By Kathleen Shaputis, author of Her Ghost Wears Kilts
R + R = Romance
No, not rest and relaxation – respect and responsibility are the two r’s of finding a great guy. A decent man who merits filling your heart with romance shows respect for a woman in both his words and actions. Find a man filled with the nectar of R&R and you’ll find long-lasting happiness between you both.
How do you know a man has potential? On a first date or the tenth date, a man worth your attention and affection needs to respect who you are. He doesn’t dominate the conversation with “I did this,” or “I am…” speeches. He doesn’t control the air space whether at a dining table or inside a car by crawling all over you or consistently in your face.
Responsibility is found in showing up on time or touching base with you if he’s running late. Whether he works part-time or is the owner of a large company, he’s responsible in his job and to his co-workers. He suits up and shows up. This same quality then is an ingrained part of him and will flow into his relationships. Be sure his finances are not a joke as a responsible man pays his bills and honors commitments. He may be perennially broke due to a few bad choices, but he knows who he owes and works diligently to pay the balances off.
Respect for a woman is paramount of a long term relationship. Respect, whether for your feelings, your dreams or your thoughts is a flawless characteristic of a practically-perfect man.
A man doesn’t have to have a master’s degree and a walk-in closet of three-piece Armani suits to have respect for women. Respect is not measured in things or wealth. The guy who works behind a counter and shows up on the first date with a single daisy in his hand because he heard you say you loved them is far more special than a cad showering you with dozen of roses. A good man is drenched in R&R. It’s a twinkle in his eyes as he pays attention to you. It’s a strong hand on your elbow in a crowd. When you get in his car, at the first opportunity he asks, “Are you comfortable?”
This isn’t the 16th century and it’s not that he must open every door or throw his cloak over a puddle to prove him a gentleman. Lord Kai in Her Ghost Wears Kilts doesn’t badger Baillie or force her into submission. He is respectful, though it doesn’t mean her incessant stubbornness can’t irritate him constantly. When I first met Kai on paper I worried that his ancient Highland ways might be overbearing, demanding. I’ve seen the violence and corruption in movies such as Rob Roy and Braveheart, creative depictions of my ancestors. I needn’t have worried. His true colors are respect and responsibility.
Respect is a never-ending bolt of colorful, soothing material covering the vast of others, children, seniors and animals around him. A man of worthiness doesn’t announce his respectfulness, you must watch for the ways he handles himself and those around him. It may be a simple smile at a child fussing in line or a nod of his head to an elderly codger.
A romantic guy is respectful and responsible no matter his age, height or physique. A hero acknowledges respect and responsibility as the gold-card standard of romance.