Some girls just seem to have all the luck when it comes to love.

They meet a nice guy, one who would cross the ends of the earth for them and they feel safe and loved and all is well. I, on the other hand, have a bit of a different story when it comes to my past romantic relationships. Regardless of who was the dumpee or who was the dumper, I always seem to find myself reflecting on a relationship that was anything but healthy.

Granted, I must take part of the blame because I would barely even acknowledge the red flags that popped up in the beginning, and I always had a thing for a boy who didn’t care. Nevertheless, there are definitely shady similarities between the guys that have bought me dinner for months on end. And I don’t want to see another one of those traits ever again.

For clarification, if you are a guy and I have gone on a date/multiple dates with you, there’s a good chance I’m not alluding to you in this article. So innocent boys of my past who are reading this, please disregard. The boys I am alluding to, well, they know who they are. And you, the man of my future, you’re kind of the only one this pertains to anyway.

Dear Future Man,

Above all else, you must have humility. We cannot grow in a relationship if both partners do not have the humility to recognize when they are wrong or to go out of their way for the other. Pride and pompousness can be just about the biggest roadblocks in any relationship.

I want to see you pursuing after the Lord more than you pursue me. I know that this is the most cliché thing for a young Christian woman to say, but I have never before been in a relationship where God was the center. I need your actions to reflect that you love the Lord and His promise for your life.

Sure, you’re not perfect. I’m not either. I’ll be compassionate when you stumble off the track, but I ask that you please be the same for me.

Be intentional. Be present when you’re with me. Spending time with a significant other just to spend time with them is simply not enough. Be engaged and please at least act like I’m making your day a bit better. I promise I’m a good listener, and when you’re sad, I’ll bake you your favorite treat or surprise you with your favorite movie.

That brings me to my next point. I am a very giving person, but you must have gratitude. Let me know how much I mean to you, even if it’s just in passing. Reassure me. Make my heart feel safe.

When things are rough, be there for me like I will be for you. Let me know that everything will be okay and when I talk, really listen. It’s the most heartbreaking thing ever when your partner isn’t really hearing the words you’re trying to say.

But when things are good, please joke. I love a guy with a good sense of humor. Just don’t joke at my expense. Don’t find your humor in constantly making jabs at others, either. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that the way a man treats others is inevitably the way he will treat me as well.

Are all of these qualities feasible? I would argue that they are. Not every guy is going to be this way and that’s okay. Not every girl has the traits listed above, either. But when it comes down to me and my happiness, I’ve made the conscious choice that I will no longer settle.

I look forward to our many adventures to come, and I pray that I, too, can be what you need.