As we continued to date, it didn’t take long to confirm that this guy was very male, but in a different kind of way. He loved sports, but didn’t watch them or play them to extremes. He was really into downhill skiing and could take on runs that made penguins nervous. He liked all kinds of guy things, like fixing cars and playing around on computers, but when it came to how much attention he devoted to all those things, he was strangely balanced.

While he did have some aggravating male qualities like being very competitive and displaying male answer syndrome on occasion, he had another side too. He liked to shop, doing dishes, and he enjoyed hanging out and chatting with “the girls.” He loved taking walks in the sunset, and he could occasionally tolerate chick flicks without wincing. Best of all, he truly made time to develop his daily walk with God, without any input (nagging?) from me.

Suddenly it all made sense. This guy was all male, but he was also in touch with his sensitive side and he could actually show it when the occasion called for it. He was very comfortable with his sexual identity and didn’t have anything to prove. He could be a man rustling around in the garage with power tools one minute, and then move into the kitchen to hang out with the girls the next. With that delicate balance in his life, it occurred to me that when it came to a true masculine role, he demonstrated some of the characteristics of … Jesus!

Now this kind of guy would make a great husband, I thought. In my history of dating, it had never occurred to me to look for this kind of balance, but suddenly I realized that’s what women really want. Even if they don’t know it yet, they want the guy that’s all guy but who can let down his guard and be sensitive too, because those kinds of guys make the best life companions. And once I put it all together, I wasn’t about to let this one go—I’d be crazy to let a man get away who liked doing dishes!

All this is to say, that if you’ve been attracted to the Johnny Depp kind of guys like I used to be, be cautious about the ones who won’t make true companions. There’s such a thing as too much of a thing. Look for balance. While you want a guy that’s somewhat wild and untamed at heart, you might have to trade off some for a responsive guy who makes a great best friend.

I’ve been happily married to this sensitive hunk of a guy now for nine years, but I do have one little complaint. I still haven’t convinced him he’d look hot wearing eyeliner. Aaarrgh!

When Julie Ferwerda isn’t wrapped up in her heavenly dating life, she’s writing for Christian magazines and websites, keeping up with two teenage daughters, and enjoying life in central Wyoming with her husband, Steve. She is the author of the book for singles, The Perfect Fit: piecing together true love. For more info, please visit www.julieferwerda.com or her Crosswalk blog.

**This article first published on March 3, 2009.