So far I have focused on what you are looking for in a man, and how to get this information out of him on your date. While you are focused on evaluating him based on what you are looking for, you had better believe he is doing the same! Even if he is everything you dream of finding in a man, if you are not what he is looking for, it is still not a good match. You need to listen more than you speak and really read between the lines of what is being said to understand what he truly wants.
If a man says that something is important to him, you need to understand that this is not going to change and you need to assess how you feel about that particular issue. By the time we get to our 40’s, there are few fundamental things about who we are that would ever change. We have already lived, learned and established habits, likes and dislikes that are well-defined. This is not to say that things do not change and people do not grow because we absolutely do and should! However, fundamental values do not alter all that much. If you find through conversation that there are questions about how he feels about a specific topic, ask for more details. If it is something that is important to him, he will fill you in. He knows you are evaluating him just like he is doing the same with you.
So what happens when you find the perfect guy for you based on your must-haves and non-negotiables, but you find there is something he is looking for that you feel you are not? My suggestion will always be that the key is conversation! It is better to address what could potentially be big issues right up front before either of you is emotionally invested in a relationship. It is much easier to deal with these types of issues now than to have them cause problems in your relationship in the future and one or both of you ends up hurt and broken-hearted. I realize this is not romantic or fun, but if you are in your 40’s or older and you really do want to find the right one to spend your life with, do you really have the time not to address them?
For instance, if he feels that finding a woman who is financially stable is important, and you have been through several jobs in the past few years, your finances are a mess, and you are barely able to make ends meet, you do not want to mislead him into thinking otherwise. If this is important to him, it will definitely affect your relationship in an adverse way going forward. Plus, he will feel you have not been honest with him, which is a whole other issue. In these economic times, things are tough, and everyone does know that. It is better to be honest and have an honest discussion than to leave him disillusioned about who you are.
But when is the right time to bring up something you feel you are not fitting into his non-negotiables and must-haves? The answer will come as the relationship progresses. I would not suggest on the first date because you want to allow for time to get to know each other a bit so the other can make a more informed decision. I would, however, suggest these issues be addressed in a timely manner before you both have too much time and emotion invested and end up hurt and disillusioned by dating. It is always better to be honest with someone you are seriously looking at potentially having a future with. How they respond and work with you through whatever the situation is will say a lot about their character and who they are, so it will be a way you can really know for sure if this is the right person for you. If he calmly listens in an understanding way, and wants to work through the issue with you, you have found a gem, so make every effort to work with him to get to where you need to be. Let’s face it, relationships are hard, and in these times in Internet Dating and economic hardship, it is even harder.
As previously referenced in comments on a prior blog post, I have recently read a book written by a famous talk show host and celebrity on what men want. He makes men seem so primal and simplistic, and many men can be. However, I would like to at least be optimistic in thinking they are a little more complex than this author alludes to. As with most things in life, the key is good open honest communication. You want to learn about him and who he really is just as he wants the same in return. Be respectful of each other, your time, your hearts, and most of all understand that being honest with each other will set the precedent for all future interaction (as well as dishonesty does). You want the right man to be in your life just as he wants the right woman. Do we not owe this to ourselves?