The age-old question — what does it take to find the right man? As women, this question has been plaguing us for years now, so let’s just get down to business and set the narrative straight. Women may like the idea of your obliques, abs and your Maserati, but when the curtain falls, what really matters is who you are as a human being. Our standards as women aren’t very high. As long as you are not an abusive, manipulative, inhuman douchebag, we can run with you. Just don’t be that dick who is rude to waiters, or the kind that casually mansplains. Recently, I sat down with a friend who visited me after three years and admittedly, that is a long time for a person to evolve. Growing up, she was the kind to “conquer” the most good-looking man in the room. Cut to present, here we were, sitting up till six in the morning, chatting about her plans to move to a whole new country where she has never lived before, just so she could make a life with her partner of four years. Here was the girl who had nothing but looks on her mind a couple of years ago, who now seemed ready buy a home with a guy and be with him in his country. Apart from the sheer amount of adulthood staring at me, it was also a reflection of my own self and my friends, as we became the women we never anticipated we would (in a good way).

What brought about these changes in us? I introspect, and look at my own relationship. My partner and I have been together for about four years now, and what started off as a solid friendship slowly turned into a relationship that till date, is an anchor for who I am. From being able to dissect the woes of contemporary complexities of love and lust, to being able to find a cushion to fall back on, after a shit day, what remains is the care, and the respect for space when needed. Investing in the right man is not merely about handpicking the hottest guy or the one with the money muscle, although if that is the total package, nobody is complaining. It is about finding a man one can synergise with. To be able to have the cerebral common ground to even disagree within a wavelength is paramount. Finding the right man looks easy, and while it is even relatively easier to find one, the bigger aspect that matters is sustaining that relationship. Keeping a relationship afloat is hard work, and that’s something that pop culture, media and movies do not show us. Your relationship may not be about having-sex-like-bunnies after a point, and you may find each other’s daily quirks annoying, but that is not the end of the road. Couples that stay together aren’t the ones that don’t face problems, they are the ones who deal with their problem areas and collectively work on coming back together for the longer run.

Modern love isn’t just about flowers and sex, but also the ability to keep pushing each other to do better in life — be it career goals, fitness or creative pursuits. Similarly, it is important for a couple to be symbiotic in a relationship, whether emotionally or intellectually. People cannot exist in silos; codependence can be reassuring. That, however, doesn’t equate to having a wrong partner for the heck of a support system. With swiping being the norm now, it is even more difficult to sift the real from the façade, but eventually, with anybody you date, it is about how authentic you can be in front of the other person. And the right man will be worth that. After all, that’s all that matters.