Just a little over a year ago at a Santa Barbara vineyard, after one too many glasses of wine, my boyfriend told me that he wanted to buy a house. Even though he had just renewed the lease on his apartment, and we had only been dating for six months, the thought of living in a home together was exciting.

The conversation continued once the wine wore off, though not much happened over the next ten months. Then, after the holidays the two of us went into house hunting mode 4.0. (Note: house hunting is not for the faint of heart.) After some bumps in the road and, I must admit, a few tears, we found, bought and now live in a beautiful home.

As happy as I am in our new space, I am even happier to be with a man who does what he says he is going to do. While it may seem like a given to those who are lucky in love; it’s not obvious to many women that being in a relationship with someone who follows through is actually really important.

Whether you are happily single, in a relationship or looking for love, I cannot encourage you enough to focus on when words and actions align. We’ve all been in relationships filled with empty promises, lies and excuses. We’ve all been heartbroken when expectations were set and then not met. We’ve even blamed ourselves for our men not delivering on their word. Time and time again we continue to turn a blind eye to this one imperative, yet very simple sign: does he do what he says he is going to do?

Like many women I was exhausted and depleted from anxiety, frustration and heartache after spending decades in dead-end relationships. More than anything I wanted to meet a man who would make an incredible husband and father, and I wasn’t going to settle. While it seemed like everyone else was either married or getting engaged, I was petrified that true love might never happen for me. That is until I committed to shifting who and how I dated.

Dr. Pat Allen, author, speaker and relationship expert, says that the only real way you can know if someone is trustworthy is by the commitments they keep to themselves and others. We are all human and make mistakes. So while she says that no person can be completely trusted, knowing that someone is worthy of your trust is one key to a happy, healthy and long lasting relationship. And who doesn’t want that?

This one simple tip transformed the way I dated and the men I committed to, I know it can for you too. Words and actions matter. Being able to trust your partner matters. You matter. So please from this point on do not settle for anything less than a man who follows through.

To finding a good man and love that lasts.



*image courtesy of Alex Wright