Boyfriend Material: A Girl’s Guide to Evaluate Guys & 42 Things He MUST Do

For some girls, it’s not easy to spot a guy who is boyfriend material. What about you? If you also struggle to see the ones with boyfriend potential, learn what makes a good boyfriend and what does not.

Boyfriend Material

When you go out on a date with someone, you’re basically sizing them up to find out whether they are boyfriend material and have what it takes to be in a relationship. 

Some people are brave enough to ask about it directly, but that doesn’t go well with most daters these days.

Being in a relationship is only attractive when a person is ready to settle down or if they’ve found someone that they’re not willing to let go of that easily. 

If don’t see eye to eye on the subject, there’s no point in wasting your time, especially if someone will end up getting hurt. [Read: How to have a good relationship that gets better with each day]

You start relationships in order to seal the connection that you felt on that first meeting. This means that you’re both ready to stop seeing other people and start working on seeing each other permanently – or until one of you decides to end things.

Some guys don’t want to be tied down at all or until they meet the one who’ll change their mind. 

The good thing is that as many players there are looking to hook up, there are just as many guys out there who are boyfriend material and ready to settle down and find the love of their lives. [Read: Things to look for in a guy before dating him]

Which one’s boyfriend material and which one’s not?

If you want to know if the guy you’re seeing is boyfriend material, don’t expect him to carry around a sign that says so. 

Even if he admits to wanting to be someone’s boyfriend, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is boyfriend material.

Some players are built to be boyfriends, but they generally don’t want to settle down. If you’re dying to find out if the guy you’re seeing is looking for a relationship, you can always ask. [Read: 20 personality traits combinations that create the perfect ideal guy for a girl]

But since this is the 21st century, that sort of conversation on the first date can scare off even the most willing candidates. So, what can you do?

The most effective way to find out if he’s boyfriend material is a simple observation of how he treats you on the first few dates. 

During those initial meetings, your only job is to look for the signs that say he’s boyfriend material or fling material. By date three or four, you’ll be able to determine whether or not he’s actually ready to commit. [Read: 50 questions to test your compatibility]

We have compiled two lists of what to look out for when you’re seeing someone new. One is what does not make a guy good boyfriend material, and the other one is what does.

This will tell you whether or not your guy is boyfriend material or just looking for a good time.

What doesn’t make a guy boyfriend material?

The following traits are those that many women should consider being major turn-offs and should therefore be huge red flags if you’re wondering whether a guy is boyfriend material. [Read: 31 red flags in a guy who’s fake-nice and will only break your heart]

1. Indecisiveness

Before he can become a good boyfriend, he needs to know what he wants first. Is he even ready to be in a relationship? 

What type of person is he looking for? Knowing these things is necessary to become a good boyfriend.

2. Insecurity

You can’t be in a healthy relationship with a guy if he doesn’t think much of himself. His insecurities will reflect on the way he handles his side of the relationship, thereby ruining the relationship. [Read: Signs of attention-seeking behavior that masks their insecurity]

3. Selfishness

Selfish people are the ones who worry more about how people perceive them rather than how they should treat those that they care about.

They also count favors, measure affection, and resent people who don’t live up to their expectations. How can you have a caring boyfriend if he carries this trait?

4. Big ego

Everyone has an ego to a degree, but there is a big difference between confidence and arrogance. A guy is not boyfriend material if he’s constantly showing off and trying to tell everyone how amazing he is. [Read: What men think impresses women and what actually does]

Find someone with a toned-down ego, and he’ll be more able to actually have compassionate conversations with people and make connections more easily. 

5. Dishonesty

A guy is not capable of a long-term relationship if he can’t help but tell lies. He might think that they’re nothing more than harmless white lies, but a lie is a lie. Especially if those little white lies pile on top of each other and eventually create a false reality.

Trust is vital in a relationship, and lies can easily erode away at that. [Read: Why do men lie? Understanding why men fib the way they do]

6. Milks the honeymoon phase

He will shower you with affection, take you on whirlwind dates, and will show his emotions physically. All of these things are great, but the ultimate goal is to get to know the person you’re dating.

If by date five, the dates are still extravagant but shallow, and you haven’t gotten to know him, it’s more likely that he likes the excitement of dating someone new than actually dating you.

7. Won’t define the relationship 

Try as you might, you will never get a straight answer from this one about where the relationship is going. The best you can hope for is a vague answer with an indefinite promise.

He is clearly a commitment-phobe, or just not that into you, and obviously not boyfriend material. [Read: Signs it’s time for the relationship talk]

8. Only talks about your relationship and sex

Oh, you’ll talk about your day, your job, and what happened before he got here. But you can’t expect him to open up about his past, his emotions, and his feelings for you.

If all he talks about is sex sex sex, that is a clear red flag that he isn’t looking for anything serious. He’s literally telling you that!

9. You have a name – but not a pet name

He doesn’t introduce you as his girlfriend. “This is [insert your name here].” That’s it. You have a name, so that’s that. Even in the early stages, if a man were interested in something more than just dating, he would be coming up with at least one nickname or pet name for you.

10. Thinks it’s okay not to call – or exist

Why are you so mad? He didn’t know that he is obligated to check on you. Besides, he’s busy… seeing other people. [Read: When a guy stops texting you every day – why and what to do]

11. You never meet his family 

Everyone knows that meeting the family is a big deal. That’s why all you’ll ever see of them is their Facebook and Instagram profiles. You’ll know he is especially not boyfriend material if, when the subject of family comes up, he becomes fidgety or defensive.

12. His friends know what’s going on

Have you ever felt like someone was watching you with a weird look? Have you ever felt more than one pair of eyes doing that? It’s probably his friends because they know what’s up. They know who you aren’t, and that is a permanent feature in his life.

13. Only boyfriend material whenever you’re together 

That’s why it’s so confusing to be with this type of person. You feel like he’s going to be your boyfriend, but everything changes once he’s out the door.

But trust us; if he only acts like a potential boyfriend some of the time, and other times he acts like a friend or even a stranger, he’s not sending out ‘mixed signals.’ His flaky behavior is actually doing you a favor. He’s not ready for a relationship, so don’t waste your time. [Read: Is he a player or a gentleman? The clear giveaways]

14. Rather be the little spoon

Oh, he doesn’t cuddle. That’s a big no-no in his book. But if you really want to, you can spoon him. The same goes for all acts of physical intimacy – if you’re always initiating them, it means he isn’t all that interested in the little things like holding hands or kissing.

Someone who is boyfriend material would definitely care about the little gestures.

15. Calls you a cab

Because nothing is more annoying than getting out of bed to take home someone who’s not your girlfriend. You two aren’t on the road to becoming boyfriend and girlfriend, you’re on the road coming home from a hook-up. [Read: Guys to avoid if you want to find true love]

What does make a guy boyfriend material?

Now that you know the traits and qualities that don’t make a guy boyfriend material let’s talk about what does – and what you should look for.

What sets apart an average guy from a quality guy often comes down to the small details. However, these details have a huge impact on the person they’re dating!

It goes without saying that you should never settle for anything less than you deserve, and that means kicking to the curb any guy who disrespects you or doesn’t attempt to show you any form of respect or understanding. [Read: 33 perfect traits of a good boyfriend that’ll make you better than the best!]

That’s not to say that isn’t going to be hard if you really like the guy. Let’s be honest, sometimes infatuation gets in the way of clear thinking.

If you’re not sure whether the guy in your life is boyfriend material and high quality or a little on the flaky side, check out this list of qualities a good boyfriend should have. Then, compare your situation alongside.

1. Intuitiveness

Intuition and sensitivity are the most effective assets when assessing whether a guy is boyfriend material. Knowing where he stands can go a long way to becoming a good boyfriend. [Read: 47 sweet, deep signs your boyfriend really loves you and cares for you]

2. Politeness

Being in a relationship does not give a guy a free pass to treat you horribly. In fact, your partner should never EVER treat you with disrespect. No matter what situation you are in, he should treat you with the utmost respect, and you should do the same for him.

3. Chivalry

Being a good boyfriend requires him to perform at least the rudimentary forms of chivalry. 

Opening a door for you, paying the bill on the first date, or just offering to do small chores that he knows he’s more physically capable of are some of the ways he can be chivalrous. [Read: What is chivalry? The real meaning, The Knights Code, and modern men]

4. Generosity

If he wants to shower you with gifts, just let him. But being generous isn’t just about material things. He should be generous with his affection, attention, and love. 

He shouldn’t be shy about giving everything he’s got.

5. Daringness

Even men have insecurities when it comes to dating. But he should be able to throw those out the door and be confident about the fact that he is boyfriend material. [Read: Spontaneous sex – 19 impulsive ways to do it, why have it, and things to avoid]

Any girl would be lucky to have him! 

6. Assertiveness 

He shouldn’t be complacent. The ones who don’t go after what they want always end up losing. That’s what they say about “nice” guys, right? 

So, he shouldn’t be too much of a nice guy that he becomes a doormat. But he should be an awesome, all-around good guy. [Read: How to attract an alpha male – 20 secrets to date him and keep him hooked]

7. Able to compromise

To be a good boyfriend, he has to know when to back down from a fight. He shouldn’t even have to fight at all. 

He should just talk things through and communicate his wants and needs to you. Make sure you consider his, too.

8. Spontaneity 

Protocols and patterns can be boring sometimes. She should do things differently just to spice things up. Good boyfriends know when to have fun and when to take chances. [Read: 25 signs and qualities that make the best boyfriends in the world]

Just don’t let him do anything illegal or dangerous, ‘kay?

9. Vulnerability 

He shouldn’t put up walls just because he’s afraid of getting hurt. 

You might be feeling the same way, so he should be the bigger person and open himself up to you. Seeing him do that may urge you to open up to him more as well. [Read: 18 secrets to get a man to open up, communicate, and understand you]

10. Loving

Need we say more?

11. He has your back

He never lets anyone upset you without sticking up for you. It’s his basic duty as a boyfriend to have your back at all times. Even if you’re wrong, he’s on your side, and he tells you about it in private!

12. Apologizes when necessary

Don’t be with the guy who never says ‘sorry’ when he’s wrong. That’s just going to lead to more fights and will eventually drive a huge wedge between you. [Read: How to apologize and say sorry to a lover]

If he messed up, he should be able to apologize. That’s one thing that makes him boyfriend material.

13. Makes you a priority

Many guys forget to make their partner a priority in their lives. They perhaps don’t mean to do so, but spending too much time with the guys and forgetting about date night is a major no-no. If he makes the effort to make you a top priority in his life, he’s a keeper. [Read: How much time should couples spend together?]

14. Independence

A needy guy isn’t boyfriend material. A guy who is independent and knows what he wants out of life is sexy. [Read: The omega male and 15 traits that make him better than the alpha male]

But only if he’s also someone who knows he has to let his guard down when he’s with his partner. The mixture of independence and vulnerability makes for the perfect boyfriend. 

15. Attractiveness

Attraction is subjective. You need to be attracted to him – not just physically but also emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. [Read: 34 VERY desirable traits men want, like, and find attractive in a woman]

16. Compassion and empathy 

This is where love comes in. You shouldn’t let someone be your boyfriend if he’s not willing to let people in.

He should share his feelings, empathize with his partner, and do what he can to connect. [Read: How to develop empathy and master the art of growing a real heart]

17. Behaves himself

Sex isn’t as tempting to guys like these. When they are offered a copious amount of booty, they will politely refuse in lieu of a more substantial booty – yours.

18. He is a gentleman 

Even though chivalry is practically dead, he will strive to do everything by the book.

He will take you out, wait for the prerequisite three dates before attempting to hook up, and he will agree or insist on meeting your friends and family. [Read: 22 big early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

19. He can afford to date

Being able to take you out means that he is confident enough in his financial status. Prospective boyfriends know that being able to provide *even if their girlfriend is richer than Donald Trump* is a given.

20. Pet names don’t faze him

You can call him “Pooky,” and he won’t give a damn. He’ll probably call you “Snookums,” too.

21. Able to commit long-term

He has no qualms about where things are going. The question, “So, what are we?” is readily answered with an affirmative.

And he doesn’t need to slow things down, just so he can gather his thoughts about the situation. [Read: Is he afraid to commit? 30 signs he’s scared of a real relationship]

22. Knows the difference between right and wrong

No cheating, no lying, no hurting. He knows what’s up.

23. Cuddles! 

No more awkward body language analyses. This guy will grab you, hug you, and fall asleep with his face in your hair.

24. He’s attracted to you

This may seem pretty obvious. Either you think he’s cute, or you don’t—and if not, he’s already in the rearview mirror.

But sometimes ladies will look past this one if other qualities are really outstanding. [Read: 25 subtle signs to know if you’re attractive and others find you hot and sexy]

However, this one cannot be forgotten; physical attraction is EXTREMELY important in any relationship, and if it’s not there, no amount of intellectual attraction will make you want to get naked and jump his bones—another very important aspect of a relationship.

25. Can hold a good conversation 

You may find someone who is ridiculously hot, has a really interesting job, and even has some of the same hobbies as you, but if you can’t have a meaningful conversation, then it’s not looking good for the future. 

What would that relationship end up looking like, the both of you sitting on the couch in silence for eternity? No. Women want to know that they can talk to their partners. [Read: 84 intellectual, deep conversation starters and topics to bond with anyone]

26. Complements you

Not compliment, as in, “Oh darling, you’re so beautiful today.” But instead, ask yourself if he has qualities that mesh well with yours. If you really, really suck at cooking, for instance, is he good at it?

We can’t be forced to eat Easy Mac and cereal for the rest of our lives, right? We also want to make sure that our qualities are similar so our personalities don’t end up clashing.

27. Supportive

Does he believe in our dreams and push us to meet our goals? We want to make sure that our Mr. Right is always supportive of our every dream and wish—no matter how outlandish. [Read: Really great qualities in a guy that all girls admire]

Okay, so you know you may never wind up being the biggest popstar ever, but you want a man who tells you that will be, anyways. Support is an important base of any relationship.

28. Ambitious

Nobody likes someone who is lazy and undetermined. Women love men who go out and work hard for the things that they want. 

It also means that they will work hard for the relationship. Us women don’t underestimate the power of an ambitious man. We search for them. [Read: Every girl’s weakness – 25 guy traits that make her weak in the knees]

29. Reliable 

This is a HUGE one for many women out there. We need a reliable man. Someone who will be there when he says he will and someone who won’t disappoint us. 

If you’re 9 months pregnant and two blocks from your car on a 95-degree day and suddenly go into labor, you want to know your man will drop everything and be there when you call. This creates trust in a relationship, and no relationship can last without it.

30. Honest 

This goes along with creating trust. Does the things he says match up with his behavior? Honesty is a major part of a relationship, and without it, things fall apart very quickly. [Read: Signs of dishonesty in a relationship that pushes couples apart]

You want to know that when you ask your man something, you’re getting the truth. Unless he absolutely hates the dress and heels you just bought, and you really love them. In that case, he can keep his pie hole shut.

31. Wants a family

Whether a woman wants a family really bad or she’s the type that would rather toss the nearest snot monster into a ball pit and run away, this is something we all need to know. 

If you want a big family, and he has never wanted kids in his entire life, then it’s safe to say that some things probably won’t work out. [Read: 15 things women look for in a man before they even consider falling for him]

32. Similar values

This could mean faith, religion, or even whether or not you both believe in ghosts. Having the same beliefs is very important for a lot of reasons. 

If you have differing views as to what is right and wrong, it could lead to a lot of problems in the relationship. You could also run into issues raising a child—if it ever got to that point.

33. Future goals match yours 

No one really knows what the future holds, and that’s true. However, women like to figure out if the possibility of a long-term relationship even makes sense.

If he’s moving to Boston *far away from you*, would it even make sense to be with him? [Read: 25 signs and qualities of the perfect boyfriend material]

But what if your future career could lead you out there as well? If you love to travel, it could work! This is something that is crucial. 

No woman wants to get involved with someone only to realize that their futures are on completely different paths. This is why future plans are usually on our checklist.

34. Faithful 

Temptation is around every corner, and the internet has made it easier than ever before for someone who wants to cheat. Being totally loyal is one of the things a boyfriend should do without question. [Read: Tempted to cheat? 15 reasons why being faithful is so hard]

If you’re exclusive, he should not be talking to other people – flirting or anything else. Total faithfulness or nothing at all!

35. Good listener 

Far too many guys don’t actually listen. It’s frustrating when you’re explaining something or perhaps even telling him how you’re feeling, and he’s on his phone, obviously distracted, or simply not taking in the words you’re saying.

Listening is one of the things a boyfriend should do without question. This will help him to understand you and your needs far better as a result. [Read: 23 must-know relationship tips and advice for women]

36. Doesn’t make fun of you 

There is a big difference between someone laughing with you and someone laughing at you. A high-quality guy never laughs at you with any menace. Sure, he might tease you in a fun way, but that’s all.

Relationships are about laughing together and teasing one another in a fun way. If he ever laughs and makes you feel like he’s pointing the finger or making fun of you in a way that isn’t particularly lighthearted, that’s not a good sign.

37. Texts and calls you first 

There is nothing more frustrating than a guy who never texts you first. You’re left doing all the running, wondering whether he actually likes you or not. [Read: Stop texting first – how this can make dating more fun and less stressful]

One of the things a boyfriend should do is share an equal workload when it comes to communication! Of course, that doesn’t mean you should always leave it to him, either. It’s a two-way street!

38. You meet his friends and family 

You should never be hidden away, and a good boyfriend will want to show you off to his nearest and dearest. 

Sure, it might be that you don’t meet his folks straight away, but you should certainly be meeting his friends pretty soon after you’ve become exclusive. [Read: These are the 16 types of guys you never want to date]

39. Wants to define the relationship 

One of the things a boyfriend should do is always make it clear to his partner where they stand. Never allow a guy to play games or make you question your place in his life.

If you’re not sure if you’re important to him and he makes no effort to reassure you that you are, it’s time to question whether you want him in your life at all. 

You deserve better than a guy who leaves you questioning your importance. [Read: Define the relationship – 20 signs it’s time to DTR already and how to do it]

40. Not needy 

It’s healthy to have your own interests and your own circle of friends outside of a relationship, and the same goes for him. 

A good quality boyfriend will understand this and encourage you to spend time with your friends and do the things you love. Of course, do the same for him. [Read: 15 traits of the perfect boyfriend material guy]

41. Respects your boundaries 

When you set boundaries within the relationship, whether emotionally, with your time, or sexually, he respects and understands these boundaries. 

One of the things a boyfriend should do at all times is to realize that boundaries are there for a reason, and, without question, he should stick to them.

42. Controls his jealousy 

Everyone gets jealous occasionally, but he doesn’t allow the green-eyed monster to run riot and cause you to feel annoyed, upset, or uncomfortable. 

He feels secure enough in the relationship to avoid feeling jealous. [Read: 17 gig signs of a jealous and possessive boyfriend]

Final thoughts

How many of these points does your boyfriend show or have?

A guy who is boyfriend material is not going to make you wonder whether or not you’re important. He’s never going to place you in a position where you feel unwanted or uncared for.

Instead, he will show you that you’re important to him as often as he can. [Read: Healthy relationship – 27 signs, qualities, and what it looks like in real life]

This means you should show the same level of respect and do the same things for him. Relationships are two-way streets. If you want this relationship to grow and build over time, show the same respect and care back to him. 

By doing this, you’ll encourage him to treat you like the biggest prize he’s ever won in life. Then, your relationship will go from strength to strength.

[Read: The new boyfriend guide: All the dos and don’ts a girl should keep in mind]

See the difference? If you keep making excuses for the ones who aren’t boyfriend material, you better get your act together and look for the ones who are. That is if you want to be happy! 

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Carol Morgan LP
Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...