Is He a Loser or a Keeper? 6 Ways to Tell the Difference

By Mirabelle Summers
Author of 2nd Chance

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Is He a Loser or a Keeper? 6 Ways to Tell the Difference

One of the things that women have to contend with in dating is the risk of having a “great guy” DISAPPEAR from your life after going to bed with you.

There’s always the possibility of going out with someone who seems so awesome at the beginning, only to undergo a shocking character transformation later on.

And chances are, you’ve probably experienced this yourself. It wouldn’t rare for most girls to be disappointed (or even appalled) when their guy doesn’t live up to the hype.

That really puts us in a pickle, doesn’t it? Constantly wondering if the man you’re going out with is a psycho in nice guy’s clothing does nothing for your peace of mind.

After all, dating and/or getting into a relationship with someone is a considerable emotional investment. Sure, getting hurt comes with the territory, but there’s certainly nothing wrong about saving yourself unnecessary grief.

There’s a difference between going through the normal relationship issues with a quality man (like clashes of opinion and such), and falling for a guy who’ll treat you like dirt a few months down the road.

I’m sure you don’t want the latter to happen to you, so today let’s cover some things to watch out for in a guy. In a nutshell, telltale signs will emerge as early as the first few dates, and it’s up to you to look out for the following:

#1: His level of respect for you and towards others

Sometimes, we can get so blinded by our “love goggles” or over eagerness that certain red flags (such as a questionable amount of respect) slip past us. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the date, but you do need to watch out for little indicators of how he treats you and other people.

Here are a couple of things to consider: first, does he enjoy making fun of the things that are obviously important to you? It’s one thing for a guy to poke harmless fun at your “Love Jams” CD collection, and another for him to tell you it’s “for pathetic, sappy losers”.

Second, observe how he talks to people involved in customer service, such as the staff at the restaurant you’re eating at or the cashier working at the popcorn stand in the movie theater.

Does he excessively berate them for not serving his café latte according to his micro-specifications? Or does he POLITELY point out little slip-ups with a lot of words like “please” and “thanks” on the side?

Even if his attitude towards other folks doesn’t directly involve you, it gives you a glimpse of how he’ll act in the relationship later on.

#2: How thoughtful is he?

Not counting obsessive-compulsiveness, a guy who has the consideration for some vital things is an indication of his character.

This includes his attention to detail – does he care enough to brush his teeth, shine his shoes, iron his clothes and keep his car in good working order? Don’t feel that you’re being mean or overcritical for thinking about these things.

These are merely BASIC aspects, and you’re not being harsh by taking them into account. A guy wouldn’t ask his dream girl to walk down the altar if he knew his bride-to-be was going to spend the rest of the marriage looking like something the cat dragged in.

So it’s only fair to expect the same bare necessities from the guys we date. Notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about looks, because it’s not about that.

Your guy doesn’t have to look like he stole Brad Pitt’s DNA, but he *does* have to be thoughtful enough by being neat and presentable on a date.

Thoughtfulness also extends to things like being a good listener, which shows that he really cares about what you have to say. It’s a good sign when he displays interest by asking questions about your stories and so on.

Let’s not forget gentlemanly stuff like guiding you to your seat or opening doors for you. Political correctness aside, being treated like a lady tips you off about his character.

While you’re fully capable of taking care of yourself, is he willing to inconvenience himself from time to time for your sake?
Look out for signs that confirm or refute this.

Oh, and there’s the matter of picking up the tab. Sure, eventually you’re going to split future expenses (like rent or house payments if you get that far), but his WILLINGNESS to shoulder dinner costs is a hint of his capacity as a provider.

#3: He pays attention to your positive aspects

When you put effort into looking your best and he compliments you for that, it feels great. But what about your other traits, such as a strong independent streak or your creativity?

There’s something special about a guy who can appreciate the things about you that go beyond physicality. If he has the ability to GENUINELY (not patronizingly) value your hobbies, interests, and other stuff you hold dear, then you may have a winner!

As long as he VALUES you in the same regard as you do for yourself, then your guy is on the right track.

#4: He has a generally positive outlook

Not to get all mystical or new age-y on you, but a person’s energy can either bring you up or down.

I’m sure you’ve met your fair share of upbeat as well as gloomy people. Notice how their energy affects your own disposition.

When the peppy attendant at the bookstore is just oozing with delight to help you pick out a good read, it’s not hard for your mood to follow suit. Similarly, your co-worker’s sob story about the umpteenth fight she had with her boyfriend is going to bring down your day.

It also works the same way with a potential boyfriend. Does his broad view of things lean towards the positive side, or does he only see the world in dull shades of depressing gray?

Watch out for a guy that likes to get into long rants. It doesn’t bode well for someone who likes whining about his work or spends lots of time putting down a former lover or an annoying colleague.

Think about how things might turn out if you got into a relationship with such a guy. If he’s consistently displayed this
kind of negative behavior throughout your last few dates, maybe it’s time to move on.

On the other hand, keep an eye on a date that can at least muster a sense of humor and doesn’t take things too seriously.

As an aside, let this also be a friendly reminder of your own attitude. After all, you form HALF of the equation here, so be
mindful of how you conduct yourself during a date!

#5: He has enough common ground to share with you

While opposites attract, he should be able to meet you HALFWAY at minimum. At the very least, you should be able to relate to a guy’s general views, values and lifestyle on some level.

More importantly, there has to be that certain dynamic that allows you both to exchange new ideas with each other. It’s hard to pin it down really, but sooner or later you’ll develop a feel of your compatibility in general – DON’T ignore this.

#6: Fill in your own criteria here

I’m sure you have a personal set of standards, but remember to keep it PRACTICAL. What I usually suggest to my friends is to clarify their criteria by making a LIST of things you want in a guy.

Don’t put too much thought into the first draft; write down as many traits or qualities that you think your dream guy needs to have. Then, go over this version and think hard about whether the original criteria you listed are absolutely essential.

Chances are you can further REFINE or even DROP certain traits from your list.

For instance, does Mr. Right REALLY need to have a height of 6’5″, or would you just be as happy with someone a bit below that mark? Maybe the quality of your relationship wouldn’t be THAT affected if your suitor wasn’t as a hardcore fan of Harry Potter as you are.

Give yourself the chance to trim down the fat until you’ve come up with a list that’s realistic but doesn’t compromise your core principles or values. However, it doesn’t have to be a final version from that point on, either.

Be flexible enough to amend your list because the changing circumstances in your life could influence what you want in a man in the future.

In the end however, it’s your gut feeling that will truly tell you if he’s worth keeping or ditching. Though the first couple of
dates with a given guy may not be movie-perfect, there could be an “x-factor” which could justify another chance.

Of course, we’re not aiming for absolute perfection here, only developing a good idea of whether his strengths outshine his flaws. Just keep the basic prerequisites in mind to help GUIDE your higher judgment.

What really matters is that you learn to build up a general AWARENESS (but NOT a suspicious mindset) of the signs that are already there. It’s just a matter of getting used to keeping your eyes open, but relaxed enough to enjoy dating.

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