28 Ways to Spot a Real Man



Need a hero? Here’s 28 ways to spot a man that’ll be up to the job.

Originally appeared at BuzzFeed

1. A real man know how to pet a cat.


2. He knows how to show his son that it’s OK to be different.


3. He knows that you don’t have to fight a war to save a life…



4. And that every life counts (yes…that’s a micropig).






5. A real man is someone who hits rock bottom…but still has time to help other people out.


6. He’s the window cleaner who dresses up as Spider-Man when he cleans windows at the children’s hospital.


8. A real man is a guy who can grow a good moustache…


9. A guy who knows his way around the kitchen.


10. A man who knows how to tame his mate with a good foot rub.


11. And this guy here…


12. A real man knows that doing good is its own reward.


13. And isn’t afraid to admit when he is wrong.


14. A real man knows how to be a good winner…but an even better runner-up.


15. A real man knows how important it is to make a girl feel like a princess.


16. The tourist who gave his shoes to a homeless girl…He’s a real man.


17. So is this guy…


18. This guy…


19. And this guy here:


20. A real man is a good father…




22. …as well as a good friend.


23. A real man knows how to make a difference…


24. …even if it’s just to one person.




25. A real man looks out for others…


26. …and always keeps his word.


27. A real man isn’t afraid of giving…


28. …even when doing so is tough.


Gratuitous kitten shot.


More great lists over at Buzzfeed.com


  1. Leo Searle Hawkins says:

    Without wishing to be a party-pooper to an otherwise inspiring article, Number 26 – the one about the New York cop and the waitress splitting a $6M lottery win – comes from a film called “It could happen to you” starring Nicolas Cage.

    Does anyone know if the plot of the film is based on a true story? As far as I know it’s fiction.

    • Leo Searle Hawkins says:

      PS to my last post. I discovered there was indeed a real incident as described but other than that the film is fictional. So I can go back to being inspired! 🙂

  2. Two Ways to Spot a Real Man:

    1) Does he identify as of the male sex or masculine gender?
    2) Does he exist in reality?

    PERIOD. The phrase “real man” echoes of “man up”, as if the commentator is sitting in judgement of whether a “male specimen” qualifies to receive the “man” title or not. This dross is the last thing I expected to see on this website. Clean up your act already. No one gets to tell a woman whether or not she’s “a real woman” regardless of her behavior. Why do we still presume to bestow the title of “real man” upon men based upon their behavior?

  3. i appreciate the article with one exeception. a real man knows how to make a WOMAN feel special. he does not call a grown female a girl unless he at the same time refers to himself a boy. he does not think of women as children. it is fine to make little girls feel special. i think you meant women – as in adult partner to an adult man 🙂

  4. This is beautiful! I’ve heard of a few of these men on tv. Men like this should be celebrated and praised by everyone.

  5. Wait a minute! Does this mean you’re not a ‘real man’ if you’re not all that crazy about cats?

    • Hi Bobbt
      You have no idea how sexy this man with cats all over him is! 🙂
      I have already shard the picture iwith my cat loving women friends .

      “Real men ” treat all all animals well.
      The first thing a women should look for when dating is how the man relates to animals.
      If he is cruel to animals ,run fast…..

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        @Iben: “If he is cruel to animals ,run fast…”
        How true!

        Actually, if he’s (or she’s) cruel to anybody, run fast!

      • Hey Iben, first off, I would NEVER harm a cat or ignore one in distress for that matter. Hell, I won’t even kill a spider! The wife has 4 cats and she gets annoyed sometimes when they seem to prefer me (meanwhile, she’s the one who feeds them and cleans their litter box) It’s just that when I pet them after a while my eyes get all itchy and red. So the idea of being covered in cats makes my eyes hurt just looking at that picture.

  6. You have some really good ideas!! I personally don’t like the words “real man”, to me it’s demeaning to men. Growing up I always heard people saying real men do this and real men don’t do that. After moving out on my own I would hear from the women in the dating scene that there are no real men anymore. This last really frustrated me at first cause I’d be thinking “I’m trying to have a conversation with you to see if I like you and your whining about men?? If there are no real men left than what I’m I? Chopped liver??”. Eventually I’d tell them I’m not a psychologist so take a hike! I really do think that media would help in this matter. For there are enough commercials making men out to be idiots.

  7. Valter Viglietti says:

    LOVE THIS!!!
    Thank you A LOT! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    It made me cry over and over…
    and I believe this makes me a real man; because a real men isn’t afraid of his own emotions. 😀

    • Nothing much wrong with what you said but I want to make a certain point. You said a real man is one who is not afraid of his emotions in reference to the fact that you cried while reading this. This this also mean a man showing anger is a real man? What about a man who is enraged? What about a man wants sex?

      Anyway, what I’m saying is that I’m skeptical about quantifying a man by whether he cries or not. I think the reason why in the past real men were said not to cry was just because they meant to say real men are in control of their emotions and are able to do what is required of them regardless of how they feel. And since traditionally speaking men are supposed to be leaders, this is (traditionally) a very important characteristic a real man should show.

      So in short I believe we should desist from telling men that they need to cry in order to show that they are real men. Being in control of your emotions (or not being emotional) is no sin.

      As an aside I used to not cry at all when I was young (besides when I was getting a spanking). However I seem to now cry when watching certain movies and when reading certain things in books. However my sister passed away recently and (Just like when my dad and gran passed away earlier) I did not cry. I wasn’t trying not to cry. Heck, I even wanted to – but no tears were forthcoming. Now I would hate to think that would make me somehow less of a man.

      • Valter Viglietti says:

        @Thanda: First, it’s ok not to cry. I never EVER meant that men need to cry to be real men.
        I didn’t cry when my father passed away (heck, mostly I wasn’t even sad), and it was ok: we’re all different, and we have different ways to feel and cope.

        I hate the “You should cry” attitude just as much as I hate the “You should NOT cry” one! One feels what one feels, that’s all.

        My previous comment (written a bit tongue in cheek), was meant to go against the old classic “Men do not show their emotions”. Men have been taught to be wary about their emotions for a long time.
        What I meant is “Stop all this BS and just accept what you’re feeling – it’s always ok”.

        Please notice I said “a real men isn’t afraid of his own emotions”: I didn’t talk about acting them, that’s a whole different story.
        IMO, an adult person (whatever the gender) should be able to manage his/her own emotions. Hence, a man who’s enraged should not just acting out his anger (unless there’s a good reason to do so). Managing doesn’t mean denying or repressing – on the contrary, accepting your emotions only helps in managing them.

        Regarding a man who wants sex, that’s perfectly fine (BTW, who doesn’t? 😆 ).
        Hence, he can express his wanting, in a polite way; maybe the other party wants the same! 🙂

        In the end, what I mean is:
        – you’re okay the way you are;
        – your feelings are ok whatever they are.
        OTOH, expressing what you are or your feelings may not be ok, depending on the situation. Respect is not an option.

        • Completely agree with you!

          “OTOH, expressing what you are or your feelings may not be ok, depending on the situation. Respect is not an option.”
          -With regards, to this, would you agree that there may be circumstances when it’s not okay to cry (an expression of feelings)? And if so, would that ability (of preventing yourself from crying) not be considered a virtue – as much as being able to control anger or any other emotion?

          • Valter Viglietti says:

            Yes, I agree there could be situations when expressing one’s emotions is not okay (or not convenient). When being at work, for example.
            That’s why I (originally) wrote about “not being afraid” of emotions, not “acting out” them.

            Accordingly, being able to manage one’s own emotions IS a worthy ability (I wouldn’t use “virtue”, is too much of an emotionally charged word 😉 ).
            OTOH, not being able to manage one’s emotions is something I try not to judge: it’s just being human (unless one is directly hurting others, of course).

            • Well, we’re on the same page then.

              I however will retain my right to use emotionally charged words like virtue: I don’t care much for political correctness 🙂

              Btw, the only reason I was making these points was because I feel that to some extend certain traditionally female traits have, as a result of the rise of feminism, gained such adulation that men are beginning to be judged by how much of their “feminine side” they show. I am totally against this. I believe men and women have a range of emotions but in the end certain emotions are more dominant in men than in women and vice-verse. Eg. Both men and women can (and probably should) be sensitive. However this doesn’t change the fact that most women are generally more sensitive than most men. Now men do not have to start trying to compete with women to show that they are just as sensitive as they are.

              Now some might bring up the “nature versus nurture” argument . Personally I don’t believe it actually matters. Human beings have been on earth 6000 (if you’re christian) or more years. I believe whenever we find any characteristics which seem to be common in most men or most women, we can be sure that whether it is nature or nurture there is probably a good reason for it.

              So what I’m trying to say is that while I’m all for people being liberated so as to be able to show a wide range of emotion and not being restricted by gender, I don’t believe that we should ever expect or even hope to see a day when men and women appear to have all emotions in equal measure. Not only do I think it won’t happen, I don’t believe it would be beneficial to the human race if it ever did happen.

  8. I can appreciate the effort to reclaim the whole “real man” thing. Personally I think that the vast majority of the invoctions of if can pretty much be boiled down to “a real man does what I want him to do!”. But to me the phrase is just about worthless now.

    • Where did you get “does what I want him to do” in this post, Danny?

      • I should have clarified that by saying the vast majority of its use in the past can be boiled down to “a real man does what I want him to do!”.

        As in while I appreciate the efforts to reclaim it for me the original use of it just taints it so badly that I just don’t care for the phrase anymore

  9. “Real man” is such a limiting and damaging turn of phrase. Anything that expands the limited idea it conveys, even if it’s mostly a “kinder, gentler” version of that limited idea, is worth my attention. And god for fucking bid that I or anyone would be viewed as good because of being selfless. I mean what’s the world cominvg to?

  10. The only thing I bristled at was the title and the constant use of “real”. A real man is, quite simply, an adult male human. These are examples of *good* men, men with character. You can be a ‘real man” and still be a jerk. “Real” is a word that needs to not be used to describe people. We’re all real. The question is, are we decent? respectable? good?

    The men in this article rock at being good people. I teared up a few times. : )

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      As I was saying above, I think the use of “real man” is, in these contexts, used to contradict the idea of outdated prescriptive masculinity. “Real men don’t cry” is the main way that term was used for decades. It’s a reclaiming of a term that was damaging to masculinity for a long time.

      Of course, anyone who identifies as a man is a real man. 100%.

      • So the new “real man”, same as the old “real man”, self sacrificing, puts others first … now with kittens.

        • OirishM says:

          As Orchid correctly points out, a lot of the above are still the same old gender roles. “Race in to save the day” would sum it up pretty well (plus kittens, indeed)

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Moustache chest hair?

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              I mean, other than that, what makes a person good?

              I’d argue that what makes a person good – man or woman – is the willingness to give to others of ourselves.

              • OirishM says:

                Person is neutral. When you are saying these things about men, you unavoidably parrot our old gender roles.

                Ultimately I agree – I believe that gender labels are meaningless as there is no trait or behaviour that is entirely confined to one gender, so they become effectively meaningless. Hanging on to my gender label feels a bit like calling myself an atheist. I’m still defining myself to some extent by a label that should by rights be irrelevant, but it’s not because everyone else in society still seems quite caught up in gender as a meaningful thing.

                That said – imagine a “28 ways to spot a real woman” article that had a strong focus on women looking attractive and maintaining it and minimal focus on other things. Can you honestly say your BS-detector wouldn’t be twitching even a little?

                • Here’s the thing, there isn’t an old, confining trope that “real women do X” – and people have challenged the “real women have curves” thing… There is a great meme that says “real women look like this” and has silhouettes of like every body imaginable.

                  It’s reclaiming an old trope, and it doesn’t work the other way around because the trope doesn’t apply to women in this way.

            • OirishM says:

              I did say most.

              That said, while I am glad to see actual moustaches being promoted (and not that stylised cameo of one that gets plastered on household objects galore these days), not least because I did sport one for a while and got really tired of “moustaches/beards EWWWW” comments, it’s just flipping one “real man” statement for another.

  11. #13: “And isn’t afraid to admit when he is wrong…”

    This one really separates the men from the boys…

    Great photo-essay!

  12. It’s about character.

    This is a great article. I think a real man means being will to give to all. You should never fear getting your hands dirty, or sitting next to a homeless person on the bus or subway, or saying something nice and uplifting to those who are less fortunate.

    Great article. Really great.

  13. Tom Brechlin says:

    Very cool

  14. If you identify as a man, you are real.

  15. Love this post and would love to share it on my blog as well if thats possible??? I have shared it with my facebook page. Totally restores your faith in humanity.
    I am blessed to have a great man in my life.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      We can’t authorize you to reprint it on your blog, but you can always link back! Thanks!

  16. Joanna Schroeder says:

    Love this.

    I think back to my childhood, when the term “real men” was always used to shame a guy who wasn’t fitting the mold… “Real men don’t cry” or “Real men know how to take a punch.”

    What we know now is that there are infinite possibilities for what a “real man” looks like. I love these 28 examples!

    • Unfortunately, I hear that real man phrase over and over today, pronounced usually by women when confronted by men of all kinds that don’t fit exactly the cultural norm prescribed by advertising and media. Sad.


  1. […] post is inspired by the Good Men Project’s article 28 Ways to Spot a Real Man.  I actually teared up reading some of these ways and further teared up when I thought about the […]

Speak Your Mind