How You Know He’s A Strong Man, No Biceps Required

A guy doesn’t need muscles to be strong. There’s inner strength that’s so much more important if someone’s going to be an awesome boyfriend. So while you’re checking out his arms on a first date to see if he hits the gym, here are some other types of strength to look out for:

  1. He takes responsibility for his words and actions. When things go wrong, a guy who’s not emotionally or mentally strong will quickly shift responsibility. Check out the way he talks about other people and sticky situations he’s been in. If it seems like someone else is always to blame, that’s not a good sign. And just think: if you get with him, he’ll be blaming you for stuff when things go wrong because he doesn’t take responsibility for his actions. Not cool.
  2. He doesn’t feel the need to constantly assert his manhood A guy who throws his weight around and is arrogant is really not strong at all. He’s annoying AF and difficult to deal with, plus his self-important swagger just looks stupid. On the other hand, when a guy is gentle and doesn’t need to scream out that he’s strong, he’s got the real deal. It’s like money: the people who really have it don’t need to show it. It also takes a strong man to be gentle with others because he doesn’t let his ego get in the way.
  3. He doesn’t bottle his feelings up. Men get told by society to reel in their emotions and “act like men,” but not being in tune with one’s feelings can cause serious issues down the line. You want a guy who lets it hang out, emotionally speaking. He should be strong enough to show his emotions so that he prevents anger and sadness from building up. It’s refreshing to be with a guy who has the emotional intelligence to express what he’s feeling and who knows himself. It’s a subtle confidence that’s so appealing.
  4. He’s honest, even about the hard stuff. Guys who ghost you or lie are really weak. They don’t have the strength to face situations and there’s nothing worse than being on the receiving end of their crappy behavior. You should also be looking for the type of guy who has honesty about himself. He embraces who he is, quirks, flaws and all, without faking who he is just to impress you. That’s so lame.
  5. He’s not intimidated or emasculated by your strength. You’re a strong woman and you’re not going to refrain from sharing your opinions with, or challenging, a guy. A strong man is one who won’t be put off or become defensive by this. He’ll like that you’re intelligent and he’ll rise to the challenge, mentally stimulating you too without being intimidated by your strength.
  6. He doesn’t try to steal your power. A truly strong man will love that you’re strong. Instead of trying to keep you under his thumb out of his own insecurity or low self-esteem, he’ll find your strength a turn on. Instead of worrying that you’re stronger than him or that he’ll look bad, he’ll want to be right there by your side while you take on the world.
  7. He fights for you. A guy who really loves you and fights for you won’t have to show it physically, such as by punching some guy at the bar who keeps eyeing you out. Those demonstrations of “strength” are really more about the guy’s ego than anything else. A guy who fights for you, really fights for you, will make it clear that he doesn’t want to lose you and he’ll support you when the rest of the world walks away. Now that’s the kind of strong AF boyfriend to have.
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.