The problem with the early stages of a relationship is that everyone is trying so hard to make an impression, they rarely allow enough of their true character to surface, from which their partner can make an accurate assessment.
It’s a fun time, to be sure, but it’s not so fun if you make a commitment to someone who, it turns out, doesn’t really exist, and you end up sharing your life and home with a complete stranger—or, even worse, someone that you really don’t like, nor ever would have, had you known their true character.
To help you discern whether your Prince Charming deserves that accolade, or is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing, this list points to a number of qualities that indicate the character of a genuinely good man. Of course, do be aware that the more number of boxes ticked, the better. One on its own is not enough.
Being well groomed, for instance, could point to an obsessive-compulsive personality, if not accompanied by other qualities on the list. The sole quality of being hard-working could likewise indicate that you’re in the presence of a 21st century sociopath. If you’re talking 10 or more boxes ticked, however, then you’re in true white knight territory. Read on to see exactly what these qualities are. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a terrible boyfriend]
20 qualities of a good man
#1 It’s a family affair. A good man is a family man. He keeps in touch with his parents, siblings, and children, isn’t scared of meeting your family, and might even hope for a family of his own. All good indicators of a stable and emotionally solid personality.
#2 Open ears. A good man is a good listener. Listening isn’t the same as hearing. He shuts up, absorbs what you’re saying, and commits it to memory. Good listening skills reveal a genuine interest in you and what you’re saying. If he can’t even give you that modicum of respect, then things aren’t looking great.
#3 The gentle touch. A good man is a gentleman. He should always be aware that he is, or at least usually, the more physically imposing of the genders. He will never idly raise his voice or even allow his shadow to intimidate. And he will always offer to hold the door open, irrespective of whether it may be considered sexist. [Read: 11 surefire ways to know if you’re dating a true gentleman]
#4 Your hero. A good man will be your guardian. A lamb in most matters, when it comes to protecting you, he will become a lion in your defense—unswervingly devoted.
#5 Deep pockets. A good man is a generous man. Generosity is a hallmark of a good man and a true gent. He understands the power of money to cause good and bad, alternately, and would rather sacrifice his own hard-earned dough than let others go without.
#6 Manners cost nothing. A good man is always polite. He understands that respect begins with words, as well as actions, and makes sure that he metes it out equally to everyone… but especially the lady who holds his affections.
#7 Physical impressions. A good man is well groomed. We’re not talking about excessive vanity or a clothing budget the size of Switzerland’s gross GDP—just careful attention to detail and nothing that could offend or annoy others.
#8 Ethical matters. A good man has integrity. Where others might be tempted to bend the rules occasionally, a good man has an unswerving moral code that makes others admire him. [Read: 20 traits that make a guy a real man]
#9 Heart on sleeve. A good man is emotionally confident. He has no fear of opening his heart to his loved ones and deals with his emotions in a mature and constructive manner.
#10 Reflections of self. A good man has a good circle of friends. He will give anyone the time of day, but he will not surround himself with fools.
#11 Culture vulture. A good man respects learning and culture. He doesn’t have to subscribe to it. He doesn’t even have to have the gifts needed to truly appreciate it. But he does understand its value and would never allow himself to be embittered by a lack of understanding.
#12 Bodies and temples. A good man takes care of himself. Respect for one’s body is the foundation upon which respect for the importance and sanctity of life is built.
#13 Exercising restraint. A good man practices self-control. He can have as much fun as the next guy, but you’ll never see him drunk in a gutter at the end of a night and smelling like a skunk’s long-lost uncle the next morning.
#14 Going with the flow. A good man can adapt to the conversation. He never continues at the expense of the contributions of others, or interrupts aimlessly to get his own point across. He is a considerate conversationalist who will drop his line of thought rather than interrupt the general flow of chat.
#15 There can be only one. A good man is faithful. You’ll never truly know if he is or not until you start seeing him exclusively, but if you meet friends and acquaintances who have nothing but good to say about him… well, that’s a pretty good start. [Read: 25 traits and qualities that make a guy a really good boyfriend]
#16 The value of industry. A good man is hard-working. The ability to work without complaint or cynicism, and to take any given duties as read, is a sign of maturity that promises a stable and happy home life.
#17 One eye on the future. A good man has goals. After all, a man who works hard without a goal in mind is less a man than a robot.
#18 Turn that frown upside down. A good man has a great smile. You can’t force an honest smile, no matter how well-practiced an actor you are, and someone who gifts his friends and girlfriends with a beautiful, broad, honest, open smile on a regular basis often possesses an equally beautiful soul.
#19 A matter of trust. A good man trusts you. Jealousy is a terribly destructive emotion, and someone who has no truck with it, who is utterly able to gift you their trust, is someone equally worthy of your trust.
#20 Egging you on. A good man gives encouragement freely. He will listen to your dreams and desires and always encourage you to pursue them, even at a cost to himself.
Use these qualities of a good man to separate the wheat from the chaff, and make sure that the guy who you commit to is a winner and not a sinner.
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