There’s a big difference. Looking for a life partner, but keep picking players, paupers, or just plain zeros? Finding a partner is like finding a good job: you only need one, but making a bad choice wastes your time and sticks you in an unpleasant situation.
To avoid that, you need to make a grown-up decision about whether it’s good for you and how it will enhance your life. That means not letting yourself be taken in by the flashy exterior. It means asking the right questions and using that sharp brain of yours to answer. You need a process to follow that helps you make good choices while dating and determine if he’s relationship material… or not.
Here’s my advice: You’re well into a first date or on your second. You’re very attracted to him. You feel chemistry. Time to pause and apply the “Is he good for me?” test. First, grab your Grown Up You. You know… that smart woman you’ve gotten to know over the years and learned to love and respect? Find her however you can: break his spell, channel her, leave the table for an alone moment… just do whatever it takes to get her there. Now, ask her these 4 questions:
1. Is he hot?
Of course he has some hotness factor… you said “yes” to the date and haven’t excused yourself and gone home yet. The answer is “Yes”, so go to the next question.
2. What do I like about him other than his hotness?Granted, you don’t know him too well, but what traits (other than his hotness) show potential? Does he seem smart, compassionate, spiritual? Does he care about pleasing you? Do you share important interests or beliefs? If all you can come up with is “he’s charming” or “we have chemistry”… get the hell out of there girlfriend. Run for the hills! Because after a few hours with him, if all you can come up with is he’s HOT and CHARMING… and you still feel compelled to take him seriously… beware! You’re entering that “b’bye grownup and helllooo horny 25 year old” moment that you may regret later on. Bad choices are just around the corner. If you (that is your grown-up smart you) see additional attractive traits, then proceed.
3. Are those things qualities I’m looking for in a long-term partner?
What you want from a man in a fling is different from what you want from a man in a meaningful relationship. Does he show signs of those qualities? Stop and consider. Your grown up knows the difference. (If you haven’t yet gotten in touch with the traits you want in a long-term partner, read this for my step-by-step process.)
4. And finally…the $64,000 question: Do I feel good about myself when I’m with him?
Notice I didn’t say “Do I feel good when I’m with him?” Hot+Charming means “I feel good — especially when he seems to be attracted to me.” Yah baby, you feel good. What I want you to ask here are questions like: Does he bring out the best in you? Are you comfortable being yourself with him? If you can answer “yes” to these… there’s a good possibility he can be good for you. You may not marry him, but you’re probably going to have a nice time and feel good about yourself for knowing him. Consciously forcing yourself to do this takes about 5 minutes, but can save you months or years of heartache. Now, you can go back to the table and have fun with that fabulous, hot man of yours.