I had a conversation with a cousin's daughter recently. She's in her younger twenties and has been making some really bad choices when it comes to guys. Really. Bad. Choices. It's been painful to watch on my end, I know it's been painful on her end.
The guys she chooses are all hot. Seriously hot. But ten minutes after meeting them I know they aren't someone that anyone in their right might should get serious with. Fun date material, hot fling material... but not relationship material.
I told her that in my experience, the bad boys are really good in bed. Often they are exceptionally good in bed. I also assured her that it's possible to find the kind of guy that's right for a relationship who is good in bed, too, though.
I did not have a BDSM talk with her. I would have, if she'd given me clues that it was warranted, but she did not.
For those of us who need BDSM activities in order to enjoy sex, we kind of have the best of both worlds. If we find a nice responsible Dom then often he's also a nice responsible person in his everyday life... but he lets his bad boy out in the bedroom under controlled circumstances. Sure, we have to watch out for those who are in the lifestyle as an excuse to be an abuser, and it's my understanding that in the 15 years since I met my husband there more of those who have "found" the lifestyle. Hopefully they are as easy to spot now as they were back then.
Anyway, here are (well, were) some of my qualification for someone to have a relationship with:
- Be a good driver - not a boring driver, but a skilled driver. It doesn't have to mean driving slowly and coming to a complete stop. It can mean he's a good defensive driver who doesn't tailgate and who isn't afraid to ask for directions. If you'd feel comfortable allowing him to drive your children around then that's good enough.
- Either have a responsible job that he takes seriously, or be in college and be taking it seriously.
- Talk nicely about most of the people he's dated, and take his share of the responsibility for the break-up of previous relationships.
- Take all of his responsibilities seriously - whether it be pets or kids or a promise to walk the neighbors dog.
There are more, a lot more, but I think those are the big ones. Of course, we have to have things in common with each other, not annoy each other every time we open our mouths, have sexual chemistry... all of that is important. But it was good for me to have a list of things that I kept outside of how I felt emotionally. If they didn't have certain qualities then I kept them in the "just for fun" box.
How do I translate this into the perfect Dom in my books? Some of this would be kind of boring in a book, although some of it is easy enough to have happen even if I don't point it out. Some would just be odd - to talk about an ex? I'm doing it just a touch in a current book I'm writing, but in that case the ex died and he took care of her through an illness. That takes care of a couple of things - it shows responsibility, care, and previous experience in a good relationship.
What makes a guy qualify as good relationship material for you? Is it the same in real life as it is in the kinds of books you enjoy?