100+ Best Real Man Quotes For Great Men

Anusuya Mukherjee
Dec 12, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Feb 18, 2021
Real men quotes are inspirational.

Manliness is often misunderstood for brute strength.

You may have come across one of the most famous quotes by Thomas Paine, which says that "the real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection." But what really makes a real man ‘real’?

The various real man quotes in our list will tell you that a real man is one who takes trouble and hardship in his stride, he does not let them harden him. A real man also learns to love fiercely and treats others fairly.

Real men often do not get the recognition they deserve but are great examples for humanity.

Read on for our collection of real men quotes that will reinforce the meaning of manhood. From quotes on how to be a man to quotes that challenge toxic masculinity, these real man quotes are sure to teach you as well as entertain you.

The following real men quotes will tell you the character of true men. Women too can take inspiration from these real man quotes about being a good person.

We hope that you enjoy this collection of real men quotes. Any time when you need some advice and inspiration, you can always refer to this list of quotes that tell you what being a real man means.

If you like these men's quotes, you can also check out these good man quotes and [power quotes] for more quotes for a real man!

Inspirational Real Man Quotes

We have collected men’s motivational quotes that will teach you how to be a ‘real man’ of good character. The following real man quotes will encourage you to do always do right by yourself and others.

These inspirational quotes for men will help you build resilience and teach you to face tough times.

They will tell you that a real man does not cower or fear, but that a real man also knows how to retaliate and counterattack. We hope you enjoy these be the man quotes below, why not share them with a real man in your life?

1. “Being a male is a matter of birth. Being a man is a matter of choice.”

— Edwin Louis Cole.

2. “A man knows his limits, but a real man can overcome them.”

— Travis Martin.

3. “I don't think a man has to go around shouting and play-acting to prove he is something. And a real man don't go around putting other guys down, trampling their feelings in the dirt, making out they're nothing.”

— Joe Frazier.

4. “If you’re a man, you don’t cry about it, you take life, the ups and downs; if you’re a real man you never go down, you just stay up!”

— Ric Flair.

5. “To have done no man a wrong, to walk and live, unseduced, within arms length of what is not your own, with nothing between your desire and its gratification but the invisible law of rectitude, this is to be a man.”

— Horace Mann.

6. "The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress and grows brave by reflection."

— Thomas Paine.

7. “A real man can use power, rather than let power use him.”

― Moffat Machingura.

8. “A real man makes his own luck.”

― James Cameron.

9. “Being a good actor isn’t easy. Being a man is even harder. I want to be both before I’m done.”

James Dean.

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

— Robert Jordan.

11. “A real man is one who fears the death of his heart, not of his body.”

— Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyya.

12. “A real man ain’t a coward, he stands by what he says, admits his faults, and corrects his mistakes.”

— Kiki Strack.

13. “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.”

Marcus Aurelius.

14. “It takes a real man to make a true confession.”

— Charles Studd.

15. "The stronger a man is, the more gentle he can afford to be."

— Elbert Hubbard.

16. “It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live.”

― Marcus Aurelius.

17. “You take that walk from the dressing room to the ring and that’s when the real man comes out. Then you climb up those four stairs and into the ring. Then finally, you can’t wait for the bell to ring.”

— Gerry Cooney.

18. “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”

— George Bernard Shaw.

19. “The fact is I have lost a fight, and I accept the loss from Allah. That's the way a real fighter and a real man goes out.”

— Naseem Hamed.

20. “You have to have a bunch of dimensions of yourself. You have to be able to adapt in this world. You can’t be a nice guy living in a world of savages.”

— Mike Tyson.

21. “This is the test of your manhood: how much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself?”

— Orison Swett Marden.

22. “There is but one thing of real value - to cultivate truth and justice, and to live without anger in the midst of lying and unjust men.”

― Marcus Aurelius.

23. "You can't relate to a superhero, to a superman, but you can identify with a real man who in times of crisis draws forth some extraordinary quality from within himself and triumphs but only after a struggle."

— Timothy Dalton.

24. “Real men don't dance to other people's tune, instead, they play for others to dance.”

― Michael Bassey Johnson.

25. “The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.”

Henry Ward Beecher.

26. “Part of being a man is learning to take responsibility for your successes and for your failures. You can’t go blaming others or being jealous. Seeing somebody else’s success as your failure is a cancerous way to live.”  

— Kevin Bacon.

Thoughtful Real Man Quotes

Did you enjoy reading these inspirational quotes about men? Many quotes about being a real man also refer to politics, career goals, and philosophy.

A good example of these are quotes by Marcus Aurelius, the ancient Roman emperor, who talks about the virtues of a real man in his writings titled ‘Meditations’. He often talks about what it means to be a real man, so in this list of real man quotes, you will find multiple quotes by him.

Apart from inspiring quotes for men, the following are some strong quotes for men that will make you reflect a little deeper on what it means to be real men.

These real man quotes will give you a new meaning to real manhood. We hope you love them!

27. "Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth."

— Chuck Norris.

28. “Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.”

— Norman Mailer.

29. “A man’s got to have a code, a creed to live by, no matter his job.”

John Wayne.

30. “You have to be a man before you can be a gentleman.”

— John Wayne.

31. “I live, like every real man, in my work.”

— Max Frisch.

32. “A real man has no tougher judge than himself.”

― James Grippando.

33. “He understood well enough how a man with a choice between pride and responsibility will almost always choose pride — if responsibility robs him of his manhood.”

— Stephen King.

34. “Death smiles at us all, but all a man can do is smile back.”

— Marcus Aurelius.

35. “A man’s ledger does not tell what he is, or what he is worth. Count what is in man, not what is on him, if you would know what he is worth — whether rich or poor.”

— Henry Ward Beecher.

36. “Manhood is the defeat of childhood narcissism.”

— David Gilmore.

37. “Men want a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. That is what is written in their hearts. That is what little boys play at.”

— John Eldredge.

38. “To be a man is, precisely, to be responsible.”

— Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

39. “Manhood is defined and decided by the ability to nurture and to protect, by the capability to provide and to sustain.”

― C. JoyBell C.

40. “A real gentleman, even if he loses everything he owns, must show no emotion. Money must be so far beneath a gentleman that it is hardly worth troubling about.”

— Fyodor Dostoevsky.

41. “You don’t become a real man until you’re 35 or 40.”

― Fabio Lanzoni.

42. “Duty is the essence of manhood.”

— General George Patton.

43. "It is the business of little minds to shrink, but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death."

— Thomas Paine.

44. “A man is one whose body has been trained to be the ready servant of his mind; whose passions are trained to be the servants of his will; who enjoys the beautiful, loves truth, hates wrong, loves to do good, and respects others as himself.”

— John Ruskin.

45. “Loyalty is a big part of football, and it shows if you are a real man or not.”

— Jack Wilshere

46. “To be a real man is to be unattached – not from responsibility or justice – but from those dependencies that inhibit responsibility and justice.”

— Tarek William Saab.

47. “Nothing deters a good man from doing what is honourable.”

— Seneca the Younger.

48. “The character of a true man is found out by his amusements.”

― Joshua Reynolds.

49. “If boys don’t learn, men won’t know.”

— Douglas Wilson.

50. “A real man won't ask or answer questions about another man's money.”

— Damon Dash.

51. "Real men don't conform to the beliefs of others, even when society has concluded on what is good and true, but maintain the integrity of their own mind."

— Ralph Waldo Emerson.

52. “Stop looking for the path of least resistance and start running down the path of greatest glory to God and good to others, because that’s what Jesus, the Real Man, did.”

— Mark Driscoll.

53. “Manliness means perfect manhood, as womanliness implies perfect womanhood. Manliness is the character of a man as he ought to be, as he was meant to be.”

— James Freeman Clarke.

54. “I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others.”

― Marcus Aurelius.

55. “The heart of a good man is the sanctuary of God in this world.”

— Suzanne Curchod.

56. “A gentleman has his eyes on all those present; he is tender toward the bashful, gentle toward the distant, and merciful toward the absent.”

— Lawrence G. Lovasik.

57. “Big jobs usually go to the men who prove their ability to outgrow small ones.

— Theodore Roosevelt.

58. “The way of a superior man is three-fold: virtuous, he is free from anxieties; wise, he is free from perplexities; bold, he is free from fear.”

— Confucius.

59. “Let men see, let them know, a real man, who lives as he was meant to live.”

— Marcus Aurelius.

60. “Life is too short to be little. Man is never so manly as when he feels deeply, acts boldly, and expresses himself with frankness and with fervor.”

— Benjamin Disraeli.

61. "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.

62. “A man should be able to hear, and to bear, the worst that could be said of him.”

— Saul Bellow.

63. “No man can escape his destiny, the next inquiry being how he may best live the time that he has to live.”

— Marcus Aurelius.

64. "Man is a real man, and can live and act manfully in this world, not in the strength of opinions, not according to what he thinks, but according to what he is."

— James Anthony Froude.

65. “A man when he has done a good act, does not call out for others to come and see, but he goes on to another act, as a vine goes on to produce again the grapes in season.”

— Marcus Aurelius.

66. “We admire the man who embodies victorious effort; the man who never wrongs his neighbor, who is prompt to help a friend, but who has those virile qualities necessary to win in the stern strife of actual life.”

— Theodore Roosevelt.

67. “Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.”

— Marcus Aurelius.

68. “The final test of a gentleman is his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.”

— William Lyon Phelps.

69. "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.

70. “In every real man a child is hidden that wants to play.”

—  Friedrich Nietzsche.

71. “A real man will always stay by your side, support you, encourage you to do better, and listen to you with every cell of his body.”

― Samiha Totanji.

72. “A man should be upright, not be kept upright.”

― Marcus Aurelius.

73. “If unwilling to rise in the morning, say to thyself, ‘I awake to do the work of a man.’”

— Marcus Aurelius.

74. “His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what's necessary to defend a woman.”

― Delia Owens, ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’.

Real Man Quotes About Relationships

A real man does not simply live in isolation, he also needs to nurture those around him and love deeply. That is what makes a man genuine and real. The following are quotes for guys who know how to put their relationships and family first.

They know how to be real with their partners and their children. A real man is also real with anyone else they cross paths with.

The following real men quotes might even teach you to treat others better than you already do. Are you a real man? Read on to find out!

75. “A real man protects your heart, he doesn’t play with it.”

— Keren Zhims.

76. “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.”

— Anna Kendrick.

77. “Only a real man is able to stick to just one woman and treat her special, always.”

― Terry Mark.

78. “Only real men can handle truly delicate women.”

— Allegra.

79. “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.

80. "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.

81. “A strong man can handle a strong woman. A weak man will say she has an attitude.”

— Pravinee Hurbungs.

82. “Boys will break your heart. Real men will pick up the pieces.”

— Drake.

83. “A real man respects the virtues and values of the woman he loves. He believes in everything she gets strength from and loves her mind body and soul.”

— Aarti Khurana.

84. “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.

85. “A real man also knows that his wife is human. She gets tired too!”

― James A. Harrell Jr.

86. “To be a real man, I think you have to be supportive of each other and to be a real woman you have to be supportive of your man, and the man has to do the same thing, only then he would be a real man.”

— Sharmila Tagore.

87. “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.

88. "A real man wouldn't lay a finger on a woman. He treats his partner with respect, love and support. Men are physically stronger and have no place abusing that power."

— Matt Lanter.

89. “The value of a man is not measured by what he does for himself to make his life easier, but, measured by what he does for others to make their lives easier.”

— Eric E. Thomas.

90. “Men have an important role to play in sending out the message that real men do not hurt or abuse their partners.”

— Ian Somerhalder.

91. “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.

92. “It takes a strong man to accept somebody else’s children and step up to the plate another man left on the table.”

— Ray Johnson.

93. “It takes a great man to be a good listener.”

— Calvin Coolidge.

94. “A real man, the kind of man a woman wants to give her life to, is one who will respect her dignity, who will honor her like the valuable treasure she is.”  

— Leslie Ludy, ‘When God Writes Your Love Story’.

95. “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’.

96. “Love is for real men.”

― Charles Bukowski.

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

— Samuel Johnson.

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

— John F. Kennedy.

99. “You can't be a real man if you don't look out for your kids. They need you.”

— Bill O'Reilly.

100. “Having two daughters changed my perspective on a lot of things, and I definitely have a newfound respect for women. And I think I finally became a good and real man when I had a daughter.”

— Mark Wahlberg.

Funny Real Man Quotes

The real man quotes that you enjoy don’t always have to be so serious. A real man also knows how to be funny, he does not always take his masculinity seriously.

It is not always easy to define a real man, but humor is definitely a characteristic that a real man should possess.

Take a break from the "how to be a strong man" quotes and enjoy the following hilarious real man quotes that will tickle your funny bone. Any real man will laugh at these funny men's motivation quotes!

101. “People who say real men don’t wear pink obviously don’t know any real men!”

— Scott Disick.

102. “A real man don’t call the plumbers. If he gonna call himself a man, he needs to know how to fix it, on the spot.”

— Phil Robertson.

103. “Marlon Brando said any guy can become an actor. It takes a real man to quit.”

— Clifton Davis.

104. “Take a picture not a trophy. This is how real men shoot animals.”

— Ricky Gervais.

105. “Now, what we do in Hollywood, we don't cast for the role, we cast for the money, and that's where the real man gets lost.”

— Johnny Messner

106. “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.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for real man quotes that are motivational quotes for men, then why not take a look at these accomplishment quotes or quotes about living in the moment for more quotes that you will love?

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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