Is he a stand-up guy—or is he just acting like one?
When you first meet a guy or have simply gone on a few dates with him, it can be hard to tell if he is a truly good guy—or just acting like one until he shows you who he really is. Well, fear not, because there are a few traits to help you understand whether he’s the real deal.
So what are the ultimate traits of a good guy? He is honest, kind, and reliable. If a man has these three traits, he will be successful in each of the areas discussed below. Being careful and cautious about letting him into your life and heart will allow you to keep the bad guys out, leaving room for the good guys who deserve a real chance.
1. Work history. Hands down, one of the most important factors in determining the quality and character of a guy has to do with his work history. If you want a drama-free romantic future, start with a guy who has a job and knows how to hold onto it. In fact, going to school—undergrad, graduate, or vocational—can count as a job, too, because it shows that he’s committed to getting educated and finding a job that suits him. Sure, some men may be out of work because of the down economy, so don’t hold that against them. What you do want to see with such men, however, is persistence in finding another one. You don’t need to complicate your life by taking care of and providing for a grown man!
Questions to ask: Many men hate the job question (“What do you do for a living?”), because they fear that women are trying to figure out how much money they make. Rather than ask him what he does for a living, ask him if he likes the work he does or if he’s been in the same job for a long time. Get a sense of whether he likes his job and gets along well with his co-workers. Ask him how he ended up at his job or developed interest in his line of work. A man who is stable at work is often stable in the rest of his life, too.
2. Relationship with his family. Most people mistakenly believe that a good guy has good relationships with his parents and siblings, but what happens if his parents and/or siblings are a little nuts, and he’s decided to detach from them a bit to save his own sanity? The truth is that family dynamics are complicated, so don’t judge him too quickly by his relationship with his family.
Questions to ask: Ask, “What’s your relationship like with your mom and dad?” or “How often do you get together?” If there is an upcoming holiday, ask if he is choosing to spend it with extended family. If he's not, ask him why and listen closely to his response. You want to sense that a man cares about his parents and siblings, and that he makes an effort to sustain or improve those relationships. Judging a man by the relationships he has with his family of origin is often—but not always—a good measure of what kind of man he is.
3. Relationships with friends. The friends a man chooses to have in his life tell you a lot about him. In addition, the kinds of activities he engages in with friends says even more about him. For example, does he tend to hang out at a sports bar with his buddies, or does he prefer a game of tennis at the local park? Is he someone who tends to like to hang out with just one or two buddies, or does he like the action of larger groups which offer more stimulation?
Questions to ask: Ask, “How many days each week do you like to get together with your buddies?” Prompting him this way (“How many days…”) as opposed to more generally (“Do you like to hang out with your buddies?”) will result in getting a more accurate response. You can also ask him what he and his buddies do when they're together. Finally, a great measure of a good guy is having friends and carrying on those friendships for many years. Ask, “Where do you know [insert name] from? Do you still talk to people from high school?” A good guy will usually still talk to at least one good friend from high school, because good guys are loyal and committed to the people they care about.
If you like your new guy’s friends, proceed; if you don’t, seriously consider ending the relationship. Figuring out whether a guy is a truly good person or just one who says he is is not a simple endeavor. In fact, it takes talking to a man over a long period to determine who he is and whether he is a good match for you. But focusing on the three areas above will give you a constructive starting point. As you get to know him, talk about him to your friends so you can hear their feedback. Sometimes friends make the best dating coaches!