What do you look for in a guy?

On an early date with my husband.

On an early date with my husband.

OK, I’d passed the fearsome 40 mark and was still single. I had quasi-given-up-hope, and quasi-pulled-out-all-the-stops-to-meet-men. Part of me kept reminding myself that Katherine Hepburn lived a full, long and happy life as a single woman, and part of me was furiously dating away on Match.com and asking everyone I knew to set me up.

On March 13, 1999, four and on-half months after that big birthday, I hit the jackpot. I met the man of my dreams on a blind date that a friend (thank you Bob) set up. We married on July 7, 2001.

Wedding kiss

I do, I do, I do.

I love My Guy for so many reasons.

1. He takes care of me.

This ranges from bringing me to the ER if I have horrible multi-day migraines even though I cry that I’m too sick to move, to packing me lunches when I leave for the day to make sure I don’t skip a meal, to buying me Lindt chocolates every time he goes to the grocery store to bringing me coffee in bed and laying out my pills every morning. A few years ago, I commuted to Southern California for a job for nine months. He sent me flowers every week and he snuck in a box of candy and a card into my luggage one time. He takes care of me.

2. He loves to shop and will hold my purse.

Captain and MVP of his college rugby team two years in a row, he was also awarded a statue engraved with “Outstanding Trainee” out of 600 men during his six-months in basic training/advanced infantry training (AIT) for the National Guard during which time he was also platoon leader. He thrived playing competitive basketball into his mid-50’s. Many of his golfing buddies say he is “the most” competitive person they’ve every played with. He is a marksman with a gun, and loves to hunt. In other words, my guy is a tough guy.

But, he also loves to shop. For me, this is equivalent to having Rachel Zoe (stylist to the stars)as a best friend and hanging out with Sean Connery during his smoking hot 007 days all at once.

He carries my 15 pound purse. He isn’t threatened if I drive. He watches “The Bachelor” with me. He is a neatnik and loves interior design. Today, he helped me pick out table linens for a baby shower I am hosting.

3. He is a goofball. He is so self-confident, he doesn’t take himself too seriously and loves to tease and have fun.

My man loves to laugh.

My man loves to laugh.

Me and my guy, reliving the 70s.

Me and my guy, reliving the 70s.

4. When the going gets tough, he sticks.

He was very, very close to his Aunt Helen growing up. She was his “other mother,” and they had a wonderful relationship that seemed to be based on their mutual passion for laughing hysterically. The first time he introduced me to her, I couldn’t understand a word either of them said for the next 15 minutes, because they were each laughing so hard trying to tell stories.

A few years ago, we got the word that Helen was finally losing her battle with cancer. We flew back to Missouri to be with her. She was at home, laying in her bed.

I had never really faced a dying person before. I had lost loved ones – grandparents, uncles, my favorite cousin – but it all happened far away. I couldn’t imagine what we should say or how we should act.

I hung back as I followed my husband down the long hallway to Helen’s bedroom. He strode into her room and sat right next to her on the bed, took her hand and looked her in the eyes. He didn’t sugar coat anything by saying he knew she’d pull through, and he didn’t talk about happy memories. He looked right at her and told her how much he loved her, how all the things she’d done for him over the years helped make him the man he was, how he would treasure what they’d shared, and he told her that he’d take care of her husband.

I was awestruck by his courage and his ability to love in the face of loss. She died the next day. I could list so many stories where he leans in to tough times, and I love him for it.

5. He is good to my girlfriends.

He sincerely loves hanging out with my girlfriends and talking about life, work, parenting and love. He gives them warm bear hugs, and he plays with their kids. He gives his honest advice (when asked), and he listens well.

6. He is crazy about kids.

He loved raising his three kids, and he loves nothing more than playing with our nieces, nephews and six grandkids. He’s a kid himself and loves wrestling, squirting kids with hoses, pretending to be scared of the tunnels at Train Town, playing games and having fun. He’s also famously strict about manners, honesty, cleanliness and organization.


My guy Santa and our niece.

I didn’t grow up in a big family, didn’t babysit much, and don’t have kids of my own. But, My Guy has taught me how to be really pretty good with kids through his example. That means the world to me.


My Guy is a wonderful grandpa.

I didn’t think these were I would’ve listed as the most important when I was looking for someone, but they are the magic that makes me love My Guy more every day.

What traits do you treasure most in your spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/partner? Any that surprise you? Tell me your stories!

A few fun items for you to enjoy:

I think this theory on why relationships work is hilarious (and true).

Why relationships work.

Why relationships work.

The best idea for wrapping paper I’ve seen in years.

These were not our wedding vows, but I thought they were beautiful:

I marry you with my eyes wide open. I promise to fully appreciate the gift of my present to support your growth and encourage your power. To take responsibility for my own behaviors and apologies. To participate in a home life that is peaceful. Inside and out. Knowing that there can be trust for what happens when you forgive. Forgiving self. Forgiving others. Growing every day. In you I have found relief. I intend to keep it. 

I just subscribed to this blog, and I loved this recent post with ten little-known chicken facts that states chickens are actually real dinosaurs.

Great recipe for one of my favorites – chiles rellenos.

Whoopi Goldberg is going to direct a movie about Moms Mabley, which given how little most of us know about Moms, and how influential she was, I’m excited to see it.

I used to LOVE watching Arsenio Hall, and I’m glad he’s back. Check out this article with video highlights of some of his most amazing interviews – he doesn’t back off and it can make for terrific interviews.




44 responses to “What do you look for in a guy?”

  1. Thank you for this wonderful story. I have been married most of my adult life. Now I am divorced. So, I have been reflecting on this very question. The answer is complex, yet simple. I wanted to be loved, and I want to love someone who is “authentic.” Be honest with me, laugh with me, and we can both laugh at each other. Do things with me, and I’ll do the same. Like me first as a person, and I know you will love me later. I will do the same for you as well. You have to like someone, and many people don’t realize that when dating, living together or married. So much I could say, but last but not least, accept my teen son with Autism. He is a part of me, so he will have to be a part of us!

  2. avatar erin says:

    The graph about liking the same things vs. hating the same things made me laugh out loud. So true!

  3. avatar James says:


    You are so fortunate to have found happiness with your partner. So glad you are choosing to appreciate what you have. Gratitude makes for a happier life…
    keep going,

  4. avatar Jaimie says:

    I LOVE this! I think it’s beautiful to see marriages that started later in life. You have a different, more mature kind of romance, and just as sweet as high-school sweethearts 🙂

    I love my husband for a lot of the same reasons. He takes amazing care of me. He makes me laugh a TON. We share the same passions and get excited about the same stuff. He’s incredibly handsome. And he loves me more than I can fathom. 🙂

  5. I love this post! You are your husband seem so sweet 🙂 I think it’s inspiring to see such a happy story. Oh, and that pie chart is definitely true about relationships, lol! My boyfriend and I definitely bond over a lot of mutual hatreds. We met 9 years ago on my first day of college, and he says he knew he loved me since the first time we talked. Fast forward 6 years and we finally start dating! Now we’ve been together for 3 and I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else. He is “my person” and I will always feel closer to him than anyone in the world.

  6. avatar Jiil says:

    My guy is similar to yours. He is extremely caring, loves being the bread earner in the family, intelligent, loving. He also loves to hang out with my girlfriends. He loves to shop (me not so much). He is a great father. He evens me out with his easy going quiet demeanor. I have a keeper for sure!

  7. avatar Andrea says:

    It sounds like your guy was worth the wait! It is wonderful that you were able to find someone with so many wonderful qualities.

  8. avatar Kendall Green says:

    Ligeia, this was the sweetest thing ive ever read! If its even possible, i love my uncle patrick even more 🙂 He was so lucky to have found you!

  9. avatar Kyisha Long says:

    I’m not in a relationship and I’m not looking to be in one. I’m not sure what I would look for in a guy because I don’t plan on having one anytime soon.

  10. avatar Liz says:

    Beautiful post, Ligeia. And yes, in the ‘good to your girlfriends’ category — I can attest that your guy is VERY gracious when your girlfriends show up unannounced early in the morning! 🙂 He is a treasure and so are you. So happy that you’ve found each other.


  11. avatar Darcy says:

    Please, please find a way to clone him!

  12. You’re at the top of the list for the clone Darcy!

  13. Liz – thanks for the Amen!

  14. avatar Tashka says:

    This makes me happy! I feel blessed to have you as examples for my own marriage. Cannot imagine our family without you Ligeia. Lots of Love

  15. avatar Salma says:

    Wow, it looks like you’ve hit the jackpot with your man! It’s so great that you were able to find the man of your dreams. I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband as well.

  16. avatar MammaNene says:

    Nice post, I loved the infographic about hating the same things… it’s true!
    I think you’ve been really lucky to found a man like this, to choose a man when you’re 20 is often hard: you grow, he grows and not necessarily in the same way!!!
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper

  17. avatar Dagmar says:

    Aw, you really found a wonderful man! It’s touching how much you love him. That graphic made me think if my my husband and I have that in common 🙂

    Dagmar’s Home

  18. Thanks Dagmar, the graphic is awesome. So funny.

  19. MammaNene, I don’t know how folks get married at 20 and make it last, but they do! I have two uncles who are so happily married to their first real love, it’s ridiculous. Just wasn’t my path.

  20. Hi Salma, we’re lucky to have great husbands. Thanks for reading!

  21. Tashka – I love watching how you and Davis are writing your own love story for your kids to watch as they grow. Love you girl. xoxo

  22. avatar Jennifer Hainstock says:

    This is so sweet. I’m looking to be wonderfully happy in my second marriage with a man who: loves to love and be loved, is in awe of Mother Nature, loves all animals especially my three dogs or at least understands and accepts why I do supports my passion for organic food and spay/neuter, wants to make the world a better place, appreciates the gift of life, loves to cuddle and hold hands, sleep in on a cold morning, and… Feel free to set me up!

  23. avatar Areeba says:

    I haven’t got married yet but I’ll surely be looking for someone who takes cares of me and don’t feel bad while carrying my bag. Plus points if he has a nice sense of humour! :)So sweet!

  24. Great post. Being a guy, your guy seems great. He certainly is a lot better than me. Haha. You are lucky to find someone like that. Maybe he should be my role model.

  25. avatar Amanda says:

    So cute, what a great love story!

  26. avatar Sara Wells says:

    He sounds like such a catch. Your detailed reasons why you love him are so sweet. For me with my husband it’s how genuinely kind he is, and how selfless. I also love that he encourages me to be my best.

  27. avatar Brenda Ruiz says:

    Beautiful! I have been married for almost 7 years, and my husband and I are very different. I think it has made us stronger partners and parents, though. We have many different ways of doing things, of handling life and we make each other stronger and smarter!

  28. I agree that differences in a marriage can be the basis for happiness Brenda. Thanks for the insight!

  29. I love the reasons you love your guy as well Sara. He too sounds like a wonderful person.

  30. Thanks for reading Amanda!

  31. Everyone has their own strengths and I’m sure you have your share too Brian. Thanks for reading!

  32. I agree that finding someone to take care of you is such a big deal Areeba, and nothing helps you through the tough times than a great sense of humor. Thanks for telling me your story!

  33. Kendall – your Uncle is the greatest, and we were BOTH so lucky to have found each other. xo

  34. He was worth the wait, although that wait was verrrrrryyyyy long. Now I look back and feel grateful that I met him when I did because I don’t think I would’ve been ready for such a terrific, grown-up person earlier. Thanks for reading Andrea.

  35. Jennifer – you deserve it all. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for a set up, but in the meantime, I met lots of terrific folks on Match.com. It didn’t work for me but I have several friends who met their spouses online. Who know? When I was doing it, I felt like it was one way for me to express to the Universe how committed I was to trying. Just an idea!

  36. I treasure my husband’s sense of humor. He knows just what to say and when to say it. He makes me laugh which keeps me from taking things so seriously. My husband and I have been married for over 15 years and our love is stronger today than it was 10 years ago. I’m constantly learning new things about my husband. It also helps to that he knows my love language which is “acts of service”. Also knowing my spouse’s “Love Language” has been helpful as well. His is “words of affirmation”. If you haven’t heard about the 5 love languages, I would strongly suggest you look into it. It started out as a book and now they have their own website where you can go and take a test to see what your love language is. One most important aspect of our marriage is that we keep Christ in the center.

  37. Dear Coupon Mom, You are the second person in less than a month who mentioned the Language of Love to me. I definitely need to check it out – thank you!

  38. My husband makes me laugh, which helps me to not take life so seriously. Thanks for sharing!

  39. Thanks for commenting Samantha, and keep laughing!

  40. That graph is so funny and I totally agree!! I have been married 28 years…and its kinda quite rocky ..so not sure its gonna last…

    So I may need these tips later!! thanks for sharing!!

  41. Dear Valerie – I hope you are able to work things out together, 28 years is a long time! I never cease to be amazed what it is that makes love work over the long haul. It is rarely anything we’d be able to check on a list. thanks for reading! XO

  42. I love your beautiful love story! You are both so lucky to have found each other. I met my husband when I was 18 and we married when I was 20 and he was 24. This June will be our 29th wedding anniversary! We get along so incredibly well, we enjoy being in each other’s company, we love similar things, we’re supportive and patient with one another, we both have easy-going personalities and laugh a lot. We are truly best friends. We raised two beautiful daughters and he was an amazing father and still is. I feel so grateful for the life I have with my darling hubby. Congratulations to you for finding your soulmate. 🙂

  43. Denny – What a beautiful story you and your husband have written through your love for one another over the years! I always thought it would be my story as well, but mine turned out differently. I feel so blessed, but wish I had met my husband earlier so I could’ve had children. Luckily, he has three, and they have given him seven grandchildren who I claim as mine as well. Thank you for reading and sharing your story!