78019553That is the question …

Sure, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but when it comes to deciding on a potential mate, it’s safe to say that there are some universal qualities we all share which determine if we’re on the journey of love or heading face first into a dead end. True, this particular topic has been looked at from endless perspectives, but as long as there are failed relationships in the world, it will remain ripe for re-evaluation.

Humans are social creatures. As such, most of us crave close companionship, particularly of the romantic variety. There are some women who prefer not to be hindered by the confines of a committed partnership, while others yearn for interdependency to a fault. Between these two extremes lies a space in which the majority of humanity operates.

One undeniable fact is that any positive relationships require personal compromise; the key is learning to differentiate the negotiable vs. the non negotiable, as well as some of the circumstances that make it difficult to do so. Let’s examine the following causes for concern:


Sex has got to be the main ingredient to any intimate relationship; it’s also what keeps women and men alike from being able to determine whether a strained partnership is worth enduring. Closure sure is tough to achieve when an estranged pair indulge in the magnetism of their sublime sexual chemistry. On the contrary, if the sex is wack, you may find it a little easier to take a clear, rational approach to evaluating the situation.

A Question of Dedication:

Who doesn’t revere a loyal mate? Unless you two agree on having an open relationship, chances are you’d rather your man not canoodle with other ladies (or men, for that matter). We are blessed with a little somthin’ called women’s intuition. In most cases, by the time you receive hard proof that your guy is dippin’, you’ve seen about 1,000 signs indicating he should’ve been given “da boot” some time ago.

Financial Standing:

I’m the first one to speak out for equality; alas, men still tend to make more than women. Unless your financial status ends in the suffix –“aire”, chances are you want to build a life with a guy who will make financial contributions that are greater or equal to yours. Excluding those who want nothing more than a warm, loving househusband — a real stand up guy would never settle for being a financial burden on the woman he loves. Ask yourself: Would you rather dismantle your credit by consistently co-signing for your man, or benefit from the solid decisions of a fiscally responsible adult?


Here’s another maker or breaker. Is your (potential) man a daddy? As we get older, the chances of meeting a fatherless single guy begin to decline. Where do you stand on that issue? Some of us may not necessarily want the burden (or distraction) of another woman’s child in their relationship — or baby mama drama, either. Some of us may have kids of our own and look forward to creating a blended family.


Miniature Golf; swinger club member; bird watching; stock trading; bike riding; online vampire role playing; hunting; pit bull fighting; strip clubbing; rock collecting; dabbling in substance abuse; traveling; gambling; rock climbing, finger-painting ….

Hobbies reveal a lot about a person. We’re not suggesting you get judgmental (some ladies might actually like a fella who enjoys watching pit bulls rip each other to a bloody pulp), just remember what it is that you like as well.

Fashion Sense:

This one’s a maker or breaker for lots of women, particularly at the onset of a relationship. It’s true that sometimes the clothes do not make the man. However, if he fastens his belt beneath his butt cheeks, and this is a problem for you, perhaps you ought to call it a wrap.

Up Close and Personal:

You may like long and lean, big and tall or medium/husky. There are times when the physical type can be compromised in favor of other important factors, but beware of ignoring what turns you on lest you risk rolling over one morning and throwing up a little in your mouth at the sight of your boyfriend’s plump, hairy man boobs.

Hygiene is another crucial factor to consider. Here’s a rhetorical question: Are there any women who prefer men with ghastly hygiene? Sure you may be able to forgive certain lapses from time to time, but consistent funk is bound to get under your skin one day. On the flipside there are some fellows who indulge in hygiene to the point of obsession. Red lights flash when a guy’s bathroom looks like a dainty powder room with all the accoutrements of a Grade A debutante. I submit that it is totally possible for a fella to be fresh without being frilly, which leads to the next factor to consider…

Their Feminine Side:

Is this an ultra macho, insensitive hot-headed brute? Maybe you like that type of thing, but make sure his toughness doesn’t harm or degrade you. And how about that guy everyone thinks is gay (including you, in the beginning)? You may prefer the soft gentleness or femininity that he exudes; you may even like that he’s more concerned with being coiffed than you. I tend to believe balance is paramount, but to each their own …


Some men know no balance in this area. This can be demonstrated by some of the cats that are like fixtures on street corners or stoops in your neighborhood. You know, fellas who are content with aiming low in life. On the other end of the spectrum, are the men consumed with their careers and various professional involvements to the detriment of their personal lives — and those who are a part of it.

Raise your hand if you know an ambitious woman who always involves herself with dudes possessing the couch potato mentality? Conversely, you may be that gal looking to marry the money and could care less about spending quality time with your hubby. It’s your world, girl. Do whatever feels right to you, but living a life of silent misery just for the sake of saying you “have somebody” is a grave act of self-betrayal.

A Question of Longevity:

Some couples stay together simply out of security and convenience, while others manage to build and grow together. Is he holding you back from reaching your potential or assisting you in attaining your dreams? I’d like to think most would agree the latter has real keeper potential.


Being in an intimate relationship is much like being in a dance. The two partners involved must be in sync with each other, complimenting each others movements. Good communication is essential, but it means different things for different people. If you require lots of reassurance, it’s best not to stick with a guy who’s proved he is incapable of providing you with any. The bedrock of any positive relationship is the ability to understand and express your own needs with one another.

Traversing the road toward blissful couplehood/marriage is indeed quite a journey that can quite literally turn you upside down, making it sometimes impossible to attain clarity of mind. No doubt, folks will continue to lose themselves and their ability to honor their own values in the quest for companionship. There’s nothing selfish about knowing who you are and what’s most important in your life. If you are truly honest with yourself, the decision to keep him or kiss him goodbye will ultimately be revealed.

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