6 Qualities of a Good Boyfriend

How to Spot the Right Man – Before You Meet Him
south asian boyfriend cuddling girlfriend showing qualities of good boyfriend

In this article, you'll discover...

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The first part of my proven, three-part process to attract the right man is to define the qualities of a good boyfriend. 

We need to make sure the hottie who asked for your number at the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert last night has the potential to be the right man for you – before you get emotionally invested in him.  

Many single women make the mistake of thinking, “I’ll just know the right man for me when I meet him.” 

Which is almost as crazy as thinking, “I can spot my future husband by his three Tinder pictures and five-sentence profile.”

All Readers Welcome

rainbow watercolor representing offline dating without apps for all humans

While this article was written with single women seeking men in mind, as that’s the perspective I can personally speak to, most advice is applicable to all genders and orientations.

So, if you identify outside of a heterosexual female, let me extend a warm personal welcome! 

I’m glad you’re here and hope my content helps you achieve your love/life goals even faster.

- Camille Virginia

This is a big part of why dating feels hard for so many singles.

They’re looking for indicators (e.g. 6’1″ or taller, instant chemistry, MBA) that aren’t even aligned with what they truly want in a partner (e.g. kindness, honesty, into self-development).

That’s why it’s crucial to get crystal clarity on the type of man you want by understanding the values of a good man, learning about his character, and paying attention to the way he makes you feel. 

Powerful attraction happens when you get clear on the type of man you deeply desire before you meet him. 

Powerful attraction happens when you have crystal clarity
on the type of man you deeply desire - before you meet him.

Values are the core drivers behind everything you say and do. 

Relationships and the emotions within them will ebb and flow, but as long as your core values are there guiding your decisions, you can navigate through just about anything with the right partner.

Once you know what the key values of a great guy are, you can screen men for their values instead of arbitrary traits such as height and career – and a whole new world of wonderful men will be revealed to you.  

6 Qualities of a good boyfriend

But first, what are the qualities of a good boyfriend? 

It’s his core values. 

And, spoiler alert: it’s nearly impossible to tell what a man’s true values are from behind a screen. They need to be seen in action in real life – not online.

I’ll show you how to define your own top traits a good boyfriend should have later in this article. 

But for now, here are six aspects of a quality boyfriend (and the values associated with each trait) to keep in mind as you go through the dating process. 

#1 He's confident - but not cocky

This one is a fine line to balance. Confidence is a core value of a good man in that he understands his value, what he brings to the table, and accepts his natural strengths and weaknesses. 

Cockiness is having to show everyone who walks in the door that he’s better than them.

black man in blue suit smiling showing quality of a good boyfriend
Tamarcus Brown/Unsplash

Truly quality people let their words and actions speak for themselves. 

They have nothing to prove because they simply live out their core values and know their self-worth without needing other people to validate them. 

You want a man who believes in himself without thinking he’s better than everyone else. 

#2 He finds joy in giving

Generosity was never one of my core values until I spent a week in San Diego with a man who didn’t have it. He and I had been friends for years, then decided to explore a more romantic connection with each other. 

As a friend, he was kind, generous with his time, and supportive of me and my business. 

As a romantic interest, however, he was none of those things. 

For the entire week of what should have been an enjoyable romantic bonding experience, he nickeled and dimed every little expense. 

We split all meals, I paid for our hotel room, and he would leave to grab a coffee in the morning without even asking if I would like one.

The final straw happened when we were running late for dinner at a friend’s house, and it was his turn to order an Uber (because I had paid for the previous two). 

Instead of getting a regular Uber, he chose Uber Pool so he could save, I dunno, approximately $6. 

Not only did taking a carpool make us even later for dinner, because we had to pick up and drop off other people, but the car was tiny. 

So I got to cram in the backseat in the middle of two other people while he enjoyed his extra legroom in the front seat – and of course his $6 in savings.

None of those are qualities of a good boyfriend. 

You want a man who enjoys making you happy and consistently considers you as he goes about his day. 

Whether that’s with his time (watching The Notebook with you for the tenth time), monetarily (treating you to dinner at your favorite Colombian restaurant), or effort (planning a romantic picnic in the park under the stars).

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#3 He's fully honest and transparent

Honesty is the number one core value that I look for in a man and live up to myself. 

I once dated a man who had a good heart but had normalized lying to the point that he didn’t even see his lies as lies.

This man had unfortunately surrounded himself with people who lied to him, and he often made poor choices he would then have to lie about later – like sleeping with a close friend’s ex-girlfriend behind his friend’s back.

His knee-jerk reaction to his choices and information that might be difficult to talk about was to hide it instead of directly addressing it. 

He also believed that leaving out key context and letting people find out hurtful information about him from others was “completely honest” and “within integrity.”

But if you’re not an honest person all of the time, then you’re not an honest person. Period.

You don’t want the man who you have to ask every night, “Honey, did you cheat on me today?” since you don’t trust him to be upfront and fully transparent unless you constantly ask him specific questions like that. 

Honesty is not simply an absence of lies. It’s a commitment to share the complete truth, as it happens – especially to people who are or will be affected by that truth.

Honesty is not simply an absence of lies. It’s a commitment to share the complete truth, as it happens - especially to people who are or will be affected by that truth.

Oh and, hey Matt: Lying by omission is still lying. 

Literally has the word “lying” in it.

#4 He has true empathy

Another core value and key quality of a good boyfriend is empathy. All humans, minus sociopaths, have empathy – but not all humans tap into the power of it.

shirtless south asian man holding his chest
Darius Bashar/Unsplash

In today’s world of online scammers, corrupt politicians, and road rage-ers, it’s easy to turn down (or even off) your humanity, because sometimes life can feel like it’s just too much to take in on a deep level.

But using your empathy is crucial to being an emotionally available partner. 

Not only in being able to think from someone else’s perspective, but in truly feeling into their experience and trying to understand them on an emotional level.

You need a man who respects and cares about your feelings – even when he doesn’t understand them.

You need a man who respects and cares about your feelings.
Even when he doesn’t understand them.

#5 He has great self-awareness

Another quality of a great partner is self-awareness. We all have flaws and annoyances, as well as natural strengths and unique capabilities. But not everyone is aware of what those aspects are for themselves.

Being self-aware involves learning to look at yourself objectively and accepting those traits about yourself – and it’s not always easy. 

Everyone has aspects of themselves that they wish we could change – myself included. 

For example, I’m acutely aware of my sensitivity to noise, especially food sounds. 

When I was at sitting at a Girls Gotta Eat live event with my friend Alisa and the woman behind us started smacking her gum, I knew it would impact my enjoyment of the performance. 

Once I tune in to a gum-smacker, it’s impossible to tune them out. 

So, I promptly moved seats so I wouldn’t have to endure her annoying smickity-smack-smack. 

A man who knows and accepts his preferences and trigger points is able to work with them and express his needs to you, which in turn makes him a more communicative partner.

#6 He's commitment-ready

Even if someone deeply desires a commitment, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready for one. 

As we’ve covered throughout this article series of my Find Love Offline Formula, being a good partner starts well before you meet your potential match. 

You need to release your emotional baggage, learn how to get your life together, and discover how to fall in love with yourself.

Then you’re ready to become approachable and to talk to guys. Plus, go a level deeper to understand what triggers emotional attraction in a man (which is the secret behind what gets him to ask you on a date).

Many people don’t go through that process though, and simply want a partner because they’re lonely, bored, or would rather focus on falling for someone rather than heal from the heartbreak of their last partner. 

(I’m completely guilty of that last one) 

Relationships require work, even before you get into one. So, if you’ve put in the time and energy to start becoming the best version of yourself, you need a man who’s done the same. 

You want the guy who’s done the work and is in a place in his life – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, financially – to be a great partner who’s truly ready for commitment and will be a good partner.

The 3 levels of clarity to spot the signs of a good man

Now that you know the qualities of a good boyfriend, what’s the next step to attract him? 

It’s getting clear on the key traits you want in a man before you meet him and get emotionally attached to the wrong man.

Here are the three levels of crystal clarity…

1) List traits you don't want

The first level to get clear on the qualities of your future boyfriend is to start with aspects you don’t want. 

white woman journaling on desk about qualities of a good boyfriend
Darius Bashar/Unsplash

Humans tend to be more motivated by avoidance of pain than by attaining pleasure. 

Applying that to your search for the right man means that you likely have a longer list of traits you don’t want in a man than the ones you do want. 

I need a lover that won't drive me crazy.

Think about your past friendships and relationships. Which ones were hurtful or disappointing, and why? 

What feelings and values (or lack thereof) did those painful memories boil down to? 

Those are powerful learning experiences because you have actual emotions attached to them. 

For example, I knew I didn’t want a man who wasn’t ready or open to being in a committed relationship. 

I’m not into creating a “situationship” where there may be a deep connection, but I’m always left wondering “Why didn’t he want a relationship with me?” 

I also knew I couldn’t be with a man who avoids meaningful conversations and stays on surface-level topics. 

A man who’s unable or unwilling to talk about anything of actual substance is not a man I could be with for more than about 30 seconds. 

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Another trait I knew I couldn’t handle in a man was unreliability, which is one of the key traits of a high-value man. It’s a total dealbreaker. 

I’ve been deeply disappointed by men who were inattentive, unresponsive for days at a time, would cancel at the last minute, or constantly show up late. 

Or, in some cases, not even show up at all (looking at you, Joey). 

I knew I needed a guy who always followed through on his commitments and took his promises seriously because that’s a core value of a good man, as well as an aspect I give to everyone in my own life.

As you’re thinking through those past learning experiences, try not to get stuck in the emotional hurt of them. Each one served a purpose, even if it was to become painfully aware of a trait you don’t want in a partner. 

Reframe your pain into questions that highlight the positive takeaways from each experience.

Reframe your pain into questions that highlight
the key positive takeaways from each experience.

Here are a few examples of questions…

You can also use the Ho’oponopono technique to thank people who’ve hurt you for helping you realize the traits you don’t want in a partner. 

Channel your anger or regret into gratitude that they didn’t waste any more of your precious time and gave you crystal clarity on how to avoid the wrong people going forward.

Now, you don’t want to stay in Clarity Level 1, because whatever you think about tends to be what you also attract – even if it’s what you don’t want.

Unfortunately, a lot of people get stuck there, re-hashing how much they don’t want a certain type of person in their life – which then only attracts more of that type of person to them. 

So let’s flip these negative traits to their opposite positives…

2) Flip to traits you do want

The next level to reveal your own list of qualities of a good boyfriend is to take that list of traits you don’t want and name the opposite values. 

Go for the guy who is curious. Who reads.
Who looks at what he doesn’t know with fascination.
Who makes a hobby of understanding himself,
and a passion out of exploring your mind.

For example, if you had on your list “Not ready for a relationship” as a trait to avoid, the opposite might be “commitment-ready.” 

white woman laughing from behind a computer
Mateus Campos Felipe/Unsplash

Flipping from negative to positive will give you the start of the list of core values you’re seeking in a partner, but I want you to go a step further… 

From Feelings to Values

To reveal the aspects of a good partner, turn the feelings you want to experience with a man into the values he needs to possess to give them to you. In other words, imagine how you actually want to feel with this man. 

Souls recognize each other by the way they feel,
not by the way they look.

It might feel weird to imagine your life with a man you probably haven’t met yet – but I bet you have strong feelings about certain characters from movies, shows, or books and you haven’t actually “met” them either. 

Heck, use your favorite characters or actors as a reference point for this. Maybe you want a little more Mr. Darcy or a lot more Denzel in your life.

Now, fast forward to your amazing life together with this man. 

How do you feel waking up next to him? 

When you come home after a long day at work and he has dinner made for you? 

Laying on the beach in Puerto Vallarta with him? 

Walking into a party together? 

When you’re sick in bed and he’s taking over the house chores? 

Write down the emotions that come to mind as you imagine your day-to-day together. Then go through that list of feelings and look for the underlying value associated with each. 

So if “safe and secure” popped up as emotions you want to feel with him, the value you need him to have might be “responsiveness” or “reliability.”

As you look through the list, choose the ones that excite you the most, that light you up to think about your future partner having and the feelings you’re excited to experience with him. 

Also, look for underlying values that turn up on the list more than once. That’s an indication it should probably make your top five.

If you’re hitting a wall trying to imagine your future with your guy, it’s ok. It can be scary to list what you desire, which is why you might have been avoiding it – and instead gotten stuck thinking about what you don’t want. 

Getting clear on your desires makes them more real, but also opens the possibility that they may not happen. 

Getting clear on your desires makes them more real,
but also opens the possibility that they may not happen.

This is a classic Fear of Failure versus Fear of Success, which can be revealed and overcome through simple exercises to give yourself the freedom to imagine the man of your dreams without holding back.

Query Your Peeps

A fun way to reveal the qualities of a good boyfriend is by asking a few close friends or family members what kind of guy they see you with. 

Be prepared for honesty, and only ask people who have helpful intentions and a healthy perspective (e.g. your sister may know you well, but if she’s going through a painful divorce her advice might be a bit biased).

Getting an outside perspective from a trusted advisor or two can be helpful in revealing patterns in your love life that aren’t serving you or that you’re blind to. 

It can also reveal traits in men that are complementary to your own values that you haven’t thought of yet.

two black women hugging each other and laughing
Thought Catalog/Unsplash

For example, my mom used to say that I needed to be with a guy who was confident but calm, to balance out my occasional intensity and anxiousness. 

After watching me be disappointed by several men who weren’t ready for real commitment, my friend Ariadne wants to see me with a man who’s head over heels for me and ready for an actual relationship.

Round It Out, Baby

Part of what men look for in a partner is a woman who knows and lives out her core values – and once you know your values, there is a good chance that you’ll want the same ones in a partner. 

Getting clear on your values also helps you look at all the great traits you’ll be giving to your partner – and remember how lucky he will be to have you.

Some values may make both the list of your own top five values as well as the top five you want in your partner (e.g. “honesty”) or some may be complimentary.

For example, maybe you know your inclination to stay home and cozy up with a book might be well-balanced by a man who loves a little adventure to help get you out of the house more often. 

Or maybe your love language is receiving gifts and his value of generosity means he loves giving them to you.

For instance, my core value of reliability is one of the ways I show people in my life that I value them and respect their time. 

In return, having reliable people in my life – especially my partner – makes me feel safe, heard, seen, and like I’m his priority. People tend to give others what they want to receive back from them.

Take one last look at your list of values and see if any other traits pop up to round it out.

3) Name your top 5 values of a good man

The last level to get clear on the qualities of a good boyfriend is to narrow down your list to your top five values that are your absolute deal-breakers. 

A list longer than five starts to get a little overwhelming of what to look for, which I’ll cover in the upcoming Verify and Qualify part of the process to know when you meet the right man

This process of clarity isn’t about creating an arbitrary list of traits that you look at once then kick it to the curb the minute you spot Idris Elba’s twin at the supermarket. 

This list of five core values will be your roadmap to spotting the key qualities of your future partner. It’s the values a good man must possess to be in the running for your time, energy, and affection.  

Determine the Dealbreakers

Go for the deal-breakers, not just the nice-to-haves. A good way to decide on what your deal-breakers should be is to ask if each trait will matter 20 years from right now. 

Another way to narrow down your list to your top five values is to ask yourself, “Would I break up with my celebrity crush over this?” 

When you date and get into a relationship with a man there will be annoyances, frustrations, and other contentions that come up. 

So it’s helpful to get clear on what your deal-breakers are now, before you meet and get emotionally attached to him, versus what’s a discussion or compromise. 

Humans unfortunately tend to give a lot more slack to people we’re really attached to or attracted to. 

But if you wouldn’t break up with your celebrity crush over an issue, then it’s not a dealbreaker and it shouldn’t make your top five core values list.

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Ditch the vanity metrics

Ultimately, you're not attracted to someone based on looks, but on how good you feel good around them - regardless of how the world chooses to judge them.
That's why you see people of different, races, ages, beliefs, genders, histories, etc. being able to experience heaven on earth together.

As you narrow your list of key values, it’s crucial to release the “validation and vanity metrics.” 

These are three aspects that may sound like requirements in your head, and can be enjoyable in the short term, but have nothing to do with the qualities that make a great boyfriend. 

This is one of the many issues of online dating: people are screening for traits (like height, attractiveness, and occupation), that have been proven to be completely irrelevant to the long-term success of a relationship.

When you start offline dating by meeting men in real life, without the apps, you can feel their energy, their warmth, their smile, their body language, and their potential trustworthiness. 

You can’t get an accurate read on any of those aspects from behind a screen.

Go deeper than credentials

One of my coaching clients, Veronica, is a professor at a prestigious university. 

She described how many of her fellow academics tended to have lofty credential standards when searching for their partners – like, “I have a Ph.D. so my partner has to have a Ph.D.” 

If you’ve found yourself doing anything like this, I challenge you to go beyond bragging rights and self-validation of a vanity trait like that. 

Maybe you want a man who’s intelligent, driven, focused, and curious. But a man can possess all of those traits without having a Ph.D. – and a man who has a Ph.D. won’t necessarily have all those traits. 

Listing a Ph.D. as a partner requirement limits you to a very small pool of people – and it doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get what you’re truly looking for.

Go deeper than credentials – a few extra letters after his name aren’t going to keep you warm at night or take out the trash.

Go deeper than credentials – a few extra letters after his name
aren't going to keep you warm at night or take out the trash.

My friend’s brother Tom is a prime example of this situation. He’s a kind man, a natural leader, and brilliant when it comes to working on vintage foreign cars. 

He didn’t graduate from college but is happily married to a woman who has her doctorate in economics and has a high-level job at the IMF.

Another example is my friend Carmen, who has her MBA but married a man who didn’t graduate from high school…because he instead started his own real estate business and become a self-made multi-millionaire. 

He’s a wonderful man, treats her like gold, and she’s happy she never let a “lack of credentials” get in the way of meeting her incredible husband and living their life of international adventure and luxury.

See beyond looks + charm

There’s a certain thrill with walking into a party, restaurant, or anywhere in public with an incredibly handsome man on your arm. 

I’ve dated triathletes, millionaires, even a celebrity sex symbol, and it felt incredibly validating to turn heads every time we walked into a new place together. 

For, like, a minute. 

black man in grey suit and hat showing values of good man
Chi Lok Tsang/Unsplash

After that initial entrance, I had to spend the rest of the time with the man – which is when how he made me feel started becoming way more important than how he looked. 

By the end of the event, it wouldn’t matter what my date looked like. It only mattered that he made me feel cared for and treated me well.

You can’t base a relationship on those flash-in-the-pan moments of public validation. 

Those moments are just moments – literally a few seconds sometimes, and are definitely not indicative of the qualities of a good boyfriend. 

What’s important is how you feel with him after those moments – when you get home. It’s about what you two talk about when there isn’t an audience, and how he treats you in your day-to-day life. 

Looks fade. Values are forever.

Is he reassuring and supportive when you’ve had a bad day at the office?

Does he show up on time, and apologize when he knows he was wrong? 

When you’re around your friends does he talk you up or put you down – even “jokingly”?

My ex-husband used to jump on even the small things – like coming home from dinner with girlfriends 10 minutes later than my ETA – where he would explode in anger and send my anxiety through the roof. 

But, as with most abusive relationships, I’d put on the “We’re doing just great, thanks!” show for others whenever we would go out – even as our relationship was falling apart. 

And let me just say, putting on a façade like that only made a terrible situation feel even more miserable. It was like I was living a double life – and not in the sexy, covert, secret agent kind of way.

Dating a nice guy no chemistry

On one of our coaching calls, my client Katherine was excited to share that she had met a man who she felt instant chemistry with. But in the process of getting to know him, she realized he wasn’t a very kind man. 

Kindness was one of her core values because she’s a very thoughtful person herself and knows she needs a partner who shares that quality.

Chemistry without kindness is not an option.

Plus, you may have noticed that the men you feel the most chemistry with are usually not the ones that you want to be with long-term. 

Most men I’ve had an intense, instant spark with were not the ones I should have been dating, because I was distracted by the attraction and not paying attention to his underlying character (or, rather, lack thereof). 

As you’ve probably experienced in a past relationship, there are some days when your partner is the most attractive man in the world to you – and other days you can’t stand to be in the same room as him.  

That’s because chemistry is not a value. It’s a fleeting emotion that will come and go throughout your connection – and you can’t create a solid relationship on a fleeting emotion.

Chemistry is an emotion,
and you can’t create a solid relationship on a fleeting emotion.

Chemistry will ebb and flow – but intentionally-cultivated core values don’t change.

So if you’re dating a nice guy but there’s no chemistry just yet, give time to have more experiences together and it may reveal itself.

Dating outside of your political affiliation

Though the world feels more polarizing now than ever before, it’s entirely possible to have a happy, successful relationship with a man who doesn’t share your same political views. 

Start by openly sharing the values behind your chosen political affiliation and why they’re important to you, then invite him to do the same. 

You may discover that you and he have more in common at the core value level than you think. It’s simply that those values translate differently when it comes to policies and politics.

Our beliefs tend to be rooted in our personal experiences and feelings, and no one can invalidate those aspects of us. 

They simply are what they are. So, if you’re up for the challenge, be open to sharing why you vote the way you do and get curious about why he does too. 

See how he reacts and the level of respect he shows as you share; that’s a great indicator of how he’ll handle future discussions like this. 

A difference in political affiliation is less important than the difference between a closed versus an open mind.

Plus, when a man can’t quite figure you out – but still respects you and your opinions – it can be a turn-on. 

Part of what inspires a man to chase a woman is tapping into your feminine energy when dating (along with how to flirt with a guy) when you can share opposing perspectives in a way that isn’t aggressive or attacking. 

This can also lead a man to want to commit to you without pressure – because he sees you as his equal, not as his inferior or his opponent.

Conclusion: Values are the #1 quality of a good boyfriend

If you’ve found yourself asking, “When will I find a boyfriend?” it may be simply that you’re screening for the wrong traits in men and missing out on great guys who would make excellent partners for you. 

south asian man holding puppy showing the values of a good man
Yogendra Singh/Unsplash

Keep in mind the six starter qualities of a good boyfriend so you can start spotting the men who hold slightly more subtle potential to be the right man for you:

Next, get clear on the core values you want to attract in your partner – before you even meet him – by going through the three levels of crystal clarity:

  1. List the traits you don’t want
  2. Flip to the traits you do want
  3. Name your top 5 values of a good man

Finally, don’t forget to ditch those vanity metrics of credentials, charm, and chemistry. 

They may feel good to have in the short term, but they have almost no bearing on whether a man will make a great partner or not for the long haul.

Then, you’ve completed the first of my proven three-part process of discovering how to attract the right man:

Coming up next...

The next article in our series is 101 Casual Questions to Ask a Guy to Know His Intentions – where you’ll discover…

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Picture of Article by Camille Virginia
Article by Camille Virginia

After graduating with a degree in Marketing, I worked in the corporate consulting world for over a decade before starting my business Master Offline Dating to help singles attract love in the real world.

But my true passion (and the secret sauce to my clients' incredible results) is helping people create more meaningful in-person connections in our digitally-disconnected world.

I'm now the #1 Offline Dating Expert, an award-winning writer, and author of two best-selling books. I've also taught over 100 live workshops, reach subscribers across more than 130 countries, and have been featured in major media outlets including the Atlantic, the BBC, and USA Today,

Meet Camille

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