Straight Women Deserve Better From Men—Sincerely, A Lesbian

I’ve seen so many of my friends waste so much time with guys who aren’t worth it because they think that it’s just the way the world works. Wrong! Men are not hopeless and believing that is doing you and them a disservice. It’s time to pick the bar up off the ground and force guys to rise to the occasion because they can and you deserve it. Here are the building blocks to look for:

A hype man If you’re serious about a guy, he should be serious about you. He should be a serious part of your life and know what’s going on. He’ll cheer you on when you’re winning and cheer you up when you’re struggling. The old stereotype of guys rolling their eyes at their girlfriend’s interests is tired—if you’re dating a guy who can’t be excited for you, it might be time to let him go.

Someone who asks No one you’re dating will ever be able to read your mind no matter how hard they try or how long you’re together. But no matter what, the person you’re dating should be interested in what you’re doing. He should be asking about your day, your interests, your job. Knowing what’s up with you is not just for your friends. He should want to know what’s going on in your life and if he can’t do that, drop him like the bag of rocks he is.

A guy that feels Emotions are not reserved for just women. Society hasn’t done much for men to make them comfortable having emotions, but a guy who’s worth it is going to figure out how. There’s no excuse for a guy who can’t learn to express his emotions over the age of maybe 22; no matter how unnatural it might feel, it’s time for him to figure it out.

Someone who talks to you Some people prescribe to the myth that people in same-sex relationships have an easier time communicating. I personally think that’s crap. It’s easy for anyone to just sweep issues under the rug rather than deal with them, but having a partner who can communicate with you about everything from figuring out your finances to your admittedly strange Netflix choices is one worth keeping around.

A guy who tries No S.O. is going to be perfect. Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship can tell you that no matter how well you know someone or how well they know you, sometimes they’re still going to piss you off. That’s life. The important part of this is having someone that’s willing to put in the effort to fix the things that are really wrong.

Someone who tells the truth Maybe radical honesty isn’t your thing, and that’s totally OK, but straight women, you also deserve someone who can be honest with you when you ask. Whether it’s about how he feels about your friends or how he feels about Mexican for dinner. Don’t settle for a guy who shrugs off your questions just because he doesn’t feel like talking through anything.

A best friend  A lot of people look down on your S.O. being your best friend or think that it’s not really possible for men and women to be best friends. Honestly, straight women, you deserve a guy who can be your best friend. If you choose to lead a monogamous life, your guy is going to be the person you eventually spend most of your time with and someone you share thousands of meals and movie nights with. You absolutely deserve for that to be your best friend.

Someone who listens, not just someone who hears you The difference between someone who listens and someone who hears is enormous. So many men skate by in life without many people expecting them to really listen to what they’re saying, simply because “he’s a guy.” We all know that’s ridiculous. You don’t have to settle for some neanderthal who thinks he can get by on the bare minimum—there are way better guys out there.

It’s impossible to be all things to all people. Just remember that you should be happy and comfortable in your relationship. It shouldn’t feel like settling. It shouldn’t feel like “the best you’re going to get” because if it does, you’re wasting your time on a man who thinks he is already enough. Ladies, if you never raise the bar, guys are never going to raise it for you.

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