Nobody’s perfect. Finding the right man isn’t about meeting a guy who is exactly how you imagine or without any faults, but there are ways to recognize if he’s someone who will connect with you and share a great relationship.
Here are the best ways to recognize a good man from the start.
1. He Works Hard and Cares about What He Does
A hard-working man gets the job done. No matter if he’s working on a construction site, delivery driving, or coding, he cares about doing what he needs to properly.
He shows up to his shifts on time, respects his boss, has ambitions, and displays respect. He doesn’t make excuses for his shortcomings or complain about his job every time you see him. Men who spend all day talking about how everyone but him sucks where he works don’t tend to get very far. They talk themselves up but aren’t good at working with others, and in my experience, aren’t even that great at what they do. They run their mouths instead of focusing and truly applying themselves.
A hard-working man cares about doing what he needs to properly.
My ex-husband was the king of this. He’s always been the “expert” at every job he’s ever had. He always claimed that he worked harder than everyone. When I met him we were working at a record store together (back when those still existed), and he spent every shift talking about how tired and overworked he was. I felt bad for him because I fell for these claims, but over the years I realized that he created most of his professional “problems” himself. He refused to learn a new trade in a non-service industry, bad-mouthed his job directly to his bosses, and even bullied employees who worked under him. As an assistant manager, he nicknamed one of his employees “Useless” because they didn’t get along, and he didn’t know how to properly resolve conflict. Then, when he got passed over for a promotion to take over his location, he complained that he was being treated unfairly.
Sure, we all have bad days, but there’s a huge difference between a man telling you about a rough time and constantly whining about how much he hates his job (while refusing to find a better career path) or how nobody works as hard as him. These kinds of sentiments are immature and often highly biased, if not totally wrong.
2. He Treats His Mom/Female Family Members Well
How a man treats other women says it all. If he flirts with the waitress on your first date, cut him loose. If he hates his sister or talks badly about his mother, he’s probably not great relationship material. Just as everyone talks about women’s “daddy issues,” men with “mommy issues” need to work through their internal problems before they can enter a healthy relationship.
How a man treats other women says it all.
I knew my second husband was the one from the beginning. It wasn’t just because he works hard when he needs to, it was mainly because of how much he cared about his little sister. He really worries about her and loves her like a big brother should. He’s her best friend, and even when they don’t see each other often, he’s messaging her or telling me stories from when they were kids.
On top of that, he’s a mama’s boy. He calls his mom regularly, cares about how she’s feeling and what she wants, and is always reminding his dad to do nice things for her. This great love for the woman who raised him – even though she can be a bit overbearing at times – easily showed me that he knows how to treat a lady.
3. He's Supportive but Not Submissive
Okay, finding a supportive man is super important, but he can’t just be a pushover who supports you because he’s lonely or afraid of losing you. A truly supportive man genuinely cares about what you’re doing. He’s got your back. He’s in your corner (the way you should be for him too).
At the same time, he’s not submissive. He doesn’t just agree with you to boost your ego, nor does he put you down to feel better about himself. He understands the need for encouragement, but he also isn’t afraid to tell you when your ideas suck.
He understands the need for encouragement but isn’t afraid to tell you when your ideas suck.
So many couples nowadays are afraid of confrontation. Instead of fighting and hashing out their issues as their relationship goes through the tests of time, they just hold everything in or brush it off. This is unhealthy and will eventually lead to disaster. The longer you hide the little things, the bigger they become.
You can care for someone and disagree with them. You can support someone and still not always agree with them. Good men, who are ready for a real relationship, know this or at least kind of sense it.
4. He Stands for Something
“You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything.” That’s a line from my favorite country song. Aaron Tippin might not be Johnny Cash or Justin Bieber (thank God), but those lyrics say it all.
A good man knows what he believes in. He has his own values, standards, and faith. Whether that faith is in hard factual science or a God, he follows what he believes to be right, no matter what others say or do.
He follows what he believes to be right, no matter what others say or do.
As someone who believes in individual liberties, there is nothing sexier than a man who refuses to bow down to tyranny. When my husband talks about how his great-grandfather was in a concentration camp and that he will die before he sees our kids ever meet that fate, it bonds us deeper and gives me strength. Courage is contagious, and a brave man is someone who stands for his beliefs and shares them with his family, no matter what.
Bonus: He Has a Hobby
This isn’t a must, but it’s a good sign. Men who have a hobby know how to have fun. They don't just sit around doing nothing with themselves, nor are they so obsessed with their jobs that they can’t focus on anything else.
Hobbies grow skills but aren’t pursued for profit. My husband plays guitar, but he had his chance with the music industry. He walked away from a small record deal because it wasn’t on his terms. He’s also a talented artist. He can draw like no one else I know. His cartoony figures are crazy awesome, but again, when he was pushed to do it for money, his passion was destroyed by the business aspect.
Having a hobby shows a man can invest his time in something he loves simply because he cares about it.
So many people are pressed to turn hobbies into a career, and that may work for some, but many of us understand the need for a fulfilling activity that just makes us feel good. It doesn’t matter how we come to understand and practice that, just having a hobby shows that a man can invest his time in something he loves simply because he cares about it.
Whether it’s fishing, designing his own video games, or drawing a chicken with people feet (because your wife desperately wanted to see that – yes, that’s me), a man with a hobby is more balanced. He doesn’t have to be perfectly balanced, just enough to know himself and how to devote his time where it matters.
Finding the right man takes time. That’s never going to change, but knowing how to spot a good man from the start will save you some time and maybe even heartbreak.
A hard-working man, who cares about the women in his life, is supportive, and stands up for his beliefs, is always worth the effort. If he’s got a cool hobby you appreciate, that’s even better. No one is flawless, but these little signs help a woman be fair to herself and to the men she dates.
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