What To Look For In A Guy: 46 Qualities That Will Make A Man A Good Partner

So you’re out there in the dating world, trying to figure out if the guy you’ve just met has potential or if he’s just another passing face. It’s completely normal to be curious and to hope for that spark. But beyond the initial thrill, what should you really be looking for in a guy? What qualities make a man a good potential partner?

Sure, first impressions matter, but when you’re hunting for a lasting connection, it’s the deeper, consistent qualities that count. Instead of getting too wrapped up in the surface-level charms, take a step back and consider his core values and behaviors. After all, it’s those foundational traits that’ll determine if he’s genuinely worth your time.

Here are a few you should be looking for.

Important qualities to look for in a guy

  1. Emotional Intelligence Emotional intelligence is golden. A guy who’s emotionally tuned-in understands his feelings, respects yours, and communicates maturely. He’s not afraid of deep conversations and is often a great listener. This quality fosters a healthy and understanding relationship.
  2. Kindness Kindness speaks volumes. It’s in the small gestures that make you feel cared for: holding the door open, helping a stranger, or comforting a friend. If he’s got a heart that cares for others genuinely, it’s a clear indicator that he’ll be a nurturing partner.
  3. A wicked sense of humor Life’s not always rainbows and butterflies. A man with a sense of humor can turn a gloomy day around. Laughter is therapeutic, and sharing a good chuckle can strengthen your bond. Look for someone who laughs with you, not at you.
  4. Ambition Ambition isn’t solely about the big bucks. It’s about passion, drive, and goals. Whether he’s aiming for a promotion or mastering a hobby, a guy with ambition has direction and isn’t afraid of hard work. No one wants to be with a scrub. He doesn’t have to be chasing CEO status, but he should at least want to make something of his life.
  5. Honesty Trust me on this: honesty is foundational. A truthful man values integrity and is straightforward with his feelings and thoughts. When misunderstandings arise, he’s upfront, ensuring trust remains unbroken. He also doesn’t tell little white lies to avoid confrontation and then claims he was “trying not to hurt you.” GTFO wth that.
  6. Respect I know it’s a bit cliche to call yourself a queen and claim you’re looking for your king, but this is more of a state of mind than anything. You have to treat yourself as if you’re someone of high esteem, and any guy you’re with should do the same. Respect in a relationship means valuing boundaries, opinions, and differences. It’s about listening, understanding, and mutual appreciation.
  7. Responsibility From showing up on time to managing finances, responsibility is key. A responsible guy takes charge of his actions and understands the importance of commitment in both big and small matters. Immature guys need not apply.
  8. Self-confidence A guy who knows what he brings to the table is hot. A man who believes in himself and his abilities brings positivity to the relationship. This doesn’t mean arrogance but having a healthy sense of self-worth. You don’t want to be with someone who’s riddled with insecurity. We all have things we’re not as stoked on, but he should have a base belief in his worth.
  9. Adaptability Life throws curveballs. Having a partner who can adapt means both of you can face challenges head-on, together. Whether it’s a change in job or a sudden plan switch, adaptability keeps the relationship fluid. Massive shifts might be challenging, but having someone who rolls with the punches is paramount.
  10. Thoughtfulness It’s delightful when he remembers the little things: your favorite song, the story you told, or that snack you love. Thoughtfulness shows he pays attention and genuinely cares about your happiness. We all want to feel special, don’t we?
  11. Communication skills Open communication forms the backbone of any healthy relationship. A man who can articulate his feelings, listens actively, and isn’t afraid of tough discussions ensures that both of you are on the same page. You can’t have a healthy relationship with someone who bottles everything up until he flies off the handle.
  12. Loyalty Loyalty is more than just being faithful. It’s about sticking by your side, through thick and thin. If he’s your biggest cheerleader and remains consistent in his commitment, he’s a keeper.
  13. Supportiveness Life’s a journey with its set of challenges. Having a partner who supports your dreams, understands your worries, and stands by you is truly invaluable. He doesn’t have to agree with everything you do or say, but he should have your back when the chips are down.
  14. Independence While companionship is wonderful, independence is essential. A man who has his own passions, friendships, and responsibilities understands the importance of personal space in a relationship. This makes it easier for you to maintain your own life outside of the relationship too.
  15. Maturity No, this doesn’t mean he can’t be goofy! Maturity is about handling situations with grace, understanding consequences, and making informed decisions. Dating a man-child is a major no-no.
  16. Moral integrity A man with a strong moral compass knows right from wrong. His actions reflect his character, ensuring he treats others fairly and stands up for what he believes in.
  17. An adventurous spirit Life’s too short for monotony. An adventurous man is always up for new experiences, be it trying out a new cuisine or planning a spontaneous road trip. This will keep your relationship fresh and ensure neither of you gets bored by treading water.
  18. Romance Little notes, surprise dates, or just holding hands – every bit counts. A romantic guy keeps the spark alive, ensuring the relationship feels fresh and exciting. You don’t need to act like your personal Prince Charming on a daily basis, but a little romance never hurt anyone.
  19. Commitment Whether it’s to you, his job, or personal growth, commitment signifies dedication. A committed man invests time and effort into what he truly cares about.
  20. Intellectual curiosity Deep conversations, exploring new subjects, or debating fun topics— intellectual curiosity keeps the relationship stimulating. That’s not to say you need to be discussing world peace and neuroscience on a daily basis, but you should be able to get deep during your chats.
  21. Family values How he treats his family can offer a glimpse into how he’ll value his own household. Respect, care, and understanding within his family often translate to how he’ll behave in his personal relationships.
  22. Reliability Knowing you can count on him is comforting. Whether it’s picking you up on time or being there when you need to chat, reliability is a mark of trustworthiness. Flaky guys are an immediate turn-off, that’s for sure.
  23. Appreciation A guy who shows gratitude and appreciates the small things tends to value and cherish the relationship. It’s those ‘thank yous’ and ‘I’m grateful fors’ that make all the difference.

More traits that make a guy a good boyfriend

  1. Good hygiene It might sound trivial, but good hygiene is indicative of self-care and respect for others. A clean appearance often means he values himself and those around him. If you’ve ever dated a dude who skipped deodorant or whose toothbrush was covered in dust, you know how important this one is.
  2. Empathy Being able to put himself in another’s shoes, understanding emotions, and offering comfort showcases a heart full of empathy. This trait ensures a deeper emotional connection.
  3. Humility rather than arrogance There’s a fine line here. Confidence is believing in oneself, whereas arrogance can often dismiss others. A confident man uplifts those around him. He should toe that fine line very, very carefully.
  4. A vision for the future Having dreams, setting goals, and planning for the future signifies a man who’s forward-thinking and includes you in his long-term vision. Again, he doesn’t have to be aspiring to something lofty, he just needs to have a good picture of where his life is going. This way, you can figure out if you fit into that vision well or not.
  5. Affection Physical and emotional affection reinforces love and bond. Gentle touches, warm hugs, and sweet words contribute to feeling loved and secure. You don’t have to be attached at the hip 24/7, but it’s nice to feel connected.
  6. Genuine interest Does he ask about your day and genuinely listen? Showing real interest ensures that he values your experiences and feelings. Again, he’s not going to be into all the same things you’re into (though you’re sure he’s seriously missing out with the new “RHONY” cast), but he should at least pay attention when you’re speaking.
  7. Cultural openness An open-minded man who respects and is curious about different cultures ensures richer experiences and understanding in a relationship.
  8. Financial responsibility It’s not about having a fortune but managing what he has wisely. Financial responsibility means planning, saving, and understanding the value of money. He should also disclose any major debts he has sooner rather than later.
  9. Shared interests While opposites can attract, shared hobbies or interests make for memorable moments. Be it cooking, hiking, or movie nights – shared experiences foster closeness.
  10. Patience From understanding mood swings to waiting in long queues, patience is a virtue. A patient man handles situations calmly and avoids unnecessary conflict.
  11. Passion Whether it’s about his work, hobbies, or love, passion is fiery and contagious. A passionate man loves deeply, works hard, and pursues his dreams. Even better when he brings that passion into your relationship.
  12. Generosity Generosity isn’t limited to material gifts. Time, care, advice, or simple acts of service count. A generous guy is selfless, often putting others’ needs above his.
  13. Optimism In the ups and downs of life, an optimistic partner is a beacon of hope. His positive outlook can lift your spirits, ensuring both of you face challenges with a hopeful heart. Sure, everyone gets down sometimes, but his general attitude should be an upbeat one or it’ll end up taking a major toll on you.
  14. Groundedness It’s easy to get swayed in today’s fast-paced world. A man who remains grounded, despite the whirlwinds of life, offers stability and reassurance in a relationship.
  15. Vulnerability Real strength lies in showing vulnerability. A guy who’s not afraid to showcase his fears, hopes, and weaknesses allows for a deeper emotional connection.
  16. Playfulness Keeping his inner child alive adds fun to the relationship. A playful spirit ensures that you both share hearty laughs, lighten up, and enjoy the simple joys together. Half the benefit of being in a relationship is having someone to have fun with.
  17. Initiative Taking the lead, whether in planning dates or solving problems, shows initiative. It demonstrates his willingness to invest in the relationship and keep things moving forward.
  18. Respect for boundaries Every individual has boundaries, be it emotional, physical, or social. A respectful partner understands, acknowledges, and honors these limits, ensuring a balanced relationship. He doesn’t have to like where you draw the line, but he has to make sure he doesn’t cross it.
  19. Good listening skills It’s one thing to hear, another to listen. A guy who genuinely listens to what you say – without the intent to reply but to understand – makes you feel valued and heard.
  20. Non-judgmental Life’s complicated. Having a partner who accepts you, flaws and all, without being judgmental, offers a safe haven for your heart.
  21. Strong work ethic Determination, dedication, and discipline in his work, whatever it might be, reflect his commitment levels and can often translate into other aspects of his life.
  22. Encouragement Someone who believes in you, pushes you to achieve your goals, and celebrates your successes amplifies your confidence and ensures a supportive partnership.
  23. Prioritizing quality time In a world full of distractions, prioritizing quality time ensures the relationship remains strong. Whether it’s a simple dinner at home or a weekend getaway, these moments strengthen the bond.

The journey to finding the right man can be both exhilarating and a roller-coaster. While no one’s perfect, knowing what you value most in a partner can guide your choices. Whether you’ve found him already or are still on the hunt, remember: it’s essential to find someone who complements you. Stay true to what you want, trust the process, and most importantly, always prioritize your happiness and well-being. Cheers to love and finding that special someone!

Gail is Bolde's social media and partnership manager, as well as an all-around behind-the-scenes renaissance woman. She worked for more than 25 years in her city's local government before making the switch to women's lifestyle and relationship sites, initially at HelloGiggles before making the switch to Bolde.