If a Man does this.. He’s a Keeper?

If a Man does this.. He’s a keeper. One quality to look for in a man that makes him a keeper. When a man has this quality, you don’t worry how he feels and wonder if he’ll commit and if there is a future.

I remember the exact moment, after about a month of everything being perfect (as they usually are in the beginning), we hit our first conflict. It was nothing major; we just started seeing areas where our personalities clashed and how we process things differently. I tend to be more intellectual and direct and he’s more emotional and his thoughts can be all over the place. I would get impatient by it, and my impatience was hurtful to him. The details don’t really matter, what matters is I remember the way he brought the issue up and how sincere he was in working through things and getting to a place of better understanding.
I have seen countless variations of this kind of question: girl is dating a guy, things are going great (again, as they often do in the beginning), but then they hit that inevitable point of conflict, maybe she acts needy or maybe he gets distant but suddenly things aren’t as seamless as they were the week before. Then he decides he can’t hang anymore and tells her he “doesn’t have time for a relationship” or he can’t give her what she needs. The girls racks her brain trying to figure out what she did wrong, what she could have done differently.

She thinks if she hadn’t been so needy, if she had been a little more chilled out, if she didn’t do this and instead did that. Really, the only way things would have turned out differently is if she behaved perfectly according to his script, if she never disagreed or was unhappy with him, if she was perfectly in alignment with his thoughts and what he wants in a partner. That sounds reasonable, right? (That’s sarcasm in case it didn’t come across!)

If a guy leaves when things get a little rocky, it means he is lacking in the most important quality that you need in a partner and that is a man who is committed not only to you, but to making it work. It’s easy to be in a relationship when everything is all sunshine and roses. The truth comes out after time goes on, when you let your guards down, when you can be more of yourself instead of the absolute best version of yourself. Even the best couples don’t seamlessly fit together. There is always a certain degree of work involved in order to create that deep and meaningful connection and it has to come from both people.

When a guy is ready to settle down and sees you as a good potential partner, he wants to make it work. He wants to overcome the differences, to get to a place of better understanding. My husband and I are so different. The way we think and feel is different, the way we communicate is different. In the beginning of our relationship this definitely caused problems but now, after really committing to working on it, we have hit this amazing place of understanding and we are so much more in sync. The differences still exist but we were able to come to a place were we can meet in the middle. Even when things got difficult, I wasn’t any less sure he was the guy for me because of how deeply committed he was to making it work.

A big mistake I see women making is blaming themselves when a relationship falls apart. They torture themselves with could haves and should haves. I should have been less needy, I should have been more agreeable, I could have been more supportive, etc. Yeah, you could have done all that but it wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t committed to making it work.

There will always be differences, there will always be problems, you will not always behave exactly how he wants a partner to behave (same for him).

A relationship isn’t about finding the perfect match, it’s about finding someone who you can form a meaningful, lasting partnership with. Notice the word form. It’s an active process, it doesn’t just exist. It’s about working together, being a team, and working together to overcome the challenges.

Some people have deal breakers and that’s that. Maybe it’s religion or where to live or lifestyle preferences. But all the other stuff- personality quirks, your nature, your ways of interacting in social setting, your fundamental traits… either he’s in it or he’s not. And if he’s not, then there is nothing you can do.


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