I don’t think I’ve ever written this forward. I kinda love it. I have a lot of friends who are married and they all married great guys. I say this to start because I want to let you know that good guys are out there! I know many of them. My friends’ husbands are just some gems. I also found a gem. I do wish that I would have listened or known what to look for when I was dating – I would have skipped a lot of duds.
As a Christian I do think there’s some obvious things to look for in a guy, but I want to share the not very obvious ones. The ones people don’t talk about. I am also going to talk about this through my lens: someone who grew up in conservative Christianity. With my up bringing the biggest thing we talked about was sex and how to stay away from it. And I totally believe sex is meant for a trusting, committed relationship that is found only in marriage. I just think for women who grow up in a conservative Christian home, we need to be talking about more. So, for my Bible college, conservative Christian women out there here’s a few things to look for in a guy.
I am a fan of dating. With healthy dating boundaries, I think it’s healthy to get out there. Go on coffee dates. Get to know people. The goal is that when you meet the right one you will know.
Nine Things to Look For in a Guy
- Kindness not Niceness. Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is something that means they soulish desire someone to win. Niceness is keeping a face. It is trying to look like the nice guy in everyone’s eyes. This is not the same thing. The nice guy will cover up your negative emotions, downplay when things aren’t going well, and run away from conflict instead of working through it. You want a guy who is going to be kind because when things get hard, the world gets harsh, you want a man who is going to be kind.
- Boundaries. This is one of those things that should go without saying, but if he doesn’t take your no as a no say bye. No is no is no is no.
- Trustworthy. If he says he’s going to do something he follows through. This builds trust. This is something that we should all be working on. In the workplace, family, friends. Doing what you say you will do builds trust. Find a guy who builds trust in the small ways, like showing up on time.
- Helpful. This is a big one I didn’t realize I needed. My Dad works circles around anyone I know. I didn’t realize not every guy is like that. When you date you want to pick up on how he keeps his spaces. Is it how you like to keep yours? Does he do his own dishes? Does he clean his apartment or does he have a maid? (I totally dated a guy who had his own maid). Especially if you are not planning on being a stay at home mom (even then because kids are so much work), you need to find a guy who cleans up after himself! I don’t know why some moms never teach their sons how to clean, do dishes, laundry… It’s a disservice. Teach your sons how to do adult things! Anyways, I digress. Find a guy who is helpful.
The same guy who had his own maid came over to my parents’ house and was watching sports the whole time. I asked him to go outside with me to where my brother and sister had a bonfire going. He refused. My dad saw that and immediately realized this guy was not “helpful”. Haha, leave it to Dad. I am not sure why that one thing revealed he wasn’t helpful, but I am thankful.
I mentioned to a well known ministry leader that my husband does the laundry and I clean the house. He was really thrown off. He made such a disrespectful comment about how millennial men are now doing everything. No, it’s just that millennial women are done doing everything. Cooking, cleaning, working full time, having babies… It’s unrealistic. I was mentored by a professor and his wife in college and I will never forget how he and his wife cleaned the kitchen and cooked together. I remember thinking that’s what I want in the future. So much of life is doing small tasks and if you want a family someday, girlfriend, you don’t want to be picking up after kids AND a husband. Find a guy who is helpful.
- Treats His Mom with Respect. This can go off on two sides, that’s why I used the word “respect”. This means three things. 1. He hears his mom out. Respects her opinion, but still makes his own decisions. 2. Helps her when she asks. 3. Speaks well of her.
Again, this is just a great way to gauge how he will treat you. Is he helpful towards his mom? Watch out for men who disrespect or do not value their mom if their mom is in their life.
- Generous. I don’t have much to say about this one other than find a guy who is generous with what he has, he will be that way to you. Generosity comes from making decisions that are not based in fear. Fear holds on to resources. Having faith in God provides generosity because he trusts the Ultimate Provider.
- Sacrificial. One big reason I opened my heart towards my hubby, John, is because my friend Ava pointed out he sacrificed for his younger siblings. He loves to ice fish and he was telling us about a story about ice fishing and he said he gave his younger brothers the fishing hut and he sat outside in the cold the whole time. Now that I know a little more about ice fishing, that is a small thing, but it goes a long way. I think looking for those signs when dating is crucial.
- Confidence. Listen, when I met my husband I was a personality on a Chicago morning show. He was working through college. There were plenty of guys I dated who I think found it intimidating or a notch on their belt. (I am not saying that having that job made me someone better or impressive. It’s just that people treat you differently when you have a job that “looks” successful or even “famous”. It’s something I am really glad to leave behind. It’s not fun.) Not my John Miller. He didn’t need someone in his life who made him look good. He also wasn’t intimidated by what I did. It was such a breath of fresh air!!! He didn’t treat me differently and when I left my job in radio he was totally unfazed. Girlfriend, I need you to find a strong, confident man. Confident men won’t put you down to make themselves feel bigger. He will let you shine and do your thing unfazed. It is incredible. So look for that.
- Working on Understanding His Emotions. Men and women’s brains are different. Women use their entire brain when making decisions. Men use the central part of their brain. Men use the emotional part of their brain much less than women do, however, we all have emotions. If you have memories, you have emotions. That’s the only way you are able to recall your memories. We all need to be in touch with our emotions to have better relationships and connection with others. Men just have to work harder at it. That’s ok, but it’s important to know that your man can communicate what he is feeling and that you create space in your relationship for him to be vulnerable. A man who knows his emotions will have better communication with you and better communication equals a much richer relationship.
Ok those are the nine things to look for in a guy. There are obviously other things, but these are my top nine. I also think that you should look for someone who has the same core beliefs as you. This makes life decisions so much easier. That and my big thing for women is finding a man that is just helpful. An actual life partner who will help you with building a family and not just expect you to be their own personal maid. Core beliefs and being helpful. HUGE! Good luck out there ladies. Be safe. Respect yourself. And know you have soooooo much value. You are created in the image of God. Don’t settle for less.