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Are You Smart, Successful, But Still Single?!

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I know you  know what you want in a man. But do you know what you need?

I ask all the women who work with me this question, because it’s clear to me that most women who find themselves stuck in a pattern of choosing men who break their heart over and over again, don’t know how to discern a man who is husband material. They’re drawn to the wrong qualities that attract them to toxic partners and friend zone men who would make an amazing husband!

I teach them how to “let the man be the man” so that they can easily distinguish between a player and a partner. But what does that even mean, and how can it help you choose a husband? First you need to understand that choosing a boyfriend isn’t the same thing as choosing a husband.

From my observations as a coach and matchmaker, I’ve seen sistas choose men because of the chemistry they feel with him. They like the way a man dresses or assumes that because he’s successful in a career, he’ll have what it takes to be a good partner.

They like a man with SWAG, without understanding that the man who sweeps you off your feet in the beginning of a relationship will often knock the life out of you by the end of the breakup.

I want you in a happy relationship with a husband, not just blown away by a boyfriend. So let me share with you the profiles of three kinds of men you’re likely to encounter in dating, keeping in mind that not all men fall easily into these categories. However, you can use this as a guide to help you avoid men who will waste your time and break your heart, and be more selective in the men you choose to date.

The Man’s Man

When sisters describe what’s on their Perfect Man List, they’re typically defining this type of man.

He’s highly ambitious and often very successful in his career. He likes to display his status through his material possessions, so he’ll do a lot of stuntin’. He’s a super confident man, and it shows through his body language. He walks into a room like he owns it, and when he meets you he may “claim you” very quickly, by calling you “baby” and making you feel like you’re already his woman.

This man takes control of situations quickly which often makes you feel safe. He tends to appear very sure of himself, speaks his mind, and doesn’t tend to sway from his opinions. He may be “suited-and-booted” and dresses in a way that draws attention to his physique.

In short, he’s got swag for days, and the sexual attraction you feel with him is electric! But there’s a dark side to his manliness.

What first feels like assertiveness can turn into aggressiveness, especially when you communicate your boundaries to him. These kinds of men tend to not want to take no for answer. This quality may make them successful in their careers, but controlling in their relationships. In a relationship, a “man’s man” may use anger to get you to comply because he believes that being a man means taking what he wants.

His protection may soon feel like control because he sees you as his property, and his confidence begins to feel like arrogance, especially when he feels like he doesn’t have to respond to your needs or concerns. His ambitious nature may make him prioritize personal success over personal development, and so he may be a workaholic, investing more time and energy into his career than he does into his relationships.

These men also are less likely to settle down and if they do, their relationships don’t always last long. They may be players and cheaters, or they just decide the monogamy is not for them. They know they are the kind of men many women desire and so they feel they’ll always have options.

The Man’s Man prides himself on being an alpha male who leads the pack, so to speak, but this kind of man has a “toxic masculinity.”  Harris O’Malley, writer for The Good Man Project, says “Toxic masculinity is a narrow and repressive description of manhood, designating manhood as defined by violence, sex, status and aggression. It’s the cultural ideal of manliness, where strength is everything while emotions are a weakness; where sex and brutality are yardsticks by which men are measured, while supposedly “feminine” traits – which can range from emotional vulnerability to simply not being hypersexual – are the means by which your status as “man” can be taken away.”

In other words, a man’s man defines his worth on how successful, sexually aggressive, and stoic he is. These ideas about manhood harm both women and men and lead to toxic relationships.

The Nice Guy

The Nice Guy is the kind of man you tend to put in the friend zone. He may wear his heart on his sleeve and doesn’t appear very confident in his body language or his tone of voice. He may hesitate to let a woman know he’s interested in her, because he wants to 100% sure that you’re going to say yes. To the Nice Guy, rejection feels like Kryptonite! They will avoid dating and relationships for a long time after being shot down by a woman they really like.

These guys are more sensitive than they are assertive, and they tend to be hard on themselves, which makes them come across as insecure. They also aren’t very aggressive in their leadership style. Don’t look for the nice guy to take the lead or to plan everything in the relationship. He’s going to look for input from you first to make sure that you’re happy.

Some women judge these men as weak, but a nice guy will make a good partner for some sisters because of the way of the way he pays attention to your needs and desires. He tends to desire marriage and family and will be very loyal in a relationship.

If you’re looking for a man who shows off his success, you may not find it in the nice guy. You have to be very aware of what these men bring to the table and learn how to appreciate the stability, love and comfort these men bring into your life.

The Classic Man 

This is your quintessential “Good Man.” He’s a gentleman through and through. He’s not perfect, however, but he tends to be a nice guy with guts! He’s confident, but possesses the ability to reflect on and own up to his own shortcomings. If he gets married, he knows how to honor his commitments, and will invest in his relationships. This man doesn’t want to sacrifice his family for success.

The Classic Man knows that making you feel safe goes beyond just providing for your material needs. He’s concerned about your heart, and although he has some weaknesses that may cause roadblocks in your relationship, he is willing to work through them. This man may have been married before and has learned how to be a better man by learning from his mistakes. Or, he’s gotten to a point in his life where he doesn’t want to run the streets. He knows he wants a long-term commitment. He also, however, wants to feel like he’s understood, respected and accepted for who he is. He doesn’t want to feel controlled by his partner. This kind of man chooses a woman based on how she makes him feel about himself when he’s with her. If you can make him feel like a winner instead of making him feel like he’s always wrong, he’s likely to commit to you.

So to answer the question, what does it mean to let the man be the man, I suggest that it means you accept a man for who he is and then decide if he’s the kind of man who makes a healthy partner for you. Don’t be so impressed by the image a man is selling you. He may look successful on the outside, but ask yourself if he is kind, compassionate and ready for commitment on the inside.  That’s how you choose a husband.

Question: What type of man have you dated in the past? Do you feel you need to choose a different kind of man in the future to have the relationship you desire?