Looking around sometimes it’s hard to believe that good relationships still exist. It’s hard to see brokenness, woundedness, sin, and heart-break, and still believe in God’s design for love.
But even with our flaws, each and every day we are called to move into God’s forgiveness, healing, restoration and Grace. I see it happen every day in the people I meet and hear from, and by God’s grace, I am move toward that definition each and every day in my own life and marriage.
I still believe in good relationships, because I believe in good people. But most of all, I believe in God’s goodness in people’s lives (Tweet It!). And so should you. So while there’s no such thing as finding the “perfect partner”, here are some traits to be on the lookout for the Girlfriend Checklist when the timing is right: (And if you missed it, Click Here for the Boyfriend Checklist)
The Jesus-Centered Girl
There are people who “follow” Jesus. They try to keep up with Him, because they’ve realized that He knows best. They ask for his blessings, his favor, his riches. But then there’s another category of people who are Jesus-Centered. Their life isn’t sprinkled with spirituality, instead, it hinges on it. They don’t ask God to do for them, instead they live to do for Him.
Look for this kind of woman, because a woman who is dedicated to Jesus lives a life overflowing with His love (Tweet It!).
And that, my friends, is the only place where love begins.
The Sweet-Heart Girl
I have to admit, I want to be more like The Sweet-Heart Girl. I am wired to be a “prophet” meaning, I tend to speak the truth, and sometimes forget to speak it in love. I know women who are Sweet, and I just love being around them. They still speak the truth, but in a way that makes you feel loved, respected, and cherished. When the bible refers to “gentleness” in women, I think it’s referring to this trait. A woman who is sweet is gentle with her words, compassionate with her heart, and wise with her actions. She exudes a character of love that permeates her life and interactions with people. Sweetness is a taste of God at work in someone’s life.
The Mom-Approved Girl
It’s so important to be in a relationship with someone that gets the approval from your closest friends and family. While that may be your “mom” it may also be other people who are near and dear to your heart. People you trust can speak into your life, pointing out things you can’t always see when you’re blinded by love. So invite them to weigh in, and then find a girlfriend that you can feel proud to bring around, because she will slowly become a part of your life and your story.
The Passionate Girl
Passion and drama are two very different things. When we think of passion, maybe we tend to think of sex, or anger, or extreme emotion of some sort. But passion and emotion are two very different things. A woman of passion has a purpose and drive that fuels her life. She’s got goals to reach and dreams to live out, and she’s taking the steps necessary to do so. Find a woman whose life is fueled by meaning, purpose, and passion- because these beautiful traits will always seep into your relationship.
I always have to mention attraction in these kind of articles. First, because it’s a really important part of a relationship, but second, because I get a slew of emails from confused people if I don’t. But attraction is more than just appearance, because it has to run deep. The kind of attraction I’m talking about goes beyond the physical, and moves into the spiritual, emotional, and mental. You know you’re attracted to someone not because of the butterflies in your stomach or the dripping of your sweat glands (I tend to call that an anxiety response….) but because you just can’t get enough of them. You want to be near them, to hear more of what they have to say, and to get to know everything about them. Look for the “can’t get enough” relationship, because in marriage, you’re going to be together for a very….very long time.
The Buddy Girl
I think a huge piece to a healthy relationship is friendship. And from what I’ve learned about men, it’s important for them to have a woman by their side that they can have fun with. Whether it be shared hobbies and interests, sports and adventures, or books and coffee shops- find a woman who shares in your interests, and a woman who you can genuinely call a friend.
But just remember, you’re not looking for your clone, but you are looking for someone who can be your companion (Tweet It!).
The “Involved” Girl
There are some women out there who are “involved” in all the wrong ways. But when I say involved, I don’t mean involved with other men. What I’m referring to is a woman who is connected to the people God has placed in her life. The mark of a healthy woman is one that has a life outside of her romantic relationships, connecting with mentors, friends, ministries, and life outside of “love”. Find a woman who values the importance of OTHER significant relationships, because trust me, there really is life outside of dating.
The Confident Girl
There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty to a man. She doesn’t define herself by her relationships, but instead, she believes in herself and knows who she is standing alone-because she knows when she’s standing alone, she’s ultimately standing on the truth of who she is in Christ. Look for a woman of confidence, one who draws you to her side using who she is- not the “goods” she has to offer.
The #1 Fan Girl
I can’t say enough about the importance of encouragement in a relationship, and of course it always goes both ways. But it’s so important to find someone who easily speaks words of encouragement and affirmation, rather than harsh words of criticism. God’s right when he says that words how so much power. Because of this, you want someone by your side who will bring perspective, healing, and grace with her words.
So find a woman that speaks life.
The What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get Girl
Sometimes, it’s hard for women to believe that “realness” is attractive to a man. So many of them are trying to be something they are not- because they think that’s desired. Look at any billboard or magazine with the airbrushed figures, and you’ll get why.
But sometimes, men also have a hard time seeing and believing in true beauty- because many of you have filled your life with so much junk from the entertainment and porn industry. But I am hopeful, because I see a generation of men and women rising up who are redefining what they want to see, and who they want to get. The good men out there look for genuineness, a woman who is real with her looks, but more so, with who she is. Men, look for a woman with no need to “pretend”. She shouldn’t have to “fake it” by pretending to be into cars, sports, or anything else she thinks you want her to be.
So men- if you’re struggling to appreciate “a real woman”, step away from the junk, and fill your mind with truth. Then look for a woman who is real, because when you have the wisdom to really “see”- what you see is always what you will get.
*For everything you need to know about healthy dating and relationships (Christian perspective + psychological perspective) pick up a copy of my book True Love Dates.
Because healthy relationships are not “found” — they’re made.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog! Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!