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What to Look for in a Girlfriend

Updated on June 18, 2019
AudreyLancho profile image

Audrey enjoys helping others navigate the trickier relationships in their lives, whether blood, platonic, in-law, or romantic.

Some of the things you should be looking for in a girlfriend are some of the least obvious.
Some of the things you should be looking for in a girlfriend are some of the least obvious.

Not All that Glitters is Gold

Half of the world is female, and with today's casual culture, online dating apps are there to make everything much easier. You see a picture, you swipe, and then direct message the person, and soon you're picking them up and taking them out. But with all these beautiful faces and instagram posts, how is a man to find a real, quality woman to hopefully build a life with in a world of one-night-stands, infidelity, and secrecy? And when he does find a girl to date, how can he tell the real deal from a cheap off-brand? Below is a list of qualities that a real man wants in his real woman. Fellas, if you find a woman like this, hold on to her, because not all that glitters in a Tinder picture is gold.

What to Look for in a Girlfriend

You may want me to rant on here about how your girlfriend should be super fun, adventurous, hot, slim, fashionable, and have a lot of money. Well, that may be a dream girlfriend for a short-term fling, but there are other qualities that stand the test of time and will have you committed long down the road in a stable and loving home. If you are dating to marry, here are the things you should look for in your girl.

1. She Cares About You and Others

Plenty of women care about themselves: how they feel, who hurt their feelings, what they need. However, a true and good woman cares about you. When you are down and out, is she there? Does she try to cheer you up? Does she care about your problems? If you blew your tire out, a superficial girl might just laugh and call you a dummy. A caring girl is going to tell you she's sorry about your misfortune and see what part she can take in making it all better. If someone is sick, does she visit or cook for them? If you are sick, does she do anything to show empathy? A good and faithful woman is an empathetic one. She feels the pain of others and wants to make things right. She helps where she can when possible and you feel like she cares about you and respects you.

2. She Respects You

This may seem old fashioned, but a girlfriend who is long-term material cares enough about you to respect you. When she's mad and you fight she still abides by an invisible moral line, where it is wholly unacceptable to berate you with insults (idiot, jerk, or worse) or even slap or push you (why do women suddenly think it's okay to physically abuse their partners?). A future wife, no matter how angry, will not be abusive and will respect you even if she disagrees. In a relationship, it is okay for one of the people to disagree and voice that disagreement or anger. It is not okay to cut someone down and push them around due to anger. That is disrespect. She will also not roll her eyes or treat you like you are an idiot. Mocking a man or making light of him or embarrassing him is a huge sign of disrespect to him and a future wife will handle these things in private, where they belong, just as she will expect you to do the same for her. It is not mature to disrespect one another and your girlfriend should not do this either.

3. She Takes Care of Herself

I am not saying she has to be a size 4, and I am not saying she has to look like Beyonce. But, she needs to show signs of not being lazy or passive about her appearance on most days. If she does not care what she looks like and makes no effort to make herself presentable, then be warned that it will only get worse as the relationship progresses. If she is unwilling now to wear clean clothes, brush her hair and teeth, and wash her face, then she may just be a nasty, lazy bum that will never take care of herself or you, or future children for that matter. Trashy is as trashy does, so watch out for lazy girls who don't even try. If she takes any sort of pride in her appearance (a new shirt, hairstyle, set of earrings etc.) encourage that! Your gifts can be things she likes to add to her collection and spur her on to self-care. She will appreciate them and you can grow together over admiring her beauty and taste in accessories.

4. She is of the Same or Similar Faith

If your girl is a Muslim and you are an Atheist, chances are you are robbing her of a lifelong hidden desire to marry someone in her own faith. Long term, those types of things just do not work out, and lead to years of jaded bitterness for both partners. Make sure your girl has similar faith to you in regards to the biggest points of your faith. For example, if you are a devout christian and you believe that only Jesus can get you to heaven, but your girlfriend is a more free-spirited christian who thinks that there are many ways to get there, you are probably not compatible and missionary dating does not work. You will end up getting frustrated with one another due to disagreement on deep theological issues that you both feel strongly about. However, for example, if you are both agnostics that feel that there is definitely a god, and differ on little else, you may be able to make things work! Make sure the main points of your religious beliefs are so similar that you do not feel pressured to choose between the person you really like and your relationship with your higher power. If there are any differences to work out, definitely work them out before marriage, because once you get married, comfort sets in and things can get really bad when trying to change one another.

5. She Has Not Been Around the Block Too Many Times

Sadly, nowadays it doest not go without saying that an easy girl is not a good girl to date long-term, unless of course she has completely renounced that lifestyle and has decided to settle down. Being with a girl that everyone else has been with is bad for your reputation and she has so much baggage that your relationship will struggle to flourish.

6. She is Hardworking

Some women expect to be waited on hand and foot and never have to do anything to help the relationship or your lives together. A real woman, however, is willing to roll up her sleeves and be the equal she is--in every sense of the word. Nowadays it takes two incomes to get ahead in life, and she will have to be fruitful with her hands to bring gains and benefits to your future family unit. Look for a girl who is not afraid to work and who supports herself. Girls living on daddy's money may be expecting to mooch off of yours without a second thought. Even if you want your wife to be a stay-at-home-mom while the kids are little, her contribution will be hard work with child-rearing, cleaning, organizing, or even running an in-home business like selling handmade items, growing certain high-need crops, freelance writing, or even selling chickens eggs. Just be careful not to get stuck with a girl who does nothing to further your family, and spends her money on pointless stuff, which brings me to my next point.

7. She is Frugal

She may not be rich, but she pays her bills and knows what expenses are going up. She understands the value or saving and delaying pleasure (that cute top she saw) in favor of meeting bigger goals (her community college classes). There is nothing worse than a person who, as soon as they get a few dollars in their hands, goes on a shopping spree and spends everything they had. Rainy days do come, and it is best to have someone who knows how to manage money, and if not, at least looks for the cheap way to do things. If she waits to buy something when it is on sale or puts off personal things like hair appointments or pedicures, then those are all good signs that she is a more frugal person. Other good signs include balancing check books, budgeting (even if rudimentary), keeping up with her online bank account, not having credit card debt, and planning for the future. A penny saved is a penny earned, and a frugal woman will bring prosperity to her family over years and years of careful savings.

8. She is Mature

The last thing you need is a thin-skinned, easily-offended, crybaby, drama queen in your life. Choose a woman who can maturely communicate her emotions, who doesn't bad-mouth others, and who is able to hold her tongue or at least be civil during heated moments. You need a woman who is looking to build up others and help them along their journey, not create dramatic problems and lifelong strife by being jealous, petty, competitive, and conniving.

9. She is Real

Make sure the girl you choose is as real as they come. A fake laugh, fake niceness, or fake friendliness are all very noticeable, so you should run far away. A real girl is not ashamed of who she is and does not feel the need to ever fake herself. She is authentic, genuine, transparent, open, but not naive. Holding back information is not fake. But acting like someone's best friend when she goes behind their backs and gossips about them is very fake. Be wise and discerning about your girlfriend's behavior in her relationships. If things end up badly, you could be her next victim if you do not choose a mature and real woman.


A Closing Thought

While none of these things may seem modern or feminist enough for most people, in actuality these are time-tested qualities that good women possess. If you find a girl with these qualities, do not be afraid to commit to her long term. More men need to think carefully about what type of woman they want for the rest of their lives, instead of just thinking about how she looks or how fun her personality is. Looks fade and personalities can mold together through the years to become compatible. The most important things in a girlfriend are what is in her heart.

Guys Tell: What is MOST important to you in a girlfriend at this stage in your life?

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Audrey Lancho

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    • AudreyLancho profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Lancho 

      4 weeks ago from North Carolina and Spain

      @jackie thank you! I wrote one for girls a while back and this is the counterpart for boys!!

    • Jackie Zelko profile image

      Jackie Zelko 

      4 weeks ago

      You are such a good writer! I loved your closing thought :)

    • Miebakagh57 profile image

      Miebakagh Fiberesima 

      4 weeks ago from Port Harcourt, Rivers State, NIGERIA.

      Nice story. But I prefer the spirit of integrity, faithfulness, understanding and sharing above monetary values. Money can come however the quantity one has to make proper and better use of it to meet current needs. Thanks for sharing.

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