When I first met my fiancé I knew right away he was different from any guy i’d known let alone dated. At 19 that wasn’t many guys, but he was just – different ok. He didn’t dress, act or talk like most guys I knew. He wooed me with impromptu R&B ballads he played on his keyboard. He never referred to himself or anyone else for that matter as a nigga, never called women out of their name and despite his boxing trophy sitting atop his computer desk, didn’t look like he’d ever been in a fist fight. Basically, he was a far cry from the rough exterior guys I was use to but I liked him, a lot. In the over 8 years of me knowing him, like any other couple we’ve had our ups and downs, as to be expected, we pretty much grew into adults together. However, quite a few things have remained consistent.
- I’ve never ever received the, i’m coming to you as a woman, call, text, myspace (yes myspace was around when we first started dating) Instagram, Facebook, snapchat, WhatsApp, LinkedIn (professionals can be ratchet too) or any other message from any woman, at any point in our relationship.
- He’s been there for me when i’ve needed him.
- He’s pushed me to pursue my dreams and has invested in my dreams.
- He’s loved me even when it’s been hard to do.
- His beliefs, thoughts and actions have stayed consistent with his morals.
and most importantly even when times have been rocky, i’ve never, not once questioned his love, feelings, or intentions for me. Whether you’ve been dating someone for a few weeks, months, or years, if he’s displayed any of the following behavior, he just may be a keeper!
You don’t have to question his intentions
How many times have we had to ponder text messages, abruptly ended face time calls, texts being ignored but he’s watching our snaps, mixed messages, mixed signals, and the list painfully goes on. Boys do that. Men who aren’t serious about you enough to show their true intentions do that. Players who want to keep you resting confused and bewildered on the bench while they are playing with their new flavor of the week do that, not men who are serious about being with you. You don’t have to question the intentions of a man who wants to be with you because he’s not playing games with you. He lays out his intentions. He doesn’t need to say them because he shows you. He shows up for you. You’re not questioning weekend plans because he has made them. He doesn’t disappear right before holidays to avoid buying you gifts or God forbid making you feel worthy. He’s there right by your side and even when financially he can’t do what you deserve he’s popping popcorn, finding a good movie on Netflix and rubbing your feet til the movie starts.
He pushes you to go for your dreams
When I was 20 I saw a casting call looking for actresses for a traveling theater company. Though I had acted before and been a part of theater groups I did not have a degree in theater which was a requirement. As much as I wanted to apply, I closed out the application, defeated that I didn’t meet the requirements. When I told my fiancé (then boyfriend) about it he told me to apply anyway. “It is a great opportunity, you never know what could happen, just apply and see what happens, you really never know Ash.” Were his words of encouragement, so I did. Lo and behold I not only got an audition but one month later I was touring across the country as a paid theater actress with the company. Being that we were in a new relationship he could have let insecurities of me meeting someone on tour, or even the possibility of us drifting apart get in the way of him being supportive, instead he not only stood by my side but gave me the encouragement to go for my dreams. If you have someone encouraging you to shoot for the stars even when you yourself are hesitant, hold on to that man. So many people allow life to get in the way and become so bitter they don’t know how to pursue their own dreams let alone encourage anyone else. It’s such a rarity to find someone who so whole heartedly wants to see you succeed even when it’s not always in their best interest.
His core beliefs, thoughts and actions are consistent
With age and experiences we all grow and go through changes hopefully for the better. However sometimes people totally can flip. If one minutes he’s a christian who believes in marriage between two people and the next he’s preaching polygamy that’s not exactly consistent sis. A man who is consistent is not preaching the virtues of women and then referring to women on tv or in the street as hoes and bitches, the two just don’t mix. When a man is consistent in his beliefs he not only talks about it but shows you through his actions. If he believes a man should work and be the provider, he’s taking his butt to work everyday and providing for his family. If he believes a man should honor his parents, he’s taking mom and dad out to eat when he can and respecting them. If he believes he is in control of his own destiny he’s working everyday towards his goals and dreams and consistently thinking of ways to fulfill them. A consistent man is not wishy washy. He’s proving who he is day in and day out through his actions. A consistent man will not leaving you guessing or confused about his intentions not only with you as his partner but where he is going in his own life because everyday he is living it.
He doesn’t make you compete
When a man is serious about you, aint no competition sis. He not only makes you feel like you are the only one, he shows you. You aren’t getting side eyed every time you step out the house by other women he’s been with or is currently with. You aren’t getting blocked calls, and your girlfriends aren’t debating whether or not they should tell you they saw him at the club the other night hugged up on Keisha. IJS, sure people make mistakes, things happen, we’re all human but the man of your dreams isn’t laying up with you while texting Becky with the good hair the moment you fall asleep! He’s been there done that with other women and doesn’t feel the need to still be playing the field because he’s got you and who needs anything more than your fine, sophisticated, smart self? Not him! If he’s not only telling you but showing you that you are all he needs he is secure in his manhood, done playing games, mature af, and realizes what he has is much more valuable than possibly losing you while attempting to play around, and that makes him a smart man and certainly a keeper.
He loves you when it’s hard
Let’s face it ladies, sometimes we aren’t the easiest to deal with. I’ve had total meltdown’s, self described depression, woke up mad at the world and took it out on my poor man and just been a total biotch at times. Despite the craziness that at times is me, his love has not wavered. If your guy runs at the first sign of trouble, disappears the moment mother rose shows up, or simply can’t handle you at your sometimes Joseline Hernandez is he really the one? My bet is no. Now granted, if your mood is consistently going from 0-100 at the blink of an eye, you might need to take some time to do some self-evaluation and you can’t blame him for wanting space from you in that moment. But, if you are sensible and occasionally have times when you’re not so nice, if he’s there for you with flowers, chocolate, and maybe even a mirror for you to realize how crazy you are acting, he’s a good dude. When a man truly loves you he is there for you no matter what, as you should be for him. He’s not running at the sign of an attitude, he’s trying to understand where you’re coming from. A man who sees your value is willing to see past the sometimes B.S that you bring. He understands that just like everyone else you too have off days and is there to help bring you back down to earth.
If you’ve ever experienced a man like this, chances are he could be your future husband.
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, spoken word poet, who doesn’t trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on twitter & instagram also check out her website.