83 Inspiring (And Hopeful!) Quotes About What Makes A Great Man

inspirational quote for men

We are modern women. We love being independent and making our own choices.

And while we don't need a man to make our lives worthwhile, that doesn't mean we don't want one. It just means we are far more careful and specific about the men we want to be with.

We are no longer satisfied with just any boy. We want a man who's comfortable with himself and in turn who will treat us the way we want to be treated.

The problem is, in this wonderful new modern world we live in, well, it can not only be hard to find a man like that, but it can be even harder for men to understand what that means.

Luckily, there are life quotes to live by that can remind you of what really matters.

Inspirational Quotes for Men

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That being said, here are 23 encouragement quotes for men to help you tell if your man is a great man and that men can look to for motivation and affirmation that they're on the right track.

1. "You spend time with your family? Good. Because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man." — Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather

A real man spends time with his family.

2. "A real man won't date the most beautiful girl in the world — he'll date the girl that makes his world beautiful."

A real man knows what real beauty is.

3. "The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be." — Elbert Hubbard

A great man is strong because he is gentle.

4. "No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child."

They are never afraid to help a child.

5. "A good boyfriend loves his girl with all heart. He isn't afraid to point to his girl in front of his friends and say: That's my baby."

A good man is not afraid to tell the world that you are dating.

6. "A real man can't stand seeing his woman hurt. He's careful with his decisions and actions, so he never has to be responsible for her pain."

A real man is careful to never cause his girl pain.

7. "Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth." — Chuck Norris

Good men are careful not to lose their temper.

8. "The first step to be a good man is this: You must deeply feel the burden of the stones some else [is] carrying." — Mehmet Murat ildan

A good man can feel the pain of others.

8. "A good boyfriend can't fix all of your problems, but he can promise you that you won't have to face them alone."

A good boyfriend won't let you be alone.

9. "A good man will want you to shine. He wants you to be your amazing self. A good man loves to show off his happy, intelligent, amazing, powerful woman." — Anastasia Netri

A good man will never be afraid to let his girl shine.

11. "A man does what he must — in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures — and that is the basis of all human morality." — President John F. Kennedy

A great man isn't afraid to do what is right, no matter what.

12. "One can know a man from his laugh, and if you like a man's laugh before you know anything of him, you may confidently say that he is a good man." — Fyodor Dostoevsky

You can tell a good man from his laugh.

13. "Real men stay faithful. They don't have time to look for another woman because they're too busy looking for new ways to love their own."

A real man is always faithful.

14. "A good man would prefer to be defeated than to defeat injustice by evil means." — Sallust

A good man stays honorable no matter what.

15. "Being a good husband is like being a good stand-up comic: you need ten years before you can even call yourself a beginner." — Jerry Seinfeld

A good husband knows that he is not an expert.

16. "A gentleman will open doors, pull out chairs, and carry things. Not because she's helpless or unable, but because he wants to show her that she is valuable and worthy of respect." — Charles J. Orlando

A good man knows how to be a gentleman.

17. "The real power of a man is in the size of the smile of the woman sitting next to him." — Anonymous

A good man knows the most important thing he can do is make his girl smile.

18. "The mark of a real man, is a man who can allow himself to fall deeply in love with a woman." — C. JoyBell C.

A real man is not afraid to fall in love.

19. "The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." — Thomas Paine

A real man isn't afraid to learn and grow, even when things are hard.

20. "A man must at times be hard as nails: willing to face up to the truth about himself...But he must also be tender. No weapon will breach the armor of a woman's resentment like tenderness." — Elisabeth Elliot

A good man knows how to balance being tough and tender.

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21. "A real man only lies to his woman when he's surprising her."

A real man will never lie to his woman.

22. "The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones." — Brandon Sanderson

A great man knows the difference between things he might want to do, and the things he must do.

23. "A real man never stops trying to show a girl how much she means to him, even after he's got her." — Anonymous

Most importantly, a real man will never stop showing his girl that he loves her.

24. “So, being a good man is not an exam or a qualification, it changes, and it incorporates being a good friend, a good father, a good employee, a good boss, a good neighbor and a good citizen.” — A.A. Gill 

You'll recognize a good man in all facets of his life.

25. “We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.” — William James 

A good man isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

26. “The good man is the man who, no matter how morally unworthy he has been, is moving to become better.” — John Dewey 

Always working to be a better person.

27. “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” — Samuel Johnson 

A real man treats everyone in his life with respect.

28. “Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honorable.” — Seneca the Younger

A good man always does what he can to do the right thing.

29. “It is part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though he risks everything.” — Plutarch 

A real man takes calculated risks.

30. “Trying to learn to be a good man is like learning to play tennis against a wall. You are only a good man — a competent, capable, interesting and lovable man — when you’re doing it for, or with, other people.” — A.A. Gill 

Good men know the importance of the people in their lives.

31. “I think a gentleman is someone who holds the comfort of other people above their own. The instinct to do that is inside every good man, I believe. The rules about opening doors and buying dinner and all of that other ‘gentleman’ stuff is a chess game, especially these days.” — Anna Kendrick 

Ultimately, good men do things for others because they genuinely care about them.

32. “It is the task of a good man to help those in misfortune.” — Sophocles

Good men are altruistic.

33. “Being a ‘good man’ is something you do, not something you are.” — Luvvie Ajayi

Anyone has the ability to be a good man.

35. “It is not what he has, or even what he does which expresses the worth of a man, but what he is.” — Henri-Frederic Amiel 

Material things don't define who is good.

36. “A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.” — Gautama Buddha

People can see through that.

37. “A strong man doesn’t have to be dominant toward a woman. He doesn’t match his strength against a woman weak with love for him. He matches it against the world.” — Marilyn Monroe 

It's not a competition, it's a companionship.

38. “There is nothing noble being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” — Ernest Hemingway

Real men focus on bettering themselves.

39. “You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.” — John Wayne

Being a good man is an essential foundation.

40. “It is his nature, not his standing, that makes the good man.” — Publilius Syrus

You can spot a good man not by who he is, but by what he does.

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41. “A good man does not spy around for the black spots in others, but presses unswervingly on towards his mark.” — Marcus Aurelius 

A real man won't compare himself to others.

42. “The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively.” — Bob Marley

Treat everyone with kindness.

43. “A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.” — Confucius

You'll notice when a man is good when you can see it in his actions, not in how he talks about himself.

44. “A good man is kinder to his enemy than bad men are to their friends.” — Joseph Hall 

Everyone deserves respect, and a good man knows that.

45. “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.” — Albert Einstein 

How does he treat others?

46. “You can’t measure manhood with a tape line around his biceps.” — Billy Sunday

Being a real man is not about appearance.

47. “It makes a big difference when men respect women. There are a lot of men who don’t, so that’s the main quality that would make a good man a great man.” — Stephanie Sigman 

Respect for all people is essential.

48. “Great men do not play stage tricks with the doctrines of life and death: only little men do that.” — John Ruskin, in Sesame and Lillies 

How does he live his life?

49. “In the face of inhumanity, a good man reacts, but a great one acts.” — James Rollins 

Good men aren't afraid to take charge.

50. “A great man does not seek applause or place; he seeks for truth; he seeks the road to happiness, and what he ascertains, he gives to others.” — Robert Green Ingersoll

Real men do things for the greater good.

51. “If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” — James Dean 

It's rare to find.

52. “I believe the first test of a truly great man is in his humility.” — John Ruskin

Good men are introspective.

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53. “A great man is always willing to be little.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great men know when to let others take the lead.

54. “It takes a great man to give sound advice tactfully, but a greater to accept it graciously.” — Logan Pearsall Smith 

Good men know there is always room for improvement.

55. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.” — Calvin Coolidge

Not just hearing, but listening.

56. “Good men have the fewest fears. He has but one great fear who fears to do wrong; he has a thousand who has overcome it.” — Christian Nestell Bovee

Good men do what it takes.

57. “There is no better proof of a man’s being truly good than his desiring to be constantly under the observation of good men.” — Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Good men are always willing to learn.

58. “The man who is deserving the name is the one whose thoughts and exertions are for others rather than for himself.” — Walter Scott 

Good men can balance selflessness and selfishness.

59. “He who stops being better stops being good.” — Oliver Cromwell

Real men always work on improving themselves.

60. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” — Marcus Aurelius 

That's that.

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61. “Nice guys may appear to finish last, but usually they are running a different race.” — Ken Blanchard  

Good men are in a league of their own and don't go unnoticed.

62. “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moment of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” — Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Real men fight for what they believe in at all times.

63. “No great man ever complains of want of opportunity.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

A good man is always looking to improve.

64. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be a value.” — Albert Einstein

There is a difference.

65. “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.” — George Bernard Shaw 

Rare to find.

66. “As a general rule, it pays to be confident, helpful and nice.” — Colin Wright

Real men know this.

67. “Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.” — Henri Bergson

No impulsivity.

68. “Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.” — Benjamin Disraeli 

Women can't help but fall for an impassioned man.

69. “Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and reflection must finish him.” — John Locke  

It takes a village.

70. “Don’t hide your scars, they make you who you are.” — Frank Sinatra

Real men are vulnerable.

71. “Courtesy is a much a mark of a gentleman as courage.” — Theodore Roosevelt

An overlooked but essential trait of a good man.

72. “Excellence is not a skill, it’s an attitude.” — Ralph Marston 

Everyone can achieve it.

73. “If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” — Napoleon Hill

The intention is there.

74. “I walk slowly, but never backward.” — Abraham Lincoln 

Keep moving forward.

75. “All successes begin with self-discipline. It starts with you.” — Dwayne Johnson

A good man takes responsibility of himself.

76. “Manners matter. Good looks are a bonus. Humor is a must.”

On being a good man.

77. “A man is only as good as his words are.” — Frank Sinatra 

And what his actions portray.

78. “The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” — Albert Einstein

Real men can accept defeat and move forward.

79. “There is one rule, above all others, for being a man. Whatever comes, face it on your feet.” — Robert Jordan

A real man won't let tribulations hold him back.

80. "A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool." — William Shakespeare

Good men know you can never know everything.

81. "Only a man's character is the real criterion of worth." — Eleanor Roosevelt

Be the best person you can be.

82. "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” — Winston Churchill

You can do it.

83. “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice." — Steve Jobs

Real men stay true to themselves.

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Estee Kahn is a writer and amateur photographer who writes all about love — dating, relationships, friendships, yourself, and family. Follow her on Instagram.