The purpose of any romantic interaction, in the humble opinion of one Parker Vail, is to find someone who actually makes you a better person, someone who completes you in some way. Unless a partner actually contributes to you as a whole, he or she is most likely meant only to be friend (or, if you’re up for it, a friend with benefits.)
However, it’s difficult to distinguish what really makes somebody worthwhile. Too often, whether from loneliness or insatiable lust, we chase after someone who is utterly wrong for us in every way. While not every relationship has to be an unbreakable union between soul mates, it remains far too easy to get stuck in an unhealthy or unnecessary relationship. Fortunately, I have some tricks to help separate the dream-come-true guy from the nasty waste of time guy.
Ask yourself; does he support your passions?
Obviously, I’m a writer at heart. I’m more sensitive to criticisms of my writing than I am about almost anything else. Take all the shots you want at my appearance and personality, but a critique of my writing is a serious blow to my ego. I once dated a guy who couldn’t have cared less about my writing. It frustrated me to no end, hearing praise and compliments on my work from everyone in my life but my boyfriend. In the end, the key to a relationship is to choose a man to call your boyfriend who really supports you, who really gets what makes you tick. If you’re constantly seeking the approval of someone who’s not on the same page as you or someone who doesn’t really encourage you to pursue what makes you happiest, you’ll never be satisfied. Save your time and your talents instead for someone who promotes that which makes you the most content.
Does he care about your day?
Distance or not, we can’t be with our significant others every minute of the day, and that’s a good thing. But every day has its highs and lows, its stories and quirks. Any tiny twist of fate could lead to a bigger and brighter future, and it’s a great deal of fun to share anecdotes from your everyday life with a partner. Every story has a potential learning experience for your partner to gain a better sense of who you are and how you handle yourself in certain situations. So when his eyes glaze over during the recap of your daily events, that’s a warning sign. You deserve somebody who’s rapt with attention; hell, you deserve someone who is straight up excited to know how you’ve been since the last time you spoke with him. Find somebody who cares about you, your life, and your interests.
Does he make the extra effort?
Every girl wants “the little things” in a relationship. So boys, please remember our anniversaries; please buy our favorite snacks when you’re at the store; text us just to say you’re thinking of us. Clichés are cliché for a reason, and this is a big one, even if it seems silly. When a guy really focuses on the little details in a relationship, it’s a greater indication that you’re a priority in his life. If you’re on his mind enough to merit a tiny gift or token of appreciation, you most likely hold a place in his heart. Don’t waste your time with the guy who can’t be bothered to remember your favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s, or the guy who was “too tired to call.” Don’t waste your precious time caring for someone who doesn’t care about making you happy.
Ladies, keep in mind the not every guy who falls short of this checklist is a bad guy. I’m a firm believer in a good fit for each individual; not everybody has the same kind of chemistry. If he doesn’t understand your artistic visions the way you want him to, that doesn’t make him the scum of the earth. But remember, just like he can find somebody with relatable passions, you could be steps away from meeting someone who thinks Picasso was a hack compared to your work. By keeping yourself in a relationship that has little to no benefits for you, you’re not really participating in a relationship. Instead, you’re keeping yourself from bringing everything you have to the table, and therefore don’t stand a very good chance of meeting that perfect guy. So cut the cord, however painful it may be, on your never-was and go find your true Prince Charming. Believe me, he’s out there and waiting.
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