I’ve been feeling very depressed lately. I have a job that pays me well, but I don’t have time for myself. I’d like to have time to go out, have a boyfriend, and start a family, but I am afraid because there are no good men anymore.

I need to have my own family. I’d like to be a mother and not to end up alone, but also not to have to settle for a man who doesn’t value me. I’ve always wished for a stable marriage.

Dear Friend,

Congratulations! You are one of the few who have their priorities in the right order. Most other people think that being with the wrong person is better than being with no one at all.

Thousands of women have written to us seeking advice on how they can be happy with a man who doesn’t value them. They have begun living with, or have married, a man based on physical attraction, economic stability, loneliness, or pregnancy. Too late they have come to understand that their priorities were mixed up. The men that they ended up with have treated them badly, being unfaithful, abusive, and addicted, or have abandoned them completely. No wonder you think that there are no good men anymore!

The women ask what they did wrong to deserve that kind of treatment. The answer is almost always that they put a higher priority on being with someone, anyone at all, than on being valued, loved, and treasured.

We have several suggestions on how to find a good man, but first, you must “find” the time in your schedule. Keep a log of what you do during every hour that you are not on the job, and then replace a few hours a week with time for yourself and to be with friends.

Our first suggestion for finding a “good” man is that you decide ahead of time that you will not have an intimate relationship with any man until you are married. The men who pressure you into sex before love and commitment are not the “good” men that you are looking for. On the other hand, a man who values you will understand and accept your decision.

Secondly, when you notice a guy that seems interesting, make it your goal to have informal conversations with him. Ask about his work, his family, his dreams, and his beliefs. Notice if he asks about, and seems to care about, your work, family, dreams, and beliefs.

The worst place to meet a “good” guy is at a party or a club. Those environments do not help to get to really know someone. Instead, they lend themselves to emotional highs and superficial communication.

The best places to meet the good guys are at the activities of organizations that hold your values and beliefs. Community groups, the arts, and animal rescues are a few examples. A Christian church can be a great place to meet someone, but remember that not everyone who goes to a Christian church is a follower of Christ. In fact, some of the most devious people frequent churches and other organizations with the intent of preying upon those who trust too easily.

We wish you well,