How Do You Know She/He is a Keeper?

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According to a an urban dictionary “Keeper” is a guy or girl who you consider worth holding onto. How do you know when you have a keeper on your hands? Some singles may feel sufficiently baggage free to scoff at the notion of NOT knowing you have a keeper on hand, but for the rest of baggage handling humanity…here are some things to grab and hold onto:

  • S/he has managed to reduce their “baggage” to a carry on or less size. As long as they can wheel it along and don’t need too much help managing their “baggage” then you have a good one. (this generally means that they have taken the time needed to own their own issues and at least recognize them if not actively work on correcting said issues)
  • They love you. Consistently. The person who understands that you can choose to love someone even on the days you don’t “feel” like it is definitely a keeper.
  • You do the same for them.
  • Your views on faith, family and finances line up like the proverbial ducks in a row.
  • You share laughter as well as tears. If you are both willing to be vulnerable with the other, that generally indicates that you feel safe with each other.
  • No one is pedestal sitting. Respect, yes. Worship, no.
  • You can take the good with the bad and you still think you’re a pretty lucky person to have found the other. (If you think their nose picking is even cute…God help you… you’re one seriously smitten kitten)
  • They are grateful for what you do and who you are.
  • When you argue — you do it with respect and love. Disagreements = inevitable. Talking it out and dealing with it even if you get angry = GOOD! Yelling, throwing, insults and hitting = *hear loud bad buzzer sound for wrong answer*
  • They notice things that you want/need/long for and step up to the plate. An example… you are slammed at work or with the kids, he notices that the disposal is broken and fixes it (or calls “the guy”) without making it a big deal… Or she notices that you really NEED that 30 minutes or an hour to decompress after a long day and gracefully gives it to you… keepers.
  • Smack talking is not a part of your or their vocabulary. Yes, processing is a good thing but if you turn it into bitch sessions about the other person… its not a little red flag, its a pretty big one.
  • S/he has found a stride in life where they feel like a complete person on their own. They don’t need you to complete the picture… but they sure want you to join in the journey as more than a sherpa!
  • They communicate with you (even the not so easy stuff to hear.) And they do it with love and gentleness. Example: They tell you that public nose picking is not socially acceptable behavior over the age of 2.
  • You are friends and you would be even if you weren’t romantically involved.
  • S/he has friends who have stuck by them for a long while. Even if its only 1 or 2 friends… its a good thing to see that your partner invests in long-term friendships.
  • The butterflies have subsided from Cirque Du Soleil worthy acrobatics to lazy loops and you still feel special when you are with the other person.
  • Your friends and family actually seem to like having this other person in your life (“especially when she can gracefully go with the flow in dealing with younger, idiotic brothers” qotd from male friend)
  • They support and believe in you and your dreams.
  • You like as well as love each other.

No one person may have all of these qualities… but having several qualities like the ones listed above often indicates that you really do have one worth holding onto. Now, go and make it work (as Tim Gunn likes to say.)