How to tell if he’s one of the good ones.

One of the most important yet challenging aspects of a new relationship is remembering the old saying: Follow your heart, but take your brain with you.

It’s not just about spotting the red flags, though — it’s also about recognizing the green flags to look for when building a solid relationship.

Is he one of the good ones? Let’s explore:

1: He makes you feel secure in the relationship by expressing his feelings.

I hear it all the time from female clients: The man in their life (or, former man), didn’t make them feel wanted, loved, or appreciated. They don’t step up to the plate and express themselves, which slowly creates an environment of insecurity, doubt, and worry.

Not just insecurity of self — but insecurity in the relationship. In other words, they begin to wonder if the guy they’re with is really all in emotionally.

This is a profoundly important piece of the puzzle — a good man will always remind you how much you mean to him.

I understand men can be less communicative or affectionate than women are, but this does not excuse the severe lack of effort put forth by many in our generation.

If someone truly loves you, you will know it and feel it. If they don’t, you’ll be wondering all the time if they do.

2: He supports you fully.

You’re an ambitious and driven woman who’s got goals, dreams, desires, and a clear vision of the life that you want to live…how are you supposed to fully thrive on that path with a man who isn’t all in right beside you?

The right guy is going to be inspired by your passion and stand right there with you as you step into it. He’ll be your biggest fan, cheerleader, and support system.

Any guy who discourages you or remains distant from your accomplishments isn’t someone that will properly feed your energy, and might even take away from it.

If the person you’re with isn’t proud to be with you, then you’re with the wrong person.

3: He inspires you, and is inspired BY you.

The right man will be inspired by your strength, not intimidated by it.

This will be a result of him being secure and solid in his own identity and purpose in life while he pursues his own passion(s). And, that energy of his will serve to inspire you in return.

It’s a win/win.

4: He earns — and keeps — your trust.

The right guy doesn’t just show up expecting to be handed your trust for no reason…He understands that it has to be earned, and then it has to be maintained over time.

5: He never lets the romance fade.

In longer term relationships, romance or intimacy can give way to obligations or busy schedules, but putting consistent effort into keeping romance alive shows that he still holds your relationship as a priority.

Sure, it takes more effort to be romantic the longer the relationship goes on for. Your life just keeps getting busier, it’s harder to surprise you, and you fall into routines or get complacent.

When this happens, a perspective shift is in order:

Romance shouldn’t fade after the “honeymoon phase” of a relationship, but instead, bloom and increase as your partner becomes an even more important part of your life over time.

6: He makes you feel safe, physically and emotionally.

I have always said that I believe one of the best compliments a woman can give a man is telling him that she feels safe* around him.

*This goes for emotional safety as well as physical. To know she is cared for, respected, trusted, and loved.

A woman can never truly trust, love, respect, or build a life with someone that she doesn’t truly feel safe next to.

7: He remembers the little things.

Ifyou can’t trust him to do the little things, how can you trust him with the big things?

8: He remains civil during disagreements.

It is natural to have disagreements and even arguments in a relationship — but there is no reason to become insulting, and never, ever to become abusive.

Healthy relationships have healthycommunication that brings both people together towards a common goal. If there is a disagreement or problem, there are two choices:

1: Make it you vs. them until someone wins.

2: Make it you and them vs. the problem until you both win together.

Needless to say, we should all be striving for #2.

9: He stays focused on his own self-improvement.

Whether it be learning new things, developing a new skill set, reading a new book or watching a documentary — a good man who prides himself on continuous self improvement will be doing these things for himself, but the added benefit will be the positive impact it has on your relationship.

I believe that personal growth and learning is the very foundation of a rich life. As we become more interested, we also become more interesting. We have more passions to explore, more to talk about, more interests, more hobbies…and, we live a fuller and more meaningful life.

10: He backs up his words with his actions.

People who make promises don’t deserve respect — People who keep promises deserve your respect, and he will be one of them.

11: He openly communicates with you.

It can be difficult for some men to express their emotions, fears, and even inner-most desires — but having the right woman in our life often helps to open those doors. Communication is a pivotal piece of healthy relationships, even if it takes some people more effort than others to achieve it.

12: He is always honest with you.

He may not be perfect, but he will be the man he said he was when you first met.

13: He makes YOU feel comfortable being honest in return.

Comfort in a relationship (the good kind, not the kind that breeds apathy and laziness) comes from the ability to be open without fear of being judged. A good man will encourage you to open up and share your feelings with him.

This means being able to be the most genuine, uncensored version of yourself around him, and him loving you for it.

14: He is NEVER abusive.

Perhaps the most important point of all. Whether it be mentally, emotionally, or physically, a good man will never even think about being abusive towards you or harmful in any way. If this happens to you — please have the courage and respect for yourself in order to talk to someone or walk away immediately. No good person would ever act like this and it will not get better if you wait around — only worse.

15: He proves his dedication consistently.

Every relationship has good times, and challenging times. Life brings surprises, changes, struggles, and triumphs. Life, nor love, is linear — but dynamic and ever-changing.

A good man, though — a dedicated man, is not signing on to be a “fair-weather-partner” in your relationship. He signs on to be with you through it all. To be your teammate, your partner in crime, your friend, your confidant — a solid and steadfast presence in your life that you can trust and count on no matter what.

[Caveat] Of course this does not mean you can intentionally disrespect him, lie, or cheat. It does not mean you can betray his trust and expect him to stick around just because he promised to commit to you. This point is about things the two of you go through together and him having the integrity needed to not walk away when times get hard.

Any man can be by your side on the sunny days. The real test of character is whether or not he will hold the umbrella over you during the stormy days.

And ladies, if the man you are with puts in the effort to be this person for you, please let him know how much you appreciate him. No matter how kind a person is, there is no emptier feeling than giving your heart to someone who you feel takes it for granted.

When you both dedicate yourselves to each other equally and fully, there’ll be nothing that can break you apart.