The more you live, the more you notice how your priorities change.
When I was in my 20’s, I wanted a boyfriend who looked good, who was fit, had a decent job and good prospects (mostly in the money-making category). I never dated anyone exclusively by looks or for his wallet, but looking good and having some cash was definitely part of the dream (it never hurts, does it?).
Being a good person counted, as did know how to treat me well. But beyond those characteristics, I didn’t know how else to describe a great partner.
As I got older and more experienced (including a divorce), I understood there are a lot of important details most mature women don’t overlook when it comes to a partner. My criteria for a man became more detailed and simpler at the same time.
Simpler, because things such as looks and income didn’t matter as much. More detailed, because I finally understood how to voice exactly what I was looking for. In short, I focused on essence rather than appearance or possessions, and the more I talk to single friends around my age or older, the more I realize we mature women want about the same things in a man:
1. He keeps his word
I can’t stand empty promises. My ex-husband was full of those.
“I’ll split chores with you. I’ll cook and do the dishes. You don’t have to do my laundry, I’ll do it.”
“Don’t worry about the dry cleaning, I’ll pick it up.”
“I’ll come home in time for dinner.”
And so on.
He would get lost in his own world and forget the promises he’d made me, from house chores to big life plans I was counting on us making together. Looking back to the years before we got married, I remembered he never once picked me up for a date on time and that’s when I realized the first signs he wasn’t good at keeping his word were all there, I only failed to see them.
Now, a man who keeps his word is what I’m looking for. I need someone I can count on to deliver on his promises. I need someone so true to his word that when he fails, I’ll know it was an accident; it was the exception, not the rule.
When he fails, I’ll know some force bigger than himself got in the way, and I’ll do my best to be there to help him when that happens. Until then, I want to feel safe knowing my man does what he says he’ll do and shuts up when he knows he can’t — or won’t — be bothered with it.
2. He pursues his passion
When I was younger, I was a chameleon. I would mould myself to the person I was with, acquiring their tastes and preferences, moulding my political views to theirs and changing habits and behaviours in an attempt to “fit in” with my partner.
As I matured, I noticed how harmful this chameleon behaviour is, and I learned how to be myself, whether or not I was partnered up. I learned how to keep pursuing what I’m passionate about instead of letting the relationship overshadow my passions.
Mature women know how to keep their own passions alive. They know how to make space for their own pursuits, and they want to be near men who know how to cultivate the same for themselves.
Men who pursue a passion — whether as their main source of income or as a hobby — know how to maintain their identity despite being in a relationship.
A man who pursues his passion is driven, interesting, and exciting to be around. He knows how to respect his partner’s pursuit of her passion as well and how to encourage her to live her own life parallel to their life as a couple.
3. He values the relationship
He may do his own thing, but he always comes back to the relationship as his source of strength and ultimate purpose. He knows how to remind his partner she’s valuable, and he knows how to work on the relationship.
A man who knows he should come home to his partner is a special kind of man. He appreciates the fact that someone’s counting on him. To him, that’s not a burden, but a privilege.
He appreciates the fact that being in a relationship means both partners get to count on each other to face difficulties, enjoy good times, and grow together.
4. He keeps things in proportion and doesn’t bother with trifles
Mature women want a man who can see things for what they are. He can tell what’s too small to bother with and brush trifles aside without a second thought.
He knows how to forgive and forget. He knows that working on issues is important, but that it doesn’t have to drive anyone crazy. He can compromise, and he accepts he doesn’t always have to have the last word.
He understands sometimes it’s best to be happy than to be right.
5. Mature women want mature men
“Water seeks its own level,” is perhaps the most truthful saying of all.
Mature women will be unhappy around immature men. They’ll lose patience and seek something better — just like mature men will.
Maturity isn’t necessarily related to age, but experience and willingness to learn. As long as you’re open to growing, you’ll mature — and find the right partner for you.
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