What kind of girlfriends and partners would we be if we didn't encourage our guys to be a good man, even a great one? It isn't enough that they're good. We want them to be the best they can be. Here are the rules they should live by:
1. Learn to be your own man.
Being "your own man" means more than just paying one's own bills or cooking one's own meals. It also means having the wisdom to make decisions, sticking to them, and being responsible for one's own actions. If he screws up, he has to do something to repair the damage. Only a man who has learned to fix his own mistakes would know how to help someone else. In the same way, he can only find the strength to take care of someone else if he can be a man for others.
2. Recognize your own vulnerability.
For some reason, men hate asking for help, and we don't get why. A guy can't be his own man if he insists on doing everything alone. Along the way, he would need to listen to advice, take a hand that is offered, and trust people who only want the best for him. A real man doesn't hide his weaknesses; he works on them. He admits his fears, yet strives to go beyond them. He finds courage in admitting his shortcomings, and finds strength in transforming these into the best life experiences.
3. Always fight for your own woman.
Fighting for us has less to do with punches thrown at rude drunks at a club and more with having the balls to stick it out with us when the going gets tough. What we want is a steadfast figure who will offer support when it's most needed, someone who will never give up even when we have issues, who will run after us and force us to face our problems when all we want to do is walk away. So to our guy: Fight for us by being there when we need you the most; fight for us by being our best friend.
4. Prioritize people, not positions.
A guy must develop relationships with people because they are smart, motivated, and interesting, and not because he sees them merely as one step up the ladder to success. A social climbing kiss-ass is a huge turnoff. It's important to be genuinely kind to people, to treat everyone with the same amount of respect and compassion.
5. Learn the value of laughter.
A man with a sense of humor is sexy. A man who doesn't take himself too seriously is downright hot. A man who can laugh at his mistakes and move on from them is a man who fully appreciates life's ups and downs. A man who can laugh in the direst of situations is someone who knows that there is always a silver lining. And it's always good to have a man like that by our side. A man who knows how to laugh and look at the brighter side of things is a man who knows how to live. It's that simple.
This story originally appeared in Cosmopolitan magazine, June 2014.
* Minor edits have been made by Cosmo.ph editors