Don’t settle for the nice guy. For the guy who buys you a shiny necklace at Christmas time and wraps it in a box with a big red bow. For the guy who gives you the last sour cream and onion chips from his lunch. For the guy who sends you page-long good morning texts.
Don’t settle for the guy who tells you you’re pretty. For the guy who buys you roses when you argue. For the guy who always takes you to a steak dinner on your anniversary.
Fall for the guy that keeps you on your toes. The one whose gifts you can never anticipate—a road trip to the mountains, concert tickets, a picnic lunch. The one that gives you the gift of his time, taking you places, showing you pieces of his childhood like a map you can one day trace.
Fall for the guy who doesn’t just leave you his last chips, but shares the whole bag. And the glass of root beer, sip for sip from the same straw.
Fall for the guy who doesn’t just send you good morning texts, but tells you in person. Who absentmindedly twists your curls around his finger when you’re watching a movie. Who attempts to braid your hair even though he has no idea how. Who pushes your bangs back from your face to kiss you. Who stops and just smiles at you—when you’re walking to the grocery store, stepping through the door after a run, on your hands and knees scrubbing the bathtub—and tells you he loves you.
Fall for the guy who doesn’t call you ‘pretty,’ but calls you beautiful, smart, intelligent, strong. Who treats you like a person, not an object to be admired. Who keeps a picture of you in his wallet and tells his mother, his best friend how wonderful you are, not just how good you look.
Fall for the guy that you fight with. Dramatically. Passionately. But not the guy who will buy you roses in attempt to patch things without truly fixing them. Fall for the guy who will compromise. Who will stay up late talking things over. Who will forgive. Who will apologize. Who will say the words, ‘I’m sorry’ and not hide behind a 50 character message attached to a rose stem.
Fall for the guy that cooks. Or tries to cook. For the guy who looks up new restaurants to take you, from Mongolian to Greek, in the middle of the city to the outskirts of town. Fall for the guy who brings you Chinese takeout when you’re feeling lazy, or makes homemade chicken soup when your throat hurts.
Don’t settle for the nice guy. For the guy who says all the right things. The one who sweeps you off your feet but doesn’t scare you. Fall for the guy who challenges you, who argues with you, who pushes you to think differently, to be a better person, to do something you haven’t done. Fall for the guy who is passionate, emotional, imperfect.
Fall hard and never settle. Ever.
Marisa Donnelly is a carboholic, Pit-Terrier lover, and graduate of Waldorf College who enjoys running, teaching young adults, and writing controversial blogs about love and being a twenty-somethings female. A contributor for Thought Catalog, PuckerMob, and Lies About Parenting, you can read her best work on her personal site, simplytwentysomethings.com.
This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.