Have you ever wondered why so many women fall for narcissistic men? When I see a woman with a narcissistic man in a restaurant, I see trouble ahead. But, you may not. If you find narcissistic men appealing, it’s not your fault. It’s easy to become influenced by the allure of superficial qualities when we’re constantly told that beauty, confidence, and wealth are the most important traits to look for in our partners. Not only can you start to feel insecure about your looks or level of confidence, but you may also include those qualities on your list of “must-haves.” But, these messages just confuse the process of looking for love. Believe it or not, there are many more important qualities to look for in a partner that signal that he can make you happy in a romantic relationship.
Many women these days fall for narcissists because they fit the bill superficially, although they make poor partners and husbands. At worst, narcissistic partners are downright abusive. Think about it – would a narcissist try harder to look good and make money, or would he strive to plan romantic dates, and make his partner feel special and loved by caring for her? Improving external appearances and superficial qualities come more naturally to a narcissist. Doing something nice for someone else when he has nothing to gain is much harder, but it’s an important quality in a good life partner.
It’s very challenging to be in a relationship where it’s all about him and what he wants. Your needs and feelings will always take a back seat when you’re with a narcissistic, immature partner. That’s a recipe for unhappiness in a relationship, no matter how handsome, confident, successful, or rich he is according to society’s standards.
So what qualities of a life partner should you look for to determine if he is long-term material?
1. He’s kind and considerate. Is he a kind person? Is he considerate of other people’s feelings? Sometimes a man is simply trying to put his best foot forward with you to try and impress you. You want someone who is genuinely caring. Ideally, you want a man who wants to make you happy.
2. He can communicate. Sure, he may be able to tell you how much he likes you, but how does he handle conflict? You want a man who can respect a different opinion than his own without resorting to immature and hurtful tactics. How else will you be able to work out your differences if you’re with someone who is arrogant and won’t fight fair?
3. He is willing to compromise. Every couple has their differences. When both partners compromise, your relationship can grow and change. If he always must be right and won’t compromise, you’re likely to start resenting all the compromising you must do. Your relationship won’t feel fair or balanced, and it won’t last long or be happy while it does last.
4. Your values are similar. When you share your tastes, interests, and values, you are much less likely to have conflicts. It’s more fun to be with a man when you have a similar sense of humor. You’ll both enjoy joking around with each other more. If you both enjoy living in the city, you won’t have to compromise or argue over where to live. When you’re both on the same page about children and how you save and spend money, that protects you against conflict and other strife and disappointment. Look for similar values when it comes to the big stuff.
5. His relationship style is similar. Are you both looking for the same kind of closeness? Is he OK with a long-distance relationship but it’s too hard for you? Do you want marriage and kids, but he needs his space? If you aren’t looking for the same kind of relationship, there will be much more conflict that might be impossible to resolve.
6. You can count on him. It’s crucial to find a man who’s reliable and practical. You want someone dependable and trustworthy. Imagine how hard it would be to have a partner who cancels plans or won’t do what he promised to help you with. Being with an unreliable partner is a disaster when real life hits. What’s more important – the average-looking guy who takes you to doctor’s appointments when you’re too sick to drive, or the guy who is selfish but looks like someone out of a magazine?
7. He is willing to do the work. People often believe that a couple is either meant to be or not. They think that relationships should always be easy and subject to destiny, or the way the stars and moon align. When hard times come around, and partners disagree or things aren’t as effortlessly romantic as they once were, they feel like the relationship is fatally flawed. People who are unrealistic and don’t acknowledge that relationships take work and dedication are more likely to give up during those inevitable tough times. You want a man who knows that tough times are going to come, and he’s committed to sticking it out. This is an important requirement of a life partner.
Appearance and luxury can be fleeting, but what sustains love is respect, understanding, empathy, trust, and shared dreams.
You may want to reconsider your requirements for a life partner so that you don’t eliminate a good prospect because he doesn’t meet somebody else’s ideal standard. Ask yourself: what do you really need to be happy in a relationship? Only you know the answer. Don’t let our culture sway your decision. Be honest with yourself about your needs and what you can and can’t live with.
What quality moves the needle for you in creating a deeply fulfilling relationship?
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