Is He a Player or a Keeper?
He’s amazing! Or so you think. You’re telling everyone about him. Then you run into him and his buddies while you’re out with a few friends. You go to introduce him and…
He gets shady.
Turns out you’ve found a player. Another one. Sorry.
The good news is that there are ways to know a player from a keeper so that you’re never stuck dating one again.
Meeting His People
Does he proudly introduce you to his friends and family?
A Keeper will be excited for you to meet the important people in his life. He wants to show you off and wants everyone to know how lucky he is.
This is a man who tells every friend who you are, even the women you run into. You’ll never remember all the names because they’ll come at you so fast!
On the other hand, a Player will try to downplay introductions. You may suddenly be “his friend” even if you’ve been dating for ages. And he’ll have some odd reason why he couldn’t say “girlfriend.”
And when he can’t get away with avoiding the introduction, he’ll do as little as possible. Or he may treat you as a trophy in front of his friends.
When meeting a woman from his life, he’ll be quick to point out “she’s just a friend.”
It’s fine for a man to have woman friends, he just needs to be sure to treat them as friends and you as his girlfriend.
Does he hold your hand naturally?
A Keeper will do affectionate things without appearing to think about it. It just comes naturally for him to show affection both in private and in public.
This doesn’t mean that all Keepers are necessarily into major PDA. But a touch on the hand or arm in passing. A kiss on the top of your head just because it’s within reach.
If he’s a Player though… he may find excuses not to hold your hand in public.
A Player is usually more than willing to behave affectionately in private. He may even make you feel cherished – so long as no one can see.
But the moment there is an audience, he may decree that he’s not into public displays or make some other excuse.
A simple hand touch shouldn’t send a man running. If it makes yours uneasy, then he’s worried another of his ladies will see you.
Yes, ladies… the genders are equal.
But a man who is a Keeper will still want to hold the door for you or pull out your chair. He’ll hold your coat for you and other small chivalrous gestures.
This is not a man who will “forget his wallet” or ask you to split the check.
If your guy is a Player, you could be paying for more than a few dinners. A Player may frequently be out of cash or suggest that it’s your turn to pick up a check.
A Player will leave you to fend for yourself when it comes to these small gestures. He may talk about how wonderful it is that you’re so egalitarian.
But a Keeper will naturally want to do small things to take care of you.
He shows up with your favorite candy bar. You come out of a meeting to a sweet voicemail.
Little surprises to make you smile are the trademark of a Keeper. Your smile lights up his world, so he’ll do every little thing he can to see that smile.
He makes an effort to see you even when his schedule is crazy. And if he can’t make the time, he’ll call or message you between things for no reason other than so you know he’s thinking of you.
A Player will come up with tons of excuses about why he’s just too busy to see you often. And if you have an important event, he’s a no-show.
He might do a few small things to surprise you, but it will feel like there are strings attached.
How does he talk to you?
A Keeper is going to speak to you with respect at all times. He’s not going to berate you or yell. A Keeper won’t act crass or grab you inappropriately in public. He knows the difference between a caress and boorish behavior.
He will not treat you like property.
This is also a man who treats your friends and family with respect. They’re important to you, so they’re important to him.
But a Player may find it funny to grab you in public. He may be overly suggestive in front of your friends and family.
A Player might behave just fine in front of people but be disrespectful in private. If he yells or tries to limit what you can and cannot do, he’s not a Keeper.
Does he trust you even when you’re not around?
A Keeper is sure of your feelings for him and trusts you. He’s not going to suspect that any male friends must be after you.
There are no secrets with a Keeper because he doesn’t see anything that he should hide from you.
And his trust inspires your trust. You can be your entire self with him… flaws, silliness, fears, and all. Instead of holding it against you, he’ll support you and laugh with you.
But a Player will go beyond using those things against you. They’ll become excuses for his behavior.
A Player knows you can’t trust him and assumes that he can’t trust you either. He may get testy about your male friends. He may even try to stop you from seeing some of your friends because he expects you to betray him.
This is a man who may be shifty about you touching his phone or seeing his laptop when it’s unlocked. He has secrets to hide.
Are your dreams compatible?
This is the ultimate test. A Keeper will talk about his future, and you’ll hear it in his voice that he’s hoping you’ll be a part of it.
He’s interested in your dreams and how he can help you to make those dreams come true.
A Keeper may talk about his vision of the future and how what he wants can help you to make your own vision come true. He’ll look for the overlap.
Usually, a Player won’t talk much about the future. If he does, his idea of the future may not extend beyond next month… if that far.
When you can get him to talk about his future plans, they’ll be vague plans. He probably won’t try to “dream with you” in conversation.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Player who talks about the future as a way to sell himself. He’s trying to impress you with his grand plans.
But you still don’t appear to be featured in those plans beyond the weekend.
There you go.
Any man can show any of these traits at different points.
But in general, a true Keeper will display all or nearly all of these positives. And a Player will probably show several of the negative traits. Or he’ll show some of the positives, but he won’t be consistent.
A man is the sum of his actions… no matter what he says, you should always trust his behavior. This will help you to weed out the Players and find yourself a real Keeper.