I am a 22-year-old woman currently embracing my early adulthood phase. It includes me enjoying my new working environment and a rather brand new relationship.
I proudly call myself a loyal person and I mean it especially in a relationship. I strive for a long, happy relationship where two mature people love and support each other. I am striving for the same thing as well with this one although it has only been six amazing months.
One thing I notice from our society is that every time we start a new relationship, we are expected to make a formal announcement about it to the closest people around us. Once the pronouncement is made, they will start asking questions like: “What is his job?” or “Does he come from a rich family?” or “Is he a university graduate?”
The list goes on. And soon enough, they will start judging you for the choice you make.
Choosing a partner should be our personal business. We are not obliged to explain the whys to people, yet their curiosity grows bigger as our relationship progresses. This should not be a problem, since we live in a communal society that seems to thrive in getting in other people’s business. It begins to bother me, though, when their judgment speaks louder than their support or kind words.
Knowing I come from a good family with good education, my friends have always assumed that my boyfriend would come from the same background as mine. They presumed that I have certain “boyfriend standards” or criteria that should be met before dating. But I actually don’t. I do have certain qualities I seek in a man, yes, and I consider myself a picky dater as well, but the qualities I am talking about are far deeper than those standards typically set by our society.
I am sure you can guess what those standards are, starting from the fact that he must come from a wealthy family, be financially stable, have a nice job, and be properly and stylishly dressed. Other considerations are also taken into accounts, including the physical ones, like he must be tall and handsome with nice looking brown eyes, spiky hair, and strong muscles, thanks to his gym routine. And the material standards: the car he must drive or the brands of watches he wears. Frequently, these standards become the indicators of how suitable someone is and whether or not a man is good for us.
There’s nothing wrong with having those standards. Everybody is free to set their own expectations and find specific qualities in someone. But some people may have different expectations and qualities, and instead of judging them, we should respect them. I might fall for that smart looking guy with glasses, or that nice looking guy in a shirt and denim, or that one guy with a cool job he always brags about. These qualities, after all, are what attract me in the first place most of the time, though not necessarily what make me stay in the long run.
There are deeper, more abstract qualities I long for in a man, however. It is the quality of being a good a person, qualities coming from within, the ones that make him a gentleman that he is. It is the punctuality he shows every time we go on a date, his soothing touch when anxiety hits me, the support he showers me for the activities I like doing, the undivided attention he gives me when we are together (no smart phones). All of his gestures, even the tiniest ones, tell me how special and important I am to him.
I might be very easy to please and to impress with those simple things he does, making his job and other standards out of considerations. But, I am very much happy with the choice I make because at the end of the day, deep down I always know the one quality I want from a man: he must treat me right, always. And, I guess we all know, money can never make a man a gentleman, if he never tries to become one.
So everyone must have their own standards and qualities they look for in a partner, but they are not all the same. Mine might be different from the majority but it makes me content. Holding our judgments is a wise thing to do, and just let the lovebirds live their lives.
Nur Millah Mutsliah or preferably Mila is a sensitive yet adventurous woman trying to figure her life out. She spends her time scrolling down her Instagram feed and typing the words her mind instructs to. Follow her on @milamutsliah and whatshewritesweb.wordpress.com.