4 QUALITIES TO LOOK FOR IN THE PERFECT PARTNER
Jamie Greene was introduced to me a few years back through a friend, and has since become not only my Life Coach, but also a dear friend. The friend of mine who introduced us told me about Jamie’s non-traditional approach to coaching, and about Alchemy in Love — Jamie’s amazing 3-part audio program that helps you understand and deepen the romantic relationships in your life. At the time, I was doing a lot of personal work in my own life, and was really focused on shifting old patterns I had in my work life and in my love life. I downloaded the Alchemy in Love program and was blown away by how simply and clearly Jamie articulated what it was we should all be looking for in a partner. His program made it really clear to me what changes I could begin to make within myself to be a more complete partner. I also learned the invaluable lesson of using more discernment with the people I was bringing into my life. Through Jamie’s guidance, he has helped me evolve in the areas of the heart and continues to help me in many areas of my life. He is a great coach, mentor, and has had a powerful effect on all of my relationships in my life. I feel blessed to be able to share his teachings with you all, starting with this first contributing piece for The Sweet Life. I hope you all enjoy Jamie’s coaching as much as I do!
As a male psychotherapist and life coach, I have been working closely with women for almost 30 years. As you read this article on my perspective of what I believe men are really looking for in a committed relationship with a woman, keep your mind open, remain compassionate and see if you can challenge yourself with what I am about to share with you.
As we explore our relationship potential, remember the intention. Men and women alike want to have fulfilling, healthy relationships. We want to co-create something special. What I am sharing with you here is how essential it is to make sure you’ve chosen a partner who is really willing to do the work with you.
Before I reveal what I believe to be four essential qualities of a woman that every healthy man is looking for, I am going to give you the four qualities of a man who can co-create that fulfilling relationship with you in true partnership. This is what I refer to as The Four Pillars of A Man.
The Four Pillars of A Man.
I believe that there are four foundational qualities that a man must embody in order for him to be the right choice for you. These Four Pillars, as I refer to them, are essential so that you can ensure the basis for a healthy relationship with him over time.
1. A man who knows who he is.
He’s done his deep personal work, he’s continuing to grow by sincerely looking within and knows his limitations. He embraces the idea of change and growth and has worked through his dating baggage so he doesn’t need to act it out with you!
2. A man who sees you and embraces you as you are.
You don’t have to spell it out to him, he is insightful enough, he’s aware enough and mature enough to recognize who you are without you having to convince him or send him a note with the bullet points of who you are. He just ‘gets’ you, which has a lot to do with who he is and where he’s at in his life. He simply allows you to be who you are by embracing you as the woman you are now. He doesn’t merely fall in love with you and then present you with all the quirks he’d like you to change.
3. A man who is always one or two steps ahead of you.
This is one of his most crucial qualities for you to pay attention to. He demonstrates how much he sees you by naturally helping you to feel at ease. It’s how he makes you feel special and safe. He hears you and he shows you in his actions. He doesn’t need to prove anything to you. He demonstrates he’s a couple of steps ahead of you by the way he knows what you need before you actually have to tell him. He just takes care of it!
Why is that such an important quality to a woman? I’ve always advised women not to believe a word that comes out of a man’s mouth! Men are masterful charmers, so don’t believe what he tells you. Just watch his actions and if they consistently match his words then you can trust him. Don’t be swept off your feet by a man unless his actions are dependable and consistent, then you can trust his word.
4. A man who is a mensch.
Which means he’s a man with a big heart, he’s personable, open and easy to get along with. Your girlfriends and your family just love him. They feel safe with him and they trust him. When everyone who is important to you see all this goodness and light in him, you can rest assured you’re not deluding yourself. You’re actually seeing this man for who he truly is.
With these masculine qualities in mind, let’s now explore the four essential feminine qualities that a Four-Pillared Man is looking for in a woman, so you can become clear if you are on course to attracting him into your life.
The Four Layers of a Woman.
1. A woman who knows who she is.
If you want a man who knows who he is, recognizing who you are, then we have to make sure that you’re a woman who knows who you are too, because he can’t know you better than you know yourself. What do I mean by a woman who knows who she is? It might sound arrogant for me as a man to tell you who a woman should be so, please understand, I’m merely reporting back what women have shared with me has been important to them in getting to a place themselves where they could feel they could have a healthy lasting relationship with a man.
First of all, she’s self-reliant. She stands up for her beliefs. She’s strong. She’s not co-dependent. She is emotionally self-sustaining and respects herself and her body. She chooses her community, her men and her work environment in ways that reflect the way she feels about herself. She’s not promiscuous or using sex as a weapon. She’s not seducing men in order for her to feel like she’s powerful. Nor is she one of those women who have lost their voice. I often refer to an epidemic among women today who have seemingly lost their courage to speak up. They minimize themselves and swallow their words. They tend to make themselves small so as not to usurp a man or worry how he might handle not having his ego stroked. She makes less of herself so as not to threaten his ego, but that’s a huge mistake. We want you to be seen and heard. Just know that a man is very drawn to a woman who has strong beliefs, who’s opinionated and stands behind her declarations. Men love strong women. What kind of man might be intimidated by a strong woman? A man who doesn’t know who he is!
A man who is drawn to a damsel in distress is a man who doesn’t know who he is!
She is her own woman and that’s really important for her. I can tell you that men are very attracted to powerful women who value themselves. Sure, you’re always going to find men who are attracted to damsels in distress, I certainly was one of those wannabe white knights. But, understand that a man who is drawn to a damsel in distress is a man who doesn’t know who he is. He’s a man who’s looking to feel valued through his heroic rescuing in order for him to feel needed and appreciated, although he usually ends up attracting a train wreck! Inevitably, a tormented woman in chaos cannot possibly cause him to feel better about himself because she’s too busy projecting that he’s a man who will abandon her and he most likely will.
Let’s look at these parallels. A man who is intimidated or threatened or feels like he needs to compete with a woman and make her wrong, or bully her by making her feel small is a man who does not know who he is. Moreover, a strong woman who has self-respect and knows her true value is just not attracted to a man who is abusive or disrespectful.
A woman who embraces her femininity and allows her sensuality to flow through her is a woman who knows her strength and the power of her seduction.
Power and seduction is not about trying to take advantage of men or exploit them or use men for money, sex or status. I’m not talking about that kind of seduction. I’m referring to the seduction of a woman knowing who she is. That’s very powerful. A Four-Layered woman can simply walk down the street and a man can feel her presence, which can be very alluring without it having to mean that she’s ‘working him’. In other words, a woman who embraces her femininity and allows her sensuality to flow through her is a woman who knows her strength and the power of her seduction. An independent woman who knows who she is thinks for herself, makes decisions and trusts them.
2. A woman who knows what she wants.
If you want to know secrets from the brotherhood of men, their biggest complaint is “my wife has no freaking idea what she wants. My girlfriend, my sister, my mother, they change their minds all the time. They have no idea what they want.” I’m not suggesting there’s a woman who always knows what she wants but it is important that you recognize as a woman what it is you want moment to moment. She knows that she wants commitment. She knows that she wants to be a mother, be it a working mother or a career woman. She knows that what she wants is a family with several kids. And yet, of course there are women who are clear that they don’t want kids.
A woman who knows what she wants really embraces her commitments. Some women have a very difficult time with commitment. Forget monogamy, to me that’s a given. There are much bigger commitments than fidelity. You don’t get a medal for being monogamous! I’m referring more to her commitment to managing the relationship and being the one who feels the pulse emotionally on what’s happening between her and her man, because this is not really most men’s strength. You’re probably going to find there aren’t too many husbands initiating the “Honey we really need to talk” conversation, which doesn’t mean they’re oblivious to issues in the marriage.
It’s more that he’s allowing you to be the one to take the lead on bringing up those sensitive or uncomfortable issues. As long as he willingly participates in the conversation with you regarding any challenges in the relationship, it’s all going to work out fine. It can be difficult for many women to be assertive without worrying about being judged as too masculine or emasculating their men.
Competition should be left on the sports field and in politics and business. There’s no room for it in an intimate relationship.
Imagine being in a relationship in which you’re a powerful woman who doesn’t have to minimize yourself because your partner allows you to be powerful, without you necessarily having to wear ‘the pants’ in the family. A man who knows who he is and gets who you are, loves that you’re powerful and can remain true to himself regardless. There is no competition. A Four-Pillared man understands not to compete with a woman because if he does, he knows he’s going to risk or compromise the intimacy.
Women are always going to want to feel safe. You’re always going to want to feel respected, heard and free to express your feelings, opinions and have your hormonal liberties, even if it conflicts with your men. You’re always going to need to know that he loves you (even if you never fully trust that he does) and you will likely continue to question if he really loves you and finds you attractive, well into the decades of your relationship with him.
3. A woman who wants to grow.
Some women might ask, “Why shouldn’t a man also want to grow?” Well, it’s implied in a man who knows who he is. If he knows who he is, it’s because he’s done a lot of deep personal work and it shows.
So, what are the traits of women who are not that interested in their own growth? Think about some of your girlfriends with whom you have drifted apart over the years. You may well have decided those relationships no longer serve you and already let them go. Chances are the reason you’ve done that is because these women did not want to grow and by that I mean they tended to be complaining, close-minded, superficial and shallow women who are materialistic and don’t seem get to the depth or the core of what’s really happening around them. They live superficially and there is just very little authentic about them. These are good women who were at one time really close to you but you’ve probably realized that you have outgrown them. Without judging them, you have merely moved into a different sphere of influence or connected with a deeper circle of friends. What happens with a woman who lacks the desire to grow (what we call in the coaching world “unsupportable”) is that they’re just unwilling to take a look at themselves within, unwilling to look at what it is you’re trying to reflect back to them and they tend to make everyone else wrong.
So inherently if you’re a woman who wants to grow and you have friends who are these women who don’t want to grow, you’ll trust yourself enough to respectfully move on and let them go, with love.
If you’re dating or in any kind of relationship and you realize you are with someone who doesn’t want to grow or discover more about themselves, then your own desire for growth demands that you will eventually move on. You’re not going to be trapped due to insecurity, anxiety, abandonment or worry that you’re never going to meet another great boyfriend or husband. It can be quite challenging to keep growing when it would be a lot easier to stay in your comfort zone or stagnant relationship, including financial security and feeling safer staying married to a man who supports you despite being miserable but still staying in it because the financial security is the overriding hook. A woman who wants to grow will give that up. I have certainly worked with many courageous women who forfeited their luxuries and their comforts because it was just not worth the compromise in terms of feeling trapped, stuck and miserable.
4. A woman who has her man’s back.
She believes in him, she supports him and she builds him. This comes from the wisdom and reflections of 30 years of my working with literally thousands of men and women. Remember this perspective… when I talk to men, I tell them that if they want to have a healthy relationship with a woman, they’ve got to look for a minimum of these four essential qualities that she must embody so they can have a great relationship with her. Equally for the women, you need to make sure that he’s got these four pillars or you’re going to have a lot of challenges in your relationship.
Every man will agree that there is nothing more powerful than knowing he is supported and that his woman believes in him. I don’t mean that she simply builds his ego, it’s more that she sees his deeper qualities that might be concealed or that he hasn’t yet realized in himself. She believes in him and sees a precious diamond in the rough. I would go so far as to say that she sees his true potential and her supporting him serves as the catalyst to catapult him into his power and launch him out to the world.
I’m not trying to suggest that he doesn’t know his own worth. That’s not a Four-Pillared man. He just may not have the expanded vision that you have. By you really seeing the potential of what could happen if you got him to think bigger, to expand his capacity for wanting more, you essentially facilitate him manifesting that vision. Maybe he’s genuinely modest and you know that about him and you want to push him to be more hungry, to fight more, to go out there and fight. Your belief in him can literally inspire him to go slay dragons!
What do you do with the realizations you might be having reading this, ladies? What if you really don’t have your man’s back? Well, what’s the reason? You don’t respect him? Fair enough. Let’s look at that. You can’t agree with his choices, his priorities? It’s a question of how you handle it from this point forward.
I had a great mentor once who said something very provocative, very powerful and I scare men with this nugget myself now. He reminds men that they should always be the man that their woman would leave them for! I remind men to always make sure they are being that man their woman would leave them for, which, ironically is a Four-Pillared Man.
So what now?
If you’re dating and you’re looking for a new man in your life, this should all be great news because you now have the inside scoop as you go through J-Date, Match or OK Cupid while never believing a word the bloke tells you on the first date or anything that’s in his profile! If, for example, he’s a man sitting across from you who’s boasting or relentlessly building himself up, there’s your clue that he doesn’t really know who he is, certainly doesn’t get who you are and is probably ten steps behind you! He’s that man who doesn’t even realize he’s showing off so much that you’ve already lost interest. The fact that he’s unaware that he’s being too much shows you he’s not a Four-Pillared Man.
In digesting all this information, the question you might have is what do I do now? How can I tell if I’m with a Four-Pillared Man? What do I do if I realize I’m married to a man who doesn’t have all four pillars? Do I get divorced?
One gauge that may help you see if you’re in a healthy relationship is that you are consistently showing up in all areas of your life. You are present in your work, still going regularly to your yoga/Pilates classes, staying connected to friends and family and not consumed in a cocoon of a highly dysfunctional co-dependent relationship. We often dream and plan about our perfect significant other, but it is also important that we do the work of making sure we are the person we need to be in order to attract and allow that partner into our life!
The Sweet Life By Brittany + Cynthia Daniel