Say it with…character

character photo for blog

 “When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.”

 –W. Somerset Maugham

 With Valentine’s Day upon us this week, we are finding ourselves inundated with romantic images of love.

Being wined, dined, courted and celebrated is fun.  Indulge.  The playful side of life is important to our well-being.  Taking time to honor those who love and support us enriches our relationships.

Yet, it is easier to celebrate others if we choose wisely who we will love or with whom we associate.

Below are some valuable character traits I often share with clients seeking romantic relationships.  However, I believe these same traits apply to both sexes, and can even extend into all our relationships.

 Six Important Character Traits to Look For in a Man

(From Barbara DeAngelis, Ph.D.—author of The Real Rules) 

  1. Commitment to growing and improving (means he wants to learn everything he can about being a better husband and a better person.  You don’t have to threaten him to grow—he’s doing it on his own).
  1. Emotional openness-sharing of feelings.  You should feel the door to his heart is open, rather than closed.
  1. Integrity—knowing you can count on a man to be truthful with you at all times will give you a tremendous sense of security…look for signs he is honest with himself, with you, and with others.  You want to respect the way he treats people professionally and personally.
  1. Maturity and responsibility—good character means a man has grown up and doesn’t act like a child, expecting you to take care of him.  He does what he says he is going to do in life, keeps his promises, shows up on time, and respects his word.
  1. High self-esteem—your partner can only love you as much as he loves himself.  One of the biggest mistakes we make in choosing partners is focusing on how much our mate loves us and how he treats us, and not how he treats himself.  Good character means a man feels good about who he is and how he’s living his life, rather than walking around apologizing for himself.  He takes good care of himself, his body, his environment.  He doesn’t allow others to mistreat him.
  1. Positive attitude toward life—he sees the goodness in the world, in you and in himself.  You end up feeling good about life when you’re with him.

I have added two other character traits I admire in others:

1.  The ability to admit a mistake, take responsibility for your actions, and say you are sorry.

2.  The willingness to listen and respect another’s feelings and viewpoint, without acting solely based on your own ego, to cooperate jointly on positive solutions.

Flowers and chocolates are nice, but nothing builds romance like trust.  A man or woman with good character makes the ideal mate—or friend or business associate.

Happy Valentine’s Day,




1.  I allow myself to be and act in the same character I expect of others.

2.  I allow myself to align with others who share my values and standards of integrity.

3.  I allow myself to celebrate and honor those who love and support me.

Beth Shedd’s fabulous scrabble board image above reflects not only her love of word games, but her belief that being a person of character and integrity has been a key ingredient in the love she shares with her soul mate, Chris.


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  • Susan says:

    Thanks Gail for today’s email.
    Brian and I are so blessed to be celebrating 42 years of marriage this week.
    Hope you are well and staying warm!!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Happy anniversary, Susan: You must have married a man of character:) Congratulations–and thanks for inspiring us all with your story of lasting love. Gail

  • Gail,

    Thank you. This is the time when the romantic side of love comes waltzing thru the head and heart with great expectations…whether you are in a current relationship or feeling lonely without a partner at this crucial and commercial holiday.

    All the hearts and flowers.. blah, blah, blah….This can be a tough day for many.. heart-warming or heart-breaking.

    I appreciated your addition of Integrity and Character for ALL relationships…spouses, lovers, friends, peers, family members…We deserve to be surrounded by sound, loving, sincere, people choosing to empower and nurture those we trust, respect and appreciate.

    Feeling blessed.

    Susan, your husband sounds like a real “keeper” congrats.

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Well said, Ann Marie–and thanks for appreciating my focus on character traits for all relationships. Glad you are feeling blessed:) Gail

  • Donna says:

    Just what I needed to read today. You are changing my life in such a positive way. Thank you!!!!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You are welcome, Donna. And thank you for your sweet words. I love to hear that you are moving forward in such a positive, NEW way. Gail

  • BARBARA says:

    Nice observation Gail – although I have my sweetie. He he has all of those traits & he’s cute too! I’m very lucky and grateful… Good advice!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      Yes, there are a lot of great guys out there with those traits and more:) Glad you married one. Timing, readiness and clarity (and Divine intervention) play a role in mating as well. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, Barb!

  • Eileen Hiatt says:

    I agree wholeheartedly.


  • Kim says:

    Hi Gail,
    Meaningful post. As much as I look for the characters in others, men and women, I also spend time making sure I am living those values as well. Hard to find someone that wonderful if we don’t take the time to love and value ourselves and make sure I am living my true self.
    Happy love day to you!!

    • Gail Kauranen Jones says:

      You say it so well, Kim. We must BE the love and character we want in others…like attracts like. And there is no greater gift we bring to another than self-love so we enter our relationships from a sense of wholeness and fulfillment versus lack or neediness. Happy love day to you as well…soak up the sun and all the other good things coming your way in your new locale:) Gail

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