10 Ways to Recognize a Good Guy

My Non-Negotiables for a Successful Relationship.

Now this may not be for everyone, but for me these are 10 non-negotiables that have led me to a pretty awesome relationship. I know some of you will immediately notice I didn’t put “faith” as a bullet point, but sometimes I think we spend more time looking for superficial religious clues than we do for signs of character and integrity. Yes, he needs to be a man who has faith in God, but the quality of his faith is more likely to be found in how he treats you and others rather than the church he attends. So, check out these 10 tips for finding a good guy, then let us know if you agree — or disagree.

1. He Was a Good Guy When You Met Him

Now ladies, please read this twice. You cannot make a bad boy a good boy no matter how hard you try. Every time you tell yourself that lie you should slap yourself and read this article. No but seriously, stop trying. Please! Your happiness depends on it. Have you ever looked up and said what on earth am I doing here? I should have, would have, could have …! I’d bet my  401K that it had something to do with a guy … a bad guy.

2. His Kindness Holds Up Under Pressure

It’s easy to be a nice guy when you get your way, but the ultimate test comes when you have a right to “go there.” However a man treats the people around him, he will eventually treat you. You don’t want a man that is just nice to you, or disrespects other women but treats you differently. As soon as you tell him no, you’ll be on the bad end of his personality. Easy things to observe: how he deals with an aggressive stranger, how he deals with a family member he doesn’t get along with. How does his personality hold up when he disagrees with you?

3. He Offers to Help Others When There’s Nothing in It for Him

This is the best selfishness indicator.  Does he help people simply because they need help, or does he look for ‘I Owe You’s'? When he does a nice gesture for you, does he expect you to return the favor? His motivation should be based solely on a desire to make you happy.

4. He Feels Honored to Be with You

So many men attempt to make women feel that they are lucky to be with them, but this should definitely be the other way around. I know some men would contest that statement, but it’s true. Honor me and I will honor you. When two good people get together, no ones needs are unmet; you both reciprocate equally. His manhood isn’t diminished by telling you how beautiful, intelligent, and strong you are – that’s what he loves about you.

5. He Inspires You to Be a Better You

His goals, achievements, and motivations encourage you to stay on track with your God-given destiny. He doesn’t hesitate to encourage you when you are down. You are proud of him, and he is equally proud of you. He challenges you to overcome your insecurities instead of giving more reasons for you to be insecure.

6. He’s Not in Competition With You

Do you feel like you have to prove yourself to him in order to earn his respect? Does he get jealous when men recognize your beauty? Some relationships can feel more like a competition than a mutual support system; you compete over careers, intelligence, or even physical fitness. Don’t let your competitive nature convince you that this endurance test is worth winning. A good relationship is not a competition; it’s a partnership.

7. He Has Personal Ambition

It’s far too easy to get distracted by income when looking for a good man. Many men have become pros at the illusion of security. The truth is, a wealthy man can lose his money and a poor man can stumble across a fortune. The best way to avoid superficiality and navigate these choppy waters is to make sure the guy has passion and a plan. You also may want to check his motivations; a good man  will feel his destiny driving him, and will know that God has given him that vision. The proverb tells us, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Consider this sound advice for romantic relationships as well. How can someone who is going nowhere and doing nothing inspire you to be anything? Usually those men are only professionals at destroying confidence.

8. He’ll Do Something Just Because You Want to Do It

Let’s face it; sometimes we are selfish, and that’s okay. Sometimes he’ll want his way and you should give it to him. Why? Because he has treated you like a prize and he deserves it. The same goes for us ladies. We all know relationships are give and take, but unfortunately often when it’s time to give there’s often some person WITHOUT a significant other that is telling us not to. A good man could care less about peer pressure; he knows what he has and knows you deserve to have your way sometimes.

9. He’s Confident in Who He Is

You don’t want a man that constantly needs encouragement or is preoccupied with proving himself to everyone he knows. By this point he should have resolved the major issues (if any) of his past. If he’s still “complicated,” wait until you find something simple, because your relationship deserves peace! A good guy knew who he was before he met you.

10. You’re Happy!

I saved the best for last. One of the greatest indicators that we often ignore is our happiness and our peace. If you argue all the time, or you feel like things will get better in time, he isn’t the right guy for you. This is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s good medicine! Besides, what’s the point if you’re not happy? There are a lot of things in your life that you can’t control, but when it comes to a relationship this should not be one of them. Do yourself a favor and not only find yourself a good guy, but find the good guy that makes you happy.

We all make excuses and exceptions, but I would encourage all you single ladies to consider your past relationships and see if there’s a trend. It’s never too late to elevate your standards.

About the author, Stephanie Imani LaFlora

Stephanie Imani LaFlora is coordinating producer of UrbanFaith.com and UMI Media. A writer, editor, and social-media whiz, she's a 2009 graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a degree in screenwriting.
  1. I think it’s interesting that Christians insist on not using “faith” as a non-negotiable when determining a life partner. An atheist or agonistic can be a nice guy and treat you well, as well as others around you. Besides a relationship is so much more than him being kind to you and making you happy. The point of being in a relationship is to find a man you are willing to join in a union with and become one. Not just physically, but one spiritually before the sight of the Most High. I personally think standing before God and yoking yourself with another spirit warrants knowing the man’s faith aspirations. Perhaps I’m just old-fashioned, but I want a man who will seek the face of God with me, not just a “nice guy.”

  2. I agree with just about everything on this list except I think a little competition isn’t the worst thing. WM Dupree, I have to respond because your comment touches on something that was a very present issue in my relationship. My husband, soon to be father of our son, is agnostic. It was something that I wondered about over our years together, primarily because I knew that children were going to be in any future with me. I think that you need a certain consistency in the message that is given to your children so his agnosticism did give me pause. But I obviously decided that it wasn’t a deal breaker for a few reasons. First, we have mutualrespect for each others’ value systems. I know that the culture in which he was raised simply did not include faith, but rather an unwavering loyalty to family. He understands that I grew up with faith. The second reason is that he acknowledges the value of raising a child with faith and in fact thinks it is better for the child. Because of these two reasons our partnership is feasible. But I don’t think it would work for everybody. If your partner’s faith is essential for you though, I think it is important that you not waver on it. Keep that a part of your list because you won’t be satisfied without it, and absolutely don’t count on a man without faith all of the sudden developing it because of his relationship with you. But besides that I think this list is basically sound.

  3. I completely agree with you Dupree. I dont understand how you can be unequaly yoked with another person and actually think that it will not have any impact on your faith. Its absurb. There will come a time when you have to chose and or compromise the Word of God. Your hypothetical plans sound so great Cassandra but I pray that it works out and the your child develops a faith in God that they understand and are not confused. It all comes down to what you prioritize in a relationship/marriage. God is always number one for me.

  4. My question is why has everyone focused solely on faith being the deciding factor? The author presented a list of 10 things that play a major role in deciding a partner, yet i haven’t seen anything about any of those 10 traits in these responses. Faith is important, yes, but I believe that was implied. It seems to me that sometimes we, as Christians, tend to focus too much time and energy on qualifying other people’s faith and we forget to actually practice and embody our own. I have no doubt that two people raising a child who come from two different backgrounds can bring that child up with a clear and confident understanding of faith. I myself came from two parents from different backgrounds in faith, and I am most certainly a confident Christian. My parents rasied me in the church, and i plan to do the same with my own children. growing up with multiple perspectives to draw from on faith, has allowed me to develop as a well rounded spiritual person. it also reminds me not to walk through life with my nose turned up to the sky, because i might stroll right past a great deal of people that God intended for me to meet, appreciate, and learn from.

  5. As a point of clarification, when I say faith, I mean the Christian faith as outlined in the Bible. Because of the website, I incorrectly assumed this would have a Christian perspective. Also, I don’t think there was disagreement with the list, just discussion about the importance of “faith” in a relationship. I don’t believe it is impossible to raise “Christian” children in a mixed-religion household. With that being said, the list is how to find a “a good guy” and not “a Godly man” so perhaps my comment was unnecessary to begin with, I just don’t see the need in wasting your time recognizing a good guy when, as Women of God, we should be recognizing Godly men. I simply believe that by mentioning faith in the introduction and not putting it on the list, the author was over-looking the importance of having a sound spiritual foundation in a relationship.

  6. Im surprised that faith wasnt mentioned at all…unless the author assumed it. I would also suggest that this list is more indicative of people marrying much later in life. Im not sure I was running 100% at those 10 things when I married at 24. Some were more stronger than others but we grew together and its been 18 years so far!

    Also, something that is not mentioned that I believe is a crucial part is having wise counsel around you. We dont always spot the right things even when we have the best of intentions. Today, too many rely on their own judgement which can be flawed and fall victim to selfish desires. This is what fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins are for.

  7. I must say that after reading all the comments I had to go back and re-read the 10 items on the list and most importantly the title, “Ten Ways to Recognize a Good Guy. The Bible says that “Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing.” And ladies we must be smart and understand that the man the does find us, is the man that God wants us to be found by. So yes, having faith (whatever your faith may be) is important. We have have to pray for wisdom and the spirit of discerment. I believe that Stephanie’s list is what God equipped her with to use as a guideline to help her when she was waiting for her ” good man” and she thought that it might important for her to it with us. Thanks Stephanie!!

  8. I loved the list!!!! Much of it wasn’t an eye opener for me but a reminder to stop selling myself short!!!! Thank you Stephanie for what God has placed in your spirit to share with others. I am patiently waiting for a “good man” and I am happy and content if he never comes. Through it all I have learned about my flaws and past insecurities from childhood and I am delivered. I no longer have to question my worth, lower my standards and be unhappy!

  9. I love the honesty of this article. It’s defintely something to remember as well as share because sometimes we place ourselves in unhealthy relationships chasing the wrong things. It is important to place God first and his righteousness before seeking a partner and not just any partner but a partner for life. when it comes to relationships we tend to lower our standards and most importantly allow the partner to operate on those levels and ultimately do ourselves a disservice. I agree whole heartedly with the article and pray that it touch lives before others enter into toxic relationships.

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