I guess you could say that when it comes to relationships I’m very… seasoned. I’ve dated a lot of nice guys, plenty of guys that started off nice and turned out to be totally passive aggressive, and one completely evil human being who inspired an earlier article of mine. If anyone can spot the signs he’s a keeper, it’s me. In fact, I happen to have a keeper right now!
1. Zero Skeletons
When I met Jeff he was like an open book. Granted, I asked him outright on our first date what his biggest problem was in regards to women—but he answered honestly. I told him that if I have questions to ask him, it doesn’t mean I’m accusing him, I’m just asking for my own sanity. If shit adds up, then I’m satisfied. He’s never intentionally hidden anything from me, he doesn’t act shady and I’ve never stumbled over a piece of his past that could cause issues. What you see is what you get with him.
It’s refreshing when a man tells you something and it never comes back around later to bite your relationship in the ass. Sometimes, though, shit just doesn’t add up. Maybe he’s an ex-con or used to be married and never told you. The key words are: never told you. People can change, and people make mistakes, but hiding huge skeletons like that should be a sign to run.
All ‘a keeper’ will have in his closet are a bunch of dust bunnies and maybe an old pair of jeans from high school (that he still tries to wear occasionally).
2. You’re His World…
I once had a friend make a comment that Jeff, “would jump off a cliff” for me. He loves me so much that he is willing to do just about anything to make me happy. He treats me the same, whether we’re alone, in public, around his friends, my friends, family—all consistent. He’s also protective. Not the “kick every guy’s ass that looks at me” protective, but the, “concerned for my well being, kick someone’s ass if they hurt me,” protective. However, as sweet as he is, and as much as he loves me, he will not let me walk all over him.
Yes, duh—one of the surefire signs he’s a keeper is that he’ll treat you well. Every girl wants to be treated like a “princess” whatever the hell that means, but when a man is a keeper he’ll treat you like the closest thing to that… within reason of course.
A keeper will love the hell out of you, but he also has a backbone. Ladies, I know, that you know, it’s a rare combination.
3. …but Not His WHOLE World
Jeff has passions and goals. He doesn’t follow me around like a puppy waiting for me to tell him what to do. Some days he’s hitting the gym after work, other times he might go golfing. He encourages me to go out and be social, to travel, to do things that I enjoy that he isn’t really into. He loves having me around more often than not, but he has his own thing going on and wants me to have mine, too.
This doesn’t mean he constantly leaves you at home while he goes drinking with his buddies. There’s a difference between having your separate space and being lonely.
4. He Gives You ‘the Look’
No, not the “sex eye” look. One of the major signs he’s a keeper is something you won’t notice, but your friends will. If you hear the phrase, “You should see the way he looks at you.” Or something similar to that, hang on to him. That look—when you aren’t looking—is something that can’t be faked.
5. He Makes an Effort
When Jeff and I first started dating, there were a couple of things that I considered to be deal breakers. 1. He wasn’t very affectionate (I’m pretty touchy-feely) and 2. He wasn’t very communicative. So I tried to dump him. A couple times. I’m not an ultimatum type of girl or the kind that sets out to change a man. I just didn’t think it was fair to ask him to change then have him worrying about the ax coming down if he screwed up. I accepted that we probably weren’t right for each other and explained why.
And then he asked me for a chance to change, telling me that he wanted to try because it wouldn’t change him as a person, it was simply something he wasn’t used to doing. I’m so glad I gave him the chance he asked for because he made the genuine effort to meet my needs and now you’d have no idea it was even an issue to begin with.
This kind of effort is one of the biggest signs he’s a keeper.
6. He’s ‘Romantic’
The word “romance” makes me crinkle my nose with the cliche image of lit candles and rose petals (though if that’s your thing, all the power to you.) To me, modern day romance is more subtle, because rather than cliche it lies in the thoughtfulness. It’s not supposed to be romantic, it just is.
For my birthday, Jeff created a little in-house treasure hunt where I ran up and down the stairs, drinking mimosas and finding bits and pieces of a Pandora bracelet. He never forgets to bring me a straw with my sugar-free Redbull, he texts me pictures of the puppies when I’m away on business, and he just knows how to bring a smile to my face. Romance lies in the little things.
7. He Supports You
And no, I don’t mean financially. I mean he’s in your corner, cheering you on every step of the way. When you have a goal, he’s right there helping you to achieve it however he can. He believes in you, and is your boost when you need a lift, but your rock when you need to lean. You can’t put a price tag on that kind of support.
8. He Pleases You
I don’t need to go in-depth here about sexy-time, but his desire to please you is important. Usually, once the honeymoon period is over, people start to slack off in the bedroom. If he’s still willing to do the things you like, and often enough for you to be happy with your sex life, he’s a keeper.
9. He Understands a Partnership
You always see a lot of tit-for-tat going on in relationships these days like people forget they’re on the same team. One of the most important signs he’s a keeper is that he understands the partnership mentality. That if you argue, finding common ground and understanding where the other is coming from is more important than who’s right or wrong.
He understands that teamwork is important too. Maybe this week you need help with the household chores or your car breaks down, and he finds a way to share his and get you both where you need to go. Or, maybe you’re stressed and need alone time, so he gets the kids out of your hair. Whatever it may be, he’s there to balance you out and make sacrifices for both you and the sake of your relationship.
10. He Knows You’re a Keeper, Too
The most important of the signs he’s a keeper is that he sees you’re also worth holding onto. He’s humble and maybe sometimes wonders how he landed such a kick-ass woman like you. All of these signs that he’s a keeper should reflect in you as well. There are plenty of ungrateful women out there with amazing men—don’t be one of them.
One of the things I love most about my relationship is we both know how incredibly lucky we are. He’s not perfect, neither am I, and we’ve both made mistakes. But, we know what we have; a keeper and we have zero plans of letting go.
What do you consider to be one of the signs he’s a keeper?
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