You Don’t Appreciate These Things About A Good Man Until You’ve Dated Too Many Bad Guys

We’ve all met that one self-proclaimed “nice guy” who expects a medal of honor for doing the bare minimum, but in a world full of toxic men, the truly good guys out there really can get overlooked. A good man may not have the flashy machismo of the jerks that we’re sometimes helplessly attracted to, but he will have these qualities that’ll make you wonder how you ever tolerated the jerks from your past:

He compliments you something other than your looks. The first time a boyfriend told you what a great rack you have, it might have set your heart aflutter… but the twentieth time? The hundredth? After years of only hearing praise when you look “hot”, it can feel like pure magic when a guy finally points out how good you sound when you sing along to the radio or what a great taste in Netflix shows you have (which, honestly, should have been obvious all along).

His sense of humor doesn’t rely on trash talk. We’ve all had times in our lives where we’ve had a little laugh at someone else’s expense. But after dating douchebag after douchebag, finding a guy with a sense of humor that isn’t all about tearing someone else down is a breath of fresh air. A good guy is confident enough in himself that he doesn’t need to make fun of people just to take them down a peg.

He has some semblance of emotional intelligence. When your awful exes used to express emotion by screaming in your face or giving you the cold shoulder for days on end, it was never really normal… but after a while, it might have started to seem that way. After a string of messy relationships with guys who don’t know how to express their own feelings, dealing with a dude whose emotional responses are healthy and appropriate is an absolute godsend.

He’s nice with no expectation of reward. In a lousy relationship, it’s easy to mistake manipulation for kindness. Sure, he’ll buy you dinner, but he’ll expect something in return once you’ve finished dessert. A good man won’t ever do something nice for you just so he can hold it over your head at a later date… even if your past experiences have trained you to expect otherwise.

He has confidence that doesn’t depend on what his bros think. Your scummy ex’s self-esteem might have rested entirely on his friends’ approval, but a good man knows that confidence comes from within. Imagine being respected by his dudes instead of being treated like the enemy — that’s the sign that you’re dating a guy who doesn’t live in fear of being called “whipped”.

He’s fearless in the face of household chores. Whether you love gender roles or hate them, it’s still kind of nice to have help with the dishes from time to time. A good man isn’t afraid of his own dirty laundry, he knows his way around a pot and pan, and he’d rather split the workload with you rather than watch you struggle with it alone.

He’s an egalitarian between the sheets. The quintessential d-bag might be all about himself in bed, but when you’re finally with someone who cares just as much about your pleasure as he does his own, you’ll never want to go back to hooking up with jerks ever again. It costs zero dollars to be a fair and just lover, and a good man knows it, so you can bet that he’ll give just as much as he receives (and then some).

He’s not on his phone 24/7. When you’re finally with someone who doesn’t treat his smartphone the same way a toddler treats their favorite teddy bear, it’s not just pleasant — it’s life-changing. Not only do you stop being worried about who he’s texting all the time and why he’s always liking other girls’ Instagram pics, you finally get to enjoy having an honest-to-God conversation with someone who actually knows how to carry one.

He has awesome passions. Dating an jerk sometimes means listening extensively to his plans for a t-shirt design company or being kept constantly up-to-date on all his gainz at the gym, so it’s no surprise when you start dating a good guy, you’re suddenly stunned by how freaking interesting he is. He’s not just dreaming about the things he wants to do with his life — he’s actually doing them. Even better, he wants to share them WITH you instead of just talking AT you.

He’s got a strong sense of moral integrity. All the scumbags in the world can’t come together to equal the moral values of just one good guy — and that good guy will prove it to you over and over again. He doesn’t lie, he doesn’t cheat, and no matter how unbelievable it can seem, he’s actually not out to hurt you.

He loves you. He really does. Selfless, genuine love shouldn’t seem like so much to ask for in a relationship… until it does. When your entire romantic history has been plagued by all the shortcomings of men who just straight-up didn’t deserve you, the love of a good man can seem almost too good to be true. When you finally get it, the love of a good man is the kind of thing you never stop appreciating. And even if you haven’t found him yet, he really does exist. He’s out there. And he’s going to love you so much.

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