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How to Know If You Got a Good Man

by Nina Edwards

Choosing the right man is the first step toward having a fulfilling love life. After all, it may be nearly impossible to change a bad man into a good one. But once you get over the initial infatuation stage, how do you know if your guy is a keeper? If you use your head and not just your heart, you can avoid signing up for years of hardship.

Character Rules

The mistake that many people make when considering a partner is to go by a person's personality rather than character. Personality is easy to assess and involves determining things such as extroversion and optimism, says Dr. Alex Lickerman in “Personality vs. Character” on PsychologyToday.com. But character only comes out over time, Lickerman contends. To know a man's character, spend a lot of time with him in comfortable and familiar environments where you and others you trust can get to know him. Family and friends will often see character traits -- such as kindliness or dishonesty -- that you may miss, he says.

Realistic Expectations

Good men are not necessarily perfect men. So when it comes to people, “good” is always good enough. A good man is not perfect, but he is mentally and morally good enough. A good man will make mistakes, but he will own up to them. He also will apologize when he does something wrong.

Passing the Test

Good men pass the test of time. Anyone who seems to be in a hurry has, in most cases, an ulterior motive. A good man will give you time to think and space to breathe. He will not pressure you into a decision or force you to do something against your will. In other words, he will be dependable and trustworthy, which are traits that predict relationship satisfaction, according to "Big Five Personality Variables and Relationship Constructs," a study by researchers from Texas Tech University in “Personality and Individual Differences.”

Staying Consistent

Much like a litmus test, where dye turns red under acidic conditions and blue when it’s alkaline, people change as they go through different situations. Some people are good when conditions are good and bad when they are bad. Does his personality change dramatically when he is under stress? Does he take out his frustrations on you? If you see this type of behavior, then you may want to rethink having this man in your life. Good men are consistent and grounded.

About the Author

Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.

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