Married men are more attractive, let’s face it. The reason for that is that they’ve spent years in a relationship with someone, and it’s taught them a lot about communication, compromise, and contentment. Marriage is a specialized education. The marriage partner of someone else has been customized over time to fit with that specific person, like an old boot. Better to get your own! There are, though, candidates who will make better or worse marriage partners.
Take the advice of a happily married woman. Recognizing the undervalued man will give you a better shot at a better marriage.
(A heteronormative, monogamous marriage, anyway, for whatever that’s worth).
There are plenty of single and discouraged people in the world. Some of them are still processing whatever happened in their last relationship, and they’re not really emotionally available yet. Others are super busy, or they have a weird schedule, and they like it that way because it gives them a reason to not get back out there. Others are ready and can’t figure out why they aren’t meeting anyone. There are yet others who believe they aren’t desirable, and they’ve quit trying.
All of these are potentially going to make an excellent partner for someone, maybe even in a short period of time!
One of the best things you can offer to anyone - a friend, a colleague, your seat mate on a plane, a kid, a new date - one of the best things you can offer is validation of their good qualities. People often don’t recognize when they’re good at something. We’ve all been taught to beat up on ourselves. Some of us are, at least temporarily, cast down by life. It often takes the kind insights of another person to change our perspective. If you can do this for anyone, you can do it for a gentleman, and that’s part of your strategy for finding and claiming an undervalued man.
Encourage everything you’d like to see more of.
This is generally going to be the opposite of whatever their ex did.
Relationships are killed by neglect and coldness. They can also be killed by constant criticism, and that’s more common than it should be. This is part of what keeps people in dissatisfying relationships - they start believing their bad press and buying into their disappointed partner’s negative views. Ah, but the things that annoyed that person might not bother you at all. They might be perks!
Someone else might have undervalued your man due to his taste in music, how he cuts his hair, his clothes, his food preferences, his job, his friends, his height, his family, whether he likes the radio on/off at night, or the fact that he does/doesn’t want kids one day. I once broke up with a guy partly because he chewed gum in the shower. If that doesn’t bother you, well, he might be available today...
Spouses are like siblings, which is to say that anyone you live with is a roommate. If you meet someone inconsiderate, they’re not giving you much to work with. No matter how attractive they are or how much money they have, it’s hard to live with a slob. A clean freak might not be that much better of a choice, though; do you really want a man nagging after you about streaks on the mirror or asking you to iron your socks? Consideration is not the same thing as housework.
The quality you’re looking for is whether you can relax with this person.
Does he make you smile? Does he seek to please you? Does he remember your likes and dislikes, is he willing to let you choose the movie or the radio station or the restaurant at least sometimes?
If this man is fun and easygoing, he probably has a history with a couple of exes. How does he talk about them? Who is the villain in his stories? If it’s always HER, be suspicious.
Does he listen to you attentively when you tell a story? Not when you vent, when you tell a story. Does he remember the names of your friends, family, and coworkers? Does he remember details from one week to the next?
Does he basically seem to find you interesting? Does he like you?
(Look around and start noticing how many couples seem not to like each other. It’s a lot).
Something you can do with an undervalued man is to read The Five Love Languages with him. Men really like this book. It may be the first time in their lives that someone has recognized their attempts to show affection and caring toward someone. That book gives them permission to be doting and giving in the ways that work for them, and actually get a little credit. More of what works, less of what doesn’t work.
Personally, I am very touched by acts of service, and let me tell you, there is something great about a man who prefers to show affection that way. My husband is constantly making me smoothies, fixing my sunglasses, doing my bike maintenance, and remembering not to put my sweaters through the dryer. Did he do that kind of thing for his ex-wife? I have no idea, I sort of doubt it, but they were younger then and I don’t think she was an “acts of service” person. My hubby and I reciprocate for each other because we’re on the same wavelength. I’ve probably disappointed more than one “gifts” man over the years, neither giving nor appreciating that sort of thing in the way he would want.
After my divorce, I made a checklist of what I wanted in a man, the way we do. I put a lot of stuff on it that turned out to be irrelevant to what actually makes me happy. I thought I wanted a man who could beat me at Scrabble, when hey, I have my brother for that! I thought I wanted a poet/musician/artsy type when hey, I have myself for that! It never occurred to me to want an older engineer with a kid. What I got was a kind, generous, reliable man who was much smarter and funnier (and a better cook and dancer) than I thought possible.
What ought to be on our checklists are personal qualities and behaviors. We have a tendency to typecast a romantic male lead, when what we’re really searching for is someone who can create a certain type and color of romantic bubble with us. We’re looking for something that can really only be made with one other specific individual. We’re more likely to get that irreplaceable bit of magic with someone who may have been overlooked by others. That’s how we lay claim to someone who will be delighted to be our perfect fit.
I've been working with chronic disorganization, squalor, and hoarding for over 20 years. I'm also a marathon runner who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and thyroid disease 17 years ago.
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