I was with a group of friends the other day, and somehow the subject turned to husbands. These are women who have all been happily married for quite some time, with children of all ages, from all different walks of life.
They understand that happily married with happy families doesn't mean fantasy happy, it means reality happy.
They have real lives with real husbands and real families and real life realities. These realities often include serious difficulties, but also include serious joy.
The conversation started around the subject of one particular husband and how physically attractive he was. Although I couldn't toss my opinion into the mix since I hadn't ever met him in person, the general opinion seemed consistent – he was very good looking.
But what I found really interesting was how this conversation among friends quickly turned to what these women really found attractive in their husbands, physical looks aside.
What's really important.
It became about the time he spends with the kids, the time he’s home and not at work or traveling for work or out with his friends.
It turned to how often he helps out around the house, cooks dinner, cleans up, picks up groceries, and pitches in by helping out in so many ways with the daily running of the house.
And how he helps with raising the kids, and generally being that supportive husband that lives right there in the middle of that messy reality of life.
They weren't talking about how well built he was, how successful he was, or how he walked, talked, or moved. They weren't talking about how much money he made or about his full head of hair or how charming he could be.
What they were talking about were the things that really mattered when you’re choosing someone for the rest of your life instead of just for the current life stage you’re in.
And that’s my point.
When you are choosing who you are going to date, ask yourself what really matters to you for the long term. Narrow your priorities down to what will really matter to you down the road. Surface things will change. Those things that run deep like character, integrity, honesty – those things don’t change.
You’re doing the choosing here – make sure you choose wisely.
Choose someone whose character and personality you will still want in your life years from now when you’re on a different path, maybe even a path you weren't expecting.
A path where chemistry and attraction and great sex are no longer your biggest priorities.
I agree that some level of attraction and chemistry is important. But without the real love that’s found in a relationship based on the fundamentals of being there for each other in a very real way that matters, attraction and chemistry quickly fade.
On the other hand, when the fundamentals of character, integrity, trust and shared values are there, attraction and chemistry keeps growing and getting better and better.
So while you're on this journey to find the guy that's the right one for you, make sure to look deeper than what you’re seeing on the surface and find out what’s really there, underneath.
Is he worth it? Does he have what it takes for the long haul?
You, my beautiful friend, deserve so much more than just what’s on the surface.
So how about you? What matters most to you in a relationship? Tell us about it in the comments!