What to Look For in a Guy: 40 Things that Make a Man Worth Dating

Want a checklist of what you need to look for in a guy? Not every guy makes for a good boyfriend. Here are all the things to look for before you date him.

What to Look For in a Guy: 40 Things that Make a Man Worth Dating

When it comes to knowing what to look for in a guy, you need to remember that physical attraction can bring two people together, but that doesn’t always make for a healthy relationship. Here’s what to look for in a guy before you date him or get exclusive with him.

Every girl is unique. And what you expect from a guy and from a happy relationship would be very different from what your friend expects. Likewise, relationships too are just as unique, and what works for one person doesn’t always have to work for someone else.

Instead of taking suggestions from friends or asking for their opinions all the time, sometimes, the easiest way to figure out what to look for in a guy is by testing your compatibility with him, keeping your own expectations in mind.

[Read: The 33 biggest signs and qualities that make a really great boyfriend]

Compatibility and the things to look for in a guy

How do you test your compatibility with a guy? And how can you tell if he’d actually be perfect for you? A guy could seem perfect for you, your friends may love him, and you may be falling hard for him too. Does that mean he’d be perfect for you as a partner?

There are a few signs that every guy subconsciously gives away that can help you judge him and see for yourself if he’s the perfect boyfriend for you. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility with a guy]

Compatibility isn’t precise, and it’s as unique as the two people involved in the compatibility test. What you see as a cocky guy may be interpreted as confidence by another girl, and what you’d consider as staying in touch could be seen as clingy behavior by a guy you like.

If you don’t want to get hurt in love, try to get to know more about the guy before you find yourself falling head over heels in love with him. It’ll help you make an opinion about him, and most importantly, it’ll help you test your compatibility.

[Read: How to really get to know a guy you want to date]

What about sexual compatibility – Doesn’t that count?

Of course, it does, and it does play a large part! We all have that guy in our life who makes our heart go pitter-patter. The problem is that sometimes what the body wants – and what is good for us – are two completely different things. You need to remember that sexual compatibility is only one part of being in a successful relationship.

And yet, these days, we often put too much focus on physical attraction only and don’t really care about anything else. Does he look good in your Instagram page? Will your friends be jealous you’re dating a hottie? Will he look sexy in bed? Check? Done, dusted, and bedded!

But no, that’s not all that matters. Don’t assume just because you want to grab him every time he’s around, that he is the perfect guy for you.

The perfect combination of your best friend and a sexual attractive person

The way to know if someone is the perfect partner is to find a combination between your best friend and someone you want to sleep with. Now THAT’S what to look for in a guy. Sounds easy enough, right? But it isn’t.

If it were easy, then all relationships and marriages would last. Sometimes, you have to listen to that inner voice, even if you don’t want to. Find those really important qualities and things to look for in a guy, that may not seem like a big deal upfront.

Remember, the man you choose for a lifetime will need to be there to support you through the big and little things in life. Make sure that he is up for the challenge and can give you what you need to make your life fulfilled.

[Read: 18 qualities of a good man that sets him apart from lesser men]

The most important things to look for in a guy before dating him

There are a few perceived flaws that are completely excusable in a guy. Then again, there are a few things that may not seem like such a big deal to begin with. But over time, they may be the same things that tear both of you away from each other, or leave you hurt and lost.

If you like a guy, or have just started to date him, keep an eye on these things to look for in a guy. And make sure that both of you are compatible on all of these things. Even one red cross in this list, and things may just get sour over the months or years!

1. His interest in commitment

Is this guy really serious about dating you on a long term, or is he just looking for a short fling? There are a few guys who can’t stay single because they can’t handle loneliness. But at the same time, they’re terrified of exclusive relationships and serious commitment too.

If you’re dating a guy and want a relationship, make sure he isn’t afraid to commit and is genuinely interested in the relationship. Take your time to get close to him, and watch his behavior. If you don’t feel like an important part of his life, chances are, you really aren’t! [Read: 15 signs he wants something serious with you and is ready to commit]

2. His arrogance

Arrogance is subjective, but it’s still a trait that’s very easy to recognize. There’s a thin line between being overly confident in everything you do, and being cocky and arrogant about it.

If you believe the guy you like is extremely confident in a cute way, that’s good for you. But if his behavior comes across as rude and arrogant, especially if you think he talks down to you or disrespects your opinions, he’s definitely not the guy for you. [Read: What is mansplaining? And 20 ways to spot a dick when you’re talking to one]

3. His respect for you

A great guy will respect you for the person you are. He won’t treat you like you’re nothing more than his arm candy. A guy who respects you will try hard to impress you all the time.

He’ll dress up and look good for you *because he doesn’t want to disappoint you*, he’ll try to make a good impression on your friends and family, and he’ll display his chivalrous side every time he’s with you. On the other hand, if he doesn’t respect you, he’ll expect you to take control while he’d just behave like a lazy slob around you. [Read: The 16 types of guys you should never ever date!]

4. His social life

One of the subtle things to look for in a guy is his social life. Does he have a lot of friends? Is he a loner that no one likes to hang out with? A guy who’s too lonely may not always be a good find, because he’s either antisocial, boring or rude, or too occupied with something in his life to have time for anything else. *and that includes you!*

5. He pursues you

One of the things to look for in a guy is his eagerness to woo you and win you over. Just how eager is this guy to date you? Does he try to woo you and pursue you, or is he just taking it easy? If a guy truly likes you and is interested in making you smile and keeping you happy, he’d woo you and awe you all the time, with his gestures and by his behavior around you.

It doesn’t matter even if you asked him out first before he did. If a guy likes you, it’s in his evolutionary instincts to try and impress you. So if a guy you’re dating doesn’t try to impress you, chances are, he isn’t impressed by you and is only using you! [Read: Is he leading you on? 16 signs this guy is playing you for fun]

6. He’s not living a secret

This may seem unrealistic, but there are many guys who lead double lives. He may be dating someone else or may even be married to someone else in another area code, while dating you at the same time! *be especially wary of online dates*

Make sure the guy you’re dating isn’t building a secret relationship with you. Does he avoid taking you to crowded restaurants? Does he appear nervous and look around often, each time both of you meet in public? If a guy has nothing to hide, he won’t have any qualms about going out with you in public, bumping into his friends when you’re around, or tagging you in his social media accounts. [Read: How to know if a guy is married or dating someone else already]

7. Emotional maturity

It’s always cute to watch a guy behave like a primate or a little boy. But when you actually try to assess a guy as a dating potential, always look for emotional maturity.

Does he get really angry or egoistic over silly things? How does he approach big decisions in life? If a guy seems immature, especially when he’s making decisions, he’s probably not the right guy for you as a long term partner. [Read: What age does a man mature? 19 signs he’s grown a real pair]

8. His focus on life

Now he doesn’t have to be a millionaire or a budding entrepreneur. But when you think about this guy, just how focused is he with the way he leads his life? Does he have any concrete plans for the future? *Not the I-know-I’ll-be-rich-in-five-years-but-I-don’t-know-how kind of plan!*

If a guy isn’t focused in life, it’s a pretty good sign that he’s a chaotic mess right now. He may not seem like a mess when you spend time with him now, because he’s living one day at a time with no thoughts of the future. But almost always, guys who don’t have goals or aren’t focused on anything in life will end up frustrated or lost very soon! *it’ll hit him when he hits his 30s, trust us!*

9. He’s confident about himself

A guy’s confidence plays a big part in a healthy relationship. He’d feel more secure in the relationship, and he’d be less clingy, which would ensure that he isn’t a clingy boyfriend. At the same time, a confident guy would also make the girl he’s dating feel more protected in the relationship.

Take confidence out of the romance, and you’ve got a controlling boyfriend, and a scared girlfriend. And that’s not a good sign for love, is it? [Read: 15 subtle but shocking signs of a controlling boyfriend]

10. He’s a romantic

This may not matter to you right now. But at some point of time, it definitely will! *especially when another girl friend of yours starts dating a guy who’s a true romantic*

Does this guy woo you and serenade you, or does he believe that romantic gestures are fluff you see only in the movies? Date a guy only if you’re comfortable with his romantic side. Of course, you don’t want a guy who romances you just for the ‘Gram, but you need a guy who pays attention to small gestures and the little details. [Read: Signs a man is in love – 17 gestures that are way stronger than words]

11. He listens to your opinions

if you’re wondering what to look for in a guy, look for his respect for you. When a man listens to your opinions *and even follows them*, it shows that he really respects you and believes in what you have to say. If a guy considers you an equal and an intellectual whose ideas he respects, he’ll listen to you and consider your opinion before making a decision.

On the other hand, if he thinks your ideas are not worthy of his interest, he may pretend to care what you think at the start of the relationship. But as time goes by, he may make it obvious that he doesn’t care what you say or think. And that’s never a sign of good compatibility in a relationship. [Read: How men fall in love – The 7 stages of love for guys]

12. He’s selfless

Does this guy display little acts of selflessness every now and then when both of you start dating? Does he give you the better seat, or make sure you’re comfortable before he gets comfortable? Selflessness and unconditional love comes naturally to considerate guys.

If you have to teach a guy how to be considerate, he’s probably not worth your time because he wouldn’t see selflessness as a romantic trait. Instead, an inconsiderate guy may see it as your way of emotionally manipulating him just to see yourself happy. [Read: 22 big early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

13. He can handle stress

When life throws you curve balls, which it undoubtedly will, you want to find someone for the long term who knows how to take lemons and make lemonade, not the opposite.

You don’t want to date a guy who’ll turn around and point fingers at you the very second life starts to get to him. If he can’t handle stress, he’ll start to deflect his own shortcomings and start blaming you for all his failures just because you’re around!

14. He isn’t controlling

You want a guy who likes to take charge, but if he is all about controlling everything, that is going to become very old, very quickly. Control freaks never stop their ways. They like things just a certain way, and that is what they want – period.

Controlling personalities are very difficult to live with forever. This is one of the most important partner qualities, if you’re wondering what to look for in a guy. [Read: 23 subtle signs of a controlling boyfriend most girls don’t notice]

15. He respects and supports your dreams

So you want to be a princess? It may not be realistic, but if it is a goal for you, then you want to find someone who is willing to support you and your decisions. Sometimes, we have to make sacrifices to get the things that we want out of life.

If you are constantly helping him foster his dreams and forgetting about your own, you are going to wake up one day feeling as if life has passed you by and resent not following your own path.

16. He isn’t a momma’s boy

Sure, you want a guy who has a good relationship with his mother. And, of course, someone who respects her. But, if you have a guy who can’t make a decision without mulling it over with mommy, that is not going to make for a happy relationship.

When you form a partnership with someone, then there are only two of you. A momma’s boy can’t ever put his wife in front of his mommy, because, well, it is his mommy. [Read: Mommy issues in men – What it is and what you need to look for]

17. He is trustworthy and honest

“I was stuck at work and my phone died,” yeah, I guess you accidentally fell on your secretary with your pants down to your ankles too. Men these days, so accident prone. Yeah, come on.

You want a man that’s going to tell you that your butt looks big in those pants or that you have a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth. Not only will this save you from walking around with spinach in your teeth, but it shows honesty. You want someone you can trust, not someone you’re constantly questioning. Think of it like this, when his phone goes off, you want to be able not to anxiously peer over the screen to see who it is. That’s some trust goals.

18. He challenges you

The man you want to be with is someone who brings out the best in you and makes you a better person. That means that he not only makes you feel good about yourself, but he also pushes you to do things that you would not without the support he lends.

Always asking for the best from you, he knows what you are capable of and expect the best “you” possible.

19. He has respectful and normal friends

You might not think that this is what to look for in a guy. But when you are together with him, you are going to have to deal with his friends too. That means when you go out, you have to go out with them, or he is going to go out alone with them.

You don’t want him to have the type of friends who are about nothing but one night stands, cheaters, or the ones that encourage him to make bad decisions. If you think that his friendships are not going to be important to your overall relationship, think again. They are a bigger bug in his ear than you think. [Read: How to accept your boyfriend’s friends and get them to accept you]

20. He’s driven and ambitious

Here’s something you need to remember, it doesn’t matter if the guy makes a lot of money or not. What matters is if he’s ambitious, then you’ll never be hungry. Ambition keeps people going for more.

If your man isn’t ambitious, well, you may find him playing video games every day on your couch or hanging out at the pub with his buddies, which is all fine and well, until you realize you’re not only supporting yourself but you’re supporting him as well. You ain’t no sugar mama. [Read: Avoid them like the plague: 16 types of guys not to date]

21. He’s comfortable in his own skin

You want a man secure in his own skin. When you’re around someone who’s comfortable with themselves, you learn to be comfortable with yourself. It’s a win-win. There’s something about a man who walks with his head high that’s hot.

You know the guys from the movies, they walk into a room and everyone turns their heads. Yeah, that guy. That’s the guy you want. Throw him into an awkward situation, and he’ll have no problem handling it.

22. He is reliable

So your boyfriend said he would drive you to your job interview, but alas, he’s nowhere to be seen. Reliability is important. What if you marry this guy? What if he’s late for the birth of your child or doesn’t show up to a family dinner.

Being five minutes late is one thing, but if you start eating dinner without him on a routine basis, he doesn’t respect his time or your time. Wait, maybe he does respect his time, he just isn’t thinking about your time. What do we need ladies? Respect! When do we want it? Now! [Read: 20 characteristics of a good man that make him dependable and reliable]

23. He is passionate

You want a guy who feels a surge of energy. What does that mean? You want a guy who has emotions and isn’t afraid to show them in an appropriate way. He has standards, beliefs, and enthusiasm for certain things in his life. A guy who doesn’t have a passion for anything is hard to be passionate with.

24. He has an opinion, but isn’t stubborn

You want someone who has an opinion. When you ask what would you like to do, the guy who says “I don’t care” over and over again is going to get old. If someone never has an opinion about anything, then they really aren’t engaged in life, or with you.

25. He wants to take the protective role

This isn’t sexist, and being protective is not controlling. The protective role means being the guy who has your back at all times. They are the one to swoop in and save you when you need them to. Always looking out for your best, he is willing to fall on the knife to protect you if that is what it takes. Of course, you should be willing to do the same for him in your own ways too.

26. He cares about your emotions

Most guys don’t value a woman’s emotions, and behave as if she’s being too dramatic. If you want to find someone who you can spend your life with through good times and bad, it is important that he is capable of dealing with your emotions.

He shouldn’t belittle them or make you feel like you are overreacting or being silly. Even if you are, you want someone who can acknowledge that and talk you down.

27. He is affectionate

You might not want a guy who wants to stick his tongue down your throat on the street, but a little affection is nice to have. Someone who will grab your hand to cross the street, can recognize when you need a hug, or will reach out to you when you need it, will be a blessing along the journey of life. [Read: 15 ways public display of affection can save your relationship]

28. He can communicate his feelings

If you can’t have a meaningful conversation about how he feels, that is never going to change. It isn’t that you want a guy who tells you everything and creates a soap opera out of your daily life, but you should, at a minimum, be able to talk about how you feel about each other and about feelings without shutting them down.

29. He has similar interests

It may not seem like a big deal if you don’t have anything in common or any common interests now, but if you don’t have anything you like to do together besides having sex, there is no glue that binds.

When you are two very different people, you are going to have a hard time sharing your lives together. Different interests lead to growing apart over time. Just in case you didn’t know it, this is definitely what to look for in a guy.

30. Similar ideologies in life

Are you vegan? Or maybe you don’t believe in global warming? Whatever your ideologies, whether right or wrong, it’s always good to have a partner who shares a similar thought process. It may not matter today because you’re both smitten and in the honeymoon phase. But eventually, this is something that will either bring you two closer, or make you both dislike each other over time.

31. He likes your family and friends, and they like him

When you marry someone, you marry their friends and their family. If you can’t stand being around his family now, just wait until the holidays come around every year. You will be arguing about what to do and whose house you are going to go to. [Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility]

32. He’s willing to compromise

A romantic relationship is made up of at least two people. As stubborn as both of you may be, it’s important to learn to compromise for each other for the sake of the relationship.

Most guys want what they want and aren’t willing to give in. To be a couple, you have to meet somewhere in the middle – not sacrifice. You want to find someone who is willing to compromise. Oh yes, this is what to look for in a guy. [Read: Types of toxic relationships to watch out for]

33. He cherishes you

Most of all, you want to find someone who believes that you are the best thing that ever happened to him and, without you, he would be lost.

Not every guy is going to admit it, but you can tell in the way he talks about you when you aren’t there, the way he looks at you, and the way he treats you. You deserve the very best, so don’t ever settle for someone who doesn’t think you are as amazing as you are. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]

34. He practices kindness

If you think this is a feminine trait, well, then, I guess not being an asshole is girly, who knows. Kindness is a crucial characteristic that everyone, man or woman, should have. Being kind is being empathetic.

If your man isn’t empathetic, he’s probably a psychopath. You’d find out eventually. You want a guy who brings you soup when you’re sick or has dinner ready for you after a stressful day at work. These little gestures show you he cares about you. That’s what you’re looking for at the end of the day, someone who isn’t only concerned with themselves. [Read: How to tell if someone doesn’t have empathy and what you need to do]

35. He is motivated

This is definitely what to look for in a guy. People don’t typically change. If you think that he is going to go from the fry guy to CEO, you may be overestimating his potential.

The guy who you want to be with, is someone who is motivated. And even if he doesn’t know exactly who or what he wants to be right now, you have faith that he is intelligent enough to do whatever it is that he sets his mind to.

36. He’s generous

Okay, we’re not saying this because girls love getting gifts. And that’s not the generosity we’re talking about. Being generous doesn’t mean he showers you with gifts. Generosity can be he supports a local charity, volunteers, or shares his plate of pasta with you.

There are guys you date that don’t like to share their food, and then there are guys that have no issue with you taking a bite of their pizza. Choose the second guy, the first one has some issues that you don’t have time to deal with. [Read: 30 deep questions to ask someone before you get in too far]

37. He can be assertive and take a stand

No one likes hearing the word “no.” But you have to admit when a guy says no—it’s hot. Other than the fact that it gets our reproductive organs turning, you want a guy who will be able to say no. You know those dogs you see that have their tails between their legs? What you think when you see that? You probably think, “aww, that poor dog, it’s so scared.” And you’re right, it is scared. Now, imagine that dog is your boyfriend. That’s even scarier.

38. He has a sense of humor

He needs to be able to laugh and be able to laugh at himself. If you don’t laugh with the guy you like, then that isn’t the guy for you. We don’t mean a fake laugh or a chuckle, we mean a from-the-stomach-eyes-watering laugh.

Men who are serious are mysterious, there’s no debate about that, but they also get boring after ten minutes. Eventually, you just want to relax and be able to enjoy yourself. That means you need a guy who lives life with a smile and sees the bright side of things. [Read: Yawn! What to do when you are stuck with a boring friend]

39. He takes care of himself

If you’re wondering what to look for in a guy, this one is more directed to his hygiene. You don’t need a Calvin Klein model, even though we know you wouldn’t mind one. We all wouldn’t mind one. But, you need a guy that takes care of himself. Eats healthy, is physically active, you know, a guy that loves and respects his body, mind, and soul.

40. He is passionate about you

Ever had a guy push you up against the wall and start to passionately kiss you? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Passion, baby.

If this passion is directed towards you, that’s ideal, but you’ll also want him to be passionate in whatever activities he’s taking part in. That shows he really loves what he does and puts his heart into it. This passion also pushes you into doing what makes you feel good. I mean, aside from him.

These things to look for in a guy before dating him may seem exhaustive. But more than anything else in your relationship, it’s these traits of a guy that’ll test your compatibility with him and predict how happy your relationship would be over the years to come!

Do you think you’re a good girlfriend? Use these guide on how to be a good girlfriend – the 27 traits that matter to judge yourself, and better yourself to become the best girlfriend ever. After all, if you want the best, you’ve got to be the best too, right?!

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