I’m not an expert in identifying good men. Just like many other girls, I have kissed quite a lot of frogs before meeting my Prince.
I once dated this guy who was ashamed of the ethnic group I come from. He would often tell me not to refer to that part of my background but instead highlight the other aspects that suited him.
I told him I could not do that, and because of this, he did not invite me to his college graduation, which happened to also be on my birthday. I spent the day alone and sad, while my boyfriend was happy with his family.
He tried to pick the side of me that worked for him. I know for sure that no good guy would ever do that. That said, here are some other things I know good men never do in a relationship.
A good man will never:
1. Make you feel rejected
If he wants you to hide the parts of you that do not work for him, he’s not a good man.
If he says something like, “Don’t say you are…; my family don’t need to know that”. It’s a sign that he is ashamed of that part of you, and in essence, he does not accept your entire identity.
A good man will never encourage you to hide aspects of yourself. We often go through difficult stages in our lives to finally get to a place of self-acceptance, and so for a man to reject you comes as a blow to you.
Studies confirm that rejection can take a toll on your mental wellbeing, causing anxiety and stress. You can’t be yourself around a man who makes you feel this way, and you don’t need that.
2. Belittle you
It’s hard enough for women to build self-confidence with everyone telling them how they should feel, what to wear, when to have babies and how to be beautiful. A good man will not attack your self-confidence by belittling you.
If he compares you with other women, ignores and mocks your ideas, shames you for your weaknesses, and is intolerant to even minor mistakes, this is a sign that he’s not a decent man to be with.
As you stay in such a relationship, you start to believe all the man says about you and start losing your sense of self and worth.
There’s a difference between a man who loves you and lovingly points out areas of improvement and one who tears you down. The latter is one to run from. As the philosopher Alain de Botton once said,
“Intimacy is the capacity to be rather weird with someone – and finding that that’s ok with them.”
3. Make you prove your worth
You deserve love just by being human. You don’t need to prove you are deserving of it. If you have to prove that you are worthy of love to your man, you are not with a good man.
You mustn’t work for the love of your man, you don’t need his constant validation, and if you are constantly doing this, it may be a sign that you also have low self-esteem.
When you have low self-esteem, you believe you are not good enough, and thus, you crave your partner’s validation. He might take advantage of you when he realizes you’re willing to bend over backward to please him.
You are worthy of love, whether you have low or healthy self-esteem. It’s that simple. Any man who does not see that is not good for you.
Also read: 5 Defining Traits of a High-Value Man
4. A good man will never abuse you
I remember one guy I dated, after we broke up, my college friend told me she felt like I was being manipulated and bullied into submission when I was dating the guy.
She was relieved when we broke up because she was not brave enough to tell me when I was still seeing the guy.
She was right. The guy manipulated and gaslighted me throughout the relationship. Now when I think about it, there are some things I did that I just can’t believe I allowed him to convince me into doing. Worst still I’m ashamed that I allowed it.
The truth is I was losing myself and my moral compass. That’s what abusers do to you.
A good man will never intentionally hit you, sexually abuse you, coerce you, or use words that attack your personality and your worth.
5. Starve you of affection
The whole idea of being in a relationship is for companionship and affection of the person you love, so being starved of affection is wrong.
If your man is not giving you the attention, companionship, and warmth that comes with relationships, he’s unfair to you, and you deserve better.
6. Disrespect you
Respect is the lifeline of any relationship, and it should be mutual. Your opinions, beliefs, feelings, and interests should be regarded as important. These things make up who we are, so when they are disregarded and belittled, it is disrespectful.
Of course, partners disagree and have divergent opinions, but these should be expressed in a manner that does not attack the person representing the opposing views.
Set boundaries and have honest, open communications with your partner. If your boundaries are continually disrespected, your man is not a decent person to be with.
Also read: A Shy Guy’s Guide to Dating Beautiful Women
7. Hold you back
Having a man who affirms, encourages, and challenges you to be the best version of yourself is priceless. Your partner is expected to be your cheerleader, not the obstacle in your way or the naysayer always telling you how difficult it is to make it in life.
You already have enough people in the outside world making you doubt yourself and pulling you down. The last thing you need is the man you love and trust also holding you back.
Your man holding you back can also be in the form of denying you the support you need in terms of resources or connections to people who can support you.
It is hard to achieve your goals with a man like this in your life. If your man does these things, he is not a good man.
8. Hide you
A close friend of mine once dated a guy who never introduced her to his family and friends. He claimed that his friends were immature, he did not want her near them, and he was not close to his family, so there was no need to introduce her to them.
This guy was the perfect guy in her books, except for that issue. He just did not want to introduce her to people around him, which was suspicious.
She felt something was off about that and never really found out why. She eventually left him.
In many such stories, it’s because the man has something to hide. He may be cheating or, worse, still have some dark secrets.
There’s actually a term for this type of behavior; it’s called pocketing.
Every good guy wants his girl to have peace of mind in the relationship and trust him. If he does the opposite, especially when confronted and still shady about it, he’s not a decent guy.
He’s intentionally creating room for mistrust, and you’ll always have questions on your mind.
They say good men are hard to find, but maybe if you know the qualities of a good man to look out for, it might be a little easier. A good man:
1. Accepts you for who you are
It’s not rocket science. Just be yourself, and any man who cannot handle you will automatically remove himself from your life.
If he tries to force you to fit into his description of an “ideal woman”, he’s not the one you’re looking for.
2. Respects you
Respect should be reciprocal. If you’re giving it, you should be receiving it. A decent man will respect your opinions, thoughts, wishes, and ideas.
Also, watch out for the way he treats other people like waitresses and employees; the way a man treats the people around him indicates how he will treat you.
3. Loves you just because
He loves you for who you are. You don’t have to please him or be perfect; you don’t have to earn his love.
4. He showers you with affection
A good man is generous with his affection. He plans romantic dates, gives you gifts, and wants to spend time with you.
5. He motivates you to achieve your goals
You can tell a good man from others in the way he pushes you to go for the things you want. He is concerned for your future; he supports you with resources, encouragement, and relevant networks.
Each of us is a work in progress, so it is unrealistic to go into relationships expecting a perfect partner. However, some things are unacceptable, and a partner who loves you should never do those things.
To know what you don’t accept, you first need to know what you desire. Know what falls outside the boundaries of acceptable behavior in a relationship. If a man does these things, he’s not a good man, and it’s time to let go.
Related: 8 Critical Signs A Man Is Toxic