What are some of the initial signs that you're dating a nurturing person who loves to take care of others?
I've been in two long-term relationships. I'm 24. The first one was awful in every way (3 years), but the second one was better (4.5 years). It's been a year since the last one ended. I generally thought the guy in it was decent and nice in a lot of ways (he fell under this ask metafilter categorization
pretty well), but he definitely wasn't a self-motivated nurturer (he would agree with this statement). Case in point: he hasn't checked in on me once since our breakup, and we parted very amicably. He would do things for me when I asked him (change my oil, help me move, etc), but he wasn't the type to randomly give me small love letters/gifts, text me, make me breakfast in bed, take pictures of us together, or call me. He also wouldn't stand up for me to his friends/family if we got in a fight, and while I know some family dynamics are that way, I feel like I really need somebody nurturing who wants to protect me. After a year of thought & singleness, I'm pretty sure that's what I need to feel secure in a relationship. How can I make sure that the next person I end up with is a nurturer who lives to take care of me? I'm the kind of person who wants to give everything, and often feels guilt when somebody is giving me too much. I feel like my radar is really broken, and I don't want to end up in another multi-year relationship that doesn't make me feel excellent. What are some of the signs that you're dating a person who loves to take care of others?
On the flip side, what can I do to encourage this type of behavior? I'm not a very feminine woman--would that help?
And, a final note: he was very attentive and kind and took initiative during our courtship phase.