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Ask The Good Enough Guy: Where Are All The GOOD Men?

…AND WHERE CAN I FIND THEM?

Hi Will: 

Everyone says you can find good men in blue-collar jobs. Well, I say, it doesn’t matter the profession, all men are dogs! I’ve tried rich men, middle-class men, bus drivers, heck even my garbage man. I’ve even dated a few I didn’t even consider attractive because love comes in all shapes and sizes.  I’m always receptive to any and all invitations, but as soon as we exchange numbers, they are trying to convince me that they are husband material and perfect for me. NO! They can’t be because as soon as the initial date is over I don’t hear from half of them and the other half only call me to complain about their baby momma drama or momma drama or lost job/car or whatever drama which, coincidentally is why he can’t see me again anytime soon.

I’m a 38-year-old, confident, self-made woman. I don’t have any children. I live in an apartment that rivals most and pay all my own bills. I’m not looking for a walking check; I’m looking for my soul mate. My friends’ mates all seem to have one or two quirks, but I see the love they have for their women and that’s all I want for me. Are there good men left out there or am I just doomed?

 Mission Impossible

Hey M.I.,

Wow. Where shall I begin? For starters, if all the men you’re dating are dogs, then either you’re acting like a piece of meat or shopping at a dog pound. There are seven BILLION people on the planet and roughly half of them are men so until you’ve dated all of them, you can’t say that “…all men…” are anything. Secondly, if this is your mind set while you’re looking for a man, I’m not surprised you can’t find one. Trust me; not only are there still some good ones out there; there are some GREAT ones. But what you need to do first is one of the easiest to say and hardest to do: change how you think. Let’s get started:

In your letter, I count at least a dozen examples of WRONG thinking when it comes to finding a man, keeping a man, and making a relationship work. You’d need to read a whole book that I don’t have time to write! A few examples:

“All men are dogs”…(We’ve discussed that one.)

“…good men in blue-collar jobs”… This sounds degrading. The color of a man’s collar is as insignificant as the color of his skin when it comes to relationships. A good man would pop his blue collar as he walked away from you.

“…heck, even a garbage man…” I’ve got an uncle who’s a garbage man who’s a better man than most, makes close to six figures, and has been happily married for more than 20 years.

“…I’ve even dated a few I didn’t consider attractive…” Why in the hell would you date someone you weren’t attracted to? In the early stages of a relationship, the attraction is what makes us think the other person’s faults are cute. That’s the whole meaning behind the saying “love is blind!” Who wants to be with a person they think is ugly for a long time?

“…Receptive to any and all invitations…” How are you gonna see the right guy if the wrong guys are always in your way? Be picky; ’til death do us part is a long time.

“…As soon as we exchange numbers they are trying to convince me that they are husband material…” And how do they know you’re shopping for a husband within ten minutes of talking to you? Because any club hound worth his player card can smell a “shopping woman” a mile away, and of course he’ll try to sell her what he thinks she’s shopping for.

Okay, I think you get my point. So how do we fix it? Simple. There is nothing impossible about your mission, but just like any mission, you need a goal, you need a map and you need a strategy.

*THE GOAL:  Sit down with a pen and paper and design the man you need. Notice that I did not say the man you want: big difference. You may want a rich man, but you may need a man who’s frugal and can help you curb your shopping and reach your goals. You may want a body like Arnold with a Denzel face, but you may need a man who’s attractive but doesn’t spend more time in the gym and in the mirror than you do. So what do you need in a man? Be realistic but detailed. How tall is he? What color are his eyes? Are his hands rough or smooth, and why? What does he do for fun? What makes him happy? Be as thorough as you can… remember; you’re creating your soul mate.

*THE MAP: If you followed the directions above, you should have a pretty good picture of the man you need in your life (your goal), and if you were as meticulous as you should have been, it is probably pretty clear where to find him. Seriously. If he looks like he spends a lot of time in the gym, guess where he probably is? If he wears a suit and tie or other high end clothing, where does he buy them? Does he work with his hands, does he hunt or fish, is he very spiritual, is he an avid reader? And by this thinking, the only reason a woman would look for a husband in a night club is if she wanted a man who likes to stay out late, party all night, and try to pick up women. I’m just saying..

*THE STRATEGY: Listen closely: you are not shopping for a man; you’re hunting for your man. Shopping means going out, looking around aimlessly, bouncing from place to place, picking up this and that, and coming home with something you don’t want and will want to exchange tomorrow. Hunting means deciding what you really want and then going to the place where that thing is with the tools and the mindset to bring it home. If you’re hunting for a deer, don’t bring home a rabbit just because he asked to go home with you. If you’re looking for a tiger, don’t waste you’re time listening to squirrels talk about their baby’s mommas. Clear the riff-raff out of your life, decide that the man you want IS NOT a dog, and don’t settle for less than what you bring to the table. You deserve to be happy, but it’s up to you to make yourself that way.

I know there’s a lot here to take in all at once and if I could get it past my editor, I’d write a lot more. I hate to see good women with bad attitudes because they’ve dated what I call “almost men”. Don’t make the good ones pay for the nonsense the bad ones get away with. There are hard-working, intelligent, honest, loyal, guys out there who are looking for good women to appreciate them. Trust me, once you drop the bad habits, change the negative attitude, kick the knuckleheads to the curb, and start hunting for yours, you’ll find and you’ll love him,  quirks and all. Write me back when you do; I love to hear when I’m right!

 

William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing.

8 Comments

  1. Tiffany T

    December 3, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Perfect! This is so true. I had a lot of relationship hurt with very little success at finding a good man until a year or two before I found my husband. Once I changed my mindset & figured out what I needed, I found a great guy. This particular relationship didn’t end up working out, but it was still a good one with a good man, which gave me the confidence that I needed to “hunt out” my husband. (I say that because I definitely did the hunting here! He was way too shy!)

    What Will is saying is true. I have the perfect man for me who loves & serves me & our son endlessly. And the more he gives, the happier I want to make him. It’s a great give-and-take, if you can start giving yourself & find someone else who will do the same. 🙂

  2. vanzell

    December 3, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    dear M.I., Wil has given you much to work with and Tiffany has shared the additional element of give-and-take that is essential to the success of any relationship. but I will suggest that you do not go on a hunt for your man but simply set your goals and be prepared to be found by your man. allow your goals to set the standard for what is acceptable for you when men approach you. your goals, when properly set, will do the job of weeding out the unacceptable advances and help you avoid wasting time with them. but be aware that you can set some unacceptable and even unattainable goals, so double and triple check the goals that you set.

    most men are hunters and will find that you being on the hunt is competition. there is something about a coy, yet confident woman that challenges us to be the men that we should be but not challenge us to be competitive with you for your emotions, time and affection. we each have a role to play that truly maximizes the benefits of the relationship. men are always on the hunt, but the methods of hunting do vary… be mindful that your hunter may have a method that is not so apparent but is still fun, exciting and engaging. hope all of the advice and experiences shared help.

  3. Will Jones

    December 3, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    Tiffany- Thank you so much for the compliment. Having the proper mindset is important in any thing we do, but even more so when it comes to relationships because people feed off of the energy they recieve from others. Two positive people have a great chance of being happy, where as if either person has a negative outlook, the other has to work twice as hard to keep things positive. Believing you’ll be happy goes along way toward being happy! Thanks for commenting.

    Vanzell-You’re right… in a way. We do think we do all of the hunting. And letting us think it is part of the trick. My grandmother use to say, “a man chases a women around and around, until she finally catches him.”
    Men are natural hunters, like wolves, sharks, tigers, etc but a lot of women make the mistake of “setting a trap” with their bodies as the bait. They go to clubs dressed as close to naked as they legally can and offer their bodies as a trade for a chance to get to know a man. This is the same as putting yourself on a giant hook and dragging yourself behind a boat to catch a shark: you may find what you’re after, but you’ll probably be chewed up and spit out before it’s over.

    Smart women use a man natural hunting instincts to her advantage, making herself available in the places where he hunts, using the the illusion of what she brings to the table as the bait, and drawing the “hunter” in for a closer look. it’s then we are shown what all she really has to offer, and we decide it is worth the extra effort it takes to get it. At that point, we are “trapped” right where we wanted to be all along! Ya gotta love the game. LOL

  4. A Daughter

    December 4, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Very interesting piece…I don’t know the gal in this letter, but I can identify with being single and in my 30’s (31 in fact). I also don’t know how she feels about God. I thought a wife is to be sought after; she is not to be the seeker. Maybe praying in advance for the man who finds her is in order? But one thing I found very interesting was the term “self made”. I don’t know, but isn’t that a turn-off to men? Even though she says she’s ready for a husband, is it possible that she’s giving off non-verbal cues that she’s too independent for a husband? I say that because as an independent, single gal myself, I’ve begun to wonder if my no-nonsense , all work and rarely play independence is a facade….am I really afraid to fall in love and let someone be there for me? It’s a thought… But I think we women can have grandiose ideas of what our prospective mates will be, but some of us are really afraid to let a man be who he’s suppose to be. Will, you said to make a list. If a list is to be made, should it be a list of the things you want in a husband based on the values you hold most dear to you and where you are? I.E. Why want a rich man when you are a poor financial steward over your own finances? Looks are important, too! Specificity is key…guys are! I have such a list…made it 2 years ago and it’s ever changing because I change. But I have a list of faults and flaws, too, because all relationships should be built with honesty and trust from the start, right? As while I wouldn’t just spell the list out on the first date, eventually I would tell my prospective guy. This whole site Rene has is about “imperfection being the new black” and that not only applies to parenting, but to life in general. Even with the “perfect” man, marriage is work. I feel if you don’t want to work, don’t pray and ask to be a Mrs. Anybody! I also have my brothers who have married awesome wives. Some of the things I’ve gathered from my brothers are the many qualities they noticed in their wives early on (besides having God first while single and being pretty): 1.) were they fun and silly by themselves (the crazy, sexy, cool element), 2.) did they have personal standards, 3:) were they honest , supportive, and kind just because, 4.) would they be good mothers, 5.) and were they good listeners.

    See, I love this conversation because it’s caused me to make another self reflection. I don’t pray to be found because I don’t know that I’m ready. Am I too selfish? Am I lovable? It’s easy to look within my family dynamic; wonderful marriages are rare in mine. I come from a LONG line of strong women with ironclad work ethics, but no real men growing up as examples. it’s in my blood. The odds are great and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t bother me. I know I shouldn’t throw gloom and doom on something that hasn’t begun, but I’ve allowed it to make me unavailable and busy with being independent. And this is just a few of my hang-ups about it. Am I wrong in my assessment…too brutally honest? I’ve been told by men that I’m pretty intimidating…don’t mean to be, but I’m beginning to understand why. ,,,,and I can’t believe I just wrote all this, but this is a very real subject, you know. Thanks for reading anyway.

  5. m.e. johnson

    December 4, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    @Daughter: Wow! You certainly bared your innards. That’s pretty brave. Let me say this to you and M.I.: Something will happen when you least expect it. Like when you’re looking for your keys, can’t find them. Then you go on to something else, look down and voila! there they are.

    I wish you both much happiness.

  6. A Daughter

    December 4, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    @m.e. johnson: Yeah, I guess I did just put it out there. LOL! As I’ve said before…I’m an honest chick and I’m told it’s refreshing, but it catches folk off guard. You know what’s ironic? Someone said me something along the lines of what you said at church today. Another person asked me “when are you gonna get married?” I laughed hysterically because her blanketed question freaked me out! While most ladies can’t wait for the question to be popped, I hide! LOL! See, I am learning to be happy in my singleness and be comfortable in my own skin because it’s unfair for Mr. Wonderful to come along and do what I need to do a better job of doing now: loving me. I guess I care a great deal about this man…though he doesn’t know me and I don’t know him. I figure if I was ready to be married, he would’ve found by now. But I like to think that we are both in hiding because neither one of us ready….which gives me time to work on me some more. And thank you for the well wish! 🙂

  7. Will Jones

    December 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    -A Daughter,

    I love that you put so much thought into my answer and into the question itself. I agree with you 100% that a wife should be sought after, but I don’t think that lets her off of the hook as far as being found is concerned. I think prayer is a wonderful start. I don’t usually suggest it to the people who write in and ask me for help because religion is an area where it’s easy to argue and hard to hear, but I do offer to pray for people because I personally know that it helps. I also know that God blesses work. I believe that anything we want, we should pray for, and then go after. Finding a man is an area where women can fall into what’s called analysis paralysis: they can think on it, worry over it, over-think it, stress over it, and get so wrapped up in it that they never actually DO anything about it. It’s kind of like couples who pray for a baby: praying is a great start, but there’s some other stuff you have to do too!

    I’m not saying that a woman should hit a man over the head with a club and drag him to her cave. I’m saying that, in her preparation to be found, she needs to make herself visible (physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, etc) to the one that she wants to find her. And you’re definitely right about the thinking behind the process. A woman who looks unapproachable won’t get approached very often. This includes the “self-made, independent, no-nonsense, ‘I don’t really need a man’” mindset. When the average guy sees that, he’s going to assume that she is unavailable and not take the time to find out why.

    I suggest the list because I have seen it work first hand, but only if the writer is honest enough with themselves to admit their own shortcomings and understand that they will need a partner who will shore them up in those areas and not fold under the pressure that they will at some point put on that person. As you said, women shouldn’t ask for a rich person if they know they are not a good steward over their own finances. We should try our best to be our best because the person who is perfect for us deserves the best we can give them.

    Of course, over the years, some of the things on your list will change, but that would be just as true if you had actually met the man of your dreams when you wrote the first list. Over the years, the things that make him attractive to you and a good mate for you will change. I met my own wife nearly twenty years ago, and the things that made her perfect for me then can’t hold a candle to the things that make her perfect for me now! I’ve grown, she’s grown, and luckily, we’ve grown closer together. But marriage is most definitely hard work. Love is a verb: it’s something that you have to do every day. Finding the perfect man for you is not the end nor does it guaruntee the the “happily ever after” but with enough work it can be the beginning of it.

    I’m sooooooo glad you wrote in, and I’d love to hear more from you!

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