What Makes a Man a Good Catch?

by Nadra Kareem Nittle

A man I know insists that he’s a good catch. Why does he think so? He’s gainfully employed, comes home to his wife every night and has never raised a hand to her. Given this, his wife has nothing to complain about, he says. But she sees things differently. She wants them to compromise when they have disagreements, spend more time away from the children and go to counseling to resolve some of their longstanding conflicts. He refuses—all because he’s a faithful BMW (black man working) who believes that a lot of black women have it worse than his wife does. Some of his wife’s friends agree. “He doesn’t drink, beat or cheat on you, so what’s the problem?” they ask.

The problem is that he doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for doing what any spouse worth his salt would do. Having a job, staying faithful to his wife and not physically abusing her hardly makes him a catch. Contrary to popular belief, not all black men are womanizing Chris Brown types nor are they all shiftless and lazy with an allergic reaction to work. At 14.1 percent in October, the black male unemployment rate is certainly high compared to the white male unemployment rate of 6.6 percent. But the black female joblessness rate of 12.4 percent for the same time period is high compared to the 6.3 white female joblessness rate. Considering that institutional barriers have historically led to high unemployment among African-Americans, it’s a blessing for both black women and men to have work in this challenging economy. And given that my acquaintance and his wife have both taken turns serving as family breadwinner, they’re lucky to have each other.

Could either have it worse? Sure. She could have cheated on him, run up their credit cards or mothered a handful of kids by different men. But since when did we start weighing ourselves against the lowest common denominator and praising ourselves for looking favorable by comparison? Spouses are supposed to be faithful. Adults are supposed to work. Civilized people don’t hit each other when conflicts arise. No one should expect a reward for this.

Unfortunately we’re moving to a society that rewards people for doing what any mature adult in their situation would. A case in point? Chicago Public Schools have decided to give parents $25 Walgreens gift cards to pick up their children’s reports card and meet with their children’s teachers. I understand that low parent turnout at school events is a real problem and that some parents, especially those whose work schedules conflict with these events, can’t show up. My husband has taught for a major urban school district for 10 years and estimates that no more than a quarter of parents have ever shown up to Back-to-School night or parent-teacher conferences. Still, I find it downright depressing that school districts are now offering parents money to invest in their child’s education. This isn’t something they should be paid to do. It’s something that caring parents do all the time for free.

That being said, if the man I know wants to consider himself a catch, it shouldn’t be for behaving the way that countless married men do day in and day out. It should be for taking the steps to make his relationship work—even if it means leaving his comfort zone and taking a seat on a therapist’s couch. Relationship expert Barbara DeAngelis says in her book Are You The One For Me? that commitment to personal growth is one of the top six traits to look for in a mate, along with integrity, emotional openness, maturity, self-esteem and a positive attitude. What does commitment to personal growth mean? “Your spouse is committed to learning everything he can about how to be a better person and a better spouse,” she says. So perhaps once my acquaintance goes to counseling, his wife will finally consider him a catch.

  • Ask_ME

    If this man were another race (let’s just say white) he wouldn’t walk around considering himself a catch. He would walk around considering himself NORMAL.

    This just shows how LOW the bar is for black men…and how many are really messed up in life.

    By simply having a job, not beating their wives and being faithful they consider themselves “good men” or a “good catch.”

    Meanwhile Paul, his white co-worker, does the same thing because it’s what he is EXPECTED to do and it’s something considered NORMAL to him. He doesn’t expect a “cookie” or praise for doing it. Nor does he view himself as some type of token or oddity to his wife or community.

    IF your friend’s wife is NOT happy in this marriage the following is probably going to happen:

    1). She is probably going to cheat on him. Women cheat when emotional needs aren’t being met. We don’t cheat just for the sake of cheating or based solely on sex like men.

    2). She is going to leave him for another man or opt out of the marriage period. Again her emotional needs aren’t being met…if he doesn’t want to work on it (i.e., in therapy) she has a right to chuck the dueces.

  • Ask_ME

    Chances are this woman, at some point, will prefer to be SINGLE with a peace of mind than continue to be unhappy and married.

    Clueless men.

  • Chris Brown

    Well maybe if there were more 2 parent homes to raise black men to be more of those types of men then to many black men and in the black community things such as that would be considered normal. So due to the fact that there are so many single parent households that produce dusty dudes, something like this is normal in the black community because that is what many of us see. Again, i think that man do deserves a pat on the back because we do not see much black men doing such and if they are doing such many of you black women are certainly not choosing them. You chose the dusty dudes so go ahead don’t give him no credit, i bet you a white, latina and white woman will. You black women do not want to give no one any type of credit other than yourselves and that is why u all are stay losing. Say what u want to say but i am one of those black men that are indeed fed up with your pathetic reasoning and logic.

  • Pseudonym

    “If this man were another race (let’s just say white) he wouldn’t walk around considering himself a catch. He would walk around considering himself NORMAL.”


  • Jess

    “The problem is that he doesn’t deserve a pat on the back for doing what any spouse worth his salt would do. Having a job, staying faithful to his wife and not physically abusing her hardly makes him a catch.”

    Thank You for this. Truly.

  • Jess

    If I could give this more than one thumbs up I would.

  • Chris Brown

    Just these comments alone that any black men with sense that reads this would not even waste their time proposing marriage to u women. To hell with the black community.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    Good or good enough is the antithesis of great.
    Good and right as in right for you, are two different things also.
    A lot of times people stop, or are satisfied, or even settle @ good, when there is so much more to be had, as is the case with dude in this article, he is letting “good” stop him from being all he can be as a person, husband and father.
    I agree with the other ladies as well good in this case, is what should be the norm.
    So sad expectations are so low, the reg things are now what some want a gold star for.

  • Cocochanel31


    that commitment to personal growth is one of the top six traits to look for in a mate, along with integrity, emotional openness, maturity, self-esteem and a positive attitude

    yes that’s it! AS I get older and more mature I realize integrity/character/committment to personal growth is HUUUGE for me! Those traits are what seperate the men from the BOYS! Having a job, car, and house is just a basic minimum requirement..it takes so much more for a healthy relationship to last than those basic things.

  • Pseudonym

    Okay, “Chris Brown.”

    So, you want be be applauded and praised b/c you were able to reach bar once it was dropped to the ground?

    [*slow clap*]…

  • paul


    this piece pretty much affirms what I was trying to say in the “Do Good Men Cheat?”discussion.


  • __A

    Personal growth is the biggest thing mentioned in the article to me. Each person in a relationship should be working on that. Marriages are not easy. There are people who grow up in two parent homes that read relationship books and put effort into their marriages. This is something some black people need to do more. A lot of people wonder why their marriages don’t work. It’s because they put no work or effort into their marriages. They stop doing what they were doing in the dating phase. they think paying bills or not hitting people is god enough.

    Not coming from a two parent household is just not a good enough excuse for me anymore and you all throw that excuse out for every thing brought up. While single parent households have been shown to not be the best option, the majority of “dusty dudes” in my opinion never work on personal growth. You can’t just do the bare minimum and remain dusty and then blame your mama. You all give pats on the back to men who do the bare minimum, and women worship men who do the bare minimum. That’s why men don’t strive to do any better. They can get respect from men and women without doing everything else.

    Black women don’t get to make excuses for why they continue a cycle of oow children by blaming their mothers, and many black women have to work on themselves a lot because they had a mother that wasn’t the best or didn’t teach them certain things. A lot of black women do these things, and a lot don’t work on personal growth. No one makes excuses for the women that don’t. They get called trash. And you think men that don’t work on themselves deserve a pat on the back.

  • Lady P

    Great question!!!

    He’s gainfully employed, comes home to his wife every night and has never raised a hand to her. – - these are qualities that comes with the territory. They are NOT justifiable reasons to coin a man as a good man; however, they can be utilized as a measuring stick. A measuring stick against what you are NOT (possibly) getting yourself into. You know he will work, not a woman-beater, and hopefully not a cheater.

    All of these qualities dont necessarily confirm he is a GOOD man especially when this is what he suppose to do as a mate. That is the basics. Similar to a doctor saving a patient, a fireman going to put out a fire, or a police officer protecting a citizen. . . parents nurturing their kids, they’re a given. What determines a good man is what he is willing to CONTINUE to do for his family and others. So I agree with the relationship expert DeAngelis: “Your spouse is committed to learning everything he can about how to be a better person and a better spouse”.

    What a person has doesn’t make him a better person, but his character does. The worse relationship I had was with a 6 figure per year (not including bonuses and incentives) income, wasn’t a cheater nor abusive. I wouldn’t consider him as a good man, but what he had or able to obtain was good. He was too arrogant, self-centered, and didn’t possess a philanthropist spirit. To be honest, his personalities didn’t match mine. So at the end of the day, he wasn’t a “good catch” for me. Also; keep in mind, if a man is stripped of his income, he may become abusive – depending on how he handles life pressure. In other words, it is easy to take care of a family when you have access to income.

    Not only that, something else to think about is yes he has a job, comes home, etc… but if he doesn’t value quality time and could care less about your feelings. You’re actually alone within that relationship. Also because he is gainfully employed doesn’t mean he builds up HIS family. Watch the character..he may have a million and not invest physically or mentally in your dreams. As we know, two can make it better than one; but it is a hindrance if you are working alone. Pretty much, my definition of a good man is who he is, what he does to keep himself holistically harmonized for the betterment of self and family, and his work ethics which is not his career/job.

  • hmmmmm

    Okay. So we have seen variations of this story over and over. The ladies have chimed in in regards to the men. We, the men, get it. The question is do the ladies get it and if so will better relationship choices be the result?

    Now….what makes a woman a good catch? Do we, men, get any say-so in this discussion?

  • __A

    Many women will get it. Many women will not. A lot of people men and women are too stubborn to listen when people tell them that they have room for growth and that is what they need to work on before entering another relationship. Personal growth is the biggest thing in the article.

    There are many books, shows, and movies about what men want in a woman. I think a lot of people know. Attractive, nice, feminine, moral, can cook, and good with kids are things we’ve heard.

  • Chillyroad


    The irony of what you are saying is that a man like him isn’t considered a catch for many women. He isn’t the kind of man that gets the most attention from women in the black community. He is abnormal because deviancy happens to be the norm for both black men and women.

    I cringe when I hear women contemptuously talk about men like this when they are expected to mentor father coach rescue and repair all that is broken in the hood. When these men CONTINUE to turn their backs on the hood remember your comments.

    Ask those white men to save the day seeing as how it is second nature to them.

  • Man On Fire

    This begs the questions: Why did this gentleman’s wife marry a man who didn’t meet her standards for personal growth and self-evaluation; Did she consider him a good catch when they were dating?

    I wonder if she asked him why he believed himself to be a good candidate (or “catch”) for marriage prior to walking down the aisle.

    A person can establish his or her own individual standards for why (s)he believes (s)he is a good catch. It’s up to his/her potential mates to make sure those standards match up with their own.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    A good man and a good catch are two entirely different things. A man can be a “good man” without being someone that you should be with. A good catch is completely relative to what you are looking for. What makes a good catch for some might not be the case for others. For example, if you find someone entirely unattractive, then they wouldn’t be a good catch. Or if you are looking for someone with higher levels of education, someone with just a GED would not be a good catch. An ugly man with a GED could be a good man, but not be a good catch for women that are looking for something different. It’s not enough to be good, a mate should be good for you.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    “It’s not enough to be good, a mate should be good for you.”

    ^Not so much good for you, but more so RIGHT for you!

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    that’s what I meant by “good for you”

    In this context “good” = “right” or appropriate, as in a good fit.

  • Pseudonym

    Yep, the women get it. I’ve noticed a movement of women transferring their life goals, ambitions, and expectations away from the “male savoir on a white horse” fantasy they were indoctrinated to believe and are now building their lives around the less conventional, but more fulfilling outcomes (and this doesn’t just go for black women, but applies to a lot of U.S. women in general). When you’re not hoping the key to your happiness will come in the form of a man and are in no rush to complete yourself with a life partner, better relationship choices are usually the result.

    and this doesn’t just apply to single women. I’m 28 years-old and have hit one of those “wedding waves” and am seeing many of my friends who have been happily dating their college boyfriends for 5-10 years getting engaged (“finally!” according to most people), married, and start their family lives with a certain completeness having built a career for themselves, traveled the world, tried tons of hobbies, etc. so that their marriage isn’t their only source of validation. Even when they go through the harder times in their marriages, they seem to have this great ability to finesse their way around the weaknesses/disadvantages of their marriages b/c that’s not all they’ve got.

    No man is perfect; neither is any woman. But I think that one can be happily married with a partner who can only give you 70% of what you want/need if you have other sources of those things you want. and for those who never select a partner at all, it is possible to be just as happy living solo when you create a life you can enjoy in the present instead of build your life around a huge gaping hole you’re leaving open for a partner who may never come.

  • Man On Fire

    I missed any previous articles on this topic, but as for this installment, I’m not sure there has been a lot of answers given. I appreciate Lady P for giving a very cogent response that gave us insight on what she believes makes a man a good catch. Other than that, the responses have mostly been condemning the husband–and African-American men generally–for holding himself to such low standards.

    Now that we know that “low expectation havin’ &@$#%s” are NOT good catches, I would like to read more comments like Lady P’s that address what DOES make a man a good catch.

  • Chillyroad

    There is always a lot of hypocrisy and half truths when black men and women discuss eachother. My issue with the narrative of the “good black man” not being all that is as soon as he leaves the hood and or marries a non black women then it turns into a crisis. If this man is so average basic and doing what other men do why is it a big deal when he leaves a community that deems him average or below? Why is this man met with accusations of hating his mother himself and the black race by the very people who brushed him off? If he ain’t special, let him go. Don’t ask him to return to be step daddy, Coach Carter, Mr. Clark, father figure or human shield. Let him go if he ain’t nothing special.

  • Chillyroad

    The “good man” is an average man because an average man is good. There is nothing exemplary about goodness because thankfully it is a pretty wide spread quality within our high trust* Western society.

    “Trust,” political scientist Eric Uslaner has written, “is the chicken soup of social life.”1 Over the last two decades, social scientists have repeatedly suggested that good things tend to happen in societies where people tend to trust each other — they have stronger democracies, richer economies, better health, and they suffer less often from any number of social ills.”

    The good man is an average man. It’s highly manipulative of women to put extra qualifiers on what it means to be a good man do that you can constantly seize the moral high ground. So you can position yourself to constantly shame dictate nag and harass men.

  • gryph

    lol, if he’s white.

    really though. `men’ aren’t to be caught – or if you have to catch one you probably aren’t really a good woman.

  • Pseudonym

    As someone mentioned before, in non-black communities, simply having a job (and hopefully no kids) is the STANDARD.

    The point of the article is that too many of these standard black men want to be treated like their exceptional for doing the bare minimum. That’s insulting to me as a black women that you think I should be doing cartwheels over a basic b*. I had an ex-boyfriend who dropped out of college, but has developed a decent career for himself (I don’t date total losers!), has a child by some chick he dated for 6 months, and doesn’t have a single stamp on his passport (and there’s a whole list but that’s enough…). When we were having difficulties, he had the nerve to throw at me some line about how he’s “a good black man and knows there are a lot of women who can appreciate what he has to offer.”

    Show me the white/Indian/Chinese man with no college degree, crazy a baby momma, and very little world experience who would DARE come out of his mouth with some mess like that. THAT’S the point of the article. We don’t care about interracial dating blah blah blah, all that race-baiting you’re trying to do. The point is that the bar for black men is currently too low and too many are walking around like they’re the best thing since slice bread simply b/c they’re doing the same or worse than the black women from whom they’re expecting over-the-top praise. I was able to get a graduate degree and a job and not have babies by randoms and do so without expecting a friggin “You’re the best!” parade and black men should do the same and ditch the “God complex” for being what should be considered ordinary.

    (Note: this does not apply to all black men.)

  • hmmmmm

    Your whole post is about responsibility for your relationship choices. That topic does not work well around here, where the source of the problem is always “him.”

  • Fantastico

    This brings to mind #80 on the Black Male Privilege List, though I think men of all backgrounds ascribe to this foolishness:

    80. Chances are I (Men) will be defined as a “good man” by things I do not do as much as what I do. If I don’t beat, cheat, or lie, then I am a considered a “good man”. In comparison, women are rarely defined as “good women” based on what they do not do.


  • hmmmmm

    “There are many books, shows, and movies about what men want in a woman. I think a lot of people know. Attractive, nice, feminine, moral, can cook, and good with kids are things we’ve heard.”

    Steve Harvey, Hill Harper, and many of the men who write these books (for women) do not represent the majority of men that I have met. And there are plenty of books and movies that do the same in regards to what women want…..every movie and book my Terry McMillan is just an example. And I hear women often pushing back. “We are not all the same” is the word. “Who we are is not defined by you.” Word. That’s how many of us feel.

    Where are the books written by women that dissect the things women do and want in relationships with men that need to go away of gender roles? Do you know of any?

  • hmmmmm

    you didnt answer my questions but thats fine. i get it….thanks for responding.

  • hmmmmm

    “The good man is an average man. It’s highly manipulative of women to put extra qualifiers on what it means to be a good man do that you can constantly seize the moral high ground.”

    There it is. Thank you.

  • Blue

    I have to agree with the author. I mean according to this guy in the article, there are plenty of good catches. You’re supposed to work, not abuse women or kids, & take care of your house. But can you stand the test of time in your relationship? Are you willing to compromise? Are you willing to work for the sake of your relationship?

  • http://gravatar.com/chloerayne516 GirlSixx

    *Waves Church Fan*


  • Samantha

    I find myself pausing when I read these comments comparing what is normal to a white man and what black men are calling good. First, I know plenty of trifling white men who believe they are God’s gift to mankind simply because they are white men. Second, why do we continue to knock men down. We got plenty of trifling men, irrelevant of race, so yeah if you average or normal, I’m happy. At least that’s a building block. Hell, I’m an “average” woman and I’m ok with that. I’m developing myself and trying to be better each day but if you can’t take me when I’m average you don’t deserve me when I’m extraordinary.

  • hmmmmm

    “Show me the white/Indian/Chinese man with no college degree, crazy a baby momma, and very little world experience who would DARE come out of his mouth with some mess like that. ”

    Are you serious? Did you see who voted for Romeny in large numbers? And what the hell does a passport have to do with manhood?

  • Job

    Nobody cares about your degrees or passport! I guess my father was no good because he didn’t have a passport when he married my mother. But he kept a roof over our head and food on the table. Today’s men/women are so shallow, entitled, selfish and materialistic. How do money, degrees and passport make someone good? What automatically makes you so entitled to an exceptional man? We are all flawed human beings.

    And for the record most white men DO NOT have passports. Go look it up.

  • Job

    Nobody cares about degrees or passport! I guess my father was no good because he didn’t have a passport when he married my mother. But he kept a roof over our head and food on the table. Today’s men/women are so shallow, entitled, selfish and materialistic. How do money, degrees and passport make someone good? What automatically makes you so entitled to an exceptional man? And for the record most white men DO NOT have passports. Go look it up.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    Most white men don’t have degrees either. The vast majority of the people on earth are not college educated.

    Degrees and passports are bourgeoisie measures of worth. You know you are over-privileged when you think having a degree and passport are the norm.

    “just get a loan from your parents”

  • ChillyRoad

    No because by virtue of being a woman, you are automatically good. Its men who have to prove their goodness not women.

    A woman can be jobless, homeless, etc but would never be clowned like a man, especially if she has children. In fact if she has children she can be the biggest loser in the world and she is still to be showered with praise.

  • Chillyroad

    Exactly, some white men think because they are white, that makes them inherently better, more intelligent, more moral than the non white man. But you cant blame that on white men when non white people are upholding his superiority simply based on skin colour. We are off topic though.

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    I think people have gotten a lil bit side tracked in these comments.
    Personal growth as I understand it means to cultivate the inner qualities that make one a better person and spouse..” What does commitment to personal growth mean? “Your spouse is committed to learning everything he can about how to be a better person and a better spouse,” ” nothing to do with passports or white men. Come on ya’ll.

    @ Samantha, I see your point, and those things are a start( a job, not cheating, a car) but if you refer to my earlier comment some people settle there @ “good or good enough” in their minds, In actuality they could work on being a better spouse by just learning to listen, or being more supportive emotionally, or willing to help out more with children, (if they have them).. see where I am going.These things again have nothing to do with white men or passports. LOL

  • Chillyroad


    This is why you CAN NOT trust women to be final arbiters of who is good and who isnt good. Wow, a passport and a degree makes you good. LOL. That means most our brothers and sisters in the developing world are bad people or inferior to the educated well travelled black woman.

    My grandmother didnt know how to read in her language and didnt speak ay English. I think she was a good woman. She lied to immigration and claimed a few children that werent hers so that she could bring them to America for a better life.

  • blacklizlemon

    *waves church fan* You better preach!

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    sure you can. Maybe not that particular woman, but women in general are just as good at determining who is good and isn’t good as men are (if not better).

  • Man On Fire

    Samantha, thank you for this post. It was very practical and sensible, and, I commend you for being willing to question why posters continue to knock men down. Black men and women need to be building each other up and trying to promote the good in one another.

    There are waaay more arrogant, entitled White men than Black men. And, many of them were handed most of what they have–no character or strength required to obtain it.

    And, as quiet as it’s kept, White women divorce White men, too; and, at a very high rate, I might add. So, they must not be the standard of excellence that they are often portrayed to be in discussions like these.

  • Pseudonym

    …and you all skip/miss the point which is for a man with no degree or passport not to think he is the bomb.com and should be worshiped simply b/c he has a j-o-b.

    I’m not at all saying that people without degrees or passports or whatever are BAD PEOPLE or bad people to date, it’s just that they shouldn’t be walking around with God complexes, thinking women should worship them. (Honestly no one should be walking around with God complexes, but it’s most confusing when it’s people who are below average in their accomplishments.)

    If someone’s going to come at me like he’s the BMOC then I’m going to need him to be able to back up all that talk- and, yes, let’s start with a degree and a passport. At MINIMUM. Actually, scratch that: that’s not EVEN the minimum.

    My comment is directed towards men with God complexes and absolutely NO extraordinary accomplishments under their belts- and I run into that a lot in the middle-class black community b/c seems the expectation of what makes a black man exceptional is dropped lower and lower. This low standard breeds men who treat women with smug disrespect and then tell them that they should be happy to have them. (and this isn’t exclusive to men, there are women who do this as well in thinking that because they are physically beautiful they can act completely psycho and men should just put up with it b/c they have a nice pair of breasts..but with this analogy, these men I’m talking about don’t even have an exceptional pair of breasts or a particularly pretty face- they’re just AIIGHT- after they put on all the makeup.)

    This comment isn’t to be applied to ALL men- as I said, having a degree, no baby momma, and a passport is considered the STANDARD in other communities and those men act as such, but within the black American community I come across too many men with these standard qualities who come at me with the “You better take these crumbs I’m offering and act like you won the lotto. Do you know how exceptional I am?” attitude and that’s just ridiculous. If you don’t act this way, then this comment doesn’t apply to you. If your father doesn’t disrespect your mom and then tell her she should be happy to have him around to disrespect her b/c he has a job, then this doesn’t apply to him. But for the men who do act this way, I need them to stop with this nonsense pronto.

  • Pseudonym

    and yes, there are men from every background without degrees, but they don’t walk around with the same “Worship me b/c I’m not in jail and take care of my kids” attitude.

  • Pseudonym

    I never said all white men have passports. The point is that I don’t meet white men doing the standard who expect me to worship them whereas I meet a ton of black men who do (and I also meet black men who don’t, but this discussion isn’t about them today).

  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    @ Pseudonym, what you are speaking is dating and entitlement, which does exist.
    Unfortunately when you have a race of people where there are not enough quality men to go around, people start to lower the bar in an attempt to even out the numbers.
    When men start to feel like they are a commodity, a precious and rare thing, hence the arrogance for merely breathing.

  • Pseudonym

    “I guess my father was no good because he didn’t have a passport when he married my mother.”

    First, I never said having a degree was a qualifier for a good man. Reread my comment and you’ll see that I am actually saying the same thing that you are saying: having a degree is not that exceptional, so what else are you bringing to the table that qualifies you for the title of a “Good/Great Man?”

    So, yes, your father didn’t have a passport…but did he treat your mother well? Did he demand that she worship him while he gave her minimal effort? My comment isn’t directed toward people who treat people well. It’s directed toward men who want to be worshiped and given 500% from women while they only give 10% (to be referenced from the article). No, having no degree doesn’t make your father not a good person, because having a degree and passport is just part of that 100%. The same goes for men with a degree, you just have part of that 100%- what else are you bringing to the table that qualifies you as a “Good Man?” My comment was saying that I’ve met too many black men who think that their degree is worth 99% of their “Good Man” points, so they can just suck at everything else and be treated like a king- and that’s just not the way it should be. and then the boyfriend-in-example, didn’t even have that, so I’m trying to figure out what it was about himself that gave him the nerve to think he was so great (he was LACKING in most other departments as well- he was inconsiderate, lacked ambition, insensitive, immature, and insecure- which I thought could be inferred from the subject of the article.).

    That’s the question of the article and my point: you have a degree (Good for you!), now what of the other 90% do you have going on? and if you don’t have a degree, don’t have world experiences, and got some chick knocked up on the random, what positive qualities do you have that contribute to your “Good Man” score? My particular ex didn’t have enough qualities to add up to a “Good partner” score (hence being an ex) but there are men out there who do make a good score without a degree or a passport.

    In being defensive you made assumptions and completely overlooked the point of my post.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    “and doesn’t have a single stamp on his passport (and there’s a whole list but that’s enough…)”

    “I was able to get a graduate degree and a job and not have babies by randoms and do so without expecting a friggin “You’re the best!” parade and black men should do the same and ditch the “God complex” for being what should be considered ordinary.”

    Having a degree isn’t ordinary, it is exceptional. I was with you on not having a “God complex” or on thinking you should do cartwheels on any achievement by a man. I’m just saying a degree and passports aren’t a part of any list of basic man traits. I’m disagreeing that having a degree and a passport is standard in other races. Outside of the over-privileged communities, those things aren’t standard.

    you should be recognized for having a graduate degree. That puts you in elite company. Maybe not parade worthy, but certainly one of the best.

  • Chillyroad


    Little Miss. Graduate degree and passport obviously doesn’t know what a standard is. Most American-white black Asian or Latino have neither a degree or passport so how can it be a standard? Your stupidity is proving how worthless your degree is. You may be educated but you aren’t smart or intelligent.

  • http://gravatar.com/ravsmith78 Ravi

    It’s one thing to disagree with someone, but rudeness is an entirely different matter. No need to make things personal.

  • __A

    Yea. There are things about what women want, but there is wayyyyy more info about what men want. Girls are taught from a very young age that getting a husband is important, so many women are very interested in finding out what men because they want to be with someone and get him to commit.

    What do you mean things at need to go away because of gender roles? Are you talking about how feminist women think relationships should be now? Most people still have relationships that follow traditional gender roles. I think men help out more around the house, but women still do the majority of the same things.

    What is that you want in a woman? And what do you think men like Steve Harvey and Hill Harper are advising women wrongly about? I have not read their books, so I don’t know what they’ve said.

  • keepitreal

    Huh, this site is called, CLUTCH magazine, it’s a space for women (at least it’s supposed to be) so, no, I don’t give a damn about your say-so.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks


  • Chillyroad


    Sorry but I must call it as I see it. She keeps moving the goal post of what is standard and the norm for other groups. After having established that having a degree and passport isnt the norm, not even for Asian Americans she disingenuously starts talking about men with God complexes as if she doesnt have one of her own.
    If she is what graduate program’s are churning out these days then I have even less respect for university graduates.

    They want their degrees to mean something for them but not for others.

    Blacks have a history of being barred from educational institutions. We have a history of being self taught. These women are a mockery.

    You shouldn’t use your education to create an elite group of douche bags.

  • __A

    You are spinning comments. This person Pseudonym said nothing about a man with a degree and a passport being good. She said her ex with baggage was not as amazing as he though he was. She was talking about men who are doing the minimum thinking that they are gods. Surely you can understand that simple comment with your superior man brain lol.

  • http://gravatar.com/thebreanadmin Hmmmmm

    Oh please woman. I was not rude nor did I leave you a single mother. Relax and save it for him. Keep it real with him.

  • __A

    The comments may seem harsh, but a lot of black neighborhoods are dysfunctional. It is because of lowering the bar and dropping societal norms and not having standards. This is not just black men. I’ve noticed this lowering the bar and having low expectations for black men when it comes to expecting them to provide and protect and pursue a career and raise their kids, for black women when it comes to lady-like and feminine behavior and child rearing, and black children when it comes to scholastic achievement.

    While a lot of white men may have this attitude, there is a standard in their community that is higher, and white men are seen as not man enough when they don’t measure up. The same is true for Asian men and was true for African American men of the past. This pressure to be a higher standard is part of why their communities are better.

    It is not embracing white supremacy to look at white communities and see that their higher standards have impacted their community in a positive way. It is not self-hating to look at the positive things of white or Asian communities and say we need to do better and raise the standard. White supremacy and racism are not the only reason that black communitites are behind. The same men complaining on here will be the first men to compare a black woman to a white or Asian woman, but they think we are being unreasonable by saying that having a good job, marrying a woman before having kids, and not beating your wife is normal and not worthy of praise.

  • __A

    Exactly. This is what I was saying on the good men cheat article that many women are looking for a man want the total package or a good catch.

  • Job

    @Pseudonym This comment reeks of elitism. Knowledge puffs up…love builds up. Having a degree and passports does not make one great. Showing love for fellow humans is what makes someone great and a good catch. This is why the divorce rate is so high and people have so many relationship problems. We have lost track of what to really search for in a mate and we often have nothing to truly offer ourselves. Degrees and passports are icing on the cake and not the foundation of any relationship. Too many people point to these things as to why they are a good catch. Some men/women feel entitled just because they have acquired these things. You are not any more deserving of anything than the cleaning people at your building.

  • http://gravatar.com/g2-5bad1203f6a970f65345273e8eff5cd2 jazzyphile

    He shouldn’t be applauded, but he shouldn’t be bad-mouthed either.

  • Chillyroad


    That’s a lie. She initially said degrees and passports are the norm. They are not. Then she said black men (racialized generalisation) are unique in that they take what is the norm for other men (which isn’t) and use it to feel like they were exceptional beings worthy of praise. She has lost direction with her constant back peddling.

    Lets cut the bull here. This is about using any excuse not to respect black men. Yes, we are loyal and love them but respect is for those other men who do all this as a matter of course.

  • Chillyroad

    Not enough quality men? According to whom? The quality women running around spitting on bus drivers?

  • Pseudonym

    @__A: THANK YOU!

    I don’t know why people are so fixated on that one part of one sentence and spinning it to say something it’s not supposed to say. At least read the entire though. I dated that man without a degree, passport, AND a baby momma under the expectation that with those attributes he would still be able to be a loving and supporting partner. He turned out not to be one and he felt that he could afford to be completely lacking as a partner and I should have felt happy to have him b/c he was a black man with a job and being a black man with a job was good enough to be great and he didn’t have to offer anything else.

    There are men who think they can be lacking as a partner because they are rich (see Kobe Bryant’s marriage from the outside) or have social clout and find a woman willing to buy into that. While I, personally, wouldn’t marry someone that offers me money in exchange for companionship- I can understand a woman accepting that as a compromise (see Naomi Campbell’s rich boyfriend’s wife or Vanessa Bryant again) b/c they’re getting something out of it (financial security). Not having to know what a bill or a budge is is worth it for some women and I think any woman has a right to that opinion. In my particular EXAMPLE, however, the guy was offering no such thing as his compromise, but felt that I should be happy to take the crumbs he was offering b/c despite being a bad partner, he would upgrade my life just because he was around… doing…well, I couldn’t quite figure out what it is he thought he was doing that was so great. Having a job and not cheating, perhaps?

    As the article said, having a job and not cheating should be the standard and not the source of a “God complex.”

    In certain circles, there are men and women who do the same based off their looks (which usually fade with time). They should get the same question from men, “Yes, you are gorgeous and have a great body, but what else do you have to offer?”

  • Really?

    Based on what the wife seems to be saying he doesn’t think he has to work on what the wife sees as problems in their marriage because he is a good catch and she should. feel grateful to have him? A person unwilling to work on issues their partner is concerned about is a good catch and?

  • YouHave2Wonder

    Thank you. You do not have to keep explaining yourself because your message was well received. Two thumbs up!

    Agreed, there are men (and some women) out here who think they are a hot commodity because they have a job. That’s nice but as the author stated, why is the bare minimum such an accomplishment these days? Why are we as a society so accepting of mediocrity? Maybe if we collectively wanted more then it wouldn’t be so hard for people to understand your well stated point.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Hey OSHH! I swear your comments are grounding because I am so lost in this discussion..lol but I agree wih you, psuedonym, and a few others on this article who see through the lower bar b.s. I don’t why some are going harder than fish gease to disprove this daunting reality for many women of men doing the bare minimum and expecting to be received as king among men especially if the woman has more going on for her. But usually these are the same people who sprout the b.s. of “black women standards are to high…you need to be realistic,etc.etc.”….um for whom? And why? I was just having this discussion with my girls (one black and the other white) when they asked me what type of guy I am looking forand when I stated what tupe if guy (don’t think my requirements was unreasonable) my friend(the white one) was like so you want prince charming…lol again my requirements wasn’t long or impossibly unrealistic but I guess these days it is…smh

  • RobbyDoesDallas

    speak that!

  • Melinda


  • South African Lady

    Myself and my hisband both have jobs, degree’s and have travelled various continents. These things have been a blessing, as only 5% of South Africans and the entire world, for that matter, have a university qualification. When looking for a mate, one HAS GOT to look beyond this and consider that you commit to a partner for companionship and love. Even if you found a man/woman who has a degree, not only has a job but makes a hell of a lot of money BUT demeans you and is not supportive of you, you have only gained a substandard relationship. In my book, one should evaluate a man/woman by asking “Does this person actively love me, every single day?”.

    Even people who get involved with people for purely ulterior motives, eventually long for authentic companionship and love.

    DISCLAIMER: I am NOT talking about finding a perfect human being but one who loves you no matter what and does so with ACTIONS and words, EVERYDAY.

  • justanotheropinion

    I know plenty men w/passports and advance degrees. I wouldn’t let them watch my dog much less pro-create with them or give them my time. And that’s black, white, brown or otherwise.

    I think what is being said is that each one of us has some type of litmus test – be it a advance degree, passport, job title, certain annual salary etc Bottom line: you need to do more than just be there without a prison record and without beating me to be considered to be doing right. And you won’t EVER get an award for that – it’s ASSUMED & EXPECTED. I bring as much if not more to the table.

    When my son was in grade school at a place that had ALL DAY kindergarten (which we all know isn’t the norm), I asked the dean how he got 5yr olds to do a full day as opposed to the half day norm every place else. His response: “If you refuse to expect anything but the the best, people/kids won’t disappoint.” The kinder kids represented. How can we as black women expect nothing less? Made perfect sense. I expect a certain level of togetherness and adulthood. If you can’t come correct, don’t come AT ALL. But I promise you, I will match you. You deserve it as much as I do.

    I EXPECT you to have a job, hold an intelligent conversation, have a sense of humor, do right by me, treat our kids right, be honest, be moral, be respectable and come home every night, etc. You won’t get a pat on the back for this – it’s EXPECTED. After all, that’s what you want/expect from me. When you go above and beyond, we can talk about recognition & accolades, Until then…. If you can’t comply, step off. If you expect less, that’s what you will get and you have nothing to complain about.

  • paul

    The funniest thing about this is that a lot of black american males (certainly online) model themselves on the notions of “good”man that come from women.

    The only messages about manhood they want to listen to are the ones that come from women, and what they pick up from women is that the most desirable men are good men.

    However good man for these people is not a judgement of a man’s capacity for ethical behaviour, it is merely a measurement of his utility.

    What you end up with is a sub-culture of underachieving males for whom good man is just a label they apply to themselves which they hope will make them attractive to women.

    What a f*cking mess.

    check this -

    nothing says loser/follower – more – than building your entire identity around other people’s “ideals”.

    No wonder these people are so confused and perpetually angry and disappointed in each other. They scorn all the human qualities that are imperative to building not just loving and trusting romantic relationships – but strong communities, where people can trust their neighbours and work with them to solve problems.

    They make me sick – between the lame males and shallow females the term good man has been corrupted to the point where it is meaningless.

    Now that I’ve had to time think about it, this piece and the discussion it’s generated doesn’t help our understanding of what makes a man “good”, since it too only evaluates goodness and manhood in terms of how well it panders to to the whims of women.

    A man’s goodness is only being considered as utility ie fitness for some purpose.

    Well that’s not what being a “good” PERSON is to me.

    I would have said that we know a man by the choices he makes make when he’s knows right from wrong. Those little opportunities each of us is given everyday to choose between doing good, doing nothing or doing wrong.

    Your choices and how they affect others is how we judge (since you’re all so judgemental) the kind of person you are.

    And doing good is not something you should expect praise, recognition or reward for, that entitles you to go about calling yourself

    “the good black wo/man”. smh

    nah – ya dun good today, then do good tomorrow and the day after that. That’s all ya get.


    simple as that really.

    People need to shut up and work on themselves and mind their own damn business before they deign to judge others. No one in this discussion has said anything that leaves me feeling they’re good enough on any measure to judge other people’s –


  • http://twitter.com/jnorris Jim Norris (@jnorris)

    Is it now the norm to suck at reading comprehension this hard? Pseudonym never claimed that having a degree and a well-stamped passport was the norm for all of humanity, but rather that lacking those things and then claiming that mere employment makes one a great catch for someone who possesses a graduate degree and a lot of travel experience qualifies as ridiculous.

  • http://twitter.com/jnorris Jim Norris (@jnorris)

    Average might qualify as good in a political-science sense when referring to high-trust Western society, but that’s hardly relevant to the case of an individual personal relationship. If the good woman is an average woman, and an average woman puts extra qualifiers on what it means to be a good man, or expects or desires more than the bare minimum from her relationship partner, isn’t it highly manipulative for you to criticize that?

  • http://twitter.com/jnorris Jim Norris (@jnorris)

    What were your requirements, out of curiosity, if you don’t mind sharing?

  • Ravi

    She did say it was standard. Standard and norm are essentially the same in this context. Having a degree and a passport aren’t the standard or norm for any race. Saying it is the standard outside the black community is false and problematic.

    “having a degree, no baby momma, and a passport is considered the STANDARD in other communities and those men act as such”

  • Job

    What’s wrong with giving someone well deserved praise? Apparently nothing men do is good enough for some women. Nobody wants to be in a relationship where they are constantly criticized or their good actions are ignored. Does it really hurt to show appreciation for someone who pays the bills and is faithful? No one wants to be with someone who feels that they aren’t good enough. A good man should be measured in the same way you measure a good friend. Do you determine how good a friend is by superficial things or by how loyal they are?

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    @Jim Norris

    1. Has a career(not just a job) he is passionate and ambitious about
    2. Financially stable
    3. Great personality with being just cocky enough
    4. Cultured/intelligent
    5. Adventurous i.e. willing to travel, go on hot air ballon rides, try new foods, etc.
    6. Honest/trust worthy
    7. And have the same end goal in mind basically married 20+ years, babies, family dog and ugly family christmas sweater..lol the works

  • KE

    We all must have standards. Without any, we would have no clue what we needed, wanted or sought. However, certain standards, as pertinent as they can be, are quite subject to circumstances or factord beyond one’s control. A good example is having a job or making a certain minimum income. Anyone who’s even paid cursory attention to the headlines for the past five years should have a rudimentary understanding of how the economy can and does change. In fact, many people with degrees and experience are still trying to find their way back.

    That said, if you want a man with a degree within a certain economic bracket, you should also assess how he would function absent those things. Does he have the character, the humility, the industriousness, to do whatever would be required for you and your family (children)? Would he be too proud to push shopping carts or mop floors? Would he be more content to collect unemployment than flip burgers by day and start his own business by night?

    Those things, ladies, show the mettle of the type of man you’re dealing with. You don’t want a white collar brother who can’t take it when things get hard.You want a man, no matter his tax bracket or pedigree, who is a hard worker, not too proud for any kind of work when or if the chips fall – no matter the monogram on his shirts, the university name on his degree or the impressiveness of his resume.

    Take this from someone who’s been married for nine years . . .

  • Pseudonym

    Yes, and there are white collar brother’s who can take it when things get hard, just as there are blue collar brother’s who can’t. I don’t think one’s professional status correlates to one’s ability to overcome adversity. And I SO agree with the lack of humility in so many people I know (male, female, black, non-black, younger, older) who choose to take unemployment for months instead of sacrificing and working jobs that may not be their ideal until they find something that is…and are still waiting.

    People have gotten spoiled, I tell ya.

  • simplyme

    I think praise is great. There’d be a lot more happy people walking around if people thanked and complemented their spouses more, but the article is about men who PURPOSEFULLY do the bare minimum and expect praise for that.
    Even if he’s failing miserably, a guy that at least seems to be putting effort into a relationship means a lot. Maybe effort is relative but most of our society would not equate earning money, not cheating, and not abusing your spouse to “putting in effort”. If doing those things requires extra effort theres a serious problem.

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    I don’t think the author provided enough information for me to draw a conclusion on this man’s quality as a husband. But I would ask if one spouse’s unhappiness is necessarily proof of the other’s under performing?

  • K. Michel

    I don’t understand how a man marries a woman that doesn’t consider him a catch. I guess I’m young like that.

  • The Patient One

    Isn’t it always easy to say what someone else could be doing?

  • leonard smalls

    Interesting comment; however, allow me to add that one may need to think before making MAJOR decisions, such as the one above.

  • Pink Lipstick

    1) Humility
    2) Self-respect
    3) Manners
    4) Intelligence
    5) Drive
    6) Passion
    7) Belief in reciprocity
    8) non-patriarchal (i.e. a man that does not need to hate women in order to feel like a man
    9) Open-minded
    10) Kindness
    11) Spiritual
    12 ) Strong emotional and mental health (extremely important)

  • __A

    Are you still ranting and raving about “goodness”? Everyone is talking about a good catch not a good person. It’s not rocket science to see that there is a difference between the two things.

    There are homeless men that are good men. That does not mean that I want to date or marry them. There. That’s what everyone on this comment section is talking about. It’s not that difficult of a concept to understand.

  • Shane, GPHR

    Being patriarchal doesn’t mean a man hates women. Please look up the term.

    Does being matriarchal mean a woman hates men ? If it does, then going by your logic, most black women must hate men being that most BW are from matriarchal homes.

  • Clay

    You have some nerve to write this article criticizing the Black husband of a girlfriend when you are married to a white man. They are simply having normal marital conflicts, which I hope they resolve. I bet you will never write an article criticizing your imperfect white husband.

  • Stanley

    If normal doesn’t make a man a catch, what does? Being supper man…

  • Stanley

    If these don’t make a man a catch, what does?

  • Stanley

    Isn’t the norm what makes somebody a catch?

  • Stanley

    You said “All of these qualities don’t necessarily confirm he is a GOOD man especially when this is what he suppose to do as a mate.”
    So basically, what you’re saying is that a man needs to do extra work to be good. Then, what does a man needs to do to be very good if he already does all the extra works just to be good?

    I think if you women put your egos on the side you would realize that an everyday man or a normal is a catch. How many of you have dated a guy that was more than normal? How many of you here are more than the bare minimum? Not many! Stop with the notion that a catch is something more than your everyday dudes out there.

  • Stanley

    You said it the best.
    The first thing that came in my head when I read this article wast this: If the standard (as a man doing the minimum) is not good, then what is good and very good?

    I would have liked the writer to tell what is good and what is very good.

  • Pat

    I once told a man he was not a catch. He got bent out of shape. As stated in the article being employed does not make you a catch, it takes a lot more.

  • chinaza

    A man is a good catch when he suits the woman who chose him.

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