Last year, I wrote an article about how a woman can differentiate between boyfriend material among a group of men she's dating. Women inherently look at factors related to stability and security when it comes to monogamous relationships. All of the qualities I discussed in that article related in one way or another to how a man makes a woman feel emotionally. With men, it's a bit different.
When it comes to deciding if a woman is a keeper, some of the traits revolve around autonomy and freedom. For women, they may not necessarily care about a slight loss of freedom because they expect to be fulfilled by their partner. But for men, we like to be able to still operate as alpha males. A few months ago, Thought Catalog posted an article about high quality women. Just recently, a post in the black blogosphere has gone viral discussing the ways to you're dating a grown woman. While these posts have their own unique tones based on separate audiences, there are some common threads that men definitely consider when it comes to acknowledging a woman as a keeper:
1) She knows when to fight and how to fight fair. Not only is communication a major component of a healthy relationship but how you communicate is equally important. A keeper will care enough to understand your communication style and complement it so that you two can either avoid confrontation altogether or trouble-shoots arguments quicker and easier.
2) She doesn't try to change you. Falling in love with potential isn't a bad thing. However, there are certain types of behaviors that will never change about a man. Whatever your flaws are, she accepts them as long as they aren't holding you back as a couple.
3) She has her own life that she doesn't try to pull you into. People think that being a couple means you have to do everything together from that day forward. But knowing your girl can go places without you and not force you into couples activities give you the space to have that freedom men enjoy. Women like bottomless brunches. I like brunch too, but doing brunch every single weekend? Not my thing.
4) She doesn't over-analyze things you do just because she's never experienced them before. Women love to scream "not all women are like that", yet they conveniently forget that ideology when it comes to men. If your woman sees your unconventional opinions or attitude as a positive (versus a red flag), she's a good look.
5) She lets you talk on your terms. Silence doesn't mean that something's wrong or that a woman should be suspicious. A keeper will understand your nature and be all ears (mouth closed) when you're ready.
6) She respects your friendships and doesn't try to infiltrate. This goes along with #3, but the extension of that is she doesn't try to qualify your friendships. If you have an attractive friend of the opposite sex, she doesn't approach it with apprehension or on the defense. She takes your word that a friend is just that. And with your boys, she doesn't try to compete with them or try to become one of them.
7) She gets along with your family. Even though we're grown adults, it's difficult to date someone that your family dislikes. If you're the type of man who's close to his mother and other female relatives, it can be stressful to integrate a new woman into that tightly-knit circle. But women know women. So if your woman is a keeper, the other women in your life will observe that and will welcome her.
8) If she has a child from a previous relationship, she's protective without being paranoid. These days, 50% of the dating population has at least one child. It's important that single mothers shield their children from their dating life. Children complicate things. Plus, if she's protective over her child from you, it's a good chance that motherhood and being a good parent is a priority over finding a new man to her. And that's sexy.
9) She appreciates and spoils you. Women expect to be pampered and catered to. That's how the world works. So sometimes our needs get overlooked because we don't ask for them to be met. A good woman will learn the little things that you like or are interested in and incorporate them to keep you satisfied. Whatever you do for her, no matter how small, she makes it vocally known that she appreciates your efforts.
10) She wants the best for you because it'll work for the benefit of you two. Just as men do, some women treat having a boyfriend like an accessory. They want a certain type of man to be able to flaunt and show off to their friends like a new purse. Or they want a boyfriend for the sole purpose of avoiding loneliness. But as a couple, a woman's job is to make life easy for you so that you can take care of her. A keeper realizes that the maintaining a solid unit is more important than the appearance.
There are a lot of good women out here. However, not every woman is meant for longevity. There are some good women who, due to their own outlooks and goals, wouldn't make for good long-term relationships or even wives. Deciding whether the woman you're dating is a keeper comes down to how she enriches your life and how her presence makes your vision for your own life a little bit clearer.