As a nearly 30-year-old (shhhh…don’t rush it) man, I am old enough to be past the phase of scouring my contact list at 1:50 a.m. looking for an afterparty, and still young enough to remember what it was like.

I am still aware of what changed in my life and my thought process that made me realize that I was done with the single life, and wanted to find someone to build something real with.
Something meaningful. A future. A life.
While this happens to all adults at different times in their life, I believe there are certain things that cause this realization.

He stops looking for someone to complete him.

You, right now, are a whole complete person. If you think you need to be in a relationship in order to be “complete,” you will always be looking for something you can never find. True fulfillment and satisfaction come from within, and you cannot fully, effectively give yourself to someone until you’ve found it.

You don’t need someone to complete you, only someone to accept you completely.

Honestly, he gets bored of ‘picking up girls.’
This might sound ridiculous, especially if a young 20-something guy is reading this going — “Ha!” But, trust me, it gets old.

The vapid ‘conversations’ that are had in nightclubs are in reality a series of random noises that are heard amid the bumping of music that would probably shatter your eardrums if you weren’t 4 vodkas deep.

There is no fulfillment to be had in these conversations. No realness. No connection. No substance.
Eventually, a man will start to look around and wonder just what the hell he is doing. He will start to feel the onset of what he can only surmise is loneliness, and he will know it’s time to change.

He is willing to put someone else’s interests ahead of his own.

Compromise and sacrifice are part of every relationship. This could mean anything from watching a type of movie you don’t like, to moving to a new city or state for the one you love. The bottom line is, in a happy, healthy relationship — your partner’s happiness is just as important as your own.

A man’s willingness to put her first at times is a signal of his readiness to commit.

Meaningless sex is meaningless.

Some people never go through this phase, but some do. Some men avoid commitment like the plague and just want to go out and have a good time. Hey, if that’s what you want, more power to you.
But, the truth is that eventually, sex without an emotional connection is just…meh. When a man meets a woman he cares for and understands how much better intimacy is when there are multiple layers, he will never turn back.

He begins to envision the future.

When a man has a clearer vision for his future than he did earlier in life, he can easily face the realization that there is an empty spot where he would like a woman to be. A silhouette, perhaps. An image of the woman he would like to share his life with and to have as a teammate. When he feels as though he is laying a solid foundation for himself, he will be more apt to recognize when something is missing.

He is happy with himself, as an individual.

If you’re not happy being single, you won’t be happy in a relationship. True happiness comes from within. ‘Single’ is simply a word to

describe someone who is strong enough to live their life by themselves until the right person comes along to share it with.
If you’re constantly searching for a relationship out of loneliness, you will find yourself with the first person who comes along that is interested in you.
We all need to have the dignity and self-respect to only commit ourselves to those who deserve it, and the only way to be able to wait for that is to be happy before they come along.
Only then can a man share himself with a woman who has also reached this level of self-fulfillment.

He is ready to accept a woman as she is.

You can’t enter into a relationship with the hopes of molding someone into who you want them to be. It’s important to note that in a healthy relationship, both partners will motivate each other to become the best versions of themselves — this is not the same as trying to change someone’s nature.
Happiness comes from the ability to be honest, and the ability to be honest comes from being able to open up to someone without being judged. This, of course, comes from being fully accepted by your partner.

He’s cool letting the little things slide.

No matter how well two people get along, odds are you will not like every. single. little. thing. about the other person. There may be small quirks that you’ve got to accept (and maybe ignore). If you get annoyed by everything they do, it will cause unnecessary tension in the relationship.

He understands the importance of communication.

Communication is the backbone of a relationship in terms of keeping both partners feeling heard and understood. Nobody can read your mind, nor should they expect you to try to read theirs. Being able to openly and honestly communicate with the person you’re committed to can make or break your relationship.
He meets the right woman.

Nobody can change a man, but someone can be the reason for a man to change.

There is a famous quote that says ‘you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,’ but the truth is that you also often don’t know what you’ve been missing until it (she) arrives.
When the right woman comes into a man’s life, a lot of things happen. Perhaps the most profound of them, though, is his recognition of something he may not have even known he wanted.

The right woman opens your eyes to all of the things that have been lacking in previous relationships. All of the amazing qualities that you didn’t even know someone could possess.

The thoughtful, kindhearted, and genuine nature that makes you smile to the depths of your soul.
I believe that regardless of what phase we are in along our journeys, in the end, we all want the same thing: To be loved, adored, and wanted by someone we have the same feelings for.

I won’t go as far as to say that everyone is ready for love, because they are not. I don’t think everyone wants it during their ‘party phase’ or when they are too young to truly appreciate it. But, I do think our hearts gravitate towards it. Sometimes, though, we don’t know how much our lives will improve when we find it until we actually do.

A man will only crave attention from multiple women until he understands how much more fulfilling it is to get it from the right one.

This story was originally published on and republished on The Good Men Project.


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