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I sat down last Wednesday morning with a piping cup of tea and a potential new client and heard the same thing that I’ve heard from so many other women. “I’m just having a really hard time finding a good guy.”

And I responded the same way I always do (although I’ve worked hard to remove the eye roll and long sigh…”

“What does a good guy look like?”

After they list the idealist qualities that often are associated with a good guy (kind, good listener, likes all the same music/books/movies, long walks on the beach, blahblahblah) I change the subject and then come back to a related question:

“So what kind of guy really turns you on?”

This list is inevitably the exact opposite of the things they previously mentioned, which is problematic for me as their potential coach. They’ll never find happiness with dichotomous expectations. 

We think as women, that the madonna-whore complex is a fault of men, but I see it come up all the time with women. And I think there is one simple step towards making these expectations more realistic – change the way we define good men.

 

Here is what I see as the greatest characteristics of a good man:

 

Good Men Respond

When men find themselves in uncomfortable situations, especially in relationships, they often let their emotions lead their decision making. We as women often interpret this as passion and fire, but in reality it is a visceral emotional reaction. A good man channels that emotion and passion and is ok when things become uncomfortable. He doesn’t need to control the situation or distract us from the issue. He listens and responds. It takes patience, thoughtfulness and maturity to filter your own thoughts. And that’s what a good man does. He doesn’t just react, he responds.

 

They Are Open To Change

We have too many should’s, must-haves, and deal-breakers in our relationships. A good man knows that in order to make a relationship grow, they have to be willing to grow too. They are open to asking questions, practicing and experimenting with ways to make a relationship better. They refuse to accept setbacks as deal-breakers, but know they don’t know all the answers and there may be more than one way to get what they need in a relationship.

 

They Are Self Aware

Most of our behavior stem from unconscious beliefs or patterns. Until we make our behaviors conscious – we are at their mercy. So many men make the same mistakes over and over and are frustrated at their inability to change. They say we want to be healthy or settle down, but their behavior says the complete opposite. Good men are brutally honest with themselves, they approach issues directly and with curiosity to make things better. Awareness in a relationship is all about seeing the truth about our behavior, not listening to our excuses or accepting denials. 

 

They Have Purpose

While some men set their goals on career achievements, pay bumps and landing a hot lady, good men set their goals based on finding a purpose. Everything they do gets them closer to their purpose. Their relationships are worth investing in because they support a bigger goal. They live healthy lives so they can get up in the morning energized to work towards something they truly believe in. Good men are building a life, not just reaching for the next small ego boost.

 

They Make Shit Happen

I’ve dated many big thinkers. They talk about making changes to themselves, but don’t. I’ve also dated some good men who talk about change and then make that shit happen! Those are the ones that stick around. It’s easy to complain about all of the things that are going wrong and all of the things that they know could change their habits, but actually making steps towards change is where the power comes. A good man also knows that big change comes from small shifts. Nothing can happen overnight – a good man not only makes steps to change, but is comfortable with progress and small successes and doesn’t rush the process.

If you know a good man – you should thank him. If you’re dating a dude that doesn’t fit the bill, call me – let’s see figure this out.