The 5 Qualities That Define A Good Man

The 5 Qualities That Define A Good Man

The qualities you should seek for a lasting relationship.
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It’s only natural that when we enter our college years we desire a companion. As we start we don’t really know what we’re looking for or even how to find them. Often we just want to be able to relax and have a good time. Yet, eventually, we will wish we could find someone with whom we could spend the rest of our lives, or at least have a decent relationship.

However, it is far too often that I hear young women complain that they aren’t sure if they guy they are with is the right one. Or if he is just playing them or being the “dog” that all men supposedly are. It would be too cliché to say that not all men are dogs. I feel the problem is a little more subtle than that.I believe that most men aren’t actually men.

We no longer live in the 1950s. The nuclear family isn’t dead but it is a rare breed these days. And at the risk of making a nuanced problem seem simple, men have simply not been taught how to “man up.” Men no longer have multiple examples to look at that affirm their masculinity. I believe it is hurting our culture in ways we have not yet noticed.

There have been many other articles that have tried to address this issue of the “Modern man.” I believe that in order to address this issue we must first define terms. So below is a list of five qualities that define a good man.

1) RESPONSIBILITY

The number one trait that defines a man is responsibility. Now, this does not mean that the man never screws up, or makes mistakes. This trait is also not defined by how busy he is or how many jobs/extracurriculars he works on. This is not simply how he handles responsibility but also how he takes responsibility.

Handling responsibility is of utmost importance. Can the man apologize when he makes a mistake? Can he identify his mistake and learn from it? Will he allow people to blame him when all hell breaks loose and not make excuses?

You may have never realized how annoying people are when they act this way, but it is especially annoying in a man who is claiming he’s ready for a real relationship.You want a man who will do his part, and not make excuses when things go wrong.This leads into number 2.

2) LEVEL HEADED/HANDLES EMOTIONS

Level Headedness is greatly valued in our society.However, sometimes a man can simply be closed off or stoic and be mistaken for even tempered.Being able to keep your cool under pressure is great but it’s also important to know when to express your emotions.

Men have been taught that we need to put on this always strong, never going to cry façade.It’s time that we as men take responsibility for this and break down the wall.It is okay to cry. It is okay to share your emotions especially with the girl you hope to spend the rest of your life with. It is also just as important to know that you don’t need to emote everything all at once. Sharing feelings is a long process and is part of the beauty of a good long-term relationship. It will take years. I just want men to know that it doesn’t make you less of a man to have emotions. Just know how and when to share them.

I also want to stress the importance of being level-headed. It is important for a man to be able to keep his emotions in check and not over-react to situations. When a problem arises we need to be able to think on it first and react second. So remember to use your emotions, but also know when to keep them under your self-control.

I recommend finding a good group of guys to hang out with regularly and talk about life. These types of friendships are hard to find but incredibly worth it. And that leads me to number 3.

3) COMMITTED/LOYAL

A good man is committed and loyal. This doesn’t mean that he is committed to every girl he dates. That is simply and unfair thing to ask of anyone. But he is committed to life and the pursuit of his own dreams. He should also be committed to his family, and his friends.

Ladies this is very important.If a man doesn’t treat his mother well he will not treat you well. It simply won’t happen. Even if his mother is an abusive monster if he is full of disrespect and anger towards her it will come out in his relationship with you. (Return to number 2 and get your emotions in check)

Also, a man who has friends is clearly friendly. If a man doesn’t have friends this should be a red flag. It can cause his life to be defined by his partner instead of by himself. How a man interacts with other guys can tell you a lot about him. It will tell you if he is even able to have real relationships or if every move he makes is superficial. If a man doesn’t have friends or is willing to drop them quickly for his next fling that is not a man who is loyal or ready for commitment.

4) DEFENDER

Men have a natural protection instinct. He wants to protect you but he also wants to protect himself. A man should be willing to fight for what is important to him. This doesn’t mean he has to throw down with every obstacle but he should have defined values that are important to him.

Friendship is one of these things that a man should fight for. If he’s not willing to defend his friends to you, is he willing to defend you to his friends? He should not allow his friends to talk negatively about his girlfriend.

Many times today a man will have to defend his right to defend other people. We are often so individualistic that we think everyone should be able to make it on their own. A good man knows when someone is weaker or in need and rises to the occasion to defend those who cannot defend themselves. (This is not a sexist thing, there are plenty of other men to defend as well.)

5) WILD AND FREE

Finally, the hardest character trait is this.A man needs to be free.He needs to be allowed to be himself without judgement.So, he leaves the toilet seat up from time to time is that a crime?He may need to do something crazy every now and then that you may not understand.Let him do it.

If a man can be controlled is he really a man anymore or merely a shell of a man? For more on the topic of a man being wild and free I recommend the book "Wild and Heart" by John Eldredge. He has some incredible insights into the soul of the man.

So, these are my 5 qualities that define a good man.Let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Next Week: I will talk more about manhood in the modern world.Most likely getting deeper on the topic of men and handling their emotions.And coming soon the answer to the question of where have all the good men gone?

Cover Image Credit: Braveheart

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved
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To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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The Shape Of The Monster: Depression

The second piece in a series about mental illness.

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The last thing I want to do is glorify mental illness, give it a platform, give it a name. But I need to talk about it, to work through it, to show that it's something many people experience.

It goes like this.

Hey! Sorry I haven't called you back. Everything has been so busy.

Every time I think about even picking up the phone and calling you, something heavy but familiar sets in my stomach like a weight.

You know how things get.

You know how easy it is to want to slip into absolute nothingness, right?

I've been trying to write, but my writer's block has been limiting me a lot.

Everything I write is so bad. The flow is off. It doesn't sound like me. It feels so crooked and wrong. I can't do anything right.

How are things? Has work been alright?

I hope you feel successful. I hope things are easier for you. I hope you are as happy as you seem.

I'm okay.

I don't want to be here. I don't want to be anywhere. I feel crooked and wrong like I just want to scream and cry and dissolve.

I've just been so tired!

I have been tired for at least a decade. Tired of never sleeping. Tired of never feeling anything more than either absolute devastation and absolute nothingness. Tired. Tired. Tired.

I hope I can see you soon.

I hope I can bring myself to get out of bed and out into the world. I hope I can force myself to shower, and get dressed, and be a contributor to society, to social obligations.

I miss you.

I miss you.

I love you.

I love you.

I promise to call as soon as things lighten up a bit.

As long as the chemical imbalance doesn't destroy me altogether, hopefully, I can feign vague interest for a short phone call.

Goodbye.

Goodbye for now, maybe goodbye forever, maybe I'll work up the courage to call you in another 2, 5, 7 weeks or so. My life is made of "maybes." Maybe one-day things will be better. Maybe one day I'll be happy. Maybe one day I won't be anything. Maybe.

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