I cannot deny that I have always been a bit “boy-crazy”.  In preschool, my free play consisted of bullying the cutest boy in our class into playing house with me.  In kindergarten, recess was spent dragging scared, innocent boys behind a tree so I could kiss them.  (Not to worry, guys.  I didn’t go to Bunn until the middle of first grade!)  I fondly remember each of my elementary grades by the boy that I was crushing on or “going with” at the time.  My parents memorialized my first love by wood-burning into our front porch railing my pathetic cry of “But Mom, I’ve loved him since the third grade!” when I found my heart broken once again in the sixth grade.  Amazingly, I even had boyfriends during middle school while I was in the midst of ear and facial reconstructive surgery.  High school opened up a whole new sea of possibilities for me as I found myself attracted to various jocks, nerds, skateboarders and smokers.  Even though I may have treated each break-up as a world-ending drama, I can honestly say I never had a bad break-up.  Yes, we may not have spoken for a few weeks or even months, but each boyfriend ultimately remained in my heart as a friend.  Since the end of high school, only two men have taken hold of my heart and I married both of them.

Looking back at all the guys that I have given a piece of my heart, physically there are very few similarities among them.  There has been tall and dark, short and red-headed, lean and blonde.  But it’s the qualities that we can’t see outwardly that made each of these guys special to me.  You will have your own list of non-physical “turn-ons”.  This is mine:

1. He must be able to look me in the eyes.  I’m not sure if it is my Aquarian nature or just a genetic glitch, but I can discover a lot by looking into a person’s eyes.  The eyes can show dishonesty when words ring true. Eyes shine with passion even with the body makes no moves.  Eyes show pain when we plaster a smile on our faces.  If a man is unable to look me in the eyes, then he and I will have nothing to build a friendship on as hiding one’s’ eyes is more obvious than wearing an unwelcome sign!

2.  A man that makes me laugh is sure to be a quick friend.  I have appreciation for humor that ranges from goofy slapstick to dry, sarcastic wit.  While it is rare that I am impressed by gross body noises, I do have three sons and know when a well-timed snort is appropriate.  Laughter breaks down walls, erases insecurities for a few seconds and allows our hearts to extend outside our bodies.

3. I am a talker.  Seriously.  And I happen to be opinionated.  I enjoy having a conversation with a man that has opinions and can intelligently discuss them.  I also appreciate a man that understands that while I will engage in controversial conversations, there is no need to attempt to convert me — in politics, sports, religion or philosophy.

4.  I really like  a man that is unafraid to show affection in public.  No, that doesn’t mean I am drooling over your man if he holds your hand in the grocery store.  It does mean that I know that your man is very secure in his feelings for those he loves.  In church, I find myself mesmerized by the men that unconsciously rub their partner’s shoulder or pull their wives/girlfriends closer while singing a hymn.  Of course, I was a huge supporter of PDA’s, even in kindergarten.

5. Compassion for others.  Wayne is probably the best example of this particular trait.  And I will suffer from sharing this so publicly … no more PDA’s for me for a long while!  Wayne cannot watch any commercials, telethons or charity concerts that show people in need.  Whether it is a child that is suffering from leukemia, a family that needs a mosquito net in Central America, or a woman that is starving in Africa, Wayne’s heart bleeds for these strangers.  There are many times he has been brought to tears and it has stunned me to my core.  The Youngsville Blue Coach Pitch All-Stars witnessed Wayne’s tenderness when he was so choked up during his final speech to the team, he was barely able to speak.  I have needed men like this in my life to teach me to be more empathetic.

While my husband embraces all of these qualities and I’m certainly NOT looking for anyone else, I do appreciate these qualities in my friends’ husbands, my boys’ coaches, the school dads and our extended family.  These men are the ones that I seek out to be role models for my own sons.  These are the ones that helped me make it to forty with my heart intact.  These are the finest men I know.