11 Qualities I Want In A Boyfriend That I Learned From The First Love of My Life, My Dad

by Gigi Engle

My dad is the greatest man I have ever known. I don’t think there are too many girls out there who can say that. He’s been my greatest advocate when I’ve needed support, had my best interest in mind and never failed to help me mend a broken heart.

My daddy has every characteristic a girl should look for when seeking out a partner. He’s the kind of man who will insist we make a detour on the way home from the movies because he wants to bring my mom her favorite specialty candy.

He’s the kind of man who wants to watch old movies with me a million times. He’s the kind of man who will do my taxes because I’m too inept to figure them out myself. I hope the man I end up with shares many qualities with my father.

Here are 11 lessons about men that I learned from the best man I know:

1. Never settle

My dad taught me that settling is not an option. His kindness, generosity and understanding heart have always been qualities that I admire and adore. I could never settle for some Jo Schmo who specializes in the mundane and has a Ph.D. in boring.

I want someone who will sing and dance to the Spice Girls with me and someone who will support me in everything I that I do; someone who will challenge me and always be my biggest cheerleader.

2. Marry a man who loves children

My dad can cradle a little bundle of joy to sleep in a matter of minutes while cooing love songs. I want to marry a man who loves to play with our kids, who wants to take them to the park and who wants to build them awesome rocketship beds.

A man who loves children is a man with a pure heart and an infinite amount of compassion. Watch how a man is with children and that’s how you’ll be able to tell if he could potentially be a worthy father for your own someday.

3. Don’t date that hot assh*le

That “bad boy” might be a good kisser and his awesome tattoos might make him alluring, but truthfully, it’s the nice ones who deserve your time. The nice ones are the ones who will bring you chicken nuggets when you’re hungover at work and pick you up when you’re drunk and lost at 3 am.

I want to marry a man who isn’t afraid to show his emotions, hold my hand and treat me with genuine understanding and kindness. They say that the nice guys always finish last; well, the nice guy will always end up stealing my heart.

4. Intelligence is the sexiest trait a guy can have

My dad is extremely well read and knowledgeable. My mother used to call him “Dr. Daddy” because of the precision and care in which he fixed my cuts and scrapes. I remember thinking he was a real doctor because he seemed to know so much about medicine.

He also seemed to know everything about history, science and math. He is the smartest man I have ever met and I still learn new things from him every day. Intelligence is one of the first things I look for in a man.

5. I deserve to be worshipped

I deserve to be with a man who adores me and who is in awe of me. I want to be with a man who wakes up next to me every morning and thinks, “Wow, I am the luckiest guy in the world.” I’ve never seen anyone look at his wife the way that my father looks at my mom.

It’s a look that communicates that he has no idea how on earth he ended up such an amazing woman and is constantly thankful for his good fortune. I hope my man will look at me in the same way.

6. Only date readers

If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have a lot of books, don’t f*ck ‘em. – John Waters

You shouldn’t, indeed! If there’s anything that my father’s endless books and thirst for literature have taught me, it’s that books contain the magic of other worlds. When I fall in love, it will be with a man who loves to read as much as I do.

7. Marry someone who wants a partner

You should want a person who wants to be your equal and who wants just as much out of life as you do. You should want a man who supports your dreams and encourages you to pursue your greatest desires.

You should want a partner, but you should also want someone who wants you and loves to take care of you, as well; someone who will bring you chicken soup when you’re sick and hold your hand when your dog dies. Likewise, you should always be willing to offer that same level of care and support for him.

8. Only give your heart to someone who will treasure it

The heart is a delicate, complicated entity and it is easily broken. Only give it to someone who will handle it with care. We may pretend to be strong, but we girls have fragile hearts that need tender loving.

Of course, love is always a risk and a leap of faith, but when you find the love that you want to last forever, it should be with someone who will unabashedly adore you.

9. Never be afraid to stand your ground in an argument

You should never feel like you are not able to speak your mind in a relationship. If he’s done something that makes you angry or said something to hurt your feelings, don’t be afraid to tell him. Relationships are about communication and without it, they fall apart.

If you think he has messed up, tell him. The man I’m going to love won’t be afraid or too proud to apologize for hurting me, and he will try everything he can to make me happy again.

10. Fall in love with someone who surprises you

Life is too short for the unexciting. Sure, you’ll fall into a routine. Go to work, come home, have dinner, (have sex?) and go to bed. But, don’t let the excitement die because of the repetition. If you get bored, you will lose that spark.

My father is always surprising my mother with special date nights, flowers and kisses (which gross me out, but are still adorable). I’m going to love a man who keeps me guessing; who loves what we have together so much that he’s always thinking of little things to keep me on my toes.

A girl should want a man who is always asking questions about the world around him; a man who is constantly challenging himself and trying to improve himself. A man worth marrying is never stationary for very long.

11. When he does thoughtful things for you, take note.

Don’t let the sweet things a man does for you go unnoticed. I will appreciate that single rose left on the kitchen table for me when I get home because it’s the little things that count. It’s the little things that are important.

The man who will win me over will think of me as my dad always thinks about my mom.