.
If you add up the years I dated, got married, and am now available to date again, you're looking at 34ish years of experience. I'm not going to count my kindergarten boyfriend Wesley or my third grade love John or my fifth grade crush Tim. But I think my collective experience makes me an expert kind of like how a doctor becomes proficient in his or her field. Lots of practice.
I am fortunate enough to know a number of men who have outstanding qualities that I admire each of them for -- and thus, my list. Note: inclusion in the list does not imply there has been a romantic relationship, just admiration for a particular quality.
GUYS-- If you want to be absolutely irresistible to women, take my advice and work on the following:
1) Be totally reliable and trustworthy.
My friend Tom, even though we've never dated, is so admirable. Our joke is that I am a damsel in distress and he is the knight in shining armor that invariably has rescued me on more than one occasion. He just does things to completion and never complains even when he probably has the right to. Once I described my location of distress as "down this road about halfway, before you get to the stop sign." He found me.
2) Be in the moment.
My friend Godwin is amazing in that when I am talking to him, he completely acts as if there is nothing else that exists in this world except listening to me. And, much like Tom, we have never dated. But I appreciate that he is listening to me and paying attention to what I say. He may actually be thinking about lunch or traffic, but he never lets on. Seriously.
3) Don't be too good looking.
Now, at first read this may seem like a strange inclusion in a list for a perfect guy. Why would I purposefully not date someone outrageously attractive? Ask Scott and Omar and Jimmy. If a guy is too good looking, especially when they are my age, they tend to think they are all that and don't value people that are not as incredibly good looking as they are. I can think of one exception and a few more that I could add but they may read this and I don't want them to know that I think they are TOO hot. But if you think I am talking about you, you're probably right.
Now don't take this as license to not care for your beard/moustache or to not put effort into how you present yourself to the world. Nobody likes a long nasty beard that has not been touched since the ark. Let your confidence make you attractive.
4) Be honest.
My friend Vann is so brutally honest --harsh honest, but good honest. I do not get away with anything in our conversations because basically we've known each other for 30 years and he gets me. He is also in the never-dated status, but it's not because I haven't "indicated my interest," to put it mildly. When I asked him about what makes the perfect guy, he said a lot of good things but this was not one of them, kind of strangely enough. But if I really need the answer to a question, Vann's the man.
5) Be a spiritual leader.
I know several men I could mention here, some I have even dated. But a challenging spiritual leader, is something a woman would want because you want to be challenged and poked and prodded a little, as well as be encouraged to greatness. I won't say his name because I know it is his preference to not be named in a blog like this. Obviously, he's also super humble. But it's important to have someone who will ask you the hard questions and help you work through them.
6) Be funny.
Be your own brand of funny. I'm going to pick on my amazing son, because he is so funny and makes people feel at ease in any situation. He has the worst puns. Like, the WORST puns. But his delivery and commitment to the joke is pretty awesome. He reminds me a lot of my amazing brother who is also very funny too. Obvi, never dated but we've spent a lot of time together. :)
7) Be complimentary.
The secret here is to know how to go the distance. Anyone can shuck out compliments on the first date, but how about on your first year anniversary of dating? After you've seen her with no makeup and sweaty and maybe even after a week with the flu. Where's the compliment? Once I was on a date in the heat of summer and it was an outside event. I was seriously sweating buckets and I am sure that my makeup had melted off, but this guy leaned over and said, "You are so pretty." Now, barring heat stroke, that was a pretty gutsy statement to make. But it had to be from the heart and I have remembered it. So think up compliments ahead of time that you can pull out of your adoration arsenal at appropriate times.
8) Know how to take a girl on a date.
One of my biggest beefs with dating is the guy response, "I don't know, what do you want to do?" I'm proposing that up until at least date #5 that the guy have the date planned out. And then even after that, guys should have a plan on the back burner. The number one spot for this is a tie between Todd from my college days and Tony. What a treat to open the door to flowers and the occasional gift! That is very swoon-worthy.
9) Have a firm grasp on integrity and fidelity.
If you are dating seriously, with the idea of marriage as the goal, neither of you should doubt the other's integrity and fidelity. If you are dating seriously, then past dating relationships should never be part of the equation. If you are not feeling it, get out. If you see a future with this person, you should prioritize them and the relationship. Just saying. And if you find yourself not answering the texts of someone you are seriously dating, or letting their calls go to voicemail, you got a problem.
10) Most important: Be yourself
All of these wonderful guys I have mentioned truly are wonderful. Perfect? No. But I wouldn't change any person to make him fit a list of top 10 dating must have's I created in my mind. There are so many great guys out there that have outstanding qualities and are so amazing in their own way. So here's a plan: know what are A FEW non-negotiables for you (and this should refer to general character qualities, not like, "drives a hot car") and work from that. Get to know people with similar interests. Enjoy having opposite-sex friendships.
So there's no perfect guy and no perfect woman, at least as far as list-making goes. I would like to thank all the guys I've ever dated for helping me come to the realization that people are so different and very special and sometimes lacking character and sometimes are like onions you have to peel back a layer at at time.