Have you ever had a hard time figuring out if that guy you saw staring at you from the other side of the room would make good boyfriend material or not?
After writing The Freshman’s Guide to College, I just really don’t want to write about college for a little bit. So this week we’re talking relationships and summer, then I’ll be back with college tips next week!
As I write this I’m visiting my in-laws in Kamloops, BC, and tomorrow is Connor and my one-month anniversary! It doesn’t seem like it’s been a month yet, to be honest, since we’ve been so busy ever since we got married!
Now, I’ve already shared with you all that Connor and I didn’t have a typical relationship by a lot of Christian’s standards, and I loved hearing all of your stories about how yours weren’t so typical, either! But it got me wondering:
If so many of us have “non-typical” relationships that are successful, but we all know quite a few “typical” relationships that are unsuccessful, why don’t we try to figure out what those “non-typical” relationships have in common and look for those, too, and not just the ordinary list of traits that make great Christian boyfriend material?
Now, in my mind, the great Christian boyfriend looks like this:
- Loves God more than anything
- Is handsome
- Doesn’t struggle with things like porn, sex, drinking, drugs, partying, etc.
- Loves his mom
- Wants 27 babies
And that’s about all you need. (Haters who will inevitably comment: obviously I’m generalizing to make a point.)
But honestly, although those are all wonderful things, I think that they are just a scraping off of the surface of what it means to be a good boyfriend/fiancé/husband, and I think that we need to start looking a little deeper.
So here are my 7 weird traits that make a guy great boyfriend material!
1. He doesn’t only respect you, but other girls as well
When I met Connor, he was in a long-distance relationship. We’re talking a 5-hour-plane-ride long-distance. If he had decided to flirt with any other girl, no one would have ever been the wiser.
However, even though he and I were hanging out almost every day for the month before he broke it off, he never once flirted with me. When we hung out, we sat on opposite sides of the table, and we really didn’t even hug. He was very pleasant and one of my best friends, but he made it very clear that there was that boundary set up.
And you know what? As much as I hate the idea of him ever having another girlfriend other than me (I’m working on it, don’t worry), I love that he gave me that sense of peace and trust that he will always respect me. If he didn’t even think about cheating on his girlfriend with me, the woman he would eventually marry, I know that I never have anything to worry about.
PLEASE listen when I say this: flirting is not harmless. Flirting is how a relationship begins. If he is flirting with other girls while he says he wants to be with you–and really flirting, not just being friendly–confront him. If he doesn’t realize it, he’ll be glad that you warned him. If he gets defensive, I’d seriously consider getting out.
2. He does his own laundry
This may seem like a weird one, but this is more than just his ability to do housework. A guy who does his own laundry is one who takes care of himself, who will love to be taken care of by you but won’t be completely dependent on you. He’s the kind of guy who won’t mumble if you ask him to put some dishes in the dishwasher, because he doesn’t see all housework as just the woman’s work.
If he just doesn’t know how to do laundry, that’s a different story. But look at whether or not the guy can take care of himself. You don’t want to be dating someone who feels entitled to be waited on by women. You want someone who will generally appreciate it when you take care of him, and who will be able to also take care of you.
3. He can unplug
Nothing is worse than going over to a guy’s house to hangout and then watching him play CoD for an hour while you just wait for the date to start. If a guy can’t turn off the PS4, move on. How he treats you at the beginning of the relationship is probably the ultimate standard for the best he’ll treat you, so if he can’t take 2 hours of his day to just spend time getting to know you, seriously reconsider the relationship.
4. He isn’t afraid to be silly in front of others
Honestly I think that most of our issues boil down to pride. If a guy doesn’t want to join in because he’s afraid he will look silly, or doesn’t put himself out there because he doesn’t want anyone to think that he’s a goof, that’s a red flag for me. You don’t need someone who’s a class clown, but a little bit of humility never hurt anyone.
Look for the guy who will do the Robin Hood skit for the kids in Sunday School. Look for the guy who will dance with you in public, or sing off key with you while you make dinner. The guy who isn’t afraid to literally roll on the floor laughing. The ability to just let your hair down is SO important in a relationship.
5. He has good guy friends
When you’re in a relationship it’s so tempting to want to be each other’s everything. But the truth is, you need gal pals and he needs bro buddies. He needs someone to just be a guy with, and that’s OK. That’s a good thing.
A guy who has good guy friends is generally a better guy relationship-wise than the one who really only hangs out with girls. That doesn’t me he can’t have girl friends, I just mean that he needs to have the ability to really connect with guys, too. This is a good way to watch out for casanovas. Guys don’t like hanging out with casanovas. When a guy is a major flirt, from my observations, he tends to have very on and off again friendships, not solid relationships with other people.
6. He is honest about his struggles
Girls, let me give you a bit of a hard pill to swallow right now:
GUYS STRUGGLE WITH DIFFERENT THINGS THAN WE DO.
In general, girls tend to struggle with internal things, like jealousy, vanity, pride, gossip, etc. Guys, on the other hand, although they also struggle with these, tend to be more likely than girls to struggle with external issues like porn, alcohol abuse, masturbation, partying, etc.
Just because a guy is struggling (key word: struggling) with something does not mean he is a bad guy. It means he is human and that he is trying to get on track with God. Does that mean I think you should jump into a serious relationship with a guy battling a severe porn addiction? NO! But what that does mean is that you shouldn’t count out a guy just because of a sin he is struggling with. You just need to make sure that he is on the road to recovery, has a good accountability group (point 5, anyone?), is open and honest about it, and is at a place where a relationship would be healthy and beneficial for the both of you.
I know so many great guys who got hooked on porn when they were in Jr. High. Jr. High. And I know a lot of Christian girls who have completely struck guys like them from their potential dating pool because of their external sins, but I think that’s a load of crap. I’d rather be with a guy who’s really trying to live on the right path than a guy who looks like he has it all together but has a major pride problem.
Struggling with sin is not a red flag, girls. Sinning and not acknowledging the struggle is the red flag.
7. He doesn’t look at other girls
This is one of my favourite traits about Connor. He is a man of honour, I will tell you that. When we were in the security line on our way to visit Connor’s family, there was a girl in front of us who was a supermodel. She was 5 foot 9 and maybe 120 pounds, wearing a skin tight floor-length black dress. She looked hot. So I watched what Connor did out of curiosity.
Connor saw her (didn’t look and linger, just saw), and then looked directly at me and didn’t look at her again. Just looked at me with a little smile on his face. Instead of looking at the most beautiful girl in the entire air port, he decided to look at his wife, the girl with the sneakers, hoodie, no makeup, and horribly disheveled hair (I truly did look awful).
This is a recurring theme with Connor, though! I have yet to ever see him truly look at another girl, and I don’t believe I ever will. You deserve respect in every way, including not having your guy fantasizing about another girl. I really think that if more girls were more vigilant about this trait in particular, we’d escape a lot of very nasty breakups.
A good relationship starts by looking for a guy with good character. These are some of my top things to look for. Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list, and there are a lot of personality traits to consider, but I think it’s a good place to start!
What would you add to my list? What are some things that you think are really important when looking for a guy?
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