I recently read an article that was all about how women may have been missing out on finding “Mr. Right” because they were too busy dating the wrong guys. The article illustrated exactly who those wrong guys were: i.e., “the wanna-be rapper”, “the perpetually high backpacker,” "the 'I'm trying to get you in on the ground floor of this opportunity' dude", "the 'I'm single....really...I am' guy", and so on. I thought it might be interesting to look at the whole thing from another perspective. What about the really awesome guys out there who don’t have some type of major malfunction? We often miss out on them as well. Why?

It could be that in this age of “I refuse to settle”, we’ve been overlooking perfectly good potential mates because we’re so worried that someone “better” might come along. (Believe it or not, men aren't the only ones who suffer from "what-if-I-can-do-better-itis"). It could also be that we (women), don’t have a clear view of what it is we want when we begin our search for the perfect mate. We often miss traits that aren’t immediately evident (like he’s super-nice to your mom and goes out of his way to help old ladies across the street), because we’re busy looking at what kind of car he drives, what neighborhood he lives in, or what he does for a living.

Nobody’s saying lower your standards, but it might make life easier if you opened your mind enough to consider the fact that your soul mate may not be 6’2” and super-fine, with a six-figure net-worth, but he may be kind, generous (with what little he does have) and perfect husband and father material. It may be hard to remember sometimes, but there really are some good men left in the world. Here are a few examples...

1. The Nice Guy- I have never understood the supposed fascination some women have with so-called “bad boys”. I just don’t get it. Who wants a life and relationship filled with drama and misery? Bailing your boyfriend or husband out of jail is not what’s up. I’ve heard women say that nice guys are boring. I’ll take boring over abusive any day. You can spice up a relationship, but the emotional scars that come from being treated badly can take a lifetime to heal. Is it the nice guy’s fault he has some home training and actually wants to make you happy? No, you won’t experience the high and low thrills that can be addictive in relationships with rough-necks or a**holes, but you won’t have to help him pay his court fees and fines either.

2. The Blue Collar Man- No, he doesn’t sit in the corner office. Yes, he wears a uniform to work and he punches a clock. How is that a bad thing? No, he may not be able to take you on a vacation to the Caribbean at a moment’s notice, but he will kick in when your light bill is due. It takes a lot of integrity to get up and go to work every day. It takes drive just to survive these days. A man that will get up, get out and get something (the legal way) is worth considering.

3. The Single Father-Think about it, a single dad is already proving that he’s not afraid of responsibility. He has a good idea of what it takes to balance work and family life. More than likely, he has to cook, clean and take care of his home. These are traits we say we want in a man. As long as you don’t end up being stalked or harassed by his ex, you could do a lot worse than a man who wants to raise his children.

4. The Student- He’s got a goal. He’s working toward it. Only thing is, he’s working part-time, he’s eating ramen noodles every day, he doesn’t have a car and in all likelihood, he’s living with his parents. But (and this is important) he never misses a class. He doesn’t have a lot of time to ‘kick it” because he has exams to take and papers to write. He’s serious about getting his degree and making a better life for himself and whoever rides with him. Now this gets tricky because we’ve all heard the stories of the faithful girlfriend/wife who stuck by the student and ended up getting traded in for a younger/newer model once the big bucks started rolling in, but I have to submit here that there are usually warning signs long before that day comes. And I know we, as women, are tired of dating “potential” that is never realized, but if he’s right for you in every other way, why blow him off because he’s not yet made it to where he’s going?

5. The “Reformed” Player- This one is also tricky, because it can be difficult to know for sure when a player has turned in his jersey for good. It’s also tricky because you don’t want to spend your relationship wondering if he’s going to relapse at any moment. But believe it or not, sometimes it happens. Every boy doesn’t want to stay a boy. Some of them actually do grow up. I don’t want to get into discussions about leopards and spots and all that, but it couldn’t hurt to at least entertain the thought that there are some men out there who get tired of the games and just want to settle down and live their lives.

Again, I'm not suggesting you settle, just keep an open mind and at least give a decent guy a chance. Give yourself a chance. You never know what might happen...