How to Find (and Keep) a Good Man
Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.
1. Family Law Tip of the Week
Remember – you have a choice about your attorney. If you feel ignored, disrespected or mistreated by your attorney, you have the right to let that person go and find someone who better meets your needs!
2. How to Find (and Keep) a Good Man
If you ever wonder where all the good men have gone or whether there are any good men left in the world – never fear. They are out there! In this episode of The Family Law Insider Podcast, Thomas Fiffer, an executive editor at The Good Men Project, talks to us about how to court a good man.
Good Men Do Exist
“They’re actually everywhere in plain sight.”
There’s a myth that there are no good men in the world or there are very few. One reason a lot of women who are looking for a good man don’t see them is because there’s this belief good men don’t exist. You’re not going to see something if you don’t believe that it exists. However, if you’re looking for it (or him), if you look at the way men interact with colleagues and with women or other people every day, then you’re open to the idea that there really are some good men out there. When you’re open, it’s easier to see a good man when he’s right in front of you.
“Be open to the idea that they exist.”
It’s not necessarily a huge risk just to have a conversation with somebody. You might be pleasantly surprised. We’re exposed to influences of media and pop culture, and they thrive on pushing that little button in your brain that resonates the stereotypes: Men are aggressive and stupid. One that’s really troubling to Tom is the stereotype that men are stupid. There are so many sitcoms where men are bumbling, insensitive idiots. In Tom’s own words, “… most of us are not like that.”
Definition Of “A Good Man”
“There’s no one-and-only definition.”
The core of a really good man is how he conducts himself in his relationships. The core of conduct is respect. You can know whether someone is a good man within the first 5 minutes of interacting with him. If this is a person who respects you, your being, your space, or a boundary that you put up, you can pretty easily determine whether this is a person who embraces respect as the core of his conduct.
But that also cuts two ways–a man who embraces respect as a core of conduct also looks for (and really demands) respect from a partner.
Many first dates occur in a bar or a restaurant. How a man respects your choice in the menu is a good sign. But how does he treat the waiter? How a man treats people other than his date gives a better clue of how respectful he is, because he’s probably going to be in his best behavior on the first date.
Some people do put on an act to get their needs met. Tom claims that one of the warning signs you should look for is when everything seems almost too perfect in the beginning. If the person is almost mirroring everything you’re saying, those could be warning signs. Another sign is somebody asking for a favor and then rewarding you with a gesture or gift that is totally out of scale with what you’ve asked for and received.
Equality And Attentiveness
“Being able to disagree is also part of being respectful.”
When a man disagrees in a constructive way, he is actually emotionally intelligent enough to respect differences in opinions. A good man treats the other person’s needs equal to his. For Tom, a good man wants to know your preferences, because he wants to make you happy. If you meet somebody who really is interested in what you enjoy and wants to help you enjoy more of that, then that’s a very good sign.
“Everybody’s time is valuable.”
Being passionately involved in his work and drawing a boundary is one thing. But having a man constantly being asked for attention and him not giving it is a sign of a relationship without a lot of intimacy; it means you’re not being treated as an equal.
Side-by-side with giving attention is the concept of respecting the other person’s time. We all have choices about what we do with our time when we’re not obligated to be at work. When a person devotes his time, it’s a gift to the other person. Recognizing and appreciating (the gift) that this person is making a choice to be with you creates a foundation of appreciation in a relationship.
How To Court A Good Man
“No meltdowns, no drama, no crisis-to-crisis.”
A good man has his own psychological act together and also wants you to have your psychological act together, to0. If the whole conversation on the first date is about this guy’s horrible boss and how he’s just in this terrible situation, what is he doing about it besides complaining to you? That would be a tip-off that when the relationship sours, you’re the one he’s going to be complaining about to whoever listens. A good and mature man can be honest with you about him being unhappy with his job and looking for another position, but not constantly complaining about it.
Good men also won’t enable their partners if those things are happening on the other side. If you’re complaining about your terrible job and that becomes a theme, a good man will want call you on it if you’re not doing anything about it.
Tom cannot emphasize this enough. A good man despises games. He’s forthright and direct. If you like him, let him know that you like him. If you’re dating and he calls you, he expects you to answer or call him back.
”No worship and no assumptions.”
A good man does not really want to be worshipped or told that he’s perfect. He knows that he isn’t perfect. If you’re putting him on a pedestal, you’re just setting him up. At some point in a relationship, expectations cannot be met. Putting a man in a pedestal will inevitably force him to bring himself down and humanize himself… That’s a very uncomfortable position for a man to be in.
As with any human being, positive reinforcement is a good thing. Compliment and praise what you like. Gently point out what you don’t like. Complimenting and praising what you do like is an affirmation that can go a long way.
“Set him up for success.”
There’s a real fear of letting the partner down in the stereotypical ways that are associated with masculinity. Asking for something that a man cannot afford as a proof of love is a recipe for disaster; you are going to cut that man to shreds. A really good solid man won’t do that, but it still puts him in an uncomfortable position because he doesn’t want to let you down. Tom feels that giving a man easy ways to do you favors can really actually build up and reinforce the relationship.
“Men have all of those emotions too.”
Tom claims that a good man would be looking for somebody who is supportive, attentive, who hears him, and someone with whom he can really be open. As with everyone else, men have feelings, fears and uncertainties, too. Tom says men are often put in the position of the protector (the one who has to express certainty), and they are expected to say, “Everything’s going to be fine, don’t worry.” However, men worry just like women do. Tom thinks that creating an emotional space where a man feels safe expressing those things is really important to having a successful relationship.
Tom shares this advice for the couple who is financially struggling: If your man is trying to make things happen along with you, then join him in his thoughtful worry about whatever these issues are. He wants to have a partner who can hear concerns, without having an angry reaction.
3. Thoughts From the Life Coach
In today’s thoughts, James talks with us about how to love.