Are there any good men left?
Are there any good men left? I say "Yes, there are." There are plenty of men out there that could be considered good, even great, but it depends largely on what it is your looking for. We all have an internal checklist of items that we mark off when we meet someone, whether it's for love, friendship or business. After all, good is a highly subjective quality and every one will define it differently. For one woman, good may depend on how he treats her, or how he treats her kids, which may not apply to another woman. To one woman, good may focus on how well he can help support her materially, to another, money and possessions may be a burden rather than a goal. For someone else, it may be all about the spiritual connection. No two women have the same list.
So before any guy can answer the question for you, you have to make sure you understand what the correct answer should look like. What item's are on your list? Physical and not, you need to really figure out what you want, and what it looks like in your mind before you can spot it in others.
As for the guys, it's just as complicated for us as it is for women. As social beings, we all have to fill a thousand different roles, so when someone tells you to just be yourself, it's alright to ask which self you're allowed to be! Right now, I am acting as my Counselor self, even though normally I'd be acting as a Student. In a couple hours, I'll be filling my boyfriend role and when I go to work I do a quick change to become a Professional. And filling each role requires a different set of skills, and to be considered "good", I have to know what the expectations are.
Are there some skills that are universal to all my roles? That I can apply as a boyfriend as well as a professional? Perhaps. What are some of the qualities that women look for?
The Physical: There's only so much we can do here. We can work on our physical strength, get ourselves fit and trim, but even physically, there's no one size fits all. And there's only so much you can do if you're just funny looking. And I've known many women who find physical strength to be intimidating. I argue that what matters is health, so that when you find the right one, you have as much time as possible with them.
Honesty: We all say we want an honest person, but does that mean 100%, 24 hours a day? "Why, yes, dear, that dress does make you look fat." Um, no. Generally though, couched in terms we can stand. We want to know that the person we love won't lie to us about big things, that important issues will be brought forth and shared, rather than hidden away.
Courtesy: Yes, but again, definitions are fuzzy, especially in this culturally diverse day and age. I've been yelled at for offering my seat to a woman or opening a door. How you greet someone, whether you smile and say "Hi", these are issues that everyone looks at differently.
Courage: We look at the man who risks his life to save a kitten and call him a hero. What about the man who stood up for what he believed? Courage is something that is exhibited in a variety of ways, and often only the dramatic examples are recognized.
Respect: For others and for himself. It sounds obvious, but for a lot of guys it's a challenge. Especially if you have a chip on your shoulder because you've been treated badly by others. There's a tendency to try and regain self-respect by mistreating others. It doesn't work. Move on.
Sensitive: This one is a double edged sword. Once more the expectation has shifted. There was the tough phase of John Wayne, then it swung to the sensitive Leonardo DiCaprio, now we get back to a tougher, sensitive Matthew McConaughey. I argue that Gary Cooper never went out of style.
Complementary: And I'm not talking about verbal compliments. A partner in all you do, someone that helps shore up your weak spots, and who encourages your strengths. Someone that really helps you to be your best. And it goes both ways: you should be prepared to help them achieve everything they can.
What else am I missing? Ladies what else do you look for? Guys, what do you think being a guy should entail? What does it mean to you?
Some reading material
And The Problem
The problem is that all the qualities that go into making up a "good" man are not the things you're going to see on the outside. He may have stunning good looks. He may dress like he's worth a million. He may have a perfect smile and still be a jerk, abusive, self-absorbed. But the fact is you're going to look first, then decide who to get to know deeper. It's human nature.
We tend to approach the people who are visually appealing to us, unless there's external circumstances that bring you together, like work, religion or school. If you're meeting someone at a bar, or a grocery store, or a bookstore, anywhere that experts say you should go to meet people, the chances are you're going to approach the person who looks best to you. Of course standards are different. Two women look at me, and each decides if I'm desirable in a different way. We all have a different checklist we use. (Freud suggests that its rooted in childhood. I'm not a big fan of Freud!)
It's important to keep this in the back of your mind, as your looking for your "good" man. Because you are more likely to find him, if you look beyond the shell and get to know them.
And that's my quick and simple response to the question of whether there are any good men left. I hope I provided some entertainment, and sparked a few thoughts. I also hope you'll share your thoughts with me, any ideas on qualities I missed, experiences in finding your good, or great, man, or even your negative experiences. I know I'm not a relationship expert by any means, but I hope this can help you all find what you seek.