4 “Bad” Qualities to Look for in Guys You Date

Qualities to Look for in Guys You DateSo there you are. He just picked you up for the first date.

You make small talk as you head to the restaurant. Nothing deep. Just typical getting-to-know-you banter. It’s going well . . . and then IT happens.

Another car cuts him off.

He pumps the brakes, easily avoiding an accident. It’s no big deal, really. It wasn’t even much of a close call. But he unleashes a tirade of expletives that would make a sailor blush.

He’s cussing with more imagination and passion than you thought possible. You didn’t even know THAT word could be a noun, a verb, and an adjective in the same sentence. If it weren’t so shocking, it would be impressive.

That level of irrational anger probably is a red flag.  But here’s something interesting I recently read about people with colorful language.   

A recent study uncovered an unlikely correlation between swearing and honesty. According to researchers, there’s a potential upside to profanity. People who curse more tend to be more honest, as well.

Of course, a foul mouth can also be offensive. I’m not telling you to run right out and find a guy who relies on four-letter words for all his communication. But this does highlight an interesting paradox.

Some character traits we think of as “bad” could actually be signs of virtue.

I’ll take it one step further. There may be guys you’ve turned down because you saw something you think of as a flaw. But what if that negative was a positive in disguise?

Below are four “bad” qualities that just might signify something good about a potential suitor. If you come across a guy with one of these traits, get to know him a little better before sending the signal that you’re not interested.

  1. Messy

He’s a slob. His clothes are always wrinkled. His cubical at work looks like a small tornado hit it. You heard there are parts of his apartment that have been designated as “unchartered territory.”

Okay, so it’s not an attractive quality, but it’s not necessarily a bad sign, either.

Messy people tend to be more creative. They’re also more inclined to take risks. Sure, you might have to teach him how to do the dishes, but he’ll always be down for adventure.

  1. Shy

Shy guys get a bad rap. Because they’re timid, they may come off as cowardly. But that’s not necessarily the case.

Many shy people are simply more reserved. Rather than declaring themselves the life of the party, they prefer to observe.

Translate that to boyfriend-mode, and you’ve got one really good listener on your hands. If you’ve ever pined for a man who knows how to have a real, meaningful conversation, a shy guy might be just what you’re looking for.

  1. Cocky

On the opposite end of the spectrum are men who live their lives with undeniable swagger. That guy who waltzed in like he owned the place? Yeah. He’s one of them.

Some women dig on cocky men. Others find them arrogant and annoying. If you’re in the second group, I’d like to point out something important.

The line between arrogance and confidence is thin. When you first meet someone, it’s difficult to tell the difference. Hold off on passing judgment until you’re absolutely sure his strut is something more than self-assurance.

  1. Selfish

Selfishness is rarely seen as a virtue, and for good reason. If a guy’s only going to think of himself, he’s probably not great boyfriend material.

However, I frequently advise women to indulge in a healthy amount of selfishness. There’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. In fact, strong, well-adjusted people know their own needs and make sure they’re met.

Qualities to Look for in Guys You DateJust because he’s invested in his own fulfillment doesn’t mean he won’t be committed to yours, too, when you become a part of his life.

With each of these four traits, there are no guarantees. And really, that’s the point.

Don’t automatically assume a guy who’s messy, shy, cocky or selfish would make for a poor romantic fit. Get to know him before you make that call. In each case, what looks like a weakness might turn out to be a strength.

After all, one of the keys to lasting romance is seeing past the surface. Why not start that process at the very beginning?

Prince charming may not make the best first impression, but that doesn’t mean he won’t end up sweeping you off your feet in the long run.

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2 thoughts on “4 “Bad” Qualities to Look for in Guys You Date

  1. Janet said:

    I embrace every article and apply not only in relationships but in business and friendship too. This is my first time writing as I need a professional point of view.
    After numerous years of being a single woman, I recently got married to an amazing man. We decided to get married last minute and informed family and friends. However; we picked a date on the anniversary of his son’s 9 years ago. It was not intentional. Neither the son or his wife attended the wedding. When we announced the wedding date, they were on holiday and ignored the text and phone call. Needless to say, no one else in the family recognizes the anniversary. I am 67, my husband is in his 70’s. We were very disappointed. His son is not returning his dad’s calls. I’m so over it! Where’s the respect? Thank you for listening. I trust your wisdom. Hugs, Janet

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Janet. That is very disappointing. Typically, this kind of disrespect from a son toward his father is about something else. This may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, but it’s unlikely to be the deeper underlying relationship issue.

      Some people find it helpful to remember that we all have a tendency to personalize more than we should. In other words, other people’s actions often have a lot more to do with things going on in their life that have nothing to do with us. His son may have been feeling alone, forgotten, or in some ways abandoned (even if his father never realized it). He may have felt this was just one more way his father didn’t remember him or think to ask if it would be okay with him. Kind of like forgetting someone’s birthday.

      That’s not a reason to stop talking to someone. But if he does see it that way, it would be a shame for that to consume your attention and bring a shadow over your relationship with your husband. The things we focus on determine our reality. What gets our attention matters to our happiness.

      Most of the time, I encourage people to face problems and work through them. But sometimes it’s better to shift our attention toward what is beautiful, good, and worthy of our focus.

      Wishing you love and joy,


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