Posted by: silverliningsblog | May 31, 2019

How to know if they’re a keeper

I’m often asked by the women I coach how they can know sooner if the guy they’re seeing is “one of the good ones” or not.

And the truth is, it takes time.

Certainly, it’s important to listen to your intuition early on – to notice how you feel around the person, not ignore any red flags, and trust what your body is telling you.

But if you’ve chosen wrong before, you may doubt your ability to choose right this time. You may want a guarantee before you invest too much time and effort. And I understand, I’ve felt this way too. It would be so much easier if our dates were labeled “worth the effort” and “don’t bother.”

What I’ve found is that if you take it slow in the beginning―get to know the person gradually and don’t commit too soon―you will figure it out. The biggest mistake I see most women making is rushing in, having sex too soon, giving their heart away and committing to someone they barely know, and then wondering why it didin’t work out.

It didn’t work out because you didn’t really know who you were committing to. You handcuffed yourself to a stranger.

It takes time to get to know someone, to see them in different circumstances so that you can objectively tell if their values, priorities, lifestyle and character work for you. This can’t be done in one month, even if you spend every day together (which I’d suggest you shouldn’t, as you are then neglecting other relationships and priorities in your life).

So don’t rush in. Give it time. Go slow. And watch how the person acts in different situations.

The proof of who a person is lies in their actions, not in their words. Or as I posted recently in my Empowered Single Women Facebook group, “Believe what he does” (reposted below).

Believe what he does

A man will show you who he is, over time.

He may say he’s evolved, or “not like the others.” He may tell you he loves you. He may say he’s trustworthy. But the words he says prove very little.

What matters are his actions. What he actually does. How he behaves. How he treats you. How he treats others.

Observe whether he lives up to his commitments. Whether he is responsible for his life. Whether he gets things done.

Notice how he treats women, staff, people in the service industry, children, animals, the environment.

How does he talk about his ex, his mother, other women in his life? How does he talk to you and about you? Is he kind with his words?

Is he consistent in his communication with you? Does he keep his promises (with you, and with others)? Does he act with complete integrity and honesty?

Is he generous with his time, money, praise, energy? Is he thoughtful with you and with others?

A man will show you who he really is. You just have to give it time and observe.

If you want to avoid making “mistakes,” don’t give your heart (or body) away until you’ve given yourself enough time to see how a man behaves. His actions are the true indicator of whether he’s “evolved” or not.

Words are cheap. Actions are gold. Choose a man who is worth the effort.

(Note: These statements apply to women’s behaviour too.)

Look at past behaviour/relationships

“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour,” as Doctor Phil says.

So if you want to know whether you’ve got a quality guy, notice when he’s talking about his ex or family or other relationships what he says. Does he speak respectfully about others, even those with whom he’s had a conflict? Does he seem self-aware enough to know what he’s done wrong in his relationships, and not just blame everything on other people?

How does he speak to and about other people? How does he treat the ones he loves?

These things will tell you a ton about who a man really is.

In the first few months of dating, you should be carefully observing, not committing. Have fun, get to know the person, but don’t give your heart and body away until you know the person you’re seeing is worth such an investment.

Share your thoughts!

What signs of a keeper do you look for when dating?

Resources for further learning


Karen Strang Allen is an empowerment coach for single women and mother of two. She is the author of Free to be me: Create a life you love from the inside out! and international bestselling co-author of Unwavering Strength Volume 2. Widowed at 22 and separated at 35, Karen’s mission is to help single women feel great and create a life they love so they attract (and keep) their dream partner. Learn more about Karen and check out her free empowering resources and dating workshops at

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