Twenty-three years ago, I knew the kind of guy that I wanted to commit the rest of my life to. What I didn’t expect was the turbulent road that life was about to throw my way. Buckle up baby – cause life’s about to get pretty rocky was the message from the universe. Let me tell you I heard it loud and clear. But, I’m certain I was one of the fortunate ones as it turns out there is one thing that I know for sure and that is that I made the most incredible choice in finding my ideal mate, and a fantastic Dad to our three amazing kids.
So without further ado here are my own secrets to finding the right man who makes the best Dad list. You will be reading the list momentarily but I can’t help but point out that it is not just about Him. You are front and center in my list.
Master yourself first
Understand your emotional needs, your strengths, your weaknesses, what makes you tick? What lights you up, what makes you uncomfortable, what have you dedicated to making happen for yourself? What do you value, and what are your relationship dealbreakers. Knowing yourself first is the key to finding someone that will get you too and give the relationship a fight chance to last in this day and age.
Make a ‘Must haves list’
what characteristics do you value, such as honestly, integrity, someone who respects your choices and opinions. Gary Smalley in his “Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships”, states that good communication skills, a forgiving spirit and an affectionate nature are important. Pick a guy who celebrates your uniqueness and brags about you to his friends and family. YES – to all this. Or perhaps you have a few other features that are important to you. Know them and list them.
I know what you are all thinking. But you are wrong. This item isn’t all about physical appearance and sex appeal. That isn’t to say that attraction isn’t important – it most certainly is; But, choose someone who supports your ‘dreams’, who encourages you to pursue your life’s goals, and vice versa, so that you are both moving in similar directions. Support, and encouragement is a two way street. See that wasn’t at all what you thought it was going to be.
Maintaining family as a priority
Marriage will have its rough patches, and conflicts are inevitable. How does he handle really difficult situations and confrontations? Look for a man with good problem solving and team skills, someone who can work though a conflict instead of walking away or falling apart. Someone who maintains focus on family first. Stress is all around us. It is inescapable making resilience, coping with and managing stress an advanced skillset that you will want in your partner.
Yes money matters, especially when growing from couple to a family unit. Having a clear understanding of both of your spending and saving habits is critical. Share your money memories and how your money ‘story’ has shaped you as a person. Ask each other. What is your first memory of money? What is the best thing you learned about money from your parents? Another important discussion, is how do you handle debt? What is his stance on family vacations? Joint bank accounts, separate accounts, or both? Discuss what works best for your needs and wants. Money matters are a leading cause of marital discourse and so having a coordinated vision is paramount.
Chasing happiness this summer has a lot to do with understanding your needs, your desires, filling your well with happiness first. It’s sounds self-serving, but being happy with yourself first becomes a beacon of light that attracts the people, and experiences you crave. When you are happy, you radiate positive energy and others catch on to this and are attached to your vibe.