His glance may make you blush hard enough to burn your cheeks, but does he deserve your long-term attention? You know already that lust and love are not the same thing, but you may not know that love and keepability aren’t the same either. Love isn’t all you need.
For example, it’s not enough for him to treat you like a queen – a keeper treats himself well, too. And he certainly doesn’t make you such a priority that he has no time left for his friends. Read on to find out why optimism is more marriagable than a nice car.
1. He’s happy
Not in the laugh-a-minute sense, though it’s important that you can make each other laugh. A happy man is a man who is comfortable in his skin, at peace with his baggage and has a positive outlook. He is happy when he’s around you, but he doesn’t need to be around you to be happy.
Of course he will have unhappy days, weeks or even months, as a response to events in his life. Just as you do. But he never quite loses his positivity. He isn’t so optimistic that he’s deluded, but his default state is one of contentment with his life.
Why is it so important? Because an unhappy man will eventually make you an unhappy woman. Being around negative people is draining and contagious. Unfortunately, many women are drawn to men who need “fixing” or looking after, and they end up doing all the giving and none of the getting. You can’t fix a man; he has to fix himself. If you want to help an unhappy man, be his friend but don’t be his emotional nursemaid.
2. He looks after himself
While we’re on the subject of maids, make sure that you never end up as a man’s skivvy or secretary. Gone are the days when men went from being looked after by their mothers to being looked after by their wives, who in turn were “looked after” financially. Good, because co-dependency is not a good basis for a relationship.
True independence is not about being an eternal bachelor, but about being a grown-up. A keeper does his own laundry and doesn’t empty his wallet into the local pub on pay day. When problems arise in his life he handles them with maturity, and he’s not afraid to ask for help when he needs it.
3. He’s not afraid to express his feelings
Google “men and feelings” and you’ll get a thousand articles telling you that men do not talk about emotions, ever. Clearly, the people who wrote these articles have not yet met a keeper. Real men certainly do talk about their feelings – and they’re not afraid to talk about yours, either.
You can’t base a relationship on guesswork. You have to know where you stand, and that means being with someone who doesn’t shrink away from saying “I want to be with you,” or “I love you.” More important still, sharing feelings is an expression of trust. A man who can’t or won’t explain what’s going on in his head is a man who’s keeping something from you, consciously or not.
4. He treats his friends and family well
If you’re with a man who’s stopped seeing his friends because he wants to be with you all the time, alarm bells should ring. Partly because he’s suffocating your relationship, but mainly because he’s missing a loyalty gene. If he’s fickle enough to drop his friends for you, he’s definitely fickle enough to drop you.
A true keeper will want to show you off to his friends and family, but he’ll also want to spend time with them. You are two individuals whose friends were around long before you met each other. Give each other space you maintain those friendships, and value a man who treats his loved ones with respect and loyalty.
5. He texts you on the way home
This is a small but perfectly formed clue to a man’s keepability. He won’t insist that you call him when you get home (too pushy) – instead he’ll drop you a quick thank-you text after you part. It’s a thoughtful and courteous gesture from someone who wants to make you smile. That’s the sort of man you want to keep.