Man standing and smiling to the camera as symbol for what to look for in a guy

What to Look For In A Guy: 8+4 Traits That Mean He’ll Be Good To You

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 28, 2021

We’ve all done it at some point – made a checklist, listed out every quality we want our perfect partner to have. While trying to tick off every single box on the list isn’t likely to be possible or even advisable, it’s a good idea to think about what to look for in a guy before you meet someone. If you’ve put some thought into the qualities to look for in a man, it’ll be that much easier to know boyfriend material when you see it. Here are some qualities to look for:

1. Kindness

When it comes to what to look for in a guy, kindness is one of the most important things on the list. How a man treats other people is a very good indicator of how he’ll behave in a relationship. While it’s traditional to look at how men treat their mothers, it’s a good idea to look at how he treats people in general.

Example: He treats waitstaff and administrative assistants with respect.

How to know if he’s got it: Observe how he treats people with less power than him, especially if he’s having a bad day.

2. A sense of humor

We all want someone who makes us laugh, and for good reason. But it’s just as important to look at how a guy does it. Can he laugh at himself, or is his idea of humor only poking fun at other people? Finding a guy who laughs with, rather than at you is key when it comes to qualities to look for in a man.

Example: He always has a joke for you, or an observation that makes you laugh.

How to know if he’s got it: Look for a man you find yourself laughing around often.

3. Integrity

When it comes for what to look for in a guy, integrity is close to the top of the list. When a guy has integrity, you know you can trust him even when you’re not around. You can also trust him to do the right thing no matter how hard.

Example: He stands up for what he believes in even when it’s hard or there are consequences.

How to know if he’s got it: Ask about his values, or just observe how he lives his life.

4. Confidence

A confident man is secure in himself and in your relationship with him. While he appreciates your support, he doesn’t need validation from you. He’s happy at your success and supports you in the decisions you make, making confidence one of the most important qualities to look for in a man.

Example: When you get a promotion at work, he’s enthusiastic and sincere in his congratulations

How to know if he’s got it: He doesn’t question himself or you, especially on the small stuff.

5. Positivity

A relationship with someone who’s constantly focused on the negative side of life sounds exhausting, not to mention not sustainable in the long term. This is why it’s so important, when deciding what to look for in a guy, that he has a positive attitude and stays optimistic.

Example: He’s able to look on the bright side of life, even when things are bad.

How to know if he’s got it: Bring up something depressing or negative and conversation and see how he reacts.

6. Independence

It’s important to have your own life even when you’ve found the right person, and any man worth having will understand that. Time spent with your significant other is important, sure, but so are girls’ nights or nights out with the guys, time spent with family, or even just taking a few hours or days to yourself.

Example: He has regular nights out with his friends and encourages you to do the same.

How to know if he’s got it: He’s happy for you to do things separately and doesn’t insist on doing everything together.

7. Passion

A guy who’s worth dating will be passionate about something – perhaps it’s his work, perhaps it’s a sports team or a hobby. It doesn’t matter so much what it is, just that he is passionate about something.

Example: He loves the NFL, or takes time out of his schedule to go fishing, or never misses Comic-Con.

How to know if he’s got it: Listen to him and see what topics make his eyes light up.

8. Stability

Dating the bad boy is all well and good in high school and college, but the older we get, the more appealing stability becomes when it comes to what to look for in a man. And stable doesn’t necessarily mean boring; it just means that the man in question is responsible, which is always a good thing.

Examples: He has a steady job and keeps a more-or-less standard routine.

How to know if he’s got it: He has a regular schedule and shows up when he says he will.

9. Emotional Awareness

Big touch macho men who can’t deal with emotions? Only fun in romance novels, not in real life. When choosing what to look for in a guy, the ability and the willingness to be in touch with his emotions could mean the difference between a happy, healthy relationship and one that’s filled with frustration and bad communications.

Examples: He’s willing to talk, even about ‘sappy’ stuff.

How to know if he’s got it: He has healthy relationships with the people in his life and doesn’t avoid conversations.

10. Curiosity

Another way you know what to look for in a guy? He’s curious about the world, and you, and wants to learn more. This doesn’t mean he needs to have a string of letters after his name – it just means that he’s willing to put in the effort to broaden his horizons, especially when it’s something you’re interested in.

Example: You see him reading a book about Ancient Egypt after you expressed an interest in seeing the pyramids.

How to know if he’s got it: He asks about things he doesn’t know about and is happy to learn about new things.

11. Attentiveness

We live in a world full of distractions, so when a man makes a real effort to pay attention to you rather than his phone? That’s definitely on the list of what to look for in a guy. Especially, if he’s willing to put his phone down and focus on you rather than whatever the latest social media sensation is.  

Example: You mention you like strawberries in passing, and he brings you some randomly.

How to know if he’s got it: He listens to you – not just what you say but your body language as well – and acts accordingly.

12. Shared values

Perhaps the most important thing when it comes to what to look for in a man. Shared values can make or break a long-term relationship. Consequently, it’s really important to take them into account when you’re trying to find love. As important as the other qualities are, shared values are the bedrock of any successful relationship.

Example: You share the same political or religious beliefs, or have similar ideas about how your future could look like.

How to know if he’s got it: This is another thing that’ll come out in conversations, or just straight up asking.

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When it comes to finding the right person, the sheer variety of options can be intimidating. But when you take the time to think about what to look for in a man, you’ll be able to zero in that much quicker on the kind of person you’d like to date. And once you’re aware of your key characters and priorities, eharmony is the perfect place to try and find that special guy.

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