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Midnight
11th November 2011, 12:47 PM
She's the most beautiful creature you've ever set eyes on. All your friends are jealous, and you've even stopped fancying other women, at least when you're sober. She must be a keeper, right? Ain't necessarily so.

You should know by now that lust and love are not the same thing. Just to make it more complicated, love and keepability are not the same thing either. Love is a vital ingredient in a long term relationship, but it isn't all you need. The qualities that make a woman are keeper are sometimes about her, and sometimes about her relationship with you - but they're all vital clues to your long-term compatibility. Read on to find out more.




1. You can talk to her about anything

You've always been a bit guarded with previous girlfriends, and always assumed that you hated discussing your feelings. But suddenly you find yourself opening up to her. What's going on? Quite simply, you trust her. You trust her not to laugh at you, and to understand where you're coming from, and to help you make sense of life, the universe and everything. If you fancy the pants off her as well, she's a 24-carat keeper.



2. She answers back

A woman's ability to hold her own in an argument is vital, because of course you will disagree at times and you need to be able to handle conflict. Neither of you should be steamrollered by the other, and neither should automatically surrender every time there's conflict on the horizon. If you want a healthy relationship, allow each other a voice, hear each other out and don't bear grudges.

A woman who can stand up for herself in a witty and/or courteous manner is a woman with self-respect. The best keepers can even do it whilst having a bit of a cry, because they know that showing emotion is not a weakness. It's basically multi-tasking.



3. She dresses to please herself, not you

We're all guilty of editing our tastes a little when we meet someone we want to impress. You know the kind of thing you're dating a rock fan, so you move your vast collection of Kylie CDs to the back of the shelf. Fine. It's called dating.

But if you want things to last long-term, you should each be true to yourselves. Embrace your different tastes as well as the ones you have in common. A girl who dresses to please you may seem to fulfil your idea of the perfect woman, but she's not being herself and that will cause resentment once she remembers that she loathes wearing high heels. A woman who dresses to please herself is also likely to be happy in her own skin, and therefore more at ease physically and socially.



4. She finishes your sentences

Isn't it maddening when she interrupts to finish what you were saying? Well, relax - it's actually a very good sign. For a start, it shows that she's engaged and interested in what you're saying. Crucially, it shows that she understands where you're coming from, and she's enthusiastic about showing it.

One of the greatest things about being in a long-term relationship is the feeling that the other person knows you better than anyone else. And one of the worst things about being in a long-term relationship is the feeling that your other half just doesn't understand you. So if you want to find a keeper, pay attention to her sentence-finishing interruptions. They're an important clue that she "gets" you.



5. You want your mum to like her

This clue points to a woman's keepability in a number of ways. First, your mum's opinion matters to you, and if you really care for a girl you'll want your mum to like her too. Secondly, it suggests that you want to show her off to your family and friends - which wouldn't occur to you if you didn't think she was worth hanging onto. But most importantly, it's a sign that you see her as part of your future. If your mum loves her, the future really is bright.