Last Thursday was National Boyfriend Day and I’d just like to give a shout-out to my teenage self, who painstakingly came up with this 12-point checklist for her “boyfriends and husband.”
Honestly, I’ve got to give her props for her sheer optimism and for knowing exactly what she wants! Apparently, at that age, everything was crystal clear in the “What I Want In A Relationship” department because I distinctly remember sitting down to write that list and the words just came flowing out so effortlessly. One, two, three…before I knew it, I had 12 must-have qualities for the future loves of my life.
Don’t believe me? Check out the indisputable proof right here. For example…
I was a firm feminist at the age of 17…
#6. Supportive: “This is in both my personal life as well as in my career. I wouldn’t want any guy to hold me back — this is the ‘90s and I want a ‘90’s man!”
Turns out, I couldn’t deal with the mansplainers even back then…
#9. Self-confident: “I need a man who believes in himself, but he must not be overly confident because that could border on being conceited.”
And then the other day, I was searching for something on the blog and came across this post from a year ago. It still rings true: Where HAVE all the good men gone?
It’s a question that I keep on asking: Where are all the good men? Where are all the good men? Where are all the good men? Those six words seem to haunt me to no end because I’m not exactly sure about the answer to that question.
As I wrote in the post…
“Are they all hiding from me? Are they at the local Target? Busy taking a morning jog? Or maybe they’re all “too scared” to come out and actually support women when we need it the most? Honestly, that last scenario is the only one that seems plausible to me right now. Because I’m sure not seeing these good men that people like my mom swear are out there. All I’m seeing are entitled, mansplaining dude bros who are exasperated that they’re being called out because, for some, their cushy little life has never been disrupted like that before.”
So here’s my plea (do any men even read my blog?): Please show yourselves, men of the world. For the love of all things, please, please just let us know you’re out there. Please let us know that good and decent men still exist in this ever-dimming dark world. Can you do that, please? Thank you and I hope you all had a happy National Boyfriend Day… xoxo
P.S. Someone’s name has been blacked out of the above diary entry to protect the innocent…and save me from embarrassment.
[First and last photo via Unsplash]
Julie Howard says
Oh, my! This brings back painful teenage memories! The longing for a guy to notice me! Also, feeling so sad and depressed when I saw others dating. It took me until I reached my 50’s to get into a healthy relationship! Bad relationship before that stole 16 years from me and left me not caring about relationships until 14 years later. So that shows there is, I guess, hope? However, by the time I met my partner, I was fine by myself and did not really need anyone.
Hi Melissa, fortunately there are a few good men out there. It takes time to first figure out what you want in a boyfriend or husband. Once you know what you’re looking for, you are in a better position to find that person. Have faith. Do what makes you happy and eventually that person will come into your life.
The Unqualified Blogger says
This is so sweet! My teenage writing was far less eloquent than yours. That’s amazing.
Your teenaged self pretty much nailed it. Except, of course, for the attractiveness part — I learned that having the rest of the stuff on your list is what makes a person attractive, regardless of the outer packaging. And the person could be model-gorgeous, but without intelligence, a sense of humor, a strong ethos and a desire to be loving and caring towards their peeps, they quickly become utterly unappealing.
I LOVE all the qualities you wanted and still want in a boyfriend/husband. We all should strive for them.
I giggled at the “honesty” paragraph. I believe that is so true, and a definite must. It reminded me of my husband, who is honest to a fault. We were at the grocery store decades ago, coupons in hand. i realized that one was expired and right before I handed the checker the ones that weren’t he blurts out “We just found expired one, so you better check through all of those…” OMG…and from that time on he would talk about that store e-v-e-r-y time we checked out. Yeah, he’s a good one but a very talkative one LOL
cm writes says
Yes, when I was a teen, I had no idea what made a boyfriend a good marriage mate. I found out at age 37 and that was a 30-year marriage until he succumbed to the complications of dementia two years ago. I could not have asked for a better friend and marriage mate, but that was because by then I did know what would make a good marriage.
Hi, Melissa! My GF showed me this post and asked me as a male to weigh in, as you asked!
Of course there are good men out there, I believe in equal numbers. They want:
1. To be respected. Pride is a sin but a man’s self respect is important to him. Do not talk about his fragile ego, even if you don’t understand it. Tell him what you admire about him and he will respond with more confidence than you can imagine.
2. Do not crowd him with the idea of how you are planning the future for the two of you. On the other hand questions to him on a regular basis about what he thinks the relationship looks like and where it is going are not crowding.
3. Don’t ever talk about any other boys you have ever dated, ever, during any time in your lifetime, on this planet. You have every right to expect the same from him.
4. If possible, give him a pass on the first date for his bragging and man splaining. He is trying to sell himself and stand out to you. Only that once.
5. We spend our lives getting turned down by girls. We DON’T take it personally! When we call a girl who is clearly out of our league and she turns us down with ladylike class, we will remain her knight in her service forever. No kidding.
6. No games. We take it more seriously than you think.
Actually, I think relationships are like life, the Golden Rule is always important.
(You sound like a keeper to me.)
Sharon Peters says
Wow!!!! This is so beautiful to read and just inspired me to go bring up every thought I had as a teenager, whether pain or joy… I need to see how far I’ve come from that little insecure girl
I’m a new reader and I’d like to think that I’m one of the good ones. My wife thinks so. I hope my adult daughters think so. Please don’t judge us all by bro dude standards, or lack thereof. Your list is the least that you deserve.