8 Essential Traits Of A Man Who's A Keeper

This type of man has marriage on his mind.

Woman recognizes essential traits of a keeper. Jacob Lund | Canva

YourTango talked to over 100 mental health professionals to learn what it takes for a man to be considered "husband material." According to the results, the top three traits marriage-oriented people look for in a man are his ability to communicate, honesty, and reliability. So, besides these three fairly obvious characteristics, what else matters in a potential life partner? We queried our YourTango experts to find out.


Here are 8 essential traits of a keeper:

1. You can be yourself when you're with him

You don't feel like you have to change your quirky laugh or be less ambitious. You're not afraid to show how smart you are because he truly loves you as you are. He fell in love with "who you were when he met you" and continues to love those same traits as the relationship progresses. —Christine Baumgartner

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2. You like how you feel when you’re around him

You feel safe, secure, and cared about because his attitude around you is consistent and dependable. You also feel comfortable, relaxed, and happy when you're with him because you have learned. —Christine Baumgartner


3. He has introduced you to his friends and family

He wants to include you in all parts of his life because he's proud of the relationship he has with you. He's committed to making sure you feel included and this shows you that; he doesn’t have anything to hide and he's serious about your relationship to wants everyone in his life to know you're together. —Christine Baumgartner

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4. He makes it obvious your happiness and well-being are very important to him

He listens and remembers when you tell him what makes you happy and goes out of his way to accomplish it. He puts your needs in front of his.  —Christine Baumgartner


5. He knows the difference between a conversation and a confrontation, between compromise and contentiousness

This quality leaves room for a difference of opinion without having an outburst or a sulk-fest. Compromise can take many forms: a little of what you like, a little of what I like; this time your way, next time my way; can we meet in the middle? However, you phrase it, being willing and able to converse and compromise is an important quality in a "keeper." Diane Spear

6. He's warm and loving

Seems obvious, but so many people choose partners based on external factors, such as job title, physique, and wealth, instead of internal ones, such as an orientation toward warmth and love. Job title, physique, and wealth will not mean much during the hard times in life, but warmth and love, along with humor can carry you through. Those external factors can change in not such great ways over time, but warmth and love are character traits that can improve and deepen as we age. —Diane Spear

RELATED: 13 Traits That All Healthy Relationships Have

7. He makes you laugh

There's no overestimating the enjoyment that comes from sharing a laugh every day with your partner or having a partner who can help "joke" you out of a stubborn position you're committed to. And there's no underestimating the drabness of daily life with a partner who's relatively humorless. By making you laugh, I don't mean he can’t have a serious conversation and everything's a joke to avoid dealing with things. I mean he's able to see and appreciate the humor in everyday life, which is a great quality in a mate. —Diane Spear


8 Essential Traits Of A Keeper Pexels / Edward Eyer

8. He's deeply open

I know a man is a keeper when he is willing to be deeply open with me, even if it's saying something (kindly) he doesn't think I want to hear. —Moreah Vestan

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Christine Baumgartner is a dating and relationship coach. She helps people who are feeling stuck to talk about dating challenges and come up with solutions. Diane Spear is a psychotherapist and licensed clinical social worker who has been in private practice since 1995, with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from New York University and a certificate from the Institute for Developmental Psychotherapy. Morah Vestan is a life coach, communication trainer, and author. She has an M.A. in Adult Education and was a relationship columnist for 16 years for Seattle's Active Singles Life.