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5 Qualities to Look for in a Guy Before Settling in a Relationship

5 Qualities to Look for in a Guy Before Settling in a Relationship

The bar is set high in our visually stimulating, Snapchatting, Tinder-swiping world. And because of that, we women have developed a reputation for being overly picky and uncommitted when it comes to the men we chose to tango with. The dating struggle truly is real.

But ladies, its time for us to be real. How many of us have written off a guy because of some foible (he over-references Star Wars) or a bad habit (like leaving the toilet seat up), when we didn’t even get a chance to see his quality? Little did you know that guy you dumped last week takes his grandma out for breakfast every Sunday,  he tutors high-school geometry for free, and even does standup comedy on the weekends. But man, leaving the toilet seat up was a deal-breaker!

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There are so many great men out there that have the qualities we really need, if only we can look past their quirks. From one imperfect and sometimes picky lady to another, these are qualities in a man you should really be looking for:

1. He is straightforward

He isn’t afraid to tell you “how it is”, and at first, this is a hard quality to come to terms with. We are so used to living in a passive-aggressive world where we shrug things off, or just say “It’s okay” and let the emotions fester. A straightforward and honest man wants to really know what’s wrong because he wants to help. Unfortunately with this comes “tough love”, because you are going to hear things that you really don’t want to here. But, in the long run its best to here it head on and deal with it.

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2. He can laugh at himself

Life is tough, and it’s even tougher if you take it too seriously. That’s why it’s important to have a co-pilot who isn’t afraid to laugh at himself when things go to hell. Why? Because fit hits the shan more often than not,  and would you rather be with Gordon Ramsay or Seth Rogen when you get in a fender bender on the way to your boyfriend’s promotion party?

3. He is generous with his time

It is a cliché, but we women like things—flowers, shoes, jewellery, chocolate. So when that Hallmark holiday rolls around we expect our man to give us these things and If he doesn’t deliver, he obviously doesn’t care about our relationship.

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This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Men who give their time rather than money are rarities. A man who will give you his attention is more precious than that Coach bag you’ve been coveting. Contrary to popular culture, being frugal with your money is important, because if you are going to be with someone for the long haul, you want to know you will be financially set. A man who values time and memories over material things is priceless.

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4. He is compassionate

One of the most powerful emotions is empathy, or the ability to comprehend and embrace someone else’s trials or jubilation. A man who can understand your sorrow but also take joy in your joy is beautiful. He always tries to put himself in other people’s shoes so he can see the world as it is, and do his best to move forth in a positive manner.

5. He learns from his mistakes

By default, we humans are all imperfect creatures and make more mistakes than we will ever admit. Given that, the best quality a man can possess is the ability to say “I was wrong” and to move forward to fix it. The greatest minds in the world and the most successful entrepreneurs have experienced failure and defeat, but instead of hiding from it, they openly embrace it. A good man will admit he is wrong, a great man will admit he is wrong and will become a better person because of it.

Featured photo credit: Affectionate young couple kissing via shutterstock.com

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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