I Used To Want These Things In A Boyfriend, But Now My Standards Are Higher

The things we want in a partner often change as we grow older, and it definitely happened for me. I used to dream of a guy who had these qualities, but now that I’m more mature, I’ve realized they aren’t so special after all:

  1. Mystery I used to think it was so hot when a guy acted mysterious by keeping me on my toes. Was he going to call? Did he actually like me? For a while it was like sweet torture, but then it stopped feeling so sweet. I realized that what I liked to call “mysterious” was often just a shady guy with something to hide.
  2. Supermodel good looks It’s awesome to be dating a guy who’s physically perfect, but honestly, the fun doesn’t last. Really hot guys often have lots of drama attached to them, and they almost always know how hot they are. They often eat up the attention they get from other women, and it’s rare that you actually find a guy whose personality is just as awesome as his appearance.
  3. A big package I used to think a man with a large penis was so hot and sexy. Plus, he was sure to be amazing in bed. The truth, though, is that just because a man has a large penis doesn’t always mean he’ll be great in bed. Some guys with large members pride themselves on their size, but great sex requires great technique. Now, I’d rather have a guy with a smaller penis who knows how to please me.
  4. A party personality He walks into a boring event and turns it around. Everyone likes him. He’s always having fun and got amazing or funny anecdotes to entertain people. I used to love being around guys like this. They had such an uplifting energy. There was always a great time to be had in their presence. The only catch is that once I’d take them out of the party scene, they were boring AF. They only knew how to entertain people and had no idea how to interact one-on-one.
  5. Bad boy qualities I loved the bad boys. They were sexy, confident and broke the rules. But after a while, they always ended up bringing an annoying amount of drama into my life. The bad boys I dated ended up being drug addicts, selfish, or plain old jerks. Yikes.
  6. A wild sense of humor A sense of humor is a great quality in a boyfriend, but too much is annoying. I used to love the light-hearted spirit of a guy who was always cracking jokes, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that a guy who can never be serious is just as bad as a guy who never laughs. These days, I know better than to date the former class clown.
  7. Charm A while back, I felt like a million bucks when a guy really knew how to flatter me. But it was more than that: a charming guy is persuasive. He knows how to deal with people to get what he wants and make things happen. But after dating lots of charming guys, I realized there’s not a huge leap from charm to manipulation. Lots of douchebags are charming — it’s how they get women to like them and distract them from the game they’re playing.
  8. Close friendships with women I used to think it was great if a guy I was dating had lots of female friends: This meant he could relate to women and understood them. That may be true sometimes, but now that I’ve matured a bit, I know better than to date a guy who only has female friends. I’ve experienced firsthand how easily that so-called “platonic” friendship can become a romance.
  9. A love of texting. At one point of my life, I wanted a guy who would text me all day, every day. But when I dated a guy who treated his phone like a body part and was constantly blowing up my phone, I realized he was clingy AF. It became super creepy and a huge bummer. Real life conversation is so much more fulfilling than staring at a screen.
  10. Romance A romantic guy was once the ultimate relationship goal for me. But after having one too many candlelit dinners and receiving boxes of chocolates galore, I realized my need for romance was really about other, more meaningful things. Now I can appreciate those cliche romantic gestures, but it means a lot more when a guy asks about my day or remembers my Chipotle order. Any guy can bring home a bottle of champagne and flowers, but I’m really after a guy who treats me well and doesn’t need a grand gesture of romance to prove it.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.