Dear Navigator, I May Be Good for Him, But is He Good for Me?

This is a question I ask myself often after meeting a man I’d like to get to know better as a romantic interest. I sit and wonder if this man adds as much value to my life as I do to his. Does he support me? Are his words kind? Is he considerate of my feelings? Does he take the time to make me a priority? Quite frankly, I wonder all of this because these are the things I do regularly for him. He may not be my forever yet because we’re still learning each other, but I make it known through my actions that he is held in high regard.

Unfortunately, after kissing a few frogs, I’ve come to learn that not all men enter into serious relationships with the intent of giving it their all. Let’s be real: some just want to see how much they can get and how quickly. These are the ones I like to call “bamas.” This is a term I learned in undergrad that refers to men who aren’t really about anything. They have no problem mooching off a woman because they are narcissists at heart who have zero desire to commit. If it sounds like I’m being too harsh, it’s because I’m keeping it real. Whether we call them “bamas,” “narcissists,” or some other term, one thing remains true: they aren’t good for us.

These guys are sometimes difficult to detect because they hide their intentions well. I’m no expert when it comes to dating and relationships, so I can only speak about my own experiences. If I have to ask myself if I’m too good for him, then I probably am. I am beautiful, smart, kind, and loyal. I give a relationship my all and refuse to look at another man because I wish to stay true to the one I’m with. He’s not perfect, but neither am I. Yet, there’s something in the back of my mind that periodically wonders if I deserve more.

When trying to determine if I’m too good for a man I’m interested in, I almost always look at how he leads in the relationship. Yes, he’s nice to look at and appears to be hardworking. However, if he’s more focused on doing his own thing than building something together, I lose interest. If he never stops to ask me about my affairs, I lose interest. If our arguments and misunderstandings span several days into weeks, I lose days. Finally, if he can go days without communicating with me, I lose interest.

I’ve come to realize that I, like many other women, possess qualities a good man desires in the one he would ultimately wish to settle down with. If truth be told, any man would be blessed to have me as his wife. However, I may not be an ideal match for every good man. There are other things that must be taken into account for the pairing to really be magical.

Nevertheless, I acknowledge that, for my own happiness, I should focus more on what the man brings into the relationship. I’m not talking about his job, wealth, or status. Rather, I ask myself if he brings out the best in me. Does he encourage me? Does he support my endeavors? When I’m down, does he offer a listening ear? If I’m having a bad day, does he comfort me? When I’m ready to give up, does he cheer me on? In as much as I would race to do these things for the man I’m with, I believe that he must be ready, willing, and able to do the same for me. We won’t always get things right, but we must be able to set our own individual agendas aside for the ones we claim to love. Otherwise, I have to stop and wonder if the love is genuine.

We won’t always get things right, but we must be able to set our own individual agendas aside for the ones we claim to love.

The Bible teaches that love is patient, kind, and a host of other things (I Corinthians 13:4-7). As a woman desiring a man who fears God, I’ve come to a place where I want a man who shows his love for me by demonstrating these attributes because I strive to do the same for him. I no longer chase or long for just any man because I know that I need a special kind of man. I want a man who is good for me.

Fellow navigator, I think it’s safe to say that those of us who’ve dated have all had missteps. Whether we rushed to be everything to a man at once or became too serious too quickly, there’s a story to be told. Regardless of the mistakes, there was growth that took place. What have you learned along your journey about what you need in a man? When did you realize you were good for the man you were with, but he wasn’t good for you? Tell me about it!

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