The Boyfriend Checklist: 10 Guys You SHOULD Date

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, For the Ladies, Relationships by Debra Fileta29 Comments

Two of my most popular articles (10 Guys You Should NEVER Date 10 Girls You Should NEVER Date) sparked some interest and discussion across the Christian blog-o-sphere. It’s been fun to watch the response, and I totally connect with those of you who’ve emailed me to ask: If this is the kind of person we shouldn’t date, then what kind of person should we date?

The truth is, there’s absolutely no way to narrow down the kind of guy you SHOULD date into a few generic categories. And ultimately, the best relationships come when we learn to be healthy, confident, and secure even while standing alone.

While there’s no such thing as finding the perfect guy, here are some traits to be on the lookout for on the Boyfriend Checklist when the timing is right (Don’t fret, dudes…The Girlfriend Checklist will be posted later this week!):

The Jesus Lovin’ Guy

There’s definitely a difference between a “God-fearing” man, and a Jesus-loving man. When a man is in love with Jesus, you can tell, because it overflows out of everything he says, and does – and impacts how he lives his life. A man who is deeply connected with God’s Spirit oozes love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness and self-control, which are exactly the ingredients that a good relationship is made of. Find a Jesus Lovin’ Man…because he’ll know how to love you in return.

The BFF Material Guy

Ladies, don’t overlook the BFF. This is the kind of guy that you’ve been friends with your whole life. The guy with which you can laugh until you pee (a little), share the same sense of humor, and have tons of things in common. Oftentimes, he’s been sitting under your nose, and you didn’t even know it. These kind of men are a great catch, because they are loyal, faithful, and true. Because they’ve been around for so long, what you see is what you get. And the best relationships are always built on the foundation of friendship. Don’t marry anything less than a best-friend.

The Responsible Guy

A man who is responsible with his life will be responsible with your heart (Tweet It!).

Look for a guy who can take care of himself, manage his finances, and prioritize his time. He’s the kind of guy who is reliable, and follows through. This is the kind of guy who won’t just talk it, he’ll walk it, too. A man who has direction in his life, will most likely also have direction in his relationships.

The Lookin-Good Guy

We all know that beauty runs deep, and so does “handsomeness” (is that even a word?) but let’s just put it out there- attraction is a big deal. It’s not just about muscles, abs, and sex-appeal, and for many women, it’s never been. There’s no one-size fits all answer because the good news is that each woman has her own definition of attractive that covers the spectrum! While there are many avenues to attraction, a man who pays attention to his appearance and takes good care of his health is definitely moving in the right direction. So look for a guy who has enough self-love to take care of himself by looking his best, smelling his best, and dressing his best (just so long as he doesn’t take more time than you to get ready…;) )

The Emotionally Healthy Guy

I know, I talk about emotional health all the time. But I just can’t get around this topic! Healthy relationships can’t exist without this piece. As you work on yourself- find a man who is also taking the time to heal, to grow, and to change into the best version of himself. (For much more on this, check out Section 1 of True Love Dates)

The Deep(ish) Guy

I get it, not every man out there enjoys discussing psychology, philosophy, and theology. Not every guy wants to talk about his feelings 24/7. And not every guy out there is cultured in music, art, and theater. And that’s totally fine…but find a guy who is willing to get “deep” regarding the things that interest you. Find a guy who is willing to share his heart with you, because that is the deepest and most meaningful thing of all. There’s more to life than football and electronics. Find a guy who’s willing to take you a little deeper.

The Family-Man-Guy

Many of us don’t know if we want family, or if we’ll even be able to have a family. But the thing about this kind of guy, is that he’s a family man with the family in his life here and now. His relationships with his parents, siblings, and friends, and with the most significant people in his life- reflect a good picture of the kind of guy he really is. Look for a man who treats, loves, and respects others like family.

The Has-Character Guy

There are so many superficial qualities that women tend to get caught up in. Sometimes us women are just plain-ol’ dumb and blind, because the romantic-guy, the rich-guy, sweet-talking guy, and even the jerk-face guy tend to trump the Has-Character Guy. But from what I know about a healthy relationship and marriages, the Has-Character Guy is always, always, always the best choice- because honesty, compassion, loyalty, trustworthiness, and purity are worth more than any amount of chocolate, roses, and diamonds in the entire world.

The Gentleman

I’m not just talking about a guy who opens your door, pays for your meals, and carries your bags. I’m talking about a greater kind of chivalry…a man of gentleness. This man is filled with humility and respect, and treats you by the priceless, God-given worth that you have.

A real man may carry your bag, but more so, he’ll gently hold your heart (Tweet It!).

A real man may offer you his coat when it’s cold, but more so he’ll offer you respect, honor, and loyalty displayed in how he lives his life.

The Let’s Talk About It Guy

“Let’s Talk”. Is it just me, or is that refreshing music to a woman’s parched ears? A man who knows how to communicate in a mature and respectful way (even when he disagrees) is the mark of a man worth holding on to, because communication is the blood-line of a relationship. The road to marriage means embarking on a life-long conversation (Tweet It!). The moment you stop talking, is the moment you start moving backwards. Find a man who is willing to talk. Because God knows you’re going to need it.

While there is no one guy out there who can perfectly possess all of these traits, there are definitely a few good men out there who are trying.  Ladies, it’s time to say so long and fare-well to the bad-guys, and give these good-guys the time, effort, and investment they surely deserve. Here’s to all the nice guys out there who are doing their best to be their best-  we notice, we appreciate it, and we believe that it’s due time for you stop coming in last!

*For everything you need to know about healthy dating and relationships (Christian perspective + psychological perspective) pick up a copy of my book True Love Dates.

Because healthy relationships are not “found” — they’re made. 

tld-3d-book cover

Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life21 Days to Jump Start Your Love Life, and 21 Days to Pray For Your Love Life – where she writes candidly about dating, relationships, and how to find true love. You may also recognize her voice from her 150+ articles at Relevant Magazine or Crosswalk.com! She’s also the creator of this True Love Dates Blog!  Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!

Comments

  1. This was really encouraging and reaffirming. There are things that I am obviously still growing in and developing, but I just wanted to thank you for posting this up. Manhood is perhaps the most forgotten and least practiced art in our time, but God is good. God is raising up men who will break the cycles that our parents and peers were not able to break.

    God bless you Deb, beautiful stuff.

    -JC

  2. I’m so tempted to comment “there aren’t guys like this around anymore!”, but I know from reading all the comments on your blog and because of a few awesome single guy friends I have that this just isn’t true. So all I’m going to say is that I wish there were more of them in my area! 😉 Love this post, just like so many others!

    1. Author

      I like that approach, Aimee! I know, it’s tempting to believe they don’t exist…but they probably think girls like you don’t exist, either 🙂 God’s got your life mapped out…and it’s always for your good.

    2. Hello Aimee,
      I am sure, God has many guys like these and who have more than guys mentioned in the list.
      To me, the key important point or quality is to have the Jesus Loving heart and allow Him to transform you fully and completely. It is hard to evaluate one’s self but I am single and I personally believe and think, that I am fine with the list except that I keep fighting a good fight until I meet my future beautiful and respectful person. Paul said “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
      God bless

  3. Debra,

    Thank you so much for your blogs! I’m so blessed by them. They are very encouraging to read. I have no doubt in my spirit your words are from our Holy God. Your wisdom is divine. I’m 29 and single, and I have so much peace about my single season. I know there are men our there like this. Thank you for reminding us single women. I pray you and your family are blessed!

  4. Awesome stuff. I pray that God continues to raise up men like this, and women. This is definitely one list I’ll keep coming back to for advice!

  5. First, thank you so much for this Deb. I’m the girl that had believed for 22 years that these guys didn’t exist – or if they did they were taken or I wasn’t good enough for them. Like the elusive Wolverine (real animals), you could just never find one of these men.

    I just wanted to share another bit of encouragement to any women that might be reading this feeling the same way – these men are so real, so precious and SO worth waiting for (and missing out on on the NOT to date men).

    1 month into my 6 month dating fast, a guy I’ve been great friends with for the last 5 years (and secretly crushed on) told me (out of nowhere) that he was interested in me. Holding to the dating fast that God called me to, I told this guy – If you’re serious about this, you’re going to have to wait 5 months…and during that time, we won’t be able to communicate (Best friends + newly confessed interest = strong emotions/feelings).

    5 months of not talking, seeing, communicating with your best friend. 5 months of waiting to see if MAYBE a relationship will happen. Because he thinks I’m worth it.

    Never, ever, ever in my wildest dreams would I have thought a man would do that for me. Value and honor me and my relationship with God so much that he would be willing to do that. I’m amazed every day by this man I don’t talk to. He is each man/attribute you listed here, Deb.

    Ladies, they’re real. It might seem like these men are a needle in a haystack, but trust God and He will lead you to a great man. I don’t even know 100% if a relationship will happen/work out with me and my friend. But this journey has dissipated all of my doubts and fears that these men don’t exist…and it’s amazing to know they’re waiting for you too.

  6. I thank you for this post. I especially like the Jesus Lovin’ Guy. The man that loves Jesus to me exudes nothing but LOVE…God is love and everything flows from love. Fruits of the spirit!

  7. If I were to evaluate myself here, I’d score something like 3 out of 10. Any good tips for us who are far away from being this ideal man? Well, apart from ignoring the whole thing, which is what I’m doing now…

  8. One of these days you should do a post on what guys and girls don’t want their significant others to like them for on separate posts of course.

  9. I believe it’s very possible Deb because already I see what God can do and I know it’s only a glimpse. God’s so Awesome!

    Now, I need help getting your book because unless you have an e-copy I dont know what to do about getting it here in Nigeria.

    Regards,

  10. i have not seen any christian based relationship forum that addresses reality of life like this one. its an awesome personal checklist for guys. amazingly there are some qualities mentioned here that have been percieved as being negative to possess in our perverse world today. Ever had of some one say “bad guy is fun, who needs a priest -refering to character quality?” You mentioning it here is a big uplift. God bless Deb!

  11. I love this post! Thanks so much! God bless, keep me in prayer as I find my boyfriend/future husband. I want a healthy relationship too.

  12. Thanks again Debra!!
    Ive had my own list made for years(divorced 13 yrs) but I’ll edit to include ALL of these! I live in a small town of 5,000 and I’m older so godly single men arent plentiful. Attraction and chemistry play a part..narrows down choices.

  13. Another good article, but I think you’re out of touch when it comes to the type of available men out there today on the dating scene….
    After years and years of dating I now completely understand how women overlook/accept less-than ideal mates because there are just so few decent men out there who possess even a handful of the qualities you mention here.

    1. Author

      One thing you can’t forget, Jen, is that I interact with THOUSANDS of singles every year as I travel across the country to speak, and I meet with many of them face to face and get to know them. There are a LOT of great singles out there. I meet them everyday!!!! Great women, and GREAT men, too! Don’t underestimate that and don’t lose hope!!

      1. Debra,
        I agree with another poster that you should consider creating an online Christian dating website where people that you help screen can meet. Or maybe a Christian meetup site. That would be great. *smile*

  14. It irony is, most if most women met a guy who met all of those requirements, even if one or two were less than 100%, they would still find some reason to reject him. They always gravitate to the “bad boy” who, despite being charming and appearing to fill most if not all of these requirements, is a fake and charlatan who will do untold damage in a matter of time.

    The BFF Material Guy:
    Women always put guys into the “friend zone” and expect the guy to be there for them like a boyfriend would, but without any of the benefits (and I do not mean sex). Then when I guy develops feelings for her, she rejects him because “I like you as a friend” or “you’re such a great guy, but I don’t like you that way because (insert countless excuses here)” and then that ends the friendship for good. Only a fool would continue to hang around her after having a knife in the heart.

    The Responsible Guy:
    Narcissists can appear to be everything good, but it will not last. Besides, a guy who is responsible, always on time or early, takes his jobs/family/responsibilities seriously, is probably just a boring oaf to most women.

    The Lookin-Good Guy:
    Obviously “good looking” is in the eye of the beholder, but women today are so shallow, far more than most men, that unless the guy looks like the current “hot” male celebrity, is tall, ripped, perfect hair, over dressed, high income, and oh yeah, ripped, then he isn’t worthy. If a guy is just average looking, or losing their hair (something we cannot control; it’s genetic), or short, or wear glasses, or perhaps has some health issues (not life threatening or even impairing, just more annoying than anything else) then he is automatically not good enough and never will be.

    The Emotionally Healthy Guy:
    Malignant narcissist “bad boys” are about as emotionally unhealthy as can be. They’re just exceptional at hiding it.

    The Family-Man-Guy:
    Bad boys do not want a family; they just want to use a woman until they’re bored with her and then move on to the next one, leaving someone else to pick up the trail of human wreckage he leaves in his wake.

    The Has-Character Guy:
    Everyone has character, but it is the men with good character who get rejected day in and day out. Come across as having bad character, and women will flock to you. They think the bad guy is fun, exciting, strong, an so unpredictable it makes everything amazing. Men with good character was boring, a wimp, a wuss, a doormat, weak, or predictable.

    The Gentleman:
    I was always taught to open/hold a door for a woman. (I will actually do it for anyone, just out of common courtesy.) Open the car door for her, help her with her chair, or do other little things as a sign of respect and caring. Sadly, women see these things as sexist, misogynist, or just flat out condescending and disrespectful.

    It’s funny, I would say I would fit most of these categories very well, except for emotionally healthy. 20+ years of rejections, many cruel and very painful, have taken their toll. By no means am I suicidal or anything like that; just worn out and beat down.

    No woman has ever once given me a chance, often rejecting me for some of the very qualities listed in this article. They see these qualities as a sign of weakness. And the biggest irony, most of these were “Jesus Lovin’ Women.” They never or rarely dated Christian men, but always would go for the biggest jerks they could find. Then they’d be hurt, want their Christian male friends to be a shoulder to cry on, then move on to the next loser. Rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.

    1. I can understand a lot of your points. In fact, it feels like I could have written a good chunk of it myself. That said, you are mistakenly associating good qualities as reasons why you are being rejected (and if you think that is not the case, then I think this could be worded better), when in fact, emotionally healthy, truly God loving women will love those qualities.

      And trust me, I get it. I get rejected a number of times a year, never had a girlfriend. Sometimes, I do feel bitter about it, though those feelings are misdirected. It’s normal and acceptable to feel hurt and disappointment, but it’s not fair to blame women.

      As much as it be hard to admit -and it’s hard for me to admit sometimes too- it’s you. I know guys who exemplify the qualities in this article yet have no problem getting dates. What it comes down to is working on being attractive. Some of those things are superficial, sure. Some of those things are out of / hard to control (e.g. personality). But that’s just how it is. Attractive guys get dates.

      I would suggest you get the book 3% Man by Corey Wayne. Phenomenal book. It totally changed my perspective on dating.

      Perhaps the manliest thing you can do is take it for what it is and use it to help you become better.

  15. Well HOW can this group of thousands meet each other or mingle? (Ive tried Christian Mingle..not too many Spirit filled people on there)

  16. Hey Debra Put Me In Your Personal Counseling Sessions Please There’s Alot I Need To Learn About Relationships! Thanks, Will Emler

  17. I like the article a lot and every single one of these are on point and very very very true. I think All of these qualities are Necessary to have a long lasting marriage like my grandparents and great aunts and uncles had. And guys are right. Too often women aren’t checking for these types of men. Even me personally, a guy that I should have married now that I look back on it, I rejected because I thought he was boring. In fact in my past, and in my younger foolish days, I rejected a few men because they bored me, and weren’t exciting, out-going, and adventurous enough. Now that I’m grown and have grown mentally, emotionally and spiritually, I know better, and do better. I so very badly wish I could meet a man who possessed All or at the very least Most of these traits on your list. I would marry that man before he could get out the whole proposal. 🙂 *smile*
    One thing I’ve found is that sometimes just like the ladies want the bad boys, these men want the bad girls. I’ve even known pastors, and bishops, and various men in the church who always go for the most beautiful, sexy and in shape women. They end up marrying the women who are pleasing to their eyes, and ignoring the women who are full figured, or plump, or who don’t have long hair, or who don’t have that “societal” type of beauty.
    Only once in my life have I known and seen a pastor married to a plain jane type of woman. But even regular good Godly men are too often overtaken by a woman’s physical beauty in much the same way women can be overtaken by good looks, and charm, and the money a man spends on them. It’s a two way street. So I am looking forward to seeing your list for the men. *smile*
    Also, to the single ladies out there; One thing I’ve heard from various dating experts, as well as people in my family who have been married almost or as long as I’ve been alive is this. You will attract what you are, and what you put out. So ladies if you don’t have your lives together, if your walking around with the resting (u know what) face, and looking evil, and if you don’t exude positivity, love and light, and if you don’t have standards, morals, and values, and strictly adhere to them, then you will be less likely to attract these types of men. And you more than likely won’t attract these types of men. Start having more qualities like the men you want to attract, and they will come. *smile*

  18. Hallelujah, THANK U, JESUS!!!! Someone FINALLY sees and understands that THE GOOD GUYS DON’T OR SHOULDN’T COME IN LAST, where women are concerned and be LEFT BEHIND FOR THE JERKS/BAD GUYS that are out there. Again HALLELUJAH!!!! Debra you did cause me with God’s help to tweak some things that I can be a better, more healthier, more balanced me so I can be truly a blessing as well as the answer to a beautiful, intelligent, funny, true lady, buddy, mom/friend/family approved, sweet/affectionate, most importantly Jesus centered Woman of God that in God’s due season will bless me with, I’m 44, divorced, with no children(will be divorced 4 years, Feb. 2017) I do desire to date/remarry, but you caused me to look within and I realized where I failed as a husband in my marriage and it caused my now ex wife to run into the arms of another man before we officially separated she was already involved with another man because she got advice from a workshop that told her that she could date while she was separated. Anyway, I will take the qualities that you wrote and apply it to my everyday life even though I possess most of them but again they can be improved/tweaked while I’m working on myself with God’s help, but Debra, I would be lying if I said I didn’t want a girlfriend/wife in time to come, because I do but I realize that God has his timing for everything. I do admit while it’s good to hang with other Christian men, but I can’t shake the feeling of wanting someone special in my life eventhough I know God is with me but I do have moments that I feel lonesome and feel that I’m invisible and that I’m not desirable or handsome but I am and a good guy that is trying to live a clean Christian life with God’s help, but I guess it’s frustration but again I know God has his timing and I have to be patient and be content being single for this season. Thank U, for writing this Debra, I truly needed to read this and I will again and again, it has helped me more than you’ll ever, ever know along with being told and know that NICE GUYS DON’T FINISH LAST, eventhough I feel at times we do, lol!!!! Thank U again for writing this Debra!!!!!!! Love and Hugs to U, from Raleigh NC to U!!!! Have a blessed and awesome day!!!!!!

  19. Kyle, I was tempted to think the first thing Aimee thought after reading this article; that guys like this don’t exist. But I am still holding out hope. I, for one, have never been interested in the bad boy types and have always looked for the genuine best friend, great guy. I’m still hoping and praying for God to send me a man that fits into at least most of these categories. I would like to apologize to you in behalf of the women who have apparently missed your amazing qualities over the years for whatever reason, but please don’t lose hope. Not every woman wants a Brad Pitt lookalike or a badboy to make her life thrilling. Some of us genuinely want a Godly and loving man who seeks Christ for wisdom daily. I pray that God heals the places you are burned and broken and that you are open to the right woman He has chosen for you when the time is right! I pray for good Godly relationships for all of us who are single and long to be married one day. Keep trusting in Christ and His plan for you! Blessings to you, my brother in Christ! :o)

  20. Kyle,

    I just read your last rant on a comment posted in another spot– you seem very jaded and angry and sarcastic– and to be honest these things may be what really are holding women back from wanting to date you.

    There are millions of men who are shorter, and balding who are confident and kind and have a positive attitude about life and their purpose in it. Loneliness can be frustrating. Don’t let it make you bitter.

  21. I like your style. lol. I possess roughly about 9 of these traits. I just don’t seem to run into an emotionally, or just available woman that I am attracted to. I am not picky. I just seem to run into women who run away from me, for no reason. I am not loud or overbearing, but just try to be an example of Christ, and yet a fun guy. Maybe you could put something up on your site for guys? Like the 10 women a man should date? : )

  22. “I get it, not every man out there enjoys discussing psychology, philosophy, and theology. Not every guy wants to talk about his feelings 24/7. And not every guy out there is cultured in music, art, and theatre.”

    I laughed out loud at this because my friend (we aren’t dating yet…) and I don’t really cope with small talk. But we both do psychology, philosophy, and theology rather well. LOL! We also both love music, arts and theatre and are involved in local arts and theatre societies. We have almost identical interests (except for Star Wars – blergh!) and passions to minister to people. On top of that, he is one of the most passionate lovers of Jesus I know. 🙂

Leave a Comment