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good boyfriend traits

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Once a man starts to behave protective of me, that’s when I know he’s developing feelings for me—deep feelings. Just to be clear, I’m talking about a man being protective and not possessive, as there is a difference. A protective man wants you to feel free, but he wants to do what he can to keep you safe while you’re free. A possessive man wants to control what you do. You don’t want that in a partner. But the man who is protective of you—something clicks in him one day and he realizes, “Oh, if something happened to her, I’d be devastated. Something has changed—she’s changed my life—and now there is no going back. She’s precious to me. I have an obligation to take care of her.”

 

It feels so nice to have that kind of care in your life. Pause and ask yourself if your partner does care for you that way. To be caring without being controlling is the ideal balance in a partner, but many of the men you date before finding the right one will fall too far to one side of the spectrum. They’ll either monitor your every move, even telling you not to do something not because it’s unsafe for you, but rather because it makes them uncomfortable, OR, they won’t really give a damn where you are or what you’re up to, because they aren’t really invested in you. Neither one of those situations feel very good. You want a man who’s got your back, but isn’t pushing you in any direction.

 

When you have that in a partner, you can feel it. There are just subtle changes—little things he’ll do—that you’ll notice. It’s sweet and heartwarming, and sometimes a little funny. Here are things a man will do when he’s protective of you.

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Watches you start your car

Whether you’re just driving across town or leaving for a road trip, he watches you start your car and drive off to make sure your car is running okay. And before you do leave for a long drive, he asks you if you’ve had the pressure in your tires checked or if you’ve had an oil change recently. He makes sure your cell phone is charged, in case of an emergency.

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Asks you to text when you arrive

He wants you to text when you get to your destination safely, when you get home safely, when your plane lands, when your bus stops. Any time he can’t personally escort you from point A to point B, he just asks that you update him about your safety along the way. He can’t be at peace if he doesn’t know you’re safe.

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Makes sure you don’t walk alone

If you go to an event without him, he is very concerned with you walking to your car or home by yourself. He asks who is there—he asks that you find someone you know and trust to walk you to your car. He may even just text someone he knows is there, asking that person to walk you to your car after.

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Looks over your shoulder for you

When you’re out together, you can sense him just looking out for you. If you’re at a bar, he gives the room a scan from time to time. If you’re at the airport and you’re relaxing and reading, he’s looking around, just keeping an eye on the surroundings. He just likes to be aware of any threats, so you don’t have to be.

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Protects your space in crowds

In a crowded space—like at a concert or party—he creates space for you. He sort of blocks you with his body, giving you a little buffer room to move. He doesn’t like the idea of anyone getting too close to you, because then he can’t protect you. And when you’re in a crowd, he wants to hold your hand the whole time.

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Coaches you on job stuff

How to get the job, how to ask for the raise, how to get the promotion, how to negotiate your contract, how to land the client. He feels that your career is his career—not in a controlling way, but in a loving way. He’s happy when you succeed, so he takes it upon himself to make sure you have all the tools you need to do so.

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Gets mad at your friends for you

If your friends flake on you, leaving you all dressed up with nowhere to go, he gets mad at them, for you. He rallies, and tries to find something fun for you two to do, because he knows how much you were looking forward to girls’ night. Anytime anyone wrongs you, he gets genuinely upset for you, and when that person comes around again, he can’t help but be a bit suspicious of her.

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Acts as your DD

If he can drive you to meet your friends for girls’ night out, he will do so. He’d much rather he drops you off than you get in a cab with a stranger. If you get stranded somewhere and can’t get a cab, he’ll drive all the way out there to pick you up. He won’t let you handle it on your own, even if you say that you can.

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Gets the door for you

Any time someone unexpected rings your doorbell, he rushes in front of you, and says, “I’ll get it.” He peeks through the peephole. He asks who it is. He’s like your guard dog. Should anyone at the door mean you harm and pull a scam on you, he’d rather be the one to open the door and pay the price than you.

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Lectures you on answering the door

He often lectures you on door safety. He tells you to never answer for anyone you weren’t expecting. He tells you that it’s okay to be rude and tell the person to go away. He tells you that even if the person says they’re in trouble, you should stay indoors, and just call the police for the person. It’s sweet—he doesn’t want anyone pulling a fast one on you.

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And on parking lot safety

He also lectures you on parking lot safety—about keeping your mace or something sharp in your hands when going to your car at night. He tells you to park under a lamp, or in front of a business that will be open late. He tells you to pay for the paid lot instead of park down some remote street—he’ll even pay it for you if it means your safety.

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Makes sure you’re packed for your trip

When you’re leaving for a trip, he oversees your packing. He wants to make sure you have your prescriptions, extra cash, a cordless phone charger, a map, and everything you may need to stay safe. He talks to you about only taking legitimate cab companies that you hail from your hotel or the airport. It’s almost like he’s your dad.

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Gets safety items for your home

He’s often picking up little items to keep your home safer. He brings you a flashlight to keep under your bed. He gets you an extension cord, so you can charge your phone but keep it closer to the bed, in case there’s an emergency. He brings you big jugs of water for your earthquake kit. He’s always thinking of what could go wrong, and trying to get ahead of it for you.

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Finds a substitute lookout

When he cannot be there for you, he finds a substitute to stand in. He asks his friend, a neighbor, or your family member to keep an eye on you. He gives them a long list of instructions. He needs to know that if, for any reason, he can’t check on you, that somebody will.

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Gets upset when you’re reckless

He gets mad when you put your own safety at risk—really mad. He huffs and he puffs, giving you a talk about how stupid that was. He’s not just talking about you when he does this—he’s also talking about himself, and how absolutely devastated he would be if anything happened to you.

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