12 Qualities You Should Look for in a Man

Photo of a young man flexing.

There are certain qualities we all look for in a man whether we realize it or not. Some are harder to spot than others, but let’s face it, most of us are looking for the same things, right?

But the best qualities aren’t seen by a naked eye. They’re hidden inside our hearts. We know what they are, but more often than not we find them hard to articulate. We can definitely try though. Here are some of the best:

1. Emotional availability

Making ourselves emotionally available is one of the hardest things you can do. You have to let go of the past and trust your present state of mind — you need to trust your fear, which makes no sense, right? But hear me out.

Meeting a man who is emotionally available is like finding the perfect puppy. Everyone wants to be loved, but that one puppy who sees you — like actually sees you — and isn’t asking for food or water (just you) typically takes your attention away from the rest of the litter.

A man who reveals himself without any hidden agenda or secrets is a man you know is after your heart — not your bank account. He’s strong enough in himself to lay his spirit open for possibilities rather than keeping it locked in a cage.

2. Understanding limits

A man who knows his limits is a man who knows himself. We try for so long to expand our limits, but there are certain things — moral or otherwise — you cannot change about yourself, and that’s fine! If he has enough self-appreciation to respect his limits, he’ll have more than enough to respect yours if ever he crosses them.

3. Not taking himself too seriously

There’s an epidemic running rampant in the gay community, and it’s called pretentiousness. So many gay guys take themselves too seriously and it needs to stop. The second you pretend you’re better than everyone else is the moment we unconsciously stop taking you seriously. If you want to impress people, show them you’re not perfect — that’s more relatable. Be goofy every once in a while!

Related: 25 Relationship Goals Every Gay Couple Should Strive For

4. Knowing when to pick a fight

There’s a right place right time for everything, and those who can’t spot the difference are ones who act on impulse instead of rationality. It’s going to be hard for this person to compromise in the future about the smallest of things. Being mature requires us to be smart and know what’s appropriate at which time. It’s also an important quality needed for long-term compatibility.

5. Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is everything when it comes to relationships because the last thing we want is a boring boyfriend. A relationship is supposed to fill us with hope, faith and assurance. We’re supposed to benefit from them, not become emotionally depleted.

Seeing a man who is happy and excited for our accomplishments, our dreams and our anecdotes reassures our confidence not only in humanity, but in our own potential as humans. Look, life isn’t a bowl of cherries. Having a little enthusiasm goes a long way. It’s a hell of a lot better than the alternative.

6. Self-compassion

Self-compassion is better than self-esteem because self-esteem is stemmed from the world. In other words, we gain self-esteem based on how we think we’re being perceived by others; when we’re popular, we have high self-esteem, when we’re not, we have very low self-esteem. In other words, self-esteem relies on other people’s judgment.

Self-compassion is the complete opposite. It focuses on interconnection — how we think of ourselves minus everyone else. We don’t need to be better than others to feel good about ourselves; we understand we’re good enough regardless. Compassion allows us to forgive the world, but most importantly, to forgive ourselves. As a result we become incredibly secure.

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