My freshman year of college I sat in a midweek lecture led by our campus pastor. He was discussing “the character of a godly man,” based on Psalm 112. He read through a list of qualities—generous, faithful, just, kind—each describing the heart of a man who loves God. “This kind of man,” the pastor said, “is the kind you ladies should be looking for.”
But as we keep our eyes open for a Psalm 112 man, though, there will be men in our lives who aren’t husband material. Following are five guys you should strike off the “eligible” list.
1. The Victim
I originally titled this fellow The Bitter Guy, but bitterness is a requirement of the victim mentality; the two go hand in hand. This guy believes the world is against him, and blames his lack of work, money or successful relationships on everyone but himself. You might hear him say things like:
“The timing wasn’t right.”
“If my mom/dad/ex hadn’t…”
If these comments are his answer to any correction or rebuke, he’s refusing to take responsibility for his own actions. Rather than controlling what he can and giving the rest to God, he is constantly at the mercy of his circumstances—and often uses his girlfriends as a savior. Don’t be his next safety net.
2. The Player
The Player is cute—and he knows it. You never quite know where you stand with him, but you feel flattered that he wants to be in some kind of relationship with you, so you don’t ask questions. The Player preys on insecurity, but is too selfish to settle down with one person. So he keeps several in the wings, enjoying the attention of women no matter who he’s with.
The Player doesn’t play fair. It’s easy to talk yourself into the relationship because of his looks or the attention he gives when he sees you slipping away. But don’t give him what he wants! It’s time for him to learn more substance and a little less show.
3. The Manipulator
The Manipulator and The Player are sometimes the same person. All Players are Manipulators, but not all Manipulators are Players. Some Manipulators don’t care for the attention of other girls. They just prefer to control the one they have.
Manipulative guys use guilt to keep you in a relationship with them. They will show attention when needed, prey on your emotions and get into your head to keep you from leaving. They use insecurity and the “right words” to persuade you past your physical boundaries. They are dangerous men, and if you see this pattern in your relationship, end it immediately.
4. The Egocentric
This egotistical man seeks relationships so he can look and feel good. He likes to have a pretty girl on his arm and her attention as often as possible. He might be used to being praised, whether for his looks or his athletic prowess or his academic ability—and he expects you to keep it coming.
His selfishness can be easily confused with confidence at first. But dating The Egocentric is a lonely path. The longer you’re with him, the more lost you’ll feel. His is a relationship of one, in which his girlfriend is just a prop to his own self-interest. There is no room for you with this guy.
5. The Failure to Launch
Last, there’s the brother of The Victim: The Failure to Launch. You might be familiar with this popular comedic film starring Matthew McConaughey. A Failure to Launch is a guy who just can’t get his life together. He may have gone to college, but he has no big dreams or goals. He isn’t working, might be living with his parents and is constantly on the brink of getting his life together…but never quite does.
The FTL is appealing because girls think they can “fix” him. He usually has a great sense of humor and is attentive to his girl (especially given he has nothing else to do). He’s the kind of guy many women think they can “believe” to maturity, only to find—years later—that no one can motivate a person but himself. The FTL needs to decide on his own to grow up, work hard and contribute to God’s kingdom. Once he does this on his own time, he’s worth some of yours.
Avoid these five types and save your heart for the truly good guys—they’re out there, and they’re looking for you, too.