In his latest book, To Be A Man, Robert Augustus Masters lays out what strong and emotionally-balanced masculinity looks like, and offers invaluable advice for men on how to feel more connected, fulfilled, and happier in their intimate relationships. What Masters’ book also offers is a guide for women on what to look for when seeking a mindful, considerate and passionate man who is fully embodying his masculinity.
Here are 15 characteristics to look for in your partner or a potential partner:
“I wasn’t ready to have a relationship, but I met X and she just changed my mind,” said no man ever. First things first — he has to be comfortable with an intimate relationship because if he isn’t, then he won’t be having one with you or anyone.
He has a few things he’d like to change about you — your emotional swings, the hair everywhere — however, he doesn’t criticize your beliefs, your quirks, your essence. In short, he might not accept what you do or how you behave sometimes, but he does accept and love you.
He doesn’t hold grudges because he understands that people struggle, that his parents struggled, that you struggle — just as he does. It may not always be easy, but he is committed to being kind and forgiving.
Your feelings are important to him – albeit sometimes wholly baffling. He, therefore, tries to understand what you’re feeling so he can be supportive and learn more about you.
He is so confident in who he is and his morality that he can always be honest with you. Yes, he’s concerned about money. Yes, he did forget to feed the dog. He can own his mistakes, be truthful about his feelings and avoid making excuses for his behavior.
6. Ability to Listen
You know he is deeply interested in you and your relationship because he listens attentively and asks questions rather than cutting the conversation short because his mind is on work or the TV.
He may well be terrified of heights, snakes, or that crazy friend you have, but he possesses the courage necessary to face most of the other things that intimidate him. He wants to understand what is at the root of his fears because he is committed to overcoming them and to embracing life rather than running from it.
8. Thinks Beyond Sex
He doesn’t see you as someone to alleviate him when he’s sexually aroused, but rather as a person to be respected, who is equally taking part in a consensual, sexual relationship with him.
Okay, so he forgets to buy that chocolate bar you asked for, or he’s later home than he said he’d be every now and again, but he is consistently reliable, dependable and trustworthy. You can always count on him.
10. Embraces Vulnerability
He may not be jumping for joy at the opportunity to be vulnerable, but he knows that vulnerability reflects a source of strength — that letting some walls down means no longer having to be defensive.
He knows that maintaining a passionate sex life in a long-term relationship requires effort from his side as well as yours. He is not afraid to have an open and loving conversation in order to explore and maintain an evolving intimacy between the two of you.
12. Healthy Anger
Yes, every now and again he’s furious at the state of the world or the fact he didn’t get the promotion, or that the neighbor’s dog has barked for five straight days, but he knows how to express that anger in a healthy way, and never lets it turn into aggression.
He takes pride in what he has accomplished, but he is secure in himself so as not to brag — even in the bar with friends. He sees that many other people have played a role in his successes, and he is grateful and appreciative.
He doesn’t wait for you to bring up relationship difficulties but instead, shares the responsibility for doing so. He’s careful not to use charged words when he does and avoids blaming you because he knows it shuts down communication.
You may be going through a rough patch or have just had a fight, but he never threatens to leave the relationship. You know that he’s committed to working through the challenges you have as a couple and that living through some hard situations does not mean that the love between the two of you is coming to an end.
And lastly, of course, we as women must take a hard look at our own characteristics and examine if we’re fully bringing our best selves to our relationships.
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