16 Good Qualities in a Man

Self-awareness
21 Jun 2024
8 min read
16 Qualities of Good Man: Your Checklist

When you enter into a romantic relationship, there are some good qualities in a man that you look for. They may be very specific to you and based on personal preferences: like, let’s say, being an amazing cook or traveling as much as you do. Then, there are other qualities of a good guy that are a bit more universal. These are the traits that most women will seek out in an ideal partner.

In this guide, we’ll focus on 16 universal characteristics that define a good man and will lead to a happy relationship.

What Are Bad and Good Qualities in a Man?

The topic of good qualities in a man drives a multi-billion dollar industry. There are books, websites, podcasts, classes, and speaking tours all centered around this topic.

But some of these guides are misleading from a female perspective. As such, men are paying good money to learn how to:

  • Become sexually attractive to women
  • Be an alpha male
  • Fit into a specific definition of masculinity
  • Figure out what women want in the ideal man

To be clear, there is some great content that encourages men and focuses on moral integrity, good mental health, self-respect, confidence, and emotional availability as things that make for a high-quality man. Still, these are rarely delivered by women. It’s all about how men perceive the qualities of a good man.

16 good qualities in a man: What are they?

Sadly, there is also an abundance of so-called gurus who encourage toxic qualities in men while painting women as untrustworthy gold-diggers. Men who embrace these teachings often find themselves in a safe space where their unhealthy views and expectations are encouraged and validated.

These unhealthy views and teachings are exemplified on Discord servers, subreddits, and online multiplayer games. Misogyny is often given a pass if not encouraged directly. Women who enter these spaces are often subject to threats, sexual remarks, and other forms of disrespect that go far beyond gamer talk or banter.

Not Just a Man: Many Women Have Higher Standards

The definition of what makes a good man has certainly evolved. At one point the ability to quite literally bring home food was a key selling point. Thanks to technology and other advancements, women are more able than ever to meet their own needs in this area.

Sixty years ago, a good man was someone who attended religious services, had steady employment, and made his family a priority. Many people still value these things, but not all women do. Many of these characteristics assume that the woman wants or needs a provider and that she is willing to defer some of her autonomy to attain that goal.

The 6-6-6 Rule

If you’ve ever seen a guy refer to the 6-6-6 rule, he is talking about:

  • Six pack abs
  • Six feet tall
  • Six figure salary

There are allegedly traits that women insist that good men have before they are worthy of dating.

Is this true? Of course not! Such a small percentage of men fit into even one of these categories, yet men of all body types and income levels manage to find dates. All this misperception does is hurt men by encouraging them to focus on qualities they have little control over while also painting women as vapid and shallow.

What Women Really Want

Certainly, women are attracted to successful, fit men. But the vast majority are seeking out personality traits that show a man who is confident, emotionally stable, responsible, kind, and has a strong sense of self. If he has life goals that align with hers, that’s even better.

Related reading: Kindred Spirits: What Who & How

16 Personal Qualities a Man Should Have

So, what are the best qualities a man should have and women should seek out in successful romantic relationships? These sixteen should top every priority list.

1. Moral Integrity

“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.”

Michelle Obama

A man with integrity conducts himself within a framework of moral standards regardless of the situation he is in. He can be trusted to be honest, fair, and kind. This is true even when he is dealing with feelings of anger, frustration, or temptation.

No, this doesn’t mean that he’s perfect all of the time. Even a great man falls short of his own standards. However, a man of integrity also embraces one of the most important personality traits which is accountability.

2. Self Awareness

Self-awareness bridges the gap between a person’s standards and expectations of their behaviors and the qualities they exhibit to the rest of the world.

A man may have a set of dating beliefs and moral integrity rules to follow. But you can say he has a good sense of self-awareness if he recognizes what are his strengths and what needs improvements.

3. A Healthy Relationship With His Family

People who have good family relationships tend to have good romantic relationships in life too. If a man gets along well with his family as an adult, that’s a sign that he has learned to:

  • Compromise
  • Be a good communicator
  • Solve conflict
  • Maintain relationships over time

Of course, there are exceptions to this. Some men come from toxic or abusive families. In that case, the healthiest relationship possible may be one that is very distant or simply nonexistent.

Be wary of men who seem to be in constant conflict with their family of origin, or unable to move past unhealthy feelings of anger.

Related reading: Reading Between The Lines: Determining if He’s The One

4. Willing to Genuinely Share Work

Division of labor can be more important than sex, politics, or other hot-button issues. It will set the tone of the relationship and is why so many women feel dismissed and unsupported by the guy they happen to be dating.

What is Division of Labor?

It takes labor to make a relationship work. Division of labor is simply how the burden of that work is split up. Labor is all the effort required to keep a couple connected and happy. It’s also the practical stuff that has to happen as part of adulting. This applies mostly to couples who are living together. Labor includes:

  • Planning and executing dates
  • Remembering and celebrating important milestones
  • Checking in with one another emotionally and spiritually
  • Taking care of shared chores and obligations
  • Ensuring that there is regular communication in the relationship

What Is an Uneven Division of Labor?

An uneven division of labor happens when one person takes on more than their fair share of work in the relationship. This may happen when their partner simply doesn’t do the work. It can also happen when a partner requires constant hand-holding and reminders.

Janice recently broke up with a guy who really disappointed her. They shared an apartment, but he would only straighten up around the place if she left him a detailed chore list. Nobody had to point out to her what needed cleaning. On top of that, she was the one who was expected to keep track of their social calendar, schedule grooming appointments for the dog, and they never did anything special as a couple that she didn’t plan. She tried to discuss it with him but it just devolved into power issues. So, now she’s searching for a better man with the qualities she desires.

A good guy is the one who celebrates your accomplishments

5. Celebrates Your Accomplishments

There’s a viral video that shows a woman running a race. She’s about to win when her partner shoves their children into her path. Some who watch the video simply see a good man who wants his children to celebrate with their mother. Others see a guy who cannot bear to see his wife or girlfriend achieving something outside of her relationship with him and their children. So, he thinks nothing of risking her big moment to remind her of her role.

No matter what your feelings are about this particular instance, one of the qualities of a good man is the willingness to let you shine. A good man will let you have your moment and celebrate that with you without centering himself or anything else.

6. Genuinely Listens to You

A good man is a good listener. He doesn’t act burdened or exasperated when you talk. He certainly doesn’t deliberately misconstrue your words or gaslight you.

To be clear, even a good man gets things wrong. Nobody is a perfect communicator. At the same time, you deserve to be in a healthy relationship, where you are heard.

7. In Touch With His Emotions

Sadly, men are often afraid or discouraged from expressing or even acknowledging their full range of emotions. That’s a shame, because the result isn’t healthy stoicism. Instead, what happens is a lack of emotional stability and maturity. Some men are simply emotionally unavailable. Others can’t manage their negative emotions.

This is why being emotionally intelligent is one of the top qualities of a good man. This person is a guy who can acknowledge his feelings and express them in a healthy way. Additionally, women feel safe expressing themselves around them.

8. Shares Your Values

Your goal isn’t to simply find a good man. It’s to find a compatible good man. Your best relationship is going to be with a guy who has a personality type that complements yours. He should also share your values when it comes to important things.

If you are a goal-oriented, active person who aspires to own a big home, wear expensive clothes, and achieve career greatness, you may not fit in with a guy who doesn’t have any real career aspirations. None of this means there’s anything wrong with him. It simply means that you and he have qualities that may not mesh together.

10. Treats People With Respect

Good manners are one of the top qualities of a good man. It’s not just the performative stuff either. A decent guy goes out into the world and treats the people he encounters with genuine regard. He doesn’t present a better version of himself to people he perceives to be powerful or important. Because he sees every person as important.

11. Takes Care of Himself

Some men are taught that self-care is a sign of weakness, or even effeminate. They believe that doing anything other than “powering through” physical or emotional pain is a personal failure. This is unhealthy for them. It also impacts those around them as they are often left grumpy, short-tempered, and closed off.

Confident men take care of themselves. They stay on top of their health. They take a sense of pride in how they present themselves to the world, and see self-care as important to their confidence and mental health.

12. Masculine Not Macho

A healthy sense of masculinity is one of the key qualities of a good man. This is in contrast to toxic machismo which is often confused for masculinity.

Masculinity is:

  • Defined by the individual
  • Encourages kindness and empathy
  • Holds non-violence as a key value
  • Allows men to be vulnerable

Machismo is:

  • Focused on physical strength
  • Discourages vulnerability
  • Centers dominance and conquest
  • Views nurturing and empathy as weakness

Machismo rarely leads to successful relationships. At first, a macho guy may seem like a good man, and a strong protector. In reality, most ladies need a kind and trustworthy man more than she needs a partner who is tough or physically strong.

Related reading: What Is Male Masculinity and Do You Need One?

13. Responsible With Money

It doesn’t matter if a man makes more money than his partner. However, one of the qualities of a good man is financial responsibility. Good men know how to manage their money. They live within their means and set financial goals. They also respect the women they date and their money management.

Yes, a good man may have debt or some financial mistakes in his past. That’s nothing to feel guilty over. The true measure is whether he has a plan of action to get into a healthier place financially.

14. Encourages Your Independence

A man may say that he thinks you are a beautiful person and that he can’t imagine spending time without you. At first, that seems charming until you realize that he’s telling you that he wants to be the center of your world. That’s not how a good man treats a partner.

Instead, a good man will encourage you to maintain a sense of independence. He won’t be threatened when you spend time with your friends or pursue your hobbies. He wants you to have your own life, and has a healthy social life outside of your relationship too!A confident man will never guilt trip you or pick fights to punish you for showing a sense of independence.

15. Has at Least One Friend Who is a Woman

Be wary of a man who limits the women in his life to:

  • Girlfriend
  • Wife
  • Mother
  • Sister

If his only interactions with women are romantic, sexual, and familial that could mean that he isn’t interested in engaging with ladies outside of those roles. Guys who are close friends with women tend to value women’s opinions on life, relationships, and important issues.

16. Intellectually Curious

Good people have a curious world view. They are eager to take in new information, and are willing to change their world views when that new data challenges their beliefs. No, this doesn’t mean you need to find a man who is constantly engrossed in a book or an academic. Lifelong learners come from all walks of life.

Why is intellectual curiosity so important? Curious people want to learn about others’ views and experiences. They develop a greater understanding which enables them to imagine what other people may be going through. Curious men are also excellent conversationalists.

How to Find a Man With Positive Characteristics

Honesty and authenticity are the two most important traits you can have if you want to attract a great guy. First, be yourself. Be honest about your interests and what you want in a relationship. Choose men who fit into your life and romantic goals. Focus on communication and conversation above all else. Then, you will find someone who is compatible with you.

Love&Sex Expert
Cherie Hamilton
I’ve always been inspired by women who are outgoing, very sure of themselves, and not afraid to be who they were, including their sex lives. Under their tutelage, I gradually shed my old self, hung out and socialized with them, and, over time, became the empowered, self-confident, and sexual woman I am today. Happy to share my insights with other women today!
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