How to Know if He’s a Keeper

How to Know if He’s a KeeperJenn feels confused.

She’s been dating Rick for about three months. They have fun together, but she’s past the point of dating purely for entertainment. She’s looking for a real relationship.

The problem is she doesn’t know if Rick is that guy. He’s nice, attractive, and easy to talk to. But when she thinks about a future with him, she feels conflicted.

When she asks her friends, they all have different opinions. How can she know if he’s a keeper?

Women’s magazines and relationship websites love to tackle this question. I’ve read dozens of these articles. They usually include long checklists to help you make a decision. They focus on things like how he treats his mom, or if he tells you you’re beautiful on a sweatpants day.

You don’t need anything that complicated.

If you want to know if the guy you’re with has serious relationship potential, you only need to ask two questions.

Question #1: Does he listen to you?

When we care deeply about someone, we listen to them. Or, to put it in author Bryant H. McGill’s words, “One of the sincerest forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.”

I’m not just talking about “listening” to your words. It’s a different question: Does he listen with his whole mind, body, and soul? Is he really invested in discovering what you need from him?

When the guy you’re dating listens to you, the signs are obvious.

He’ll take your opinions and preferences into account. He’ll adjust his plans to make time for you. He’ll ask questions about the things you’re interested in. He’ll even apologize when he discovers he did something that hurt you or disappointed you.

When he listens to you, you’ll feel validated and important.

If you don’t feel that way, this guy isn’t the one. It’s impossible to build a lasting relationship with someone who doesn’t listen. Even if you don’t fight like cats and dogs, you’ll never have a deep, meaningful connection.

You can only have that kind of relationship with someone who listens to you.

And now the second big question…

Question #2: What do you want?

Jenn has been turning to her family and friends to help her decide about Rick. In fairness, your family and friends know you well. It’s a good idea to take their advice into account when it comes to the guys you date.

But at the end of the day, it’s your relationship. Not theirs.

So forget about the magazine checklists. Set aside the opinions of your friends. For just a moment, ask yourself this: “In my heart, do I hope he’ll turn out to be the one?”

Sometimes, we start questioning if he’s the one because a part of us is afraid the answer is yes. On some gut level we don’t feel right about him.

Maybe a lot of things click, but there’s one thing about him that feels kind of disappointing when you think about a permanent future. It would feel like settling for less than you had hoped to find in a man.

But if you feel your heart giving a resounding “yes!” That’s obviously a good sign. That’s a signal that’s worth more than all the other evidence combined.

And here’s the reason. Deep layers of complex information cannot be held in the conscious mind all at once. But at the subconscious level, you can process all that information. So we get an intuitive feel. A gut feeling.

And for complex decisions, our gut feeling is often superior. It takes many things into account all at once. Your intuition reflects “the big picture.”

On some level, your intuition knows. It knows whether he’s going to make you happy.

How to Know if He’s a KeeperStart by determining if he really listens to you. If he does, you’ll feel respected, cherished and valued. Then set everyone else’s opinions to the side to discover what you want the answer to be.

Ditch the long checklists. Stick with these two questions. That’s all you need to know. These two questions will tell you if he’s worth investing in to see where things go.

And one more thing…

If you want to supercharge the guidance you get from the subconscious level of processing, consider taking my relationship course on this topic. Check it out here.

All that information is in there anyway. You might as well tap into it.



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5 thoughts on “How to Know if He’s a Keeper

  1. Marie said:

    I would only add that “listening” is reciprocal. Just like you want him to listen to you, they are looking for the same thing from us. Otherwise, the relationship won’t last very long either.

  2. Wendy said:

    What if he listens, and I do see myself with him, and only him. Not full time with his 3 kids. We love and cherish each other so much, but I never thought I’d be going back to having school age kids again, kids 7 to 11, I’m 53, he 59. We are so in love with each other, but it will change the whole relationship. I can’t decide whether to go with true love and attraction I’ve never had or move in with a likelihood of feeling regret for its not really the life I envisioned for myself.

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, that’s a tough choice, Wendy. It seems the wise thing to do is to take it slow and look for opportunities to “experiment” with what it would feel like to be involved with the kids. Maybe plan a two-day mini vacation together that involves a lot of interaction (not something like a theme park where everyone’s attention is focused outward).


  3. Alison MacLeod said:

    What a refreshing relief! The first question resonates with the clarity of seeing the whole picture in the one full image of listening! #2 is a question that leads me to be still with myself and listen to my soul’s wisdom…Sometimes I am not such a good listener myself!
    Thanks so much…
    Warmly wishes. In appreciation,

  4. Julia said:

    Amazing article. So simple and so true. Thank you for sharing your wisdom, James! 🙂

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