It really has been too long since we discussed anything that's directly related to that, so starting today it's time to catch up.
Here's the first of a three part series.
The inspiration for what I'm about to share with you came while while revisiting a sports article that was originally published several years ago.
The piece caught my eye because it was about San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker, who at the time was going through a divorce from Desperate Housewife Eva Longoria.
Therein was written this gem:
"What is this guy thinking? Why would any guy who has someone who looks like Eva Longoria in his bed every night ever even THINK about LOOKING at another woman?"
My first thought, having been immersed in continuous thought about dating and attraction stuff for years now, was, "Now THERE'S a guy who just blatantly admitted that he's had next to ZERO success with women in his entire life."
What tipped me off on that, you ask?
The simple fact that his statement was 100% "clouded by beauty-vision", that's what.
ANY man who has ever found the confidence to attract truly beautiful women finds out almost immediately that it takes MUCH, MUCH more than a pretty face to be happy with a woman long-term.
I've even heard pretty women themselves talk as if they've bought into the whole notion that all they need to be is good looking in order to make sure some guy will sweep them off of their feet and put up with them, er..."love them" forever.
"OMG. Tony cheated on Eva? But she's, like, so PRETTY and junk."
Now, all of that said I'm not naïve. I get it. I realize we as guys really can be mesmerized by ONE woman's looks in particular.
It can happen to the best of us, and it really catches us off guard when it does.
I mean, you just see that one woman who "does it for you" in a way that no other woman has for at least six months and you're off to the races.
Not so fast, Lightning McQueen.
Before you jump into a "relationship" and even THINK about dropping your life savings at Jared (as if you should EVER think about that), here are the first four of a full dozen areas of further consideration for you.
Shockingly few guys ever think about ANY of these when "clouded by beauty-vision".
But you'd better start if you want to avoid divorce lawyers and build a truly satisfying shared history with a great woman instead:
1) HOW SHE HANDLES HER ATTRACTIVENESS
Let's take care of the obvious one first.
OK, granted she's a hottie. But what's her ATTITUDE toward her physical beauty?
As it turns out, what SHE thinks about it and how SHE acts upon it is quite probably even more important than how YOU do.
For example, is SHE "clouded by beauty-vision" herself? In other words, does SHE think that being physically attractive is all she needs to get by in life? As such, is that all she obsesses about?
If so, you're dealing with a woman who's going to disappoint you in just about every way OTHER than how she looks.
And even then, after you've put up with enough shallowness THAT may even wear off.
Remember the old saying: "For every beautiful woman out there is a guy who's sick of putting up with her."
Choose the wrong woman instead of one with more depth and that saying could come true for YOU.
As you may have heard before, the most amazing type of woman is the one who genuinely doesn't realize how truly beautiful she is.
Find one of those, be the one who informs her and you'll be a happy man.
So yes...her CHARACTER matters. This is sort of related to the first point above, but is more holistic in focus.
Instead of simply being obsessed over her looks, a beautiful woman who lacks character may use it in selfish or even manipulative ways.
For example, if she is used to being kowtowed to by men she may go from simply relying on her physical beauty to becoming what I call a "Double Standard Chick".
Case in point: If you get clobbered over the head for even LOOKING at another woman, she shouldn't manipulate you into believing all of her adoring "guy friends" who get frisky with her before your very eyes are "no big deal".
At that point, what began as simple shallowness has turned to the "dark side".
And that's only one possible scenario related to what I'm getting at here.
She may be beautiful, but if she lies, cheats, steals or even fails to do whatever it is she said she was going to do then she's a BAD CHOICE.
Worse, what if she turns out to be a completely different person than who she made herself out to be...or changes course on you in the future?
The ruin that THAT could bring to your life goes without saying.
Years ago someone older gave me some very wise counsel. "Marry a strong woman", he said.
How right he was.
Obviously, we're not talking about hooking up with some chick who can bench press 400 pounds here.
But indeed you want to make sure you select a woman who's not a total weakling, even at the physical level.
You want her to have energy to go on those cool adventures with you, right? And you'd greatly prefer if she weren't sick all the time, no doubt.
And even on a day-to-day basis you want some evidence that she's going to be able to work with you to get things done around the house.
At the emotional level, you don't want to have to feel like her babysitter instead of her lover.
Considering the longer term, you want a PARTNER in handling inevitable challenges that will arise rather than having her reaction to it make matters worse.
4) NOT CONTENTIOUS
Yes, you want a strong woman. This means she can't be a "shrinking violet".
After all, she's got to be able to say what she means and mean what she says...especially if you plan on having children together.
Besides, it's just a good thing to know where you stand with her. It's easier to communicate with someone who's forthright.
But that's NOT to be confused with contentiousness.
A contentious woman, by definition, is combative rather than supportive. You don't want that.
Now, you'd think this one would be a "no-brainer", right?
But unfortunately we live in a world that appears to celebrate the idea of a woman criticizing any idea that a man comes up with. All you have to do is watch TV commercials to figure this out.
Let's face it though, both partners are flat-out miserable in any relationship where the man can do nothing right and the woman is always frustrated by his actions. It's just a lose/lose situation all around.
I don't care how beautiful a woman is. Make sure she's on board with your dreams and ambitions.
And even when it comes to all the "normal" stuff the two of you take care of on a daily basis, you've got to be on the same page...or else.
Above all, make sure she isn't just a negative complainer. If that's the case, you're doomed regardless of how ambitious or rational you are.
5) MATCHING LIFESTYLES
Last time I promised you some insight into what might have been a major factor in the breakup of Tony Parker and Eva Longoria.
This would be it.
In order to have a solid long-term relationship with a woman, the first order of business is to actually see each other sometimes.
If your respective schedules work against you rather than for you, it's going to be really hard to keep things together long-term.
But it's not only NBA players and Hollywood actresses who are likely to almost never be in the same place at the same time.
If you're a 9-to-5er and she's a pediatric nurse who works the night shift the same principle holds true--albeit perhaps without the constant temptation to cheat with someone glamorous.
This isn't only about scheduling, however. If you're a staunch Catholic and she's a part-time stripper, that's going to start bothering both of you sooner than you think--no matter how resolute you are in hoping to ignore the obvious.
But I've sure seen guys try exactly that...all because she's so hot.
Essentially, everything that's important to you has to be enabled by her presence rather than limited...and vice-versa, for sure.
If you're a world-traveler and she refuses to fly on airplanes, you've got a problem. If you are a peanut farmer and she's deathly allergic to peanuts, same thing.
You get the idea.
I'm pretty sure most guys already know they want a woman who's fun to hang around with--but what we're talking about here takes things to a deeper level of consideration, for sure.
6) COMMON SENSE
It has been said that "common sense isn't so common".
Unfortunately, that's very true.
Merriam-Webster defines "common sense" as "sound and prudent judgment based on a simple perception of the situation or facts".
In the real world, I'd say a decent yardstick of common sense would measure how well one handles the small decisions that have to be made along the way in life.
You know, like, "Should I use this electric hair dryer in the bathtub?" Or, "Should I throw these red socks in with the whites?"
Please trust me when I say that if you generally do well in this regard and the woman you're with does not, it's going to absolutely drive you stark, raving nuts.
Air-headed cheerleader types seemed really cute and fun back in high school, but my guess is that you were cured of that perception after the first few dates you went on with one.
[Ed. Note: But man do I love women who seem air-headed with their bubbly personalities, but who really aren't. More power to 'em.]
7) ABILITY TO MAKE FRIENDS
Wow, is this one important.
Most of us are social animals. We like having other people around.
That said, it's bad enough that your social circle suffers from natural attrition once you're in a long-term relationship with a woman.
Many of your "single" friends kind of drift away--and that happens no matter WHAT you do, it seems.
So it follows logically that couples need to go about the business of making friends with other couples.
I've got news for you. If she's not the kind of person who makes friends easily, other couples aren't going to want to hang around with y'all.
On the other hand, if you have a woman in your life who is a social butterfly you're all but assured a lifetime of great friendships.
It's amazing how women--purveyors of joy and hospitality such that they are--tend to be the brokers of great long-lasting friendships between couples. Or not.
At first glance, you're probably thinking that I've got to still be living in the 19th century.
Never mind the fact that I'm not that old. Check your "political correctness" at the door and consider what I'm about to tell you.
For starters, rest assured that I'm not re-hashing that brain-dead but oft-repeated country notion that "kissin' don't last but cooking do".
Believe me, "kissing do" also...IF you make sure you've got a woman you're seriously attracted to.
But wait a minute. Even though I wouldn't exactly classify a woman's cooking prowess as the #1 criterion, it's absolutely a plus if she can.
This goes double if you've been eating Hot Pockets, Patio burritos and Jack In The Box for the last eight years, Bubba.
And just you wait until she gets into throwing dinner parties with all the new friends you made. Life gets no better.
Based on the feedback I've been getting after the first installment in this series, these bullet points are really getting you guys to think in ways you may not have before.
Sure you want a hottie...and you've always known you wanted more than just a pretty face. But this goes beyond simply making sure she's "nice" and "fun" also, right?
9) NEATNESS AND CLEANLINESS
Listen, I'm not at all advocating that a woman should do all of the cleaning in a household even as you stay busy messing everything up. This isn't Neanderthal 101 we're teaching here.
All I'm saying is that if you end up with some sort of Felix Unger / Oscar Madison gig going on both of you are going to get uptight, and it won't be comedy.
That simple fact holds true regardless of which one of you is which.
But I will say this. If either one of you is a total slob that's where the other is going to pay big time.
Ideally, neither of you should be particularly obsessed to either extreme. A healthy balance is key.
But the bottom line is that it's downright foolish to ignore this issue if and when it does come up, especially due to some weird 21st century guilt over women and housecleaning.
10) SMALL BAD HABITS
She's incredibly hot. She's nice to you. She's smart. She even smells nice.
But she's going to make you climb the walls if she keeps doing that thing she does...whatever it is.
Here's the raw truth: Just because a woman meets your needs in all the major categories doesn't mean she can't "nickel and dime" you to death with picayune annoyances.
Most of us as human beings find ourselves very willing to shrug off the little things that bother us about someone we're dating because that just seems to feel like the right way to proceed.
After all, we might view ourselves as being "too picky" and/or even a bit unreasonable if we let it get to us.
Unfortunately, however, those "little things" tend to start looming a lot larger the more they wear on us.
So YOU make the call.
Can what's bothering you potentially be negotiated out of the picture simply by manning up and telling her it bothers you?
Or...is it something that's part of who she is at her core and there's really no changing it?
For better or worse, proceed accordingly lest you ever vow "for better or worse" and end up SERIOUSLY frustrated.
11) RELIABILITY / CONSISTENCY
Are you pretty confident that she'll show up on time?
And when she does show up, are you equally confident that you know who exactly is going to show up?
And here's an even better question. Is the woman who shows up for you the same woman who shows up for everyone else, or is it all an act designed to impress you with?
Suffice it to say that none of these questions are ever even on the table when you've got a truly high-quality woman in your life.
Seriously...I don't care how amazing she is, the kind of woman you should deserve has a congruent personality that shows respect for everyone with inalienable human rights in this world.
That all usually starts with self-respect, of course. From there you'll find out how she treats you as you're starting to get to know each other better.
But still, it can't be all about you and her.
How she interacts with waiters, customer service agents, co-workers and especially any kids she knows (or has) should be closely observed.
In doing so, you'll learn an amazing amount about how you can expect to be treated once she's more accustomed to having you around.
What we're talking about here actually goes way, way beyond her physical health.
No doubt, if you are an active, healthy person you'll find that the amount of joy in your life will go way down if she's sick and/or tired all the time.
Worse, your health may start to suffer as well.
But consider this, also.
The fact that she can eat like a Hoover vacuum cleaner and never gain an ounce of weight may excite you at first.
But wait a minute, though. Does the same hold true for you too?
If not, plan on dealing with the very real possibility that you could gain a decent amount of weight as collateral damage once you are living under the same roof and eating meals together.
Believe me, man...she's not going to stop bringing home whole cheesecakes and gallons of ice cream from the grocery store just because you're starting to pack it on.
You can even expect to find leftover Value Meal #1s from Burger King stuffed in your fridge unexpectedly...with like one bite taken out of the burger.
Guess who'll probably end up firing up the microwave and munching the heck out of it, if out of pure convenience? Need I say more?
At this point someone is probably saying, "Hey Scot, aren't you sort of projecting your own life experience on all of us about now?"
Your darn skippy, I am.
And while I'm on a roll in that regard, make sure she's mentally healthy also.
Don't even get me started on that one. Suffice it to say you can't reason with someone who is unreasonable, so don't paint yourself in that corner to begin with.
So there you have it. We've covered a full dozen important but frequently overlooked considerations when choosing the right woman for a long-term relationship.
Might you be able to add even more potential bullet points to your own checklist?
But if that's indeed the case, I'd say we've accomplished the goal at hand. After all, the entire point of this article has been to get you thinking in ways you may never have before.
What did I miss? Leave it in the comments.