I’ve spoken many times in these blogs about what makes a high value woman.
Because of this, sometimes Matt or I will be accused me of not paying enough attention to the men’s side of things. For example, I’ve often read comments asking “Why not write a piece about what men have to do in order to keep a great woman?”, and more recently, a reader who asked “How do I tell the difference between a high or low value man?”
Usually when confronted with these questions I have a stock answer, which is simply that, were I writing for a male audience, of course I would have a great deal more to say about what men should be doing to impress women and improve themselves (and I have much to say on both).
But then I realized: it can only be a constructive and useful exercise to talk about how the best men ought to behave in relationships.
I don’t want to patronize anyone here by assuming you don’t know a good guy from a creep or a selfish a**hole when you see one. But it never hurts to be reminded of the standard of treatment you should expect from any man in a relationship.
I’m very particular about the close male friends with whom I keep company. And I’ve realized the ones I truly respect, that is, those I would recommend to women as great boyfriend material, all share certain traits in common.
So, from my experience, here are the sure signs you’re dating a high-value guy:
He cares about seeing you play at your best
A great guy has no interest in seeing you scale back your ambitions so that he can feel good about himself.
On the contrary, he loves to see you flourish. For him, supporting your success only means more excitement and adventure. He loves seeing what you make of your life and cares about protecting your dreams.
In short, the high-value guy lives to see you playing at an extraordinary level.
He isn’t afraid of you over-taking him
Guys worth dating aren’t fussed about out-earning you or worried about who is further ahead in their career.
He won’t get insecure because you happen to be a lawyer or have a PhD, nor will he fret about your substantial paycheck. He doesn’t measure his life in competition with yours, because (would you believe it?) he has self-esteem and measures his life on more than just achievement.
He wants to provide for you
This one might seem like it immediately invalidates the previous point, but it doesn’t.
Here’s why: Even though he’s fine with you over-taking him financially, a high-value guy still wants to be someone who can provide for you in all kinds of ways.
This doesn’t mean he wants to pay for everything, but he’ll work hard to be the kind of man who can protect and serve you, whether by being emotionally strong, financially independent, or by being able to treat you to incredible experiences and indulgent surprises.
He’s turned on by your independence
“Damsel in constant distress” is not sexy to a high-value guy.
A man worth being with delights in seeing you handle your own life (even if he loves to help now and then), and will want to encourage anything that promotes your autonomy and independence.
While every man loves to feel needed, only insecure daddy-type guys seek to acquire importance by seeing you helpless and entirely dependent on them.
He’s responsive to your needs, even if he doesn’t always get them right first time
Ok, he might not know the *exact* words that turn you on most right away, or he might not realise that “quality time” is your love language, or he may not know that handwritten birthday cards make you melt.
But he learns. And responds when he drops the ball and gets it wrong.
The best guy isn’t a mind-reader, but he is an expert at following the signs if you make them clear enough.
Just enjoy it (and for god’s sake let him know how happy his effort makes you – positive reinforcement works!). Showing him that you notice and appreciate his listening skills is the best way to get more of it.
He doesn’t need to be asked twice to come and help you out of a bind
You’re in trouble? You need help with your university paper and want someone to come and read it at 4am the night before submission? You need to be saved from your family?
He’ll jump out of bed and into his car to come and save you before you’ve even put down the phone. He might not like the “damsel in constant distress”, but the “damsel having an occasional freak out” will make him drive all night like a knight riding to save a princess.
He won’t take your crap
Be warned: high-value guys have high expectations. If you’re ok with that, this will only raise your game.
He’s strong, and that means he doesn’t put up with draining people in his life.
He has no interest in indulging complaining and doesn’t have time to waste endlessly going over old problems or moaning about the past.
If you’re being unreasonable, he’ll tell you. To your face. Like a man. In other words, be ready for a guy who will stand up for himself and won’t stand for being walked over.
He takes care of his life with minimal fuss
High value guys limit the amount of time they spend wallowing in self-pity after a setback. They are responsive in the face of failure and spring into action at the sight of problems rather than falling apart.
Of course, he’s still human. And vulnerable. Which is a good thing. So sometimes he’ll need love and reassurance that everything will be ok. But then he’ll be back on his feet and fighting to get a grip again.
When the castle crumbles, he’s the one who starts stacking bricks to rebuild the fortress.
He cares about keeping small promises
In the book The Road by Cormac McCarthy, the son tells his father: “If you break little promises, you’ll break big ones.”
This is essentially the philosophy of a high value guy. It’s his code. He doesn’t feel ok simply shrugging his shoulders when he promised to pick up your shopping on the way home and just forgot. He kicks himself when he promised he’d book that restaurant and it totally slipped his mind.
The idea of not living up to his word is death to him. As it should be for all of us.
Speaking of which…
He chooses his words carefully
A guy who is great relationship material says nothing idly. He doesn’t make empty proclamations of love that he doesn’t feel in his heart.
He won’t say trite phrases or go through the motions if he thinks he’s just using cheap sentiment to soothe you without addressing the real problem.
If he says he adores you, he means it.
He’ll comfort you. He’ll stroke your hair and tell you you’re incredible. But he won’t make everything sound easy or simple when it’s not. Because he cares about big ideas like Truth and Honesty.
He wants to improve without needing to be asked
Great guys are always looking for ways to be better.
He doesn’t want to get healthy because you asked him to, he wants to do it because he takes pride in caring about his body.
He reads books not to show off, but because he takes education seriously.
He seeks adventure not to impress you, but because he wants to grab life and suck up experiences while he’s on this earth.
He seeks success because he wants to fulfil his potential, not because he arbitrarily wants a bigger paycheck.
At his core, he’s self-motivated. That might sometimes mean he tries a bit harder than he needs to, but that’s a much better problem to have than having a lazy man who never makes an effort.
He’ll “grasp nettles”
I stole this one from advertising genius David Ogilvy, who wrote “leaders grasp nettles”.
What Ogilvy meant by this is that leaders in life are willing to do the difficult action that no-one else will. This is the same of any high-value guy. He doesn’t run from the difficult or sensitive conversation. He confronts problems. He makes the difficult phone call.
He doesn’t put off troubles hoping they’ll just blow over. Which is why others respect him and look up to him.
He’ll invest in the relationship without losing himself in it
Maybe it sounds romantic to think of the Edward Cullen obsessive-love type boyfriend, but in the real world a high-value guy is capable of falling loving without obsessing (he can still be passionate and intense, just not in the creepy stalker-esque way vampire romance novels portray it).
Guys who are well-balanced have multiple sources of joy in their world. Friends. Family. Fulfilling work. Because they’ve learnt how to be happy being single first (as I’ve spoken about before).
All of these are important to him, even if eventually you become the most important thing to him.
He listens to what you tell him and responds
As mentioned earlier, high value guys want to make you happy. And this means they listen. They look for clues. They are endlessly curious about you as their partner and want to understand your mind.
You’ll usually see this in the amount of thought he puts into gifts and trips, particularly if it involves things he’s clearly decided based on your previous conversations.
Of course, that does NOT mean he’ll always get it right. Even high-value guys will sometimes get it completely wrong and screw up badly (we have to be realistic, after all). But crucially, he’ll keep trying to fulfil your needs. He’ll remember when he messed up and adjust his behaviour. And if you communicate your standards well, he’ll strive to live up to them.
He has unique pairings
High value guys, like high value women, don’t rely on a single personality trait.
He can be intellectual and deep, but he can also be exciting and totally silly. He’s comfortable being sexual, but he’s also a gentleman and has class. He’s fiercely loyal, but ready to double-down on his principles when his view differs from everyone else’s.
The best people always embody both sides of the coin.
He builds a future with you
The high-value guy who is serious about you will want to make you the strongest team in the world. He’s loyal and wants to find ways to bring you closer together, which means he thinks about the future with you and discusses it openly.
That doesn’t mean he’ll necessarily move quickly, but it does mean he wants to invest in the relationship and make your emotional connection stronger so that he can share his world with you.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
So there it is.
I feel like these traits could go on and on, so I’m fascinated to know what you think I’ve missed or what you might add to this list. Let me know in the comments below!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Stephen Hussey helped co-write the Get The Guy book and is a wealth of knowledge on dating and relationships.