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How many times have we heard, or even said one of the following statements; “Good men are hard to find,” “There aren’t any good men available,” “A majority of men are homosexual or on the down low,” or “All good men are already taken.” These statements and many others have more often than not been said by woman of all races, creeds and color for a number of reasons. However, what I want to know is what is the definition of a good man? What does he look like? Does he carry himself in a certain manner?

There are a variety of adjectives that can describe and define a good man, but are these adjectives based on what he has, or who he is? Most women may initially define a man as good, or a good catch based solely on his exterior; meaning we have the tendency to focus first on the way he looks, his style of dress, what kind of job/career he has, so on and so on. But do these things truly define a good man? The answer is no. Now don’t get me wrong, these characteristics are nice to have, but they should not be the primary or the initial focus of a man, nor should they increase his value. The makings of a good man are not his outer possessions, but they are within his internal character.

As women, me included, it is imperative that we learn how to look in a man, rather than looking at him. And not only that, but we must learn what to look for inside of a man because his internal characteristics are what make him who he is. But I believe this is not simply a question of what we as women desire in men, but it is a question of what our morals and values are. Do we value physical and exterior qualities more than we value internal qualities? Or is it that we don’t know what characteristics to look for in a man? But then again, it could also be a question of how many women were raised to view men.

I recall a case study I conducted of one hundred women from a wide range of ages, socio-economic, religious, and educational backgrounds. The study asked women to list the top ten traits/characteristics (ten being the least important, one being the most important) they desired in a mate along with a brief explanation as to why these particular traits were vital to them as a woman, and the results were as follows: 10. a tie between intelligence and being physically fit, 9. selfless, 8. a tie between faithful and financially stable, 7. a good communicator, 6. a tie between career/goal-oriented and loving, 5. respectful, 4. a tie between family-oriented and honesty, 3. attractive (as in good looks), 2. God fearing. And the number one trait women desire in a mate is a sense of humor.

Other traits and characteristics women desired were: romantic, legally employed, outgoing, trustworthy, a good lover, understanding, loves children, open-minded, educatedstylish, supportive, dependable, great personality, a leader, caring, a great listener, likes to travel, tall, a friend, spiritual, affectionate, a good cook, strong, patient, independent, helpful, healthy, Christian, loves his mother, a protector, mature, a great provider, and disease free. While all of these traits and characteristics make sense, and reveal what different women think defines a good man, my questions and concerns are what traits matter more to women, and why? And how do we as women truly define what a good man is? Many times a lot of women measure a man by standards they set based on what they have (the independent woman), what they don’t have (the completion seeker), and what they desire to have (the potential gold digger), so on and so on. Rather than doing this what women should do is measure a man for who he is by observing his character, his good works, the way he speaks and interacts with people, so on and so on to see who he really is and begin to define him from who he shows he is. Good men are not hard to find, they are not all taken, and yes there are plenty available to have a productive and prosperous relationship with. It just depends on how one defines what good is. Ladies, what characteristics do you think define a good man? What matters more to you?

Liz Lampkin is the author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin of MADAME NOIRE!

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