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Qualities of a good man?

(63 Posts)
CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 13-Dec-14 00:13:37

I always go for the bad-uns. The charmers. The ones who promise the world in the beginning then just take whatever they can get for as long as I'll put up with it.

I'm 7 months out of an abusive relationship and have an 8 month old daughter. To be honest, I have no intention of actively seeking a relationship right now but I also don't want to be bowled over by the next person who sees me as a cow ready for the milking. I'm funny, intelligent and generous and I want my next relationship to be with a man who deserves the best of me.

So, those of you who've experienced a truly loving, affectionate and fulfilling relationship, what did/does your significant other do that showed you that he was just right? What do you look out for?

And what are your deal breakers and red flags that tell you to ditch?

PurpleWithRed Sat 13-Dec-14 00:16:18

Generosity of spirit, and mutual respect are what does it for me. Emotional blackmail and sulking are red flags.

BlackDaisies Sat 13-Dec-14 00:19:08

Well I'm probably the wrong person to reply as my relationships have been pretty disastrous! However, from my experience, my red flags would be - early declarations of love/ taking things too quickly, any form of criticism, aggression/ temper,

meandjulio Sat 13-Dec-14 00:21:02

I spent three years on my own, recognising that rebounding straight from one very painful (to me) relationship to my first marriage was a recipe for disaster.

I spent a long time thinking about what I actually wanted in life. There are things that other people care about that i absolutely don't. However, there are a lot of things that other people don't think are important that are complete deal breakers to me.

Once I had an explicit shortlist of things that I needed to see in a partner, things got easier. Just as an example: I wanted a man who was kind to me and others. Someone who never got angry when he was driving, and who stuck to the speed limit. Someone who had a good and close relationship with his parents. Someone who wanted children. Ideally, someone who had at least one friend of his own that he prioritised spending time with. And someone who liked more than one type of music, including classical music, and who was not dismissive about types of music that he did not like.

Irrationally, I am now deeply suspicious of men who buy flowers. It just happens that all my most tortured relationships have involved regular flower-buying. I think this is correlation not causation, but still, buying flowers is rather close to thinking they can buy my approval/buy me.

BlackDaisies Sat 13-Dec-14 00:21:47

Posted too soon... I would/will be looking for kindness, gentleness, confidence in who they are, someone who is independent and generally happy.

HellBoundNothingFound Sat 13-Dec-14 00:28:31

My advice, for what it's worth, spend time with your baby, love the freedom, learn about yourself, and grow from experiences. When you meet them you'll know.

I was a lone parent from conception, I loved it, I'm now married to an amazing guy, he appreciated all of the good points I recognised and learnt about myself during my alone years. Treasure those years, they are a blessing

ouryve Sat 13-Dec-14 00:30:07

We were bloody good friends for a long time before we became lovers.

beautyfades Sat 13-Dec-14 00:33:48

Thing is I knew what I wanted in a partner after getting out of an abusive relationship but he changed!

divetastic Sat 13-Dec-14 08:13:52

Someone who respects your boundaries. often when you've come out of a shitty relationship you have defensive walls up. Most 'quality' guys will respect that and give you space. The not so nice guys will take a sledgehammer to your walls (often with a charm offensive) so you can end up in almost a loop of seeing interest only from unsuitable guys.

I think therefore that if you aren't feeling ready for anything just yet, you should keep in mind that any guy that is trying to override those feelings is probably a wrong'un. If you say you're not ready for a relationship 'yet' their reaction is pretty telling. If its anger or to try to convince you otherwise, steer clear.

Charley50 Sat 13-Dec-14 08:20:16

Reliable and trustworthy. Isn't late and doesn't let you down. Is fun but not too intense. Puts you first (only once you've both decided you are serious about each other). Your friends like him. I saw a thing on Facebook about what men make good partners and wish if kept it as it rang true for me.
I left my abusive partner when my DS was 5 months old and two years later me my DP. I thought he was so lovely because he was kind and gentle opposite of ex. I ignored his frequent being late and letting me down at the last minute. Turned out he was an expert in the silent treatment, which is emotional abuse and has led to a lot of pain over the years. Ignoring and being late are now Big Red Flags for me.

Mummyoftwobeautifulpoppets Sat 13-Dec-14 08:25:50

^what dive said. Took me a while to unravel why I was attracting unsuitable men. But the sledgehammer analogy is a good one; abusive selfish men don't care about your boundaries/respecting you.

Now I put kindness at no. 1. Followed by good control of emotions, no anger issues and generosity. (Just find penny pinching a bit mean and a turn off!).
Not that bothered about looks as long as we have chemistry and it's a huge bonus if he can make me laugh.

But yes, do enjoy the time you have on your own.

Beangarda Sat 13-Dec-14 08:39:22

Honestly, OP, the same qualities I would look for in a good woman, plus the element of being attractive to me. Men are not another species, and it sounds as if you have maybe fallen into the trap of thinking so, with your 'bad boy' thing (an expression I really don't like because it so often trivialises abusive or even criminal behaviour).

If you switched the sex of your 'bad boy' to female, therefore taking out the sex bit (assuming you are straight), would you want her as a friend? Would you want her around your baby?

HollyJollyXmas Sat 13-Dec-14 08:40:53

A good man wont 'bowl you over'. Especially now that you have a young child. He will take it slow, wont make big declarations and promises, he'll respect your boundaries and will want to really get to know you before rushing in.

Be very wary of the ones who are overly romantic and make grand gestures early on.

CogitOIOIO Sat 13-Dec-14 08:42:30

I've reached the conclusion that my favourite attribute in others is 'generosity'.... With their time, their love and their affection. I also like 'sleeve roller-uppers' who will just get on with life and would rather pitch in and take some responsibilty than blame others or sit about complaining. My personal red flags based on some dodgy experiences are people with a depressive streak or a 'poor me' attitude (blaming others - parents, siblings, exes, the world - for their own failings), and pettiness.

pinkfrocks Sat 13-Dec-14 09:09:35

I think you need to think about your own attitude - 'choosing bad 'uns' .
These men are not necessarily 'bad' people but they clearly weren't giving you what you needed- and that comes from you upping your expectations - which you clearly are, hence the posting.

I'd say you chose the wrong men because you were needy at the time and overlooked what your guts told you.

My list would include men who were:
-happy with themselves and their own company, some of the time, and who weren't looking to be 'completed' by a relationship. (ie they weren't needy too)
-were reliable and steady and had a work record to prove that. ( ie not impulsive or overly emotional)
- were even tempered and not give to angry outbursts over nothing at all, ditto sulking or silent treatment.
-were kind, thoughtful and generous and could see the funny side of things.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Sat 13-Dec-14 09:14:07

Warm feet and not afraid to share his toastiness with his hypothyroid, frozen wife. Tis a very good quality on a December morning. grin

CatCushion Sat 13-Dec-14 09:18:39

...and it showed early on in his generosity of spirit. He didn't argue over the bill after a group meal out like most people did, he was interested in solving social problems and not being a part of the problem, he was dfun to be around. Also a really good, patient driver.

CatCushion Sat 13-Dec-14 09:19:37


pinkfrocks Sat 13-Dec-14 09:21:17

funny how driving has cropped up twice already in such a short thread! Seems to confirm there are plenty of loony men drivers out there too full of testosterone and anger!

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 13-Dec-14 09:21:29

HellBound, I assure you that this time is very much about me and DD. Again, I am not actively seeking a relationship and I don't intend to for some time. But we do come across people in the course of our lives and I'm trying to get an idea of what's important to me now.

broccoliear Sat 13-Dec-14 09:27:16

I went out with a whole load of crappers in my 20s. Then, I decided enough was enough. I made a very short, but non-negotiable shortlist. I would only go out with people I could definitely say were generous (in all senses of the word) and kind. At the initial stage of choosing who to date, I would disregard wit, intelligence, ambition, looks etc.

When I met my DH, I was interested in him and another guy. We all went as a group of friends to a wedding and on the way home, this other guy just got in the front of the car (stating that he was tall - he was, fair enough). The next time I went out as a group with my DH, he (who is also tall) offered the front seat not to me, the girl he fancied, but to my friend, who had a streaming cold. That's when it clicked, this is a guy who is kind, and he's not just kind when there's something in it for him, he's kind by default.

bakingaddict Sat 13-Dec-14 09:37:38

Learn to love yourself and the rest will fall into place. I'm far from being a super confident person or having bags of self-esteem but i'm happy enough with myself to know that in a relationship my needs are equally important. I should be treated with respect, love, equality, honesty and generosity. I wont be yelled at, belittled for my opinion or made to feel second fiddle to my DH.

I also like a man to be fair-minded, reasoned and intelligent but with a silly smutty sense of humour similar to mine and who'll do the dishes to boot. I'm pleased to say I found all this in my DH although he doesn't drive but that's not such a deal-breaker

TheChandler Sat 13-Dec-14 09:53:22

I was one of those people who had very strict rules for the man I wanted to marry. He had to have a degree in a vocational subject, be slim, sporty and healthy, interested in similar things to me, be living away from home in his own place, be within a certain range of hair colour, dress, look and act in a certain way, etc..

Have to say its served me well and we've been happily married for some years now.

I see an awful lot of men out there who are terribly badly behaved, and to me, any indication of that even in the smallest degree would be a total red flag. You can tell an awful lot about someone from the way they conduct themselves. If someone shows abusive traits, don't be surprised if they turn out to be abusive. For those that are hard to judge or keep up a front, secrecy is the red flag.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 13-Dec-14 09:56:28

pink & bean - I think you're trying to make similar points. I assure you, I don't see men as an entirely different species. I'm actually bisexual but have found that I lose interest in women fairly quickly so for years now have avoided anything more than a casual relationship with them. Incidentally, my first serious relationship with a woman was also abusive, though not to the extent of my most recent relationship. So really, if I were currently open to a relationship with either gender, my post would ask for qualities of a good partner.

And I assure you, my relationships in recent years have most certainly been with bad people. My DD's father was emotionally, financially and sexually abusive. I'm not seeking to trivialize abuse by referring to him as a 'bad un', but his behaviour isn't what I'm looking to focus on here. My life was about him for long enough.

CupidStuntSurvivor Sat 13-Dec-14 10:01:30

I did think that driving was an odd one to crop up twice too pink smile.

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