People often ask what I'm looking for in a man. For a very long time I listed the following: kind, funny, intelligent. And if I I could be really picky: tall, with a nice head of hair.
But the older I get, the wiser I am (sort of). And so this is what I say now:
1. Is he good? Is he a good man? Is the core of him--the mettle of him--good? Which is different than mere kindness, it's rounder, sturdier. For me now, all affection begins and ends with the other person's goodness. Charm and personality and charisma, intelligence and drive and humor are all lovely, lovely things. But they don't mean much unless they're built on a solid foundation.
2. Can he admit fault? Admit he was wrong?
and 3. Can he apologize?
Just because a man is good doesn't mean 2. and 3. come easily to him. And I gotta tell you, 2. and 3. didn't come easily to me. But I watched enough people struggle with those two things to realize that to not be able to do them is 1. ugly 2. prohibitive and 3. reveals insecurities faster than anything else. And that the more you do them, the easier they become. I'm not talking about a pushover, I'm talking about a person who can argue and actually listen to the other points being made. A person who can offer kindness and empathy because he's not so mired in his own shit. Someone who can ride the wave instead of being dragged under by it. Those two things are actually about the ability to adapt. And the older (and wiser) I get, the more I understand Darwin was on to something with adaptation. It's a valuable, valuable thing.