relationships, Romance

How to Spot a Man with Decency

Why women can’t find them and what to look out for.

“Why can’t I find a good man?”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a woman complain about the lack of “decent” men in today’s world. Some men may have said the same about women.

This observation was made by women who have endured years of getting gipped in some form or fashion by the men they’ve allowed into their lives. Not even for the long-haul variety. Fly-by’s who play on the emotional strings of genuine people who desire commitment.

It appears connection and relationships between men and woman have taken a turn into murky waters in recent times. As if the real meaning of love is lost on most of us.

So, what going on?

Honestly, while I understand where these women are coming from, lack of decency does not only favor men. Far from it. We exist in an accessible, consumer-driven and feasible world where nothing is unattainable in terms of availability and convenience. Even when it comes to our relationships.

Just about everything and anyone is gettable or usable these days.

We can even Tweet to the President. Where is Elvis when you need him?

“Out with the old in with the new”

–  A colloquial English phrase from God knows how long ago.

But surge forth into the future we must! Like all things innovative and cutting-edge, something must give in order to break new ground. Unfortunately, global reachability, online fluffs and puffs, and thrifty convenience has come at a high price on the human-traits scale – it has compromised some of our most vital qualities that constitutes a decent human being.

We’ve sold our soul to the highest bidder on eBay.

Electronics, cars, fashion … toilet paper anyone?

Is it a no wonder that our relationships are suffering in the real world when authentic connection is commonly replaced by a disposable mindset?

Blackballing. Gaslighting. Ghosting. The “Big Chill” that demands we keep cool and pretend like we’re not in it. The Pump and Dump and Smash and Dash. The bed warmer you dis to your friends on social media.

Feelings are a passing moment of uncomfortableness when the next-in-line is in sight. It’s as if love and relationships have become expendable.    

The reason why many women believe that decency is lacking in men today is because not every man has the tenacity, desire or stamina to go the extra mile for love when love is considered a dime a dozen.

Sure, things might be all rosy when we’re in the initial love-cloud stages of a relationship. But when she or he becomes someone real with a real past and real expectations, the option to flip and run is as easy as a swift text message.

“Sorry, baby. You’re getting too deep and it’s not what I’m looking for.”  

– Since when has it been okay to break-up with someone via a text message, anyway?

Since the world became a digital copy of the real. A fact that breeds lower values and stifles integrity, as well as accepting negligent treatment – all of which contributes to feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.   

Expectations have never been so low. Neither has the capacity or ambition to evolve through deliberate introspection. A quick glance at some of the comments made on my article, 4 Things Women in Their 40’s Really Want in a Man proves as much.

For those men who instantly became offended at the simple qualities I’d mentioned in that article, I can only assume ignorance on their part. Some of them were unable to understand the difference between women wanting a balanced and authentic connection, and downright criticism.

It’s all in the mindset and maturity level – the ability to set the ego aside long enough to realize that relationships are not a power-play at some online bidding-war.

If you want to discover the magic of real love, you have to be willing to surrender all the way. It’s not about one foot in and one foot out. It’s not about tit-for-tat either. Love can’t survive without putting in your heart – and I don’t mean the cushy emoji you just flicked on her screen.      

Fortunately, some of the comments the article received also shone a positive light on open-minded men who possess the ability to conceive and desire mutually satisfying and respectful relationships with women. Men who not only know what it takes to experience authentic connection, but also realize the importance of real love.

Real love and the ability to connect deeply begins with bringing back decency and desire for commitment. It’s about being honest from the start. If we want to connect – really connect, we have to be willing to cultivate and embody the qualities essential for mature love.

Love rituals are not about roses, chocolates and cute emojis. Love begins from within and soars from the heart; and it starts by being a decent person in your relationships.   

Decency in a relationship is many things. At its core is respect and practicing humane qualities. Decency is recognizing when real love comes calling and honoring the heart.

So, what makes a decent relationship?

Decent people. Mature men and women.

Here are some “decent” characteristics to think about:

Modesty and Humility

Not in the narrowminded way of women’s dress derived from Christianese dialect. I’m talking about the lowkey character traits of humility and humbleness. Modesty is the ability to think of others before yourself, rejecting self-importance and living from the heart space.    

Maturity is usually combined with modesty and humility.

You won’t find this trait in the smart alecks, the overbearing know-it-all’s or the self-appointed saviors. You find it in the unassuming and quiet – the person who realizes the value in silence.

Humility is not a weakness. It’s a strong characteristic worth building on and one of the most important aspects a good relationship should possess because it demonstrates appreciation.

Humbleness between two people shows respect.


Forget the shams and apple-polishing. We all want to know where we stand with the important people in our lives. Truthfully, being a good person is not hard – if you’re not looking for anything more than a fling, be upfront about it. Don’t lead her on and mess with her head when you know her feelings are genuine and she wants more from you.

Be honest about how you feel – whether that’s attempting to force something that’s no longer there or declaring your commitment to the one you adore.

It’s only the decent thing to do …


I have my peculiarities and you have yours. No one sees the world in quite the same way, so why expect that of our lovers?

It is our differences that make for interesting and engaging relationships.   

Tolerance is acceptance and an important component to decency. It’s realizing the imperfections in your mate and knowing she is utterly perfect regardless.

This is love-in-practice. Forgiveness and charity. If you’re unwilling to go there, then carry on – no one is perfect in this world; least of all, you.  

Tolerance is remaining gracious, considerate and courteous even when the pressure is on – and it plays a vital foundation to any true connection.


Qualifying sincerity, humbleness and tolerance with wisdom is the key to making the right decisions at the right time. A decent person with wisdom knows the value in a woman’s love and will strive to honor her heart while guiding the relationship toward a meaningful reality.

Wisdom is …

  • Understanding how the world works and how to make potential change without producing unintended consequences.
  • It’s curiosity and expanding your worldview.
  • It’s acting in ways that are likely to produce the best possible outcomes for everyone involved.
  • It’s having the foresight to know what you need to do to make a potential future a reality.
  • It’s knowing when to say I love you.

In the broadest interpretation, being decent in a relationship means the capacity to be compassionate and love. It choosing to be honest and sincere with your lover, and implies acceptance of the fact that we all have weaknesses and we all make mistakes.

Decency is rejecting equivocation, arrogance and double-talk to make the distinction about what you really want from your lover and then having the virtue to act accordingly. The heart demands decency; and does the person who has given theirs to you.

Originally published by The Good Men Project: Hello, Love on Medium


What Does a Gentleman Look Like to You?

A gentleman, while antiquated as a term, is a description of one with grace. Isn’t it odd that we call a civil man a gentleman and a woman who carries herself with self-respect, a lady?

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

My mother used to tell me that I was a beacon for jerks.

She was right. Somehow, I had a knack for attracting men who play games. Dangerous games that hurt me. Men who thought it was okay to treat me as some kind of possession.

Question: Does a gentleman devalue a woman?

Answer: A gentleman never lies to a woman — he should go out of his way to never make her cry unless they are tears of happiness. He always treats her like a lady.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

Some men have an ingrained sense of entitlement. They think bedding a woman equates to ownership. I remember reading somewhere that this sense of “ownership” over a partner actually sticks with these men even after that particular relationship dissolves.

Take my ex-husband for example. Long after our divorce, he would still call me with all kinds of unreasonable demands and questions. More than once, I had to remind him that we were no longer married.

He didn’t back off until I married someone else.

It comes down to emotional maturity.

If you Google the phrase, “when do men emotionally mature”, you’ll find the magic number is forty-three.

It’s thirty-two for women. That’s a whole lot of years for a woman to wait for the penny to drop. Even then, it isn’t always a given.

I’m not convinced that all men in their forties are actually emotionally mature. Some women, too. I have encountered mature women who exercise emotionally manipulative tactics, and men who exhibit behavior like a five-year-old — as if they have chronic man-flu.

Constant complaining, gaming and knee-jerk reactions all round. Not so hot for developing strong bonds and trust with others.

Question: Should a gentleman do the Moonwalk?

Answer: No one wants to see a grown man Moonwalking and grabbing his testicles on the dance floor anymore. Let it go. Literally.

No one wants to see a grown man clad in a pair of skimpy Speedos at the beach, either. We refer to them as budgie-huggers here in Australia.

Sometimes, the “huggers” don’t quite hold all of the “budgies”, if you know what I mean. Sometimes, less is actually not more.

A gentleman should be open-minded though.

An intelligent man knows the benefit of listening to other’s views and being prepared to learn and develop his own world view. He seeks to broaden his perspective.

He doesn’t judge, either.

Nor does he ever tell.

Uh-uh. A gentleman has no interest in Chinese whispers, vicious gossip or running others down. He doesn’t shoot off at the mouth before thinking, and he doesn’t always have to have the last say.

There is something to be said about thinking before responding — a small window of time exists where you get to choose how you respond to the situation confronting you.

Sometimes, it might be even longer. Make it count.

A gentleman learns to quell the knee-jerk reaction; he carries himself with dignity and respect at all times.

When my parents divorced, my mother ran into the arms of a much older man. Like, thirty years much older. At first, I tried to resent him. He wasn’t my dad. That resolve didn’t last, though.

Ron was a gentleman. Old school style.

Question: Do they even make them anymore?

Answer: In this day and age, grace is often sacrificed on the altar of selfishness, greed, and convenience.

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

Ron opened doors for my mother and showed her what it meant to be treated like a lady. A lady (check out featured image)I don’t know that that skill is common these days.

Not really.

Question: Should a man open a door for a lady in this day and age?

Answer: This time-honoured gentlemanly gesture has become problematic in the modern world. For a lady, a gentleman always offers his seat, opens the door and helps her with her luggage.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

Hmm … interesting.

Which leads me to …

Question: Do men actually sacrifice their comfort for a woman?

Answer: Offering your coat to a lady is an act of attentiveness and selflessness. A gentleman should always offer his coat to a lady, walk her home and offer to pay.

– The Gentleman’s Journal.

I asked my fifteen-year-old daughter what a gentleman looked like to her.

Answer: Respectful. Considerate and not selfish.

Good answer.

“Do you think the boys at school behave like gentlemen?”


“No way!”

When does it kick in? When emotional maturity takes hold at … umm … forty-three?

She could be waiting until she’s a middle-aged woman before she experiences a true gentleman.

I hope not.

Question: What does it mean to be a gentleman today?

Answer: The most common perception for a gentleman is a man who ensures that he is chivalrous towards women. The term attaches itself to men who are courteous and treat women with respect. Gentlemen are attentive to what a woman wants and needs, yet in the same regard they understand their own value and purpose.

– Brian Cornwell.

Historically, a gentleman was a way to describe a man of character. The term gentleman has changed over the years, nowadays it’s used to describe the actions and behaviors of a man.

Perhaps they should introduce these behaviors within the education system to reinforce what I hope is being taught at home. Things such as teaching boys how to become men who are polite, calm, respectful and considerate — the cornerstone for defining what it means to be a gentleman.

Vital qualities are necessary for forming and nurturing healthy relationships.

Question: What does the modern-day gentleman look like to you?

Answer: Here’s what my views are about the quality that makes both a distinction above the base animal within:

It is the quality of grace.

We tend to have an image in our minds of a suit-clad man and a dress clad woman, but it isn’t by any true measure the defining quality. Any brute can put on a suit and be as disgraceful as one clad in filth.

One with grace is polite as their default position, slow to anger and respectful of others.

One with grace is not fearful to stand up for what is right and express themselves with the truth of their intention.

One with grace doesn’t manipulate to move ahead.

One with grace understands that they don’t know it all and strives to be more than who they are.

A gentleman is caring and kind, strong and confident in that which matters.

– Xavier Eastenbrick.

Spoken like a true gentleman.

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