Still in desperate pursuit of ‘The One’? It might be time to take a look around you – because you’ve probably already met him.
According to MailOnline sex expert, Tracey Cox, Mr Good Enough is better husband material than the elusive Mr Right – and chances are he’s already your best friend.
As Tracey explains, we may put the men we get along with well, who don’t cause us problems, call when they’re supposed to and love us to pieces in the friend basket, but these men are actually the ones we should be spending the rest of our lives with.
Here, she shares six reasons why giving up the search for Mr Right and going for Mr Good Enough will lead you to a happy, long-lasting and loving relationship.
1. Rollercoaster relationships are bad news
Is there anyone out there post 35 who doesn’t think SATC’s Carrie Bradshaw made a huge mistake in marrying Big rather than the sweet, kind, dependable Aidan?
Big made lots of grand gestures but didn’t even turn up to his own wedding!
Yes he was handsome and rich but where does that get you if the guy’s flakier than a pastry?
Rollercoaster relationships are hugely exciting when you’re younger: you thrive on the drama of them, convinced that the massive highs and lows are a sign of true passion.
But when we’re older and wiser, sensible people realise they’re a sign of incompatibility not true love.
2. Update your ‘must have’ partner list
‘Steady does it’ might not be the sexiest saying you’ve heard but reliability is a massive plus in a husband and a father.
Dependable, supportive, thoughtful, kind, generous – you wouldn’t dream of putting these attributes on your ‘Must have partner list’ when you were young.
Back then, it’s all about ‘Must be tall, ‘Must be great in bed’, ‘Must be rich’, ‘Must have blonde hair’.
When you’re older, the list changes – and it should do!
The qualities that appeal for short-term flings are very different to what works long-term.
A partner for life is just that: someone you have to spent pretty much every single day with until you die (or split).
Think about it logically: is it hot sex and good looks that are going to keep you interested for the next 30 years? Or a good sense of humour? Who is going to keep you sane when the kids are flinging food all over the kitchen for the 65th time that week?
Happy Ever After is about having a teammate, someone who is on your side, watching your back.
Handsome and sexy are nice but they’re not crucial ingredients.
3. A slow burn is better that a hot fire
Instant, passionate love – the sort we’ve been taught to believe is ‘real’ love – is like a wild fire.
There’s a spark and suddenly it’s raging, engulfing everything in its path.
Love that’s based on friendship and compatibility starts quietly.
It can take a while before there’s even a tiny flicker but if you nurture it, it builds slowly but consistently.
Passionate love has a high likelihood of burning out because it puts people on high pedestals and tends to involve idealisation.
The sort of people who think passionate love is the only relationship worth considering are often idealists; romantic fantasists who are easily disappointed when their lovers turn out to be human and imperfect.
4. Too much too soon blinds us to the real person
Strong feeling and emotion very early into a relationship isn’t necessarily a good thing for another reason: new sex and falling in love can blind us to what’s really in front of us.
We fall in love with the idea of being in love before we really get to know the person.
Love that starts as friendship or I-really-like-them-but-not-sure-if-I-fancy-them is built on a foundation of things that matter.
You keep seeing those people not for their looks or sexual appeal but because you like their personality and sense of humour; they’re kind to you and great company.
These qualities aren’t transient: unlike looks or sex appeal they last the test of time.
5. But what about sex?
True, chemistry is helpful when it comes to sex and you obviously need to find the person attractive in some way for the relationships to work romantically.
But familiarity breeds lust: research shows the more we like someone, the more attractive they get.
Just because they didn’t blow your socks off attraction wise on date one, two or three doesn’t mean they won’t a few weeks or months in.
The more we get to know someone, the more attractive qualities you’ll see.
We’ve all watched a couple where one or both change over the years.
Put someone you couldn’t possibly fancy in different clothes, give them a new hair cut and a confidence boost and you might be very surprised by how you feel.
Besides, they just might have something else under their belt – great technique.
Nothing is more important for satisfying, long-term sex than good technique.
They might not be a 10 in the looks department but that doesn’t mean they won’t be a 10 in bed!
Less attractive people are more likely to have their sexual skills than Mr or Mrs Sex On Legs because they know they can’t just coast on their looks.
(Also, remember, technique can be taught. You can turn anyone into a fantastic lover if you tell them what you want and crave.)
6. Liking someone is more important than loving someone
Recent US research – 50 years worth – studied couples to find out the secrets to making a relationship last.
Not surprisingly, they found ‘being able to talk and laugh’ as one of the top four qualities.
If you can laugh during times of greatest stress, there is enormous potential for survival and growth, say the researchers.
Go for the guy who listens and makes you laugh and you can’t go wrong.