Here's my advice to all confused young women who would like to find a good man for a romantic relationship:
1. Define "good" - It is very important that you know exactly what qualities you would like to live with on a long-term basis. Would you rather have someone who wines and dines you with his last dime or someone who will pay the bills by their due date? When you talk about "good" are you referring to his dancing, appearance or vehicle? Perhaps you would be better to think about whether he has a kind heart, good work ethic and ability to commit to you for life.
2. Don't expect a daily honeymoon - "Chick flicks" end after ninety minutes. Magazines offer only the best that their creators can conjure up. And men usually don't invest much of their time watching or reading either of these. Even Confuses say "After the enlightenment comes the laundry". If you are expecting everything to be joy and roses every day, you will be sadly disappointed rather quickly.
3. Men (and women) usually don't change unless life doesn't work for them - Those things that you think are rather cute right now might end up being quite annoying in the future. If your love interest plays sports three days a week now, it is unlikely that he will want to give that up so that he can be with you all the time. I remember when my uncle, a Queen's Bench judge, said "No man ever changed his behaviours because of his love for a woman".
4. "Bad boys" do not make good husband material - Many women think that the bad boys are the most attractive and not as boring as the responsible men. Then, once they begin living together, the woman attempts to tame the tiger. Good luck with that! If you are going to be wife number three - take warning! There might be a number four right around the corner! Whether you like it or not, alcoholics and addicts will continue to love their drug of choice more than you - unless they successfully complete their rehab program. Oh, and don't think that you can get them to rehab. They have to make that decision themselves. Also make sure that you don't believe that their criminal record was a set up that trapped them. Past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour!
5. Where you meet someone can be a good indicator of their problem areas - So many times I have heard clients complain about their partners. "She's a drinker" they say and when I ask "Where did you meet her?" they reply "In a bar". "He is crazy" a woman will tell me and when asked "Where did you meet him?" they state "In a psychiatric ward". "He cheats on me" a client will report and when asked "How did you meet?" I am sometimes told "He was my best friend's husband". Before you get defensive let me clarify that there are interesting people in bars, and healthy people who have completed treatment and even committed people who have had difficult relationships in the past. Just note, however, that if you are feeling those little "nigglies" in your stomach, you should trust your own intuition, because they are good warning signals.
Everyone wants to have a happy and romantic relationship with another person but you have to be realistic. After the wedding comes the marriage. After the sex comes the stretch marks. And after divorce comes hurt - for you and for the children that you have made.
Choose wisely - and take your time. Fifteen minutes to common-law is not a good choice.
I recommend that couples not live together or marry until they have dated all four seasons. That gives plenty of time to find out how you will handle Christmas and baseball season and traditions that both families honour.
If you are looking for a "good" man make sure that you do a "good" search and then make a "good" decision before you begin telling the world (and yourself) that you have found your prince!