The Measure of a Man

Let’s Be Frank: The Diary of a Divorced Gay Dad

Okay, so I’ve now been burned, ditched, dropped and heartbroken six ways from Sunday, and I’m sick and tired of it. Being a writer, I made cathartic notes during my upsets, and as a result have created something valuable. I’ve complied a short list of qualities that I want in my future man. These are very broad ideas, and nothing too extraordinary. I am willing to bend a little, but overall he must possess the majority of the following:

  • He must be nice to me. This sounds very basic, but I’ve been shocked at the number of guys who play nice in the beginning, and then the horns come out a few weeks in. I don’t need someone unusually nice, because that’s annoying. Just a standard, “Goldilocks” level of nice will do just fine. Bitchy gay guys are the biggest turn-off in the world, which is exactly why I make fun of them on Twitter.

  • He must make me laugh. I’m not expecting the gay male version of Amy Schumer, but he needs to be able to keep up with my wit. I couldn’t tell you the last time I truly LOL’d, so if he can make me do that, it’s major bonus points. A sharp sense of humor can carry a person a very long way with me.

  • He must be able to empathize. This is a HUGE one for me. I am over guys who have tunnel vision and can’t see past their own arrogant lives. If I am going through something, I want him to at least make an attempt to understand how I feel. If, for whatever reason, I cry about something, and he tells me to suck it up, I’ll tell him to get the f*ck out. I’m not playing the victim here – I don’t want sympathy, I want empathy.

  • We must have good sex. Yeah, and I’m talking about close to mind-blowing sex. A good deep connection, amazing chemistry. I want to want him all the time and vice versa. I’ve had relationships like that, so I know it’s achievable. I bring my own cards to the table and expect him to do the same.

  • He must be a good boyfriend. This sentence holds a lot of weight, because this is not an easy thing. To me, it seems that a large number of guys have no idea how to be a good boyfriend. Hell, I’m still learning that myself – it’s an ongoing process. At the end of the day, you know if he’s good or bad because of how you yourself feel after being with him. If he lets you go to bed upset, or causes you constant worry because he’s scared to give you affirmations – he’s a bad boyfriend. I have literally zero room for any more bad boyfriends in my life. I can smell them from a mile away now. They can keep walking.

  • He must be honest/loyal. I’m a monogamy guy once I’m with someone. I don’t give a flying f*ck if that’s outdated or whatever, it’s who I am. I want to find a similar man who can be both honest and loyal to me. They go hand in hand to build trust, which is paramount in any relationship. Unfortunately, these qualities seem to be rare nowadays, but I know when I meet Mr. Right, I’ll be all the man he needs.

  • He must take care of himself. DING! DING! DING! DING! DING! This is priority number one if I’m going to enter into something serious with a guy. If he has issues, that’s fine, but he needs to deal with his issues. I’m not going to be the one who blows the whistle, he needs to blow it himself. Additionally, fitness is a big part of my life and therefore I want it to be a big part of his. He doesn’t have to have a six-pack, but he has to get to the gym regularly, like me, and hopefully with me.

  • He must be proud and supportive of me. It’s really obvious to me when I’m dating someone and they’re not. I have a lot going on in my life and am extremely supportive of the person I’m with. That can’t be a one-way street. If I remotely question lack of support or pride, I know I’m on to something because I should just feel it. He should be just as interested in my life as I am his.

  • He must be open to marriage and possibly kids. I used the word “open” because I’m still on the fence about the idea, however I do like the idea of remarrying one day. He would have to firmly possess all of these qualities in the list, and probably even have a couple happy surprises. As far as kids – I’ve always wanted a larger family, but the stars will have to align for that to happen again.
  • Did I create the impossible? Did I just essentially remove myself from the dating scene altogether? I don’t think so – because I’m personally capable of everything on this list, and therefore know it’s achievable. I won’t pull this thing out on a first date and put my date on the spot, but in the back of my mind I’ll be noticing red flags. It will be a tool for me to use, and maybe even remind myself if something isn’t going quite right. As any single person knows, we’re all pioneers out here, and it’s rough terrain.

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