“Honest signals” are signs that he’s a ‘good guy’ that are hard to fake. I always feel uncomfortable writing blogs like these because I don’t want you to be starting to think about dating with the assumption ‘men are all liars’ etc. Guys are pretty great overall; but I do understand after a few bad experiences how you maybe entering dating from a defensive position.
Whether it was that guy who had a liberal attitude with the truth, the commitment phobe, or the man who bailed out on you when you needed him the most it can leave you with a sixth sense of danger. That can morph into an anxiety that means you over analyze his every text, creep on his social media and feeling unsettled the second he leaves your side. I am writing to you about “honest signals” then so that when you do meet one of the many, many decent guys out there you can be like ‘ah-ha’ when you see positive signals and allow yourself to go with it.
So my ‘good guy’ signs are not that he’s there whisking you away on some fancy holiday, or asking you how many kids you want on a first date; if he does RUN. These are signs of poor personal boundaries at best (he doesn’t know you well enough to justify the level of infatuation) or wooing you because he likes the thrill of winning you over at worst. “Honest Signals” are based in small actions he takes that show care, openness, respect, consistency and communication- some very good foundations for a relationship.
Signs he’s a good guy number 1 – he talks it through. When there is conflict people definitely process and deal with that in different ways. Some people want the emotional reassurance of talking it through; others need some space to decompress before they return to a situation. Space isn’t a bad thing for him to want as long as he articulates it, ‘I need a few days to just recover, and get settled’ is a lot better than looking at your phone wondering when he’s going to text and hearing the sound of crickets. If he also steps forward and after a disagreement sticks around to ‘talk it through’ even better: he’s showing an appreciation that no relationship is perfect and a willingness to mediate.
Our part in this is to realise a. if someone asks for space it doesn’t mean they don’t like us, and to respect that request. b. ‘De-escalating’ a situation is key. I can definitely remember relationships in the past where I slammed a door or walked out to see if the guy would follow, to ‘prove’ he loved me. This is BS. Keep it calm people! If you want love, sit down and talk to him about it.
Signs he’s a good guy number 2 – openness. Going to own up that this is a personal preference of mine. If someone’s a bit ‘cloak and dagger’ about their past, is aloof about where they’re going for that long weekend with their friends, or unable to admit fault RED FLAG RED FLAG RED FLAG.
I would always rather be with someone who holds their hands up and says, “I’m really sorry I fucked it up” or “our relationship fell apart because I wasn’t ready and felt under pressure.” This says ‘I take responsibility’ and ‘I am secure enough in myself to be open with you’. Emotional intimacy is everything: if he keeps half his world separated off from you, be warned.
Signs he’s a good guy number 3 – Aretha Franklin would say R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Let’s start with the obvious, you are two people therefore you’re not going to agree on everything. I think it’s pretty alright to have differences of opinion or how you like things done, the important thing being that your guy accepts your position on something and doesn’t try to change your mind about it. By changing your mind this doesn’t have to be logically trying to convince you of his perspective, it could simply be a big fat sulk or bought of moodiness when you don’t agree with him.
A person who can compromise shows they respect that you have your own life and opinions. It could be that one of you wants to spend more time together than the other, so you meet halfway. Or if it’s something like a sexual act that he ‘checks it out’ that you’re into it first (or vice versa!) and if he gets a no doesn’t push it. A man who is busy tearing your clothes off without making sure you’re on board with it at every stage, or who sulks if you don’t want to do a sexual act, is straight up bad news.
High five to the men who ask ‘is this okay by you?’
Signs he’s a good guy number 4 – care. Care is a beautiful quality in anyone. This means that if he hears you’re sick he offers to help out and bring you shopping. That is you have an awkward-because-weve-only-recently-met sexual issue he sticks around to offer you emotional support. He remembers if you have a big meeting that day. He thinks about whether you’re tired and need some more rest. He helps you with seemingly mundane tasks like shopping and tidying.
Only caveat on this is when ‘care’ is a cover story for ‘control’. If he has to be with you all the time, is keeping tabs on you online, and doesn’t like you spending time with your friends. This isn’t because he’s worried about your safety, it’s because his possessive tentacles are out. If you think this might be the case refer to ‘signs he’s a good guy number 3’ tell him what you want and need ‘I like to have at least a couple of nights a week with my friends because they’re important to me’ and see if he listens to that.
Signs he’s a good guy number 5 – consistency. This is my favourite. Consistent behaviour suggests strength of character and true emotions. This could be regular messaging, seeing each other a couple of times a week, and investing in your relationship over a period of time. It’s all well and good being swept off your feet but respect, love and trust take time to build. The trick with this honest signal is that you won’t know if you have it or not until you’ve been dating for some time. So make sure you pace yourself and take some time to work him out, before you cancel out your whole diary for him. Show self-respect by having some personal boundaries… and then see if he’s able to respect them.
Of course ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ are just in the fairytales, people are rarely all bad or all good; and all relationships and new beginnings are by their nature a leap of faith but use these guidelines to reassure you that the leap isn’t all that big!
To get on board with becoming more self aware, stronger and ready to date… I’d love to meet you in my HQ Club. Link with information on what feminist dating that empowers you looks like…