I’m Dating To Find A Husband — Here’s How That Changes My Approach

When I decided I wanted to get married, the first step I took was to stop dating jerks. Sounds easy, but it does take effort and discernment —meaning I had to start using my judgment more wisely. In a world full of dating apps, there are plenty of opportunities to find a date, but when you’re dating to find a husband, you have to change your approach.

I don’t rely solely on dating apps. Tinder is notoriously known as the hookup app, and while I have two friends that met their husbands on there, I have more friends that haven’t had such luck. Dating apps aren’t ideal when searching for hubby, but I’ve discovered that apps like Bumble, where women make the first move, are a better platform when looking for the real deal. While dating online, I make sure to read profiles carefully. Sometimes I recruit a trusted friend to sit next to me while I was swiping to weigh in with their opinion. That being said, I’m also selective about where I spend my social time. The club may be fun, but it’s not necessarily ideal for getting to know someone. I try to spend time at lounges, cigar bars, sports bars, coffee shops, and happy hours — places with relaxed atmospheres attract a more mature crowd.

I have a list of must-have qualities. I asked myself what I truly wanted in a partner and wrote it down. The partner I saw myself with at 16 is completely different from the one I envisioned myself with at 26. Writing down qualities that I find attractive is extremely helpful in keeping me focused. I often read over my list to make sure it’s up to date and that nothing has changed, and to manifest those qualities in the people I meet. 

I cut off casual relationships. Out with the old, in with the new. To attract a husband, I know I have to clear the way for him. That meant cutting off that oh-so reliable booty call. That relationship wasn’t going anywhere anyway, so why string it along? Yes, it kept me occupied on a lonely night, but if I truly want a husband to occupy that space, I have to clear my mind and prepare for him. 

I’m always checking my location. If possible, I’d love to pack it up and move to a new city. I want to go where I have options. The best cities for singles might not be places I’ve ever visited or even thought about, but it’s interesting to see where people are having more luck in dating. It may feel weird to do this kind of research, but who cares? Knowledge is power, as they say.

I’m not shy about asking tough questions. Yes, I treat every date like a job interview. Do you want children? Yeah, it’s not a sexy question for a first date, but I still want the answer. I used to shy away from asking the hard stuff because I thought it would turn a guy off. However, I’ve started asking them as a sort of litmus for whether or not he’s on my wavelength. If I’m dating a married-minded man, he should be thinking about his future. I want to know what those thoughts are because I don’t want to waste my time.

I make sure to come prepared. All this talk about him, now I need to take a long, hard look in the mirror. Thinking about marriage is one thing, but being prepared for it is another. Would I marry me? Am I the kind of person someone else would want to be with long-term? Readying myself for partnership means dropping off baggage like self-doubt, trust issues,  etc. Now is the time to sort out my mess. I would even consider seeking counseling to make sure I’m in a good place for the relationship that I’m seeking.

I ask older people for advice. The married people I know give good advice when it comes to dating. Someone in a union you wish to be in is better prepared to tell you what to look for, right? I wouldn’t consult a family member in a miserable marriage because I already know what their advice is going to be. Older women in different life stages are equipped with much more experience and their advice gives me a healthy dose of reality when I need it most. The same is true for older men too! Not all, but many can attest to how they behaved as young daters versus when they knew they were ready for marriage.

I make guys wait. Unpopular opinion, but I make sure to wait for a while to have sex with someone. While it’s my body and I can do what I want with it, that’s kind of the point. There is some correlation between higher marital success and waiting to have sex. I want to be sure we’re both showing up as our true selves before I jump in. I’m sure we’ve all dated the guy who changed shortly after sleeping together. I know I have! Since I’m dating to find my husband, I’m trying to avoid guys like that. Making him wait a little while should allow time for him to reveal his true intentions. If sex is all he’s texting me about after the second date, he’s clearly not my future husband.

I don’t settle if I can tell a guy’s not into me. Actions speak louder than words. I don’t let a guy that says all the right things trip me up. He may know what to say, but is he putting forth the effort to get to know me? Every time we communicate, I should not be the one to initiate. Every time we plan a date, I should not be the one creating the plans. A guy who wants me is going to put in the effort. If he’s not, I move on.

I stay open-minded. Yes, I know I made a list, but no one is going to meet 100% of my criteria. I know that I’m not perfect and I don’t expect my future spouse to be. But I also know what I’m willing to compromise on and what I’m not. I can’t continue to date in the same way if I’m looking for a husband. So, I need to step outside of my comfort zone, be friendly, explore new activities, and keep my eyes open for someone with similar values. 

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