It’s a simple question. Why him? Why this guy?
If you’re a hiring manager, I’m obviously asking you why you want to extend an offer to this applicant. If you’re a police officer, I’m asking why you think this suspect did it. Fair to ask, right?
If you’re dating a male person, and someone asks, Why him?
...shouldn’t it be immediately obvious? Wouldn’t you have a list of reasons?
Wouldn’t you also wonder why the question came up?
I can think of several happily married friends about whom nobody ever asks, why that guy? Why him above all others? That’s because you always see them laughing together. They have a happy home and, if anything, they’re maybe a little smug that they’ve found each other.
Unfortunately, I keep meeting others where it isn’t so clear. I mean... really... why him? Can you please explain what you like about him?
The toughest of these cases are when the guy is checked out. Either you never see the two of them together, or if he is there, he isn’t participating in the conversation. He’s making no effort to make friends, share anything about himself, be amusing, or maybe even grunt in response. It’s always surprising how many couples don’t like each other’s friends! Like, what, did you expect that when we got together it would be JUST US forever, no social life?
Worse is when the guy is rude. Pointlessly rude to basically everyone: friends, coworkers, waiters, innocent bystanders.
Worse still is when the guy is rude TO HIS DATE.
Do you ever notice this? When someone is dropping little snarky remarks and sarcastic observations, about the person they’re supposedly in love with? When you stop to think about it, you can’t recall a single nice thing this person has had to say?
Maybe it’s just me. I feel like this happens a lot, though.
What I’m looking for when I see a couple together for the first time is simply what kind of connection they seem to have. Most couples have a hidden language, where they don’t even need to make eye contact to communicate. They have body language and facial expressions that nobody else can read. They may not always agree, but they do know what the other is thinking. A lot of family members can do the same. If these shared signals seem to be missing, then maybe this couple hasn’t been together long enough yet.
The next level is any sign of mutual positive regard. In a good relationship (friends, family, and especially romance), they should like each other, respect each other, and love each other. That seems pretty basic, not much to ask, but in reality it’s not all that common. You usually only see two out of three, sometimes just one, and sometimes zero.
Like him. You enjoy his company and think he’s fun to be around. You find him interesting. His sense of humor works on you. You can talk to him about anything. Ideally he feels the same way about you.
Respect him. You believe he has a value system and that he lives consistently with those values. You may not share all of them but you have a pretty clear idea of what’s important to him and what he believes in. The more you know about him, the more impressed you are. You’re proud of him for at least one reason. You’re pretty sure he feels the same about you.
Love him. You feel affectionate toward him, you feel a warm regard and want the best for him, your heart swells a little when you think about him. No question, you know he feels it too and he’ll say it loud and proud.
It’s a match when you both can check off all three boxes.
What tends to happen when someone is in a bad match, but doesn’t want to admit it, is that they start making excuses and trying to explain away evidence that this guy actually kinda sucks.
Why is he never around? Wherever you are, he’s not there. If you go to a party he doesn’t come. Doesn’t he share any of your interests?
Why does he keep making those negative comments about you? Does he think he sounds funny? Doesn’t he realize we’re your friends and we don’t want to listen to him pick on you?
So uh, no offense but what exactly attracted you to him?
(Since he doesn’t seem particularly into you, and he also doesn’t seem all that nice, or charming, or funny, or smart, or good looking, or...)
Is it true that he still refuses to say the L word for some pretentious adolescent reason? Like the normal type of relationship that every other human being has is somehow beneath him? He’s capable of some rarefied and pure love from another dimension, only nobody has reason to believe it because he acts cold and withholding?
It’s honestly shocking how many dudes hold back the L word (for months or years or forever) and still get 100% of the affection and attention of a normal man capable of normal behavior. You’re not original, you’re a manipulator. Just say it. Or if you refuse, get a bunch of t-shirts printed that say I WILL NEVER SAY I LOVE YOU, EVER, I MEAN IT and wear them on your next two hundred first dates.
What a lot of people don’t seem to understand is that a love match is about mutual connection. It’s about the other person’s behavior and how willing he is to engage, to reach out, to put in emotional effort, to communicate and build something just between the two of you.
It doesn’t matter what he looks like, what’s going on in his life, what job he has, where he lives, whether he’s a good cook or a talented musician or whatever. All of those things would be true whether he was single, dating someone else, or with you. The only thing that matters is what the two of you are like together, and it should be obvious. It should be obvious that you’re a good match together, that you like each other and you have fun together. You should be able to describe each other as friends.
When someone asks, Why him? What do you like about him? I hope you can say, He makes me smile.
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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