Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I am a single woman who was ready to give up on dating and marriage. With all the game-playing going on these days, I was going to through in the towel. I could not tell who was real and serious from who was not. Recently I met this nice professional guy and we have been dating for 7 months. Things are getting kind of serious and I think that he might be the one, but I am getting scared because I do not know what to look for in a future husband. I was raised by mother and was told to look for basic qualities in a man such as being a great provider, charming, fun, great lover and of course handsome. My man has all of the qualities that I was told to look for and is very charming, but I am wondering if I should look for more.
What Marriage Qualities Should I Look for in my Prince Charming?
Dear Ms. Marriage Minded,
I am glad to hear that you are not totally mesmerized with the mannerisms of your prince charming. Here’s why: I have worked with thousands of men who are great providers, but are cold, insensitive and detached. I have worked with thousands of men who are great charmers, but are also emotionally and physically abusive. I have worked with thousands of men who like to have fun and are great in bed, but are not emotionally resilient. I have worked with thousands of men who are handsome, but are ineffective communicators and womanizers.
The qualities that you mentioned are good, but I view them as superficial qualities. Superficial qualities are mannerisms that exist on the surface. You do not have to look hard or long to see them. These qualities are attractive in nature and when we see them our minds and hearts are mesmerized. While these qualities are important, they are at best just starters. You should start your assessment of you man by exploring them, but you should end your assessment by going deeper.
Here are four marriage qualities that you should look for in your Prince Charming.
1) Secure in His Identity. Being secure in one’s identity is not all about a man’s ability to put a roof over your head, pay the bills and buy you nice things. A man who is secure in his identity is a great provider and protector, but he does not limit his ability to express the God-given emotions he was blessed with. He acknowledges and expresses sensitive emotions because he realizes that he gets what he gives. He shows affection toward you because he understands that he needs a good balance of emotional expression to have a healthy relationship. Expression and recognition of emotions is a marriage quality. A man who is not afraid to show emotions is secure in his identity. Emotional bonding sustains marriage, not money and material things.
2) Trust in Women. Never marry a man who has trust issues related to women. If your man has been violated by a woman and has not recover, be cautious. Assessing your man’s ability to trust is extremely important because men who are trusting behave differently from men who are untrusting. Men, who have trust in women are typically free of suspicion and are more prone to cope in a positive manner when faced with adversity in their relationships. A trusting man will show faith in you because he knows that you will do right by him. If you were to leave your phone or email open, a trusting man will not feel a need to look through them. In comparison, men who lack trust in women are more prone to cope in a negative manner when faced with adversity in their relationships. They will not be open and will play mind games with you. Men who lack trust in women are often suspicious and will question your whereabouts. If your man is not trusting of women he will probably surf through your belongings and start World War III if he finds some names or information with which he is not familiar. Trust is an essential part of having a healthy marriage and every woman deserves to be with a man who trusts her.
3) Emotionally Resilient. Emotionally resilient men have the mental ability to return to a previous state of functioning after experiencing emotional trauma. Bouncing back and functioning in a healthy manner after experiencing disappointment can be difficult, but make sure that your man has mental capacity to do so. This is important because every marriage is filled with good times and bad times. Pay attention to how your man copes with and recovers from stressors, especially stressors that are very emotional in nature. When times get tough some men get going. Emotionally resilient men see difficulties as temporary and are capable of bouncing back. This skill is needed in order to make a marriage last forever.
4) Effective Communicator. Life and love often comes with challenges. Some people cope with challenges by ignoring them and some people cope with challenges by withdrawing and/or fighting. While challenges are unavoidable, withdrawing and fighting is. This is why it is extremely important to assess your man’s communication style. Of all the qualities that I mentioned, being an effective communicator is probably the most important. An effective communicator expresses himself in a manner, which ensures that he is heard because he demonstrates respect and consideration for others. He also demonstrates empathy and practices assertiveness in order to maintain open lines of communication. I often remind individuals that if they feel like no one is listening when they talk, maybe they are not saying the right thing. Given this, make sure that your man listens to you. Listening and speaking assertively builds respect and trust. Without effective communication is it difficult to build and maintain respect and trust. Without respect and trust is it difficult to have a healthy relationship. Effective communication is the tool and mechanism for healthy relationship bonding and marital bliss.
It is my hope is that you will take time to explore the qualities outlined above. When selecting a partner be mindful that “All that glitters is not gold”. If you would like to learn more about what qualities to look for in a man, click here to secure a FREE copy of my film Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please click here and receive a response within 72 hours.
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.