How to be a good guy 101

You wanna to be a good guy, right? Whether hooking up at a party, or getting into something a bit more serious, or you’re all over Tinder – you want to treat your partners with respect.

If you’re not sure where to start with the opposite sex, we’ve got some simple tips for how to get a good relationship going with women. Download this document as a PDF.

Start with respect

Showing respect is attractive to others.

This means treating others how you want to be treated.

Sometimes you might find it a bit difficult to talk to women – especially women you’re into – but they’re people, just like you. And they’re probably nervous too. Whether you’re wanting a hook up or a girlfriend, think about how you want your partner to respond to you, and treat her the same way.

Respect her, listen to what she has to say, do what you say you’ll do, and, obviously, show some real interest in her as a person.

Remember, every woman is someone’s daughter, sister or friend, so treat her how you want other men to treat the women you care for.


Consent is sexy

Before you talk to a woman, you’ve got to get your head around one thing:

they don’t owe you sex.

Whatever you’re doing, and whoever you’re doing it with, enthusiastic consent is always your starting point. That includes things like sexting. You and your partner both get to weigh in on what happens, and you can both change your minds whenever you want to. You can’t ever ‘earn’ the right to have sex with someone. If anything’s going ahead, you have to both be equally into it, the whole way along.

Here’s what we mean:

Ask, don’t assume
Don’t just assume your partner is OK with whatever you’re doing. You actually need to ask and pay attention to how she’s acting. Only proceed if she wants to. And even more important, you need to accept what she wants.

Keep checking
Keep checking in. After all, relationships and sex can involve lots of different activities – saying yes to one doesn’t mean you say yes to everything. Before you take it a step further or change things up, ask if she’s OK with it. Again, don’t put pressure on if she says no.

And you also get to say what you’re OK doing.

Can she say yes?
If you’re a good guy, these points will be obvious. If a woman is out of it, from alcohol or drugs, she can’t give you the big thumbs up. Not resisting you isn’t the same as giving consent. You’ve got to leave it – even if she’s your girlfriend, even if she seems to be into it. Girls under 16 can’t give their consent either – they’re minors. If your partner isn’t able to agree, having sex is illegal.

No pressure
Consent only counts if it’s given freely – that means no threats or tricks, including things like guilt trips or giving the silent treatment. It’s not just a crappy thing to do, it’s illegal.

Watch a quick video about sex and consent here:


take care down there

Sex is fun, but it can be serious too.

You can get some painful and disgusting STIs if you don’t use protection, plus getting your partner pregnant has a big effect on everyone for a very long time. Find out more at .

You both need to be responsible for contraception and protection – don’t just assume she’s on the pill and hope it will all be good. It can be a bit awkward to talk about this stuff, but your junk will thank you for it.


be real

Always be yourself.

It sounds super cheesy, but sharing your real thoughts and feelings helps women (and people, in general) understand and connect with you.

Remember you’ll both be feeling nervous. Treating each other with respect is the best way to get through this.

Unless you’re 12, stop playing games. If you like someone and want a relationship with them, make it obvious.

Starting a relationship with lies and tricks just makes things more complicated – and you’ll be found out eventually.

do the right thing

Being trustworthy is cool.

That means being consistent and reliable – show up when you say you will, reply to texts, don’t go behind people’s backs or let them down.

It also means respecting your partner’s privacy – only share things she’s OK with you sharing.


don't believe everything you see

TV shows, movies, even ads can be weirdly old fashioned about how men and women act, and when you grow up hearing and seeing those messages all over the place, it’s easy to believe them. Clips you watch on the internet (you know the ones) can be even worse. If all your ideas about women and sex come from porn, you might be in for a shock when you meet a real live woman.

Life doesn’t have a script but you get to act how you choose.

Don’t assume that men always have to take the lead when it comes to sex. Don’t think that you’re the dominant partner because you’re male. Women also feel sexy so don’t have double standards – she’s not a slut for doing the exact same things you do.

Macho dudes who buy into those traditional roles aren’t just sexist – they’re harmful to everyone. Showing you’re not like that isn’t just the right thing to do – it can make you safer to be around, and more attractive too.


call out your mates

Doing the right thing for the women in your life means calling out shitty, sexist behaviour when you see it. It’s not easy to be the buzzkill who shoots down a joke – you can do it gently, so your mates don’t feel too stink. It goes a long way to making the world feel safer for women.

For more ideas about how to react to your mates see


Stop Street Harassment

If you’re a dude, you probably haven’t had people whisper sleezy comments at you when you’re jogging, sit way too close on the bus, or yell at you from passing cars. These things happen to women and girls all the time, and they can range from annoying to terrifying.

Just don’t do it.

Go ahead, talk to women: just make it respectful and genuine. If you’re just trying to ‘score her’, she’ll be able to tell. Think about the time and place (a dark street at 3am? Nope) and back off straight away if she’s not interested.

Think about how you’d want other men to treat your sister or mother.


talk and listen

Be up-front about what you want from the relationship.

Are you keeping it casual, seeing what happens, or do you want to get married next year?

 So you flirted, asked her out, and now you’re a thing. Sweet. But that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want. You’re both still in charge of your own lives.

You might end up wanting different things or it doesn’t work out. Again, think about how you want to be treated and act that way towards your partner. You can be respectful when you her know you’re not into her any more.

And if she wants something different you have to accept her decision. It’s OK to feel hurt and it’s best to talk about your feelings with others you trust, so that you can move on.

Even if you’re jealous or taking it hard, it’s wrong to punish or pressure her, threaten or intimidate her, or stalk her (even online). That is creepy and illegal.


Be a guy youd want to hang out with

It’s about being the person you want to be. And living with yourself forever.

We all make mistakes, but if you try to be a good guy, you’ll feel better about yourself in the long run. You don’t want to be replaying old conversations in your head or avoiding people you know you’ve treated badly.

Follow this advice and be a good guy. We need more people like you

Download this document as a PDF

Thanks to ACC, Garth Baker and Words for Breakfast


About whiteribbonnz
White Ribbon is a community led campaign to end men's violence towards women

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