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.
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.
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.
Debra Fileta is a Professional Counselor, speaker, and author of the book True Love Dates: Your Indispensable Guide to Finding the Love of Your Life, 21 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!