Do not let this elusive creature get away, girl.
We live in a world that's obsessed with the bigger, better deal, one in which there's a false promise that we're always "one swipe away" from a Groundhog day opportunity where we can start over fresh with a new stranger.
This often leads to very good men and women being cast aside as the misguided chase glitter. So, consider this list a wake-up call that you've found a proverbial unicorn. And if he fits the bill, show a little gratitude for the great guy you've got (and offer him the same in return!).
1. He can talk about the future without a disclaimer. References about Friday, next week, or even next month are made without winces or any "if we're still together" statements. In fact, he's already mentioned what he'd like to show you during the holiday season.
2. He doesn't just ask how you're feeling — he actually wants to know. This is a man who cares about what his partner is thinking and feeling, her ideas on different topics, and what's going on with her life. Instead of serving up a quick fix with glazed-over eyes, he shows support by offering real feedback ... maybe even over a shared bottle of wine.
3. He makes a real effort. He doesn't fall into a rut the second you've committed. Ironed shirts, thoughtful gestures, combed hair, brushed teeth, random flowers, opened doors and impromptu reservations at your favorite restaurant after a bad day at work aren't reserved solely for the courtship period.
4. He's clear about who he is. If he wants kids, he says so. If he doesn't believe in marriage, you're made aware. He has a good sense of his short and long-term goals, and doesn't want to waste anyone's time (his or yours).
5. He sees you as a whole and complete person. Not body parts or a pretty face or a bad hair day (or a basket case having a total meltdown over your bad week). He loves the complete person you really are and appreciates that you have many layers, some of them more attractive than others.
6. He truly believes in you. Whether you're signing up for a marathon, applying for your dream job, attempting a souffle, or preparing to ask for a promotion, this man thinks you have what it takes to achieve your greatest goals and cheers you on enthusiastically.
7. He's great in bed. Sex with him is actually sexy. Seduction starts before you're in the bedroom and lingers long after the act itself is finished. He loves your body (and the soul in it) and finds pleasure in pleasuring you.
8. He's ambitious. He doesn't rest on his laurels or talk himself out of going after his dreams. He enjoys testing his limits, challenging himself, and working to grow on many levels.
9. He's truly got your back. We're talking old school your-enemies-are-my-enemies-banned-from-my-kingdom sh*t here.
10. He's the perfect balance of attached and independent. You have a great time together and he lets you do your thing when apart. He doesn't whine when you go away with girlfriends or follow you around events like a lost puppy. Instead, he's able to hold his own and hold your hand with equal ease.
11. He does "little big things" for you. Sure, he finds the fact that you've been watching Sex and the City reruns since the 90's a little weird, but he will gladly indulge your favorite season whilst making you a much-craved grilled cheese as you collapse in exhaustion from a hard day at work.
12. He makes date night an event. The man makes more than reservations — he makes a plan.
13. He'll pucker up, even with dragon breath. He doesn't just kiss you in the morning, but also when you're sick and snotty and coughing like you've smoked three packs a day.
14. He's nice to your family and friends. Even the super annoying, nosey, do-they-have-any-manners-at-all-because-I-don't-see-signs-of-any ones.
15. He can let things go. Yes, he hates that you leave all the cabinets open, doesn't understand why you need to constantly remind him to (insert annoying reminder here), and would really have appreciated you not saying that to his best friend — but he'd rather enjoy the night with you than get into a petty argument over something that looks trivial from a big picture perspective.
16. He can apologize ... and mean it. When he's wrong, he'll say he's wrong and will work to not do it again.
17. He's always there for you. Having a moment? He'll text you like other men, only his will say, "Call you in 5."
18. He's honest. Not brutally or sparingly, but openly and consistently.
19. He knows how to make you laugh. Even when you're in the middle of what feels like the worst possible moment to crack a smile.
20. He knows you. Like knows-you-knows-you, and that's why he loves you.
21. He loves to share new things with you. His sweater. His last couple bites of ice cream. His favorite headphones. Even if it isn't something he would do on his own, he's always game to see you smiling while doing something you enjoy. He knows you'll do the same for him which makes the fashion exhibition tolerable.
22. He totally understands your irrational fears. Waking him up when you hear a noise is always a tricky move, but hey, there may actually be a demon under the bed who's ready to grab your ankles, and that's why he knows he needs to get up and make sure the door is locked.
23. He takes care of himself, and the things and people he cares about. His mental and physical health matter to him and he works to take the best possible care of himself that he can. He offers the same care and respect to those in his life.
24. He's not afraid to scrub a toilet. I once had a live-in boyfriend announce, "I don't clean." Guess what? We broke up.
25. He can cook a meal or two. OK, so maybe he can't figure out how to poach pears, but the guy can make a steak and a side dish ... and sometimes surprises you with it.
26. He's got a thing for successful women. Intimidated by your success? More like turned on by it.
27. He knows where his projections end and you begin. We're all insecure and have scars that sometimes rip open, but he's able to see that you aren't his critical ex or mother, and can let you know when he's triggered and feeling insecure in an effort to work through it together.
28. He's empathetic. He genuinely cares about others and shows compassion to the people around him on a consistent basis.
29. He makes you a better person — to yourself, him and others. Whether he's reminding you not to be so hard on yourself, cheering as you go after your goals, or showcasing respectable characteristics that leave you wanting to do/be better, this guy has you aiming higher. Is there anything better than having a constant source of inspiration that you want to constantly get down with? #Winning
30. He can communicate like an adult. Having a disagreement means having a real conversation to come to a solution that benefits both parties. No yelling, passive-aggression, stonewalling, ultimatums or tantrums, but an actual grown-up information exchange. Swoon.
Brenda Della Casa is the Author of Cinderella Was a Liar, The Editor-in-chief and Digital Content Strategist at Preston Bailey Designs, A Huffington Post Blogger and the Founder of BDC Life In Style. Facebook: BrendaDellaCasa, Twitter: @BrendaDellaCasa, Instagram: @BrendaDellaCasa.