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4 Traits Every Man Should Have Before Marriage

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marriage materialNon-negotiables that every woman should stick with.

By now, (I hope) you know that if a man freaks out on the waiter, he’s likely going to do the same to you, and those men who hate all of their exes? Well, let’s just say they likely aren’t getting many accolades on the other side, either. But aside from the obvious traits one should avoid in a mate: aggression (passive or outright), disrespect, a lack of manners, empathy and/or intelligence, there are those red flags that look a softer shade of pink behind rose-colored glasses.

You know what I am talking about. They’re the ones that cause that gnawing feeling in your gut and leave you wondering if the situation is workable or if it’s time to walk.If you’re tired of collecting frequent flyer miles to the purgatory between stay and go, you’re in luck. Read on for four non-negotiables that are often overlooked, but that I’ve learned to hold on tightly to.

1. HE HAS A STEADY JOB AND WORK HISTORY

In our teens, being in the band made a man sexy. As a grown woman, it’s only hot if that band is U2. Of course, requiring that a man bring home the bacon like Bono is hardly behavior I’d condone (make your own moolah, babygirl), but as a woman who has dated the perpetually unemployed, I can tell you that expecting him to have a solid job, work history, and career-plan should be a no-brainer.

Don’t believe me? I went and confirmed it with an expert. “A man’s work ethic is a reflection of his character,” says Jennine Estes, M.F.T and author of Relationships In The Raw. She says an ability to make a long-term commitment gives insight into his value system. “Building a career shows an ability to commit, work through difficulties, and showcases a development of people skills. It also highlights his self-esteem. All of these things will impact your relationship in addition to easing the obvious financial burden,” she says.

The Job/Relationship Equation: There’s more to him having a job than you not wanting to constantly split (or get) the check; it’s a view into his personal code. “People can bond over their career passion or it can highlight opposing values,” says Estes who adds that the way a person approaches their career can also show how they can be in a relationship. “It’s not just about financial security, it’s also about showing that someone is willing to get up every day and do what it takes to take care of themselves and work towards a higher goal.”

When It’s Workable: If your man has recently changed directions, graduated school or been laid off, give him a break. “Don’t jump the gun until you know the full story,” advises Estes. “A man working towards a larger goal or fighting for a higher paying position is a lot different from someone who unreliable, lacks ambition or is lazy,” she says. Give him a reasonable time frame and pay attention to his dedication and energy level. If he’s getting up early, networking and pounding the pavement, he deserves your full support.

When It’s Not: Is your man always having work problems or making excuses to stay unemployed until he finds the “perfect” job? It may be time to give him the pink slip. If he’s not fighting for something as important as his career, how can you expect him to fight beside you when the going gets tough?

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