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chk8n's avatar

What is considered a "realistic" boyfriend/husband material?

Asked by chk8n (106points) February 14th, 2011 from iPhone

I’m sure we all have been fed up with media telling us which is perfect and which is not a boyfriend/husband material.

I just recently watched “500 Days of Summer” movie and it brought to my attention that these guys do not exist. Now even if they do, they’re a rare bunch.

For those who have not seen the movie/care to watch the movie. I apologize.

Consider the cheesy type that loves you enough to chase after you until the end of the world. This type of guy do not exist, am I right?

But what is really considered a good guy material? Of course, reality check is needed.

For those of you who are willing to provide your opinion, please do so.

Guys are welcomed to contribute.

Thanks a lot!

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40 Answers

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

What would make a guy good material for a relationship is having a logical perspective of what that will take. Being himself and committed to what he wants but also having some flex as he will have to mesh his life with hers. Honesty; telling her the truth tactfully. Devotion; being willing to stay the course, and placing her in the number one position. That goes hand in hand with loyalty, you can’t sustain a good relationship being a cheater. Not fighting silly battles but focusing on the bigger things to deal with. Being able to forgive and not hold grudges. Being able to listen and process not just hearing her talk. Not being violent even if she pisses you off. Those would be top on my list.

augustlan's avatar

A man who is honest, reliable, and loves the crap out of you.

cazzie's avatar

‘Consider the cheesy type that loves you enough to chase after you until the end of the world. This type of guy do not exist, am I right?’

He does exist and I’m married to him. (in honour of Valentines Day.. he’s my avi for a little while…. he’s gorgeous.)

We were so in love at 16, but he had to go back to his own country, Norway, and real life set in with school and careers. I ended up in New Zealand. Long story short, he tracked me down 17 years later. About three years after that we were reunited, and a year after that, married and settled in Norway. Doesn’t mean he’s perfect, and the story in the movie always stops at the romantic reunion scene in the airport. They don’t tell you that some days you wake up with this person and just want to run away from them. You have to get over the romanticist view when you are dealing with long term relationships. They take effort, regardless of how it starts or even what initial expectations were… (especially regardless what initial expectations were because life will throw curve balls)

The one piece of advice I think I could give in the ‘finding of a worthy mate’ is this:

Make sure you chose a partner who is going be strong when handling the tough stuff and who has the sense of humour to laugh with you about the little stuff.

And be prepared to take turns having bad days because if you both have a bad day on the same day, THAT is when it gets hard, because you going to need to be able to lean on each other.

augustlan's avatar

@cazzie Nice! And he is a total hottie. :)

CaptainHarley's avatar

Something I have never been able to understand is why a woman would expect a man to “chase after her.” If you like someone, why would you run away from them? To me, this makes no sense.

cazzie's avatar

@CaptainHarley there is ‘chasing after’ for many reasons and scenarios, not just because she’s trying to be some little drama queen. Career, getting into a different University, chasing personal goals, even family commitments…. these are important to a woman too.

Why should she stick next to him 24/7 forever from day dot when she has her own goals to pursue. To me, THAT makes no sense, and there is no ‘expectation’ of being followed. That would be foolish.

mattbrowne's avatar

When you don’t think of human beings as ‘material’ you have a chance of becoming more realistic.

marinelife's avatar

“Realistic material?” What a way to look at it.

You are looking for a life partner. It has to be someone you can talk to and not get tired of, someone you can laugh with, someone you are sexually attracted to, someone who completes you.

CaptainHarley's avatar


But that’s what she said .. “Consider the cheesy type that loves you enough to chase after you until the end of the world. This type of guy do not exist, am I right?”

Supporting one another’s goals is one of the marks of an excellent relationship, and that includes goals that require a lot of moving around.

cazzie's avatar

@CaptainHarley she said nothing about expecting him to chase after her, just that he did, or would for one reason or another.

You wrote: ‘Something I have never been able to understand is why a woman would expect a man to “chase after her.” If you like someone, why would you run away from them? To me, this makes no sense.’

Sometimes, you’re not running away from the person. You’re running toward your own goals and aspirations. I think you took her comment to have a very narrow meaning, but I think you get what we mean now? I hope?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Oh, I understand what you’re saying, I just don’t agree with it. In my world, you don’t flee from that which you seek. : )

cazzie's avatar

Oh… right…. a girls gotta seek out a husband…. gottcha. How about that Sputnik?

CaptainHarley's avatar


No need to be insulting. There’s a vast differrence between “seeking out a husband” and running away from someone you at least like.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I have high standards, let me preface. I think a good partner is supposed to be your equal and someone that inspires you. I think a good partner listens and cares about improving themselves or your relationship if there is an issue. I think a good partner is able to communicate without being passive aggressive or invoking ‘that’s just how I am’ at every turn. I think a good partner will support your goals and your shared future without falling into the trap of inferiority or superiority. I think a good partner will continue to grow throughout the years and remain honest in their love for you or be able to let you go. I think a good partner will make you feel beautiful and sexy and confident no matter what changes your body goes through. I can go on. The point it, if you’re going to spend your life with someone, they better be worth it because you deserve it.

cazzie's avatar

@CaptainHarley Have you ever met a woman who prioritised a man she liked over a career opportunity or a scholarship to a University several hundred miles away?.... or having to prioritise family over someone she dated a few times? (and I mean.. just liked.. not was engaged to or married to and he was perhaps indecisive whether he liked her or not…..) Why would she stick around under that circumstance. I really don’t understand your comments. As I said, we’re not running from him (however he chooses to see it)... we are running towards something else. It’s not a game. It’s not to taunt. It’s because it’s not 1950 any more and we have careers and choices. She may like him, but why stick around when a better opportunity comes up for herself? Does that make better sense? I don’t understand your position on this point.

CaptainHarley's avatar


I place a very high value indeed on my relationship with my wife. It comes before any and all other relationships. It comes before anything else in my life. Perhaps it is this attitude which is coloring my response to this issue. I have great trouble understanding why any woman ( or any man, for that matter ) would run away from even the possibility of this sort of relationship.

Keep in mind that the OP said, “Consider the cheesy type that loves you enough to chase after you until the end of the world.” This does not sound like simply pursuing a career or whatever.

Electra's avatar

My idea of a man who’s relationship material is someone who respects the fact that I have important life goals and he’s willing to wait for me and follow me while I achieve them. He doesn’t expect me to drop everything and let my whole life revolve around him; he realizes that I had a good life before I met him and he expects me to keep living that life. The only difference in my life is that now I have a wonderful partner—but having that partner doesn’t change me into some domestic mouse.

I found my partner for life (we’re getting married in a few months, when I get my Ph.D.), but it was really hard going to find him—you wouldn’t believe the number of American men out there who want a good looking woman and want her to have nothing at all upstairs and no ambitions beyond finding some guy to take care of her. So many men I dated actually resented my level of conversation, my intelligence, my wit, my independence. I feel so lucky to find someone who appreciates me for me—all of me. And I am my brain, my goals and my career—I have a lovely face and body, but I am so much more than that. It took forever to find a guy who didn’t actually demonize me for wanting to be more than a body.

wundayatta's avatar

I figure if a woman runs, she doesn’t want to be chased. Maybe in the movies the guy can track her down and she’ll be so impressed that she’ll marry him on the spot, but I don’t think that’s reality.

What I want is someone who can communicate. Even when it’s really hard. I want someone who wants me. I want someone who is independent and resourceful. She should be talented and creative. I could go on and on.

I’m married to a woman who is many of those things, but there have been times when we had some serious trouble communicating, and that caused a lot of other problems. Serious ones.

I imagine that what is important is who a woman gets along with. Realistic material? Sounds like there’s some standards board out there that approves men or not. It’s just absurd. You must know this, so your question must be something different.

Probably you’re just complaining about men. At least, that’s the subtext I’m reading. You’re frustrated at your ability to find a guy you want, and you partly wonder if you’re doing it wrong. If not that, then you’re wondering how you can get a man that others will approve of. Or, finally, it’s just a joke.

What you really need is not some acceptable standard for marriage material. You need to understand yourself. And work on yourself. Let yourself be who you want to be, not who you should be. I am pretty sure that if you are most authentically yourself, you’ll be able to find a “realistic” boyfriend pretty darn soon. But that authentic self stuff? It’s not as easy as it sounds.

tranquilsea's avatar

Me running away and my husband chasing me was a reality for us. I wasn’t being coy I really didn’t want a relationship. He had to be really persistent. But he did this in a very gentlemanly way that impressed me into tentatively dating him. The rest is history.

You know a good guy when you see one. My husband adored me. He never tried to control me. He supported me in ways no one ever had. He still does all of the above.

Zaku's avatar

I’ve been willing to chase one or two girls to the end of the Earth. Didn’t even win me a date. ;-)

Actually, it did win me a world-hopping invitation once, but at that point I was 18 and so scared that I’d surrender all my self-interest to her, that I messed up the world-hopping attempt.

Just saying, guys can get very romantically attached sometimes. But often, that just scares many girls or gets them to call said guys abnormal.

CaptainHarley's avatar


What about mutuality? What about YOU supporting him in his pursuit of HIS goals, as well as HIM supporing you in your pursuit of YOUR goals? If there’s no give and take and mutuality of effort, the relationship is pretty well doomed from the start.

cak's avatar

Those guys exist, but it may not be the best person for you.

I think I pulled away from my husband (before we were married) a bit, out of fear. I’d been burned before, was a single mom – very careful about the person to introduce the daughter to, so I ran, briefly.

Thing is, after I started that run, I realized it wasn’t smart. I had the guy. The reliable, stand-up, honest, loving, caring, attractive, intelligent, stable, man. It took us discussing where we were in our lives and where we wanted to be to make it work. He understood where I was in my career and he stood by my choice. I’ve since stood by what started as a hobby for him, but has since turned into a business. Our roles have changed.

It was a good movie, those guys are there; however, to make it work, both have to give.

Electra's avatar

@CaptainHarley: What in my statement excluded the possibility of mutuality? What did I say that gave anyone who can comprehend what he reads the most remote impression that I don’t support my partner? :)

cazzie's avatar

@Electra @CaptainHarley has a problem with strong, goal oriented women with life beyond and outside their pursuit of a husband or their families. He is of a different generation.

Electra's avatar

@cazzie, I gathered that. ;) People of his mentality come from all the generations, actually. There’s a disturbing number of males with his mentality from Gen. Y. The pendulum appears to be swinging back into the dark ages of the American 1950s. :/

cazzie's avatar

@Electra well, how about that. Cloning of dinosaurs IS possible. (fnise) Reminds me of a scene in a movie I saw. A man and woman discussing something that he had done that had caused them to split up some years ago and then he continued to wrong her in some way… He gets frustrated and starts walking way, yelling to her, ‘You’ve gotta stop living in the past!’ and as the camera pans back, you can see he’s in a Civil War costume, going to meet a group of his buddies to do some ‘re-enacting’. Hubby and I use that phrase now when we see some ironic hypocrisy.

CaptainHarley's avatar


You have NO idea what you’re talking about. None. How does my suggesting “mutuality” translate to “a problem with strong, goal oriented women with life beyond and outside their pursuit of a husband or their families?” Take the blinders off.

cazzie's avatar

@CaptainHarley There was nothing in her post to say the situation was mutual and your comment made unwarranted assumptions. You read into things and your replies and comments transparently show what it is you’re reading into them. Why would you say it’s me that has the blinders on? Geez. Let it go already. You’re an older guy with different expectations. That’s fine. This is probably the same argument millions of daughters have with their fathers every day. I’m not asking you to change. Just making an observation.

Electra's avatar

@cazzie: I, for one, would like to see people like him turn over a new leaf after emerging from their proverbial caves. ;)

Seriously, people with these backward mentalities ARE turning our society back into some sort of 1940s dark age; and one way they’re doing it is precisely by pretending that any woman who states she deserves respect is somehow NOT respecting men. It’s an old theme: if you’re a woman and you say you’re a human being, it’s taken by people like CaptainHarley to mean you’re saying that men are NOT human beings—precisely because men like this base their humanity on dehumanizing women; these men are only “strong” BECAUSE women are supposed to be “weak.” When women claim to be human / deserve respect, men like Harley here are afraid that this means what it essentially means for some men—that men will be dehumanized to make women more human, because THEY dehumanize women to conserve good attributes (e.g. strength, intelligence even) for themselves.

Women are, of course, not functioning on this basis; but the projections of men like Harley show their fears and their mental structures in their own interactions and lives.

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Posting private messages is bad form. Please don’t do it again.

chyna's avatar

@Electra and @cazzie I didn’t read @CaptainHarley‘s posts at all like you two did. I felt he was saying the couple should be willing and able to support each other in their pursuits of goals and jobs. If that is 1950’s thinking, then I’m all for it. He no where states that women should be “weak”. You guys are making up things that he did not say.

Electra's avatar

chyna: @Electra and @cazzie I didn’t read @CaptainHarley‘s posts at all like you two did. I felt he was saying the couple should be willing and able to support each other in their pursuits of goals and jobs. If that is 1950’s thinking, then I’m all for it. He no where states that women should be “weak”. You guys are making up things that he did not say.

Electra: That was not all that Harley said—he pretended that I don’t believe in a relationship of mutual respect merely because I believe women deserve respect. Also, I didn’t say that he STATED that women should be weak. If you can’t understand my posts don’t bother to reply. It’s only amusing.

chyna's avatar

@Electra The word weak was in quotes which denotes you are quoting someone.

Electra's avatar

chyna: In the context in which I used it, it meant the spurious notion implicit in the weak / strong binary many males of the mentality I was addressing rely on. Note that “strong” was also in quotes. Again, if you can’t read my posts in context, don’t bother to reply to them—it’s amusing already.

cazzie's avatar

It’s the misogynist dilemma. They say the want a strong woman, but the moment she opens her mouth and tries to show some dominion over her own time, he shuts her down using a whole array of tools. Two excellent ones at his disposal are guilt and belittlement.

Good boyfriend/husband material would NEVER do that (just trying to bring it back around to the question.)

Electra's avatar

@cazzie: I keep forgetting some people have a very hard time following a train of logical implications and argument—it’s obvious that we are discussing what good husband / bf material is NOT; but you are so correct in saying that some people will pretend we’ve off topic merely because we’ve discussed some details appertaining to the topic. Again, this goes back to the educational system, really (people don’t follow trains of argument well)—which is one of my pet peeves; but i won’t go there here. ;)

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