A man’s rules for a happy relationship, part 2

Functional relationships are all alike, but each dysfunctional relationship is dysfunctional in its own way. While each relationship has a different dynamic, there are constants in the best relationships I’ve observed and been part of.

By Ed Latimore Last modified

In the last post, I gave you the 4 mindsets required to build a happy relationship. Part 2 teaches you how to screen for the traits you find most desirable in a woman.

It’s at this point I should remind you that I write pieces like this for men. If you’re a woman, you can learn from this too, but this is mainly me keeping it real for the fellas.

Also, a caveat to all readers:

I say nothing vulgar, disrespectful or mean.

However, this post may anger you. It’s going to anger you if you date a girl with many of these traits. Or if you’re a woman with these traits. Here are three ways to deal with this potential anger.

  • Close the page and don’t read any further. Seriously. I love your support, but you have the choice to read other pages. Writing your experiences and thoughts will always piss someone off. That’s the cost of doing business. It’s an acceptable risk as long your intentions are noble.
  • Remember this is only my opinion. It’s not right or wrong. It’s not even real. I don’t take my own opinions seriously enough to even bother defending them, let alone get angry over them. You shouldn’t either.
  • Realize people aren’t perfect. Having one trait doesn’t make someone a terrible candidate for a happy relationship. However, having many significantly raises the likelihood to trouble. This list is probabilistic, not deterministic. 

If you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the one hit barks.

If this piece pisses you off, one thing you DEFINITELY shouldn’t do is share it and increase my Alexa rating, page views, and affiliate revenue.

That would just make more people angry and make my piece more popular. If you hate it, then you definitely don’t want to do that, right? Enough with the disclaimer.

Every trait is an indicator of self-discipline and foresight. Lack of self-discipline makes it difficult to build something worthwhile (like a happy relationship with will last).

Ultimately, the thing that men are most worried about is the likelihood of a woman cheating. Men are willing to deal with a lot of they think they’re the only ones dealing with it. I personally don’t think that’s good enough, but I understand it.

With that said, all of these signs that more or less correlate to how faithful a woman will be to you. They also have the secondary effect of demonstrating how emotionally stable and relationship minded she’ll be.

Functional relationships are all alike, but each dysfunctional relationship is dysfunctional in its own way. While each relationship has a different dynamic, there are constants in the best relationships I’ve observed and been part of.

Strong Relationship With Her Father 

You could stop reading right here.

This is the 80/20 rule for deciding if a girl will make a happy relationship. It’s the closest thing to a guarantee (assuming you did the self-development work in Part 1) she will make a great partner.

She is more likely to have a positive opinion of men and respect them. There’s always the possibility that her father was weak and subservient to her mother, but even that’s better than complete absence or ill-will towards him.

However, if she holds him in high regard this means he was a positive masculine influence. He likely influenced her opinion of men in a positive way.

**Non-Smokers **

Do not fall for this

First, let’s state the obvious: any substance abuser won’t make a happy relationship. Most guys understand that a crackhead is a bad choice for a relationship.

The same goes for a drunk as well.

Heavy drinking and hard drugs (hard drug being anything that can’t be consumed as it grows naturally) are a non-negotiable deal breaker for most men. The reality is that any drug use should be a deal breaker.

Even if you don’t believe it to be so, anecdotal and experimental evidence suggest tell a different story. The bottom is that use of any mind altering substance (beyond the occasional drink) is going to be a problem. 

For the lighter vices like smoking, still avoid it. Assuming you have your health in order (as you should if you’ve done the work in part 1), a woman with worse health habits than you will be frustrating.

Smokers also have a lower level of self-discipline and self-restraint — two things you want someone to have that you commit a significant amount of time and resources to.

Diet Discipline Tends To Accompany Happy Relationships

Diet and exercise are often grouped together.

To me, they’re two sides of the same fitness coin. Though they’re both important, people seem to have a bigger problem with diet than exercise.

I think I understand why. This understanding is key to realizing why it’s important for a quality to screen for.

(Read: “On Self-Control”)

It’s easier to start a new activity than stop an old one. More specifically, more self-control is required to maintain a pleasing appearance through diet than exercise.

Ultimately, many traits come down to discipline because it’s emotionally and mentally draining (as well as potentially physically dangerous) to be with a woman who lacks self-control.

Her Friendships Tell You If She’ll Make A Happy Relationship

You need to know how to assess female friendships.

They aren’t conducted the same way men’s are. There is a saying that describes the difference between male and female friendships:

Men insult each other but never mean it, while women compliment each other and never mean it.

In other words, a woman who speaks unfavorably of her friends isn’t particularly unusual. With that said, all of the keepers I’ve met never did this.

Since the point of this series is to give you the tools to make a happy relationship, this isn’t a good a trait for a woman to possess regardless of how benign.

I don’t mean talking about a friend’s obviously poor lifestyle choices. Blatant hypocrisy is real issue. It’s one thing to criticize someone’s shoes. It’s another to criticize their drinking habits when yours are similar or worse.

(Read: “How to Know If You Have A Drinking Problem”)

Here friendships with men should be assessed on a bell curve: too many male friends is just as alarming as none at all.

When a woman has many male friends, there’s already a masculine presence in her life. What can you, one man, hope to offer in place of many varied men?

On the other end of it, it’s nearly impossible for a woman raised in western culture to have zero male friends. That would suggest a special type of isolation that is just as difficult manage as over-exposure. 

Remember that her well for masculine energy is finite.

If it’s filled with many small drops ( a bunch of male friends) or a large well (a strong close heterosexual male friend or actual relationship), there isn’t room left to bond and form a happy relationship with you.

**Romantic History **

Continuing with the bucket analogy.

Each time you put water in or take water out the bucket, you do a small amount of damage to it. It’s barely noticeable, but eventually a dent or crack shows up. Then it’s incapable of working properly.

Once the bucket is broken it is beyond repair.

I don’t know the exact number where you encounter a serious increase in problems (like fidelity and emotional control) but generally speaking, the more old lovers a woman has had the less able she is to bond with new lovers.

If you want to get into a serious relationship, you have to be aware of this fact.

(Read: “How To Get Into A Relationship”)

**Her Hobbies/Accomplishments **

Beauty is attractive. Pleasant fun girls are a great distraction. However, a happy relationship requires more than a pretty yes woman.

It’s at this point I remind you this guide is for the man who wants to enter a relationship lasting longer than 6 months. Some guys just want a pretty face around until it becomes too boring or stressful.

I’m not hating that game. I’m just saying that this guide isn’t for them.

Girls who spend their weeks drinking at happy hour, watching Netflix and working a boring office job aren’t interesting. Unfortunately, this most girls. You need someone with an interesting hobby or side gig.

(Read: “5 Reasons Why You’re Unhappy”)

Great conversations abilities are the result of a rich life. A life that’s been lived beyond the bar stool, the couch, or the work.

No Bullshit Physical Disfigurations If You Want a Happy Relationship

I used to have a strict “no tattoos” policy.

The current girlfriend doesn’t have tattoos nor do the prior two. However, after discussing this topic with some people I respect, I’ve revised my stance.

Tasteful tattoos probably don’t signify anything. Especially if it’s something with personal meaning (important dates or achievements).

1 or 2 two tattoos is also meaningless. This is a probabilistic list, after all. However, excessive amounts of tattoos or tattoos in a place where it’d be strange if a family member touches is a red flag.

The same goes for piercings, weird hair colors or strange haircuts.

Also be wary of excessively short hair. The rule about hair length is simple: if you could see the girl from the neck up and from the back, would you know if you know for sure you’re dealing with a woman?

The moment you have to hesitate is the moment you are dealing with too short.

It’s always a gamble, but now you have a better chance

Remember: the point of this post series of posts is to serve as a guide for men who desire happy relationships. None of this stuff matters if you just want brief fun.

However, if you want a girl for 6 months or longer, it’s important to start with a strong foundation.

Part 1 laid the foundation for yourself. Part 2 laid the foundation for deciding if a girl is worth your time. 

And next, read this: