Hey friends! Happy Monday!
Yesterday, I asked y’all to submit some questions through IG stories for this weeks’ Ask Alyson Haley and I thought I would use one of them as inspiration for today’s blog post:
“You said you are picky when it comes to men so I’m curious what you are looking for in a future husband?”
I’ve gotten a lot of messages from y’all over the last week about singleness and dating after telling y’all about a recent date I went on while I was in London a few weeks ago. I saved this story to my Instagram highlights called ‘THE DATE’ in case you missed it and want to catch up! Being that y’all were so interested in this topic and so many of you fellow single ladies reached out in response to it, I thought it’d be fun to share what I look for in a future husband [I’m 33, y’all, so I’m not dating to just find someone to date, you know?] and tips for my fellow single ladies!
If you didn’t know …. singleness as you get up into your late 20’s and especially in your 30’s and beyond … is really, really tough! It’s not all bad but, it can be hard.
It often feels like you’re looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s easy to loose hope and feel like finding someone to do forever with is just not in your future. You also start to get really used to being single and doing everything on your own. You get used to not having intimacy, romantic love, and a teammate in your life and, sometimes, you kind of forget about your desire for those things. You become your biggest cheerleader and make your own dreams a reality.
It can feel isolating at times, as well. I remember I had found a church home a few years ago and I was meeting all of these really sweet girls my age who all seemed to connect a little more with each other because they had significant others. I’d see photos from barbecues and beach days of a bunch of couples together on Facebook and, while I didn’t take personal offense to it, I did feel a bit like my singleness was holding me back from community. More than that, you’re seeing engagements, pregnancy and birth announcements, baby and bridal shower photos, etc. that inadvertently remind you of what you don’t have. You should experience joy and happiness that so many people that you know and love are experiencing those really special moments in life, and you are, but as the years go by, it does get increasingly harder, especially as the people sharing those updates are much younger than you. You start to wonder ‘will I ever have one of those? .. a bridal shower? an engagement shoot? … will I ever experience the joy of seeing a positive pregnancy test?’
It can feel lonely at times. Tinges of jealousy can creep up when all of your friends have plans with their significant others on a Friday night, even though you truly are so happy for all of them. As you get older, your interest in going out – where you could potentially meet new people – lessens and can only make feeling like you’ll never find someone deepen.
I’m really making it feel like singleness in your 30’s feels like being at the bottom of a hole you really have no chance of getting out of, ha! But, honestly, y’all … it feels like that sometimes! You can be the most positive person, who typically has a very cheery outlook, but it can still be really tough, especially as your longing for it grows and grows over time.
But, despite all of these feelings, I’m learning that it’s important to be picky. You should know what you’re looking for. You should have your list of non-negotiables. You should know what you’re not willing to compromise on because forever is a long time to deal with aspects or traits of a person you weren’t wanting in your life to begin with. I do think that you will ALWAYS be pleasantly surprised, when you find your person, to find aspects / traits of their personality that you never knew you always wanted. But, for me, I can’t imagine living a life where it’s the other way around … where you allow something you’re not okay with into your life just for the sake of having someone.
If I have any advice for those of you who are also single, no matter your age … sit down and be honest with yourself about what you want, what you don’t want, what you could be okay with, what your hard boundaries [non-negotiables] are, etc. It will ONLY make finding that person all the more exciting.
Furthermore … and a point of clarification … do not live and die by every single item on the list. Staying hard on the non-negotiables is encouraged, for obvious reasons, but I’ve never been someone who has a long list of things my future husband HAS to have but, over time, I’ve seen the value in having a clue about what I’d like and what I won’t budge on. I hope that clarifies the point of this ‘list’. It’s important to not create a unicorn here, okay, ha! No one is ever going to be perfect. Everyone has flaws but, regardless of that, I think this is a good exercise for singles!
So, what are some of the things I’m looking for? What are some of my non-negotiables?
• Someone who is passionate, loves what he does, and is financially responsible. I am drawn to people who have an excitement and passion over what they do. It’s inspiring to me. I love what I do and I want to be with someone who shares that same love and motivation to get started everyday. More than that, I want someone who is mature in his spending, diligent about saving and pays off his credit card when it’s due. I have seen what financial irresponsibility can do to me, personally. It’s stressful. I can’t imagine what it would do to a couple. I want someone who shares the understanding of how important financial responsibility is.
• Someone who shares the same faith and core values as I do. This is something that I compromised on in a previous relationship and it put a huge strain of our relationship. I want a man who believes in God, isn’t afraid to show it, lets his faith guide him, and someone who wants going church to be a part of his life and our future relationship. I’m not saying this is a pre-requisite for success in a relationship. I know there are many couples who love each other and have very happy inter-faith based homes, and I think that’s great. For me, though, I really want my faith to be something I share with my person.
• Someone who believes in the sanctity of marriage. I was actually talking about this yesterday with my London gentleman. I want someone who only wants to get married once, whose also not looking to date for fun, and realizes that love stretches beyond an emotion. It’s a choice. Entering into a covenant of marriage shouldn’t be done lightly and it should be understood that life is a beautiful thing but there will surely be struggles. Consciously choosing to walk through those struggles, no matter how messy, with your person is extremely important. [PLEASE NOTE: I know it’s easy for the girl whose never been married to have this as something she hopes for. To some, it may seem too idealistic. Please know this isn’t something I say to make anyone feel ashamed of what they’ve walked through. I have friends who are divorced and I know they’re better off. I understand that most people don’t enter into marriage thinking ‘yeah, I mean, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll just divorce them’. So, please do not think this is me thinking less of people who have been divorced. That is most definitely not my stance.]
• Someone who wants kids. I cannot wait to be a Mom one day so being with someone who doesn’t want kids would not fly with me.
• Someone who doesn’t smoke. Huge non-negotiable for me. I cannot handle cigarette smoke. Smoking is so unattractive to me.
• Someone who loves dogs. I mean, because … duh. Fish and Chips also have to sniff him out first. Their approval, especially Fish’s, is everything to me 😉
• Someone who wants to date me for me [and not for what I do] and who understands and accepts that my job is very unconventional. So many bloggers out there have grown their blogs and Instagram’s, and seen success in this industry, after having already established a strong foundation with their significant other. Some of these significant others have played key roles in helping their wives rise to the top, which I think is so cool and inspiring when, historically, it’s the men who are wanting all of the success. Having experienced my own success in this industry all on my own is something I’m proud of but, it’s made me pretty weary of attracting the wrong person for the wrong reasons. I want to be with someone who thinks what I do is cool but isn’t super fussed over it. I definitely want someone who doesn’t mind helping me with a photo for Instagram from time to time, but, I mostly want someone who is more impressed with me as a person, not the person I share with you all on Instagram. That person is me but it’s the me that I am with my girlfriends. There is a side to every blogger that is reserved for their loved ones, their significant others, etc. There should be that special side that not everyone sees, you know? So, I want someone who is more interested in peeling back the layers and finding out who that person is. I also want someone who is understanding that my job is unconventional. I will be up early to cover sales, sometimes. I’ll have to put in hours on the weekends from time to time. I’ve dated someone where this didn’t fly so well. He expected me to be off when he was off work but, sadly, that’s just never going to be my life. Will I certainly protect our relationship by putting work away when I can? Absolutely. Y’all know I’m not that blogger that is ‘always on’ [I think that’s extremely unhealthy, actually … where literally from the time they wake up to the time they are in bed with their husband they are on IG stories; when did being an blogger / influencer become running your own reality TV show on IG?] but I do want someone to realize that sharing my life is part of what I do and I want him to be okay with unconventional hours and being a part of what I share from time to time. 🙂
• Someone who sees me as an equal. Call me a bit of a feminist [I may just say thank you if you choose to do so] but I want to be with someone who is okay with me working throughout our entire lives, doesn’t make me live within gender constructs around the house, is the biggest cheerleader of my dreams and helps me see them through, and is an active and equal teammate in all aspects of our lives. I have never been a woman who wants to let the man lead and run the household. That may ruffle some feathers as it’s not a traditional Christian outlook but, that’s okay for me. We all don’t have to agree. I’m looking for my complement, my teammate, someone to tackle this life together, and who believes we are equals.
• Someone who can talk openly about hard things. I think it’s the challenges one experiences in life that molds ordinary people into beautiful people. It sharpens compassion and kindness. I want someone who is fun and loves life but who isn’t going to shy away from talking about hard things and being open to see how those hard things can impact their lives. Being with someone who isn’t afraid of their feelings is something that is really important to me.
• Someone who is genuine, kind, honest and has a heart for ALL PEOPLE. This one speaks for itself. Some women want humor over kindness, and I love to laugh as much as the next person, but I think if I had to choose, I want someone I never have to question the validity of the words that are coming out of their mouth or be disappointed in the way they treat other people. I have been heartbroken and devastated over my first love lying and deceiving me, time and time again, and I’ve always wanted to be with someone whose behavior never makes me question their words. ‘Words of affirmation’ is my love language so the words people speak to me can weigh really heavily and I have a tendency to believe the words that come out of peoples’ mouths very quickly. That relationship taught me that words can be empty and untrue, so I need to be careful with who I let into my heart. So, I want someone who respects me and my heart by always being honest. I also want to see that they love people regardless of age, race, sexual preference, nationality, religious affiliation, etc.
• Someone I am attracted to and feel a strong connection with. So, this might be one of the most important ones! If I’m honest, I’ve dated men who are really good looking, that I trust completely, and that I get along with, but there is just ‘something missing’ and I know it’s the attraction and connection. I feel like it’s rare to have an unexplainable draw to someone and that’s what I want. People always say ‘looks aren’t everything’ and that’s true. I agree with that. I believe you can be attracted to a lot of different things about a person so, don’t misunderstand me here, hah!
• Someone who feels like ‘home’ every time I’m with them, like my soul is at rest and I can be completely myself. I actually had an experience recently where I was talking to someone and I just felt nervous the whole time. I didn’t feel like I could be myself and was later shamed for something I ordered at a restaurant. I literally felt so ashamed over something I wanted to eat … like, what? No. I will not be with someone who doesn’t just let me be myself and accepts me for who I am. Am I perfect? No. Do I expect the person I end up with to be perfect? Absolutely not. I think there’s always a loving way to say something or an sweet way to encourage someone you love to be better. I have recently been reminded how good it feels to be in the midst of someone who makes you feel so comfortable, adored and genuinely liked for who I am … and it’s a really good feeling.
This list is getting long so I’ll end it there but hopefully all of this isn’t too much to ask! Ha! 😉 I’m confident it isn’t. In case you’re wondering, I am still talking to the English gentleman that I mentioned I went on a date with when I was in London. Things are going well. I won’t tell y’all much about him yet. Time will tell how things will go but he definitely ticks all of these boxes and I’m really excited about him.
If you are currently single and have been for quite some time, here are a couple things to remember:
• Stay hopeful and confident that that person will come along. Don’t let your singleness cause you to hole yourself away. Get on dating app’s and cast a wide net! Swipe right on a variety of guys. Go on dates. Say yes to social events and opportunities to meet new people. I am horrible at this. I’m not going to even lie. I am such a homebody but, I do think there is power in saying yes to more things you typically say no to. It’s actually my New Years’ Resolution. And, actually, I only ended up going on a date with the guy I’m talking to in London because I reached out to HIM on Hinge. He had ‘liked’ one of my photos but I agreed to match and sent the first message! So, if anything, say YES to something than normally makes you really uncomfortable. You never know!
• Look for your complement, not your unicorn. In other words, don’t live within the confines of your entire list. Keep your non-negotiables as non-negotiables but allow yourself to just enjoy dating and discovering the beauty within the person in front of you. Maybe it won’t be fully obvious on the first date so also give them a couple more dates so you guys can figure it out. And, if you aren’t super excited about them, then let them go gently. I firmly believe you know whether you can see a future in about three dates. I’m sure someone may disagree, and that’s fine, but I think it gives you plenty of time to make a decision on whether you want to continue getting to know that person, especially if you’re dating to find your future spouse.
• Don’t be afraid to focus on yourself! Make this a season you look back on fondly! The only way you can be someone who is fun and pleasant to date is if you have made it a point to enjoy the life you’re living and have exciting things to share! It’s important to not rely on a new relationship to make you happy. You are responsible for your own happiness.
• With that said, realize your significant other is not going to complete you. It’s important to remember that relationships aren’t going to make all of your troubles away. Work on being the best version of yourself. Work on that happiness I mentioned above. Find contentment in this season of life and realize that finding a significant other that is a complement to you is just an added bonus! Knowing your worth doesn’t lie in another person will only benefit the relationship that is on the horizon.
Last year, I shared this blog post that Whitney wrote here on the blog and so many of you loved it. If you’re new around here, give it a read! She has such a way with words. It will really encourage you.
This was such a fun post to write! Hope y’all enjoyed it! This outfit was what I wore the last day Victoria and I were in Amsterdam. It had been gloomy most of the days we were there so you can clearly see how happy I am here, hah! It may be warming up for some of you but if you’re still needing to sport some layers, it’ll hopefully give you some inspiration! I’ve got a few travel posts coming your way over the next couple of weeks – travel bags, travel shoes, Amalfi Coast, and hopefully where to stay in London during your first trip! So, be sure to subscribe to daily posts so you don’t miss anything!
If you are married or have been with someone for a long time, I think it’d be so fun if you could leave your tips for us single ladies in the comments! What are some qualities that were on your non-negotiable list? Or, what would you recommend adding to this list? We’re all ears! xo.