She likes his friends. If you genuinely like his friends, there is a good chance that you will fit in without much effort or change, something that is very appealing to most men. Remember, he chose those friends for a reason. Seeing you getting along with a group of people he chooses to spend his time with can be a real turn-on.
She likes his family. Although we don’t choose our relatives, it is certainly a sign that a woman is a keeper when she can appreciate, respect, and enjoy spending time with his family. You’ll have to endure a whole lot of future holidays together, and he thinks about that when assessing whether he wants to keep you around for them.
She’s honest about what she doesn’t like. By being confident in your own skin, knowing what you like and what you don’t like, and expressing that (even if it goes against what he likes), you show him that you’re your own person and bring something unique to the relationship. Confidence is sexy—lacking opinion is not.
She treats others with respect. Any guy who doesn’t have this on his list of criteria isn’t really worth keeping anyway. When he sees that you treat other people with respect, he will realize that you’re going to treat him and people he cares about with respect, even after years of being together.
She doesn’t get unreasonably jealous. Demonstrating that you’re confident in your relationship can be a huge turn-on, and a big keeper factor. Actions really do speak louder than words, and if you can keep cool when less secure women may lose it, you will show that you have staying power. Of course, this doesn’t mean being a pushover. If there’s a reason to be jealous, talk to him: He should treat you with the respect you’ve been treating him with.
After sex, he wants to cuddle, not roll over. This is a sign that he is interested in you as a person, not just how physically sexy you are. When someone wants to be physically close even after they’ve gotten some, it is usually an indication that there is some emotional component that accompanies the physical. “With a keeper, he has a feeling of romantic love and wanting to share everything and know everything,” explains sex therapist and Good in Bed founder Ian Kerner. “There’s no nook or cranny of the person’s heart and soul that he doesn’t want to shine a light on.”
Most of us have an idea of what qualities are important in a person we might want to keep around. Remember to be yourself: Don’t let the temptation to act in a socially desirable way take over. You’ll end up with someone who’s compatible with your fake-self but not necessarily with your true self. When it comes to keepers, the true self wins out every time.
Kristen Mark is a sex researcher at Indiana University and a sex expert for Good in Bed.