Right, so I’m going to level with you guys, we all have our quirks, niches and (dare I say), kinks. It happens.
We’ve all watched enough romcoms from the classic roster of 1990s Kate Hudson era which was swiftly ushered in by the Anne Hathaway movement of ‘woman at work: can she have it all’.
Long story short, it means that we’ve all had our fair share of fantasy wish-fulfilment and ‘God I wish someone would do that for me’ moments. Be it the rogue rock-ability of Ten Things I Hate About You‘s Heath Ledger or the emotional unavailability of Josh Lucas in Sweet Home Alabama, or Colin Firth in, well … anything. Point being, we know what we like.
Well, as I draw on some of the best golden age romcom tropes and secret desires for intimacy, I humbly present to you the 20 top things that we look for in a guy. Heaven help us if any guy actually has all 20…
I’m putting it first on the list, not in order of importance by any means, but simply in recognition that physical attraction does play a factor. This doesn’t necessarily mean that any quality of man less broody or impeccably groomed than Brad Pitt or Patrick Dempsey is an automatic moot point. But instead that we all find things to be attracted about in our special guy that other people might think we’re crazy to do. But love is crazy, so don’t mind that.
Does he know his neighbours by their first name and keep their parcels from getting wet in the rain? Does he always hold the door and offer you his coat (even though he knows you are a strong, confident, independent woman that can also do it herself, he just wants to). Take note of how he is not only with you, but with other people too. You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat people that they don’t necessarily ‘need’ to treat well.
3. Willingness to compromise.
Yes you watch him play FIFA on Sunday morning and watch him play football in the afternoon, but as long as he offers to get chocolates and watch Love Island with you in the evening and go to pilates next week, we’re all good. Giving and receiving at its finest here!
He gives you gifts, arguably the most materially satisfying of all the love languages. These don’t need to be expensive bracelets; often you will be more pleased with a surprise Greggs sausage roll that he brings for you at work when he realises you left your lunch in the fridge. Say it with me, “awwwwww”.
5. Willingness to meet your friends.
While he may find them annoying initially, or struggle to find common ground, he should appreciate that these are your favourite people in the world who love you just as much as he does. He’ll make it work.
6. Able to treat you right.
You don’t need to be drowning in dollars for this one, folks. Yes, sometimes you can know that you want an all expenses paid trip to the Maldives – sometimes him walking you home from the date 30 minutes out of his way goes the distance.
7. Great hands.
Weirdly specific, I know, but it’s not all about abs and a six-pack, guys! I’ve discussed this with my friends and one of the more universal quirks that us gals seem to veer towards is a nicely defined, sculpted hand. We wonder if we’re some sort of dodgy fetishising creep while we’re admiring them, but hands are the next big thing. We like their eyes and hair, sure, but HANDS (don’t mind me, I’m getting side tracked lol) Moving on!!!!
8. He shows you his hometown.
You may know him as a highflying city boy now, but chances are this personality is forged out of a homely farm-boy who lived in the middle of nowhere. Why not pull a Reese Witherspoon and accidentally fall in love with him in this nostalgic, emotionally complex environment.
9. He makes you feel safe, happy.
I don’t need to explain this one.
10. He’s not afraid of commitment.
He brings up the prospect of meeting the parents before even you do. He gives you a drawer in his house on the 5th date, and he’s started asking about a mini break Bridget Jones style. Snap him up! As long as he genuinely means these moments and isn’t just saying them because he thinks that’s what you want to hear. He demonstrates maturity and emotional vulnerability. We love that. As, I guess, any human being would.
11. He introduces you to his friends.
This will likely be accompanied by the implicit statement to his friends that you guys are official (read: officially off-limits). But he’ll love getting to proudly integrate you to the other side of his life. As long as he treats you the same in public as when you’re alone (ie he doesn’t get flustered and try to keep you at arms length) – he will treasure these moments of your shared time together.
12. He texts back!
Okay, so the bar is on the floor, here. But it’s 2019, guys, we don’t have time for a relationship to be built on a conversation spread over the course of a day where it takes two hours to get a word out of him. This makes making plans a nightmare, and frankly you need someone that can be mature and reciprocate your needs, even on social media.
13. He isn’t afraid to be vulnerable.
In public or with you, expressing emotions in a healthy way is always to be applauded. And the more intimate you can be with each other, the more comfortable and open you can be in your relationship.
14. He surprises you.
Either by booking a pilates class without being pushed, or cooking a meal, or suggesting a spontaneous walk in the evening. If he keeps you on your toes while sweeping you off your feet, can we have any complaints?
15. He loves all your flaws.
That mole on your cheek that you used to hate when you were younger, or the colour of your hair, or your height? Well, he loves them all. Suck on that, insecurities.
16. He isn’t threatened by your other friends or exes.
Again, maybe the bar is too low here, but we need a guy who can be emotionally available, mature, and willing to make compromises in the relationship. It’s not his relationship; it’s yours, together you are responsible for putting the effort in and being forgiving. Where appropriate.
17. He is the first person you call when something happens to you.
Good or bad, when something big or small happens and he’s the person that you are immediately calling – and when you are secure in the knowledge that he will be available for you – that’s gold dust.
18. He bridges the gap between being spontaneous and giving you opportunities to direct what you do.
Gone are the days where a guy simply staring absently at his phone and grunting ‘Where do you want to eat tonight?’ is acceptable. We need a guy who can make a plan and mix things up. While also leaving plenty room for you to take charge as well. Find where that line is; it’ll do you the world of good.
19. He’s patient and kind, and great with kids.
This might be us thinking of the future too much, but as we write our name with his surname in our secret diaries (that we won’t admit to still having but definitely still do), it’s good to know. You feel safe, and you feel like he might be becoming what ‘home’ means to you. That probably means you’ve cracked it.
20. HE MAKES AN EFFORT.
Tan France from Queer Eye hit the nail on the head when he looked the audience dead in the eyes in the camera and unequivocally said this epithet. You don’t always have to get it right, do it well, or be perfectly conducted in every second. But the effort and the gesture is all that matters. Trust me, if a guy is making an effort, he’s in it for the long haul.
So that’s that, friends. I hope that you can score as highly as possible on this list. And to anyone that gets above 15, you probably have a Colin Firth of a man. So, enjoy that! (I say with zero bitterness)