4. The Guy Who Is So Good-Looking—or Wealthy or Successful—That All Your Friends Are in Awe

Here's my advice: See what it feels like to walk into a room with him. Watch your friends' and acquaintances' eyes widen ever so slightly. Just remember, it can be hard to separate the feeling of pride and exhilaration that comes from having won the affection of someone deemed desirable from the more tender feelings that are the basis of love. Marriage is made up of so many amazing moments other than walking into rooms. Make sure the guy you marry is the guy you most want to stay up late with when it's just the two of you, the one you love being alone with at home.

5. The Earnest, Bright-Eyed Younger Man Who Adores You

This guy not only wants to commit your every utterance to memory but also heartens you with his sweetness and solemn desire to find love. This will help you more than you know, especially on those days when the men you've dated have caused you to question whether guys even have feelings. (We all have those days.) This man will help you to feel optimistic about humanity and about yourself. But you can't get romantic with him over the long term. Not because of his age—there's nothing wrong with walking down the aisle with someone younger—but because one-sided adoration inevitably curdles into resentment that the feeling isn't mutual. You might not even want to get romantic with him in the short term because he might feel some real feelings and what you might really like is the flattering reflection of yourself you see in his admiring gaze. By choosing to let him go, you'll have done the right thing—acting in the best interests of two connected people—which is exactly what's required when you meet the man you so, so, so need to marry.

Adelle Waldman is the author of the novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, The New Republic and other publications.

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