the keeper – testosterone edition

wow.  yesterday’s post sparked something in the comments that really surprised me.  i’m not easy to catch off guard.  i spend quite a bit of time thinking about all possible outcomes for what i write and try to be prepared for it, but you guys, the most brilliant commentors in all the land, did it again.

in order for what you’re about to read to make sense, you’re going to have to read yesterday’s post: when an insecure girl is into you

go ahead.  i’ll wait.  it’s like 4 minutes. 

done?  awesome.  let’s do this.

i’ve written about what the Keeper looks like in girl form.  based on the following comments, it looks like i have seriously neglected what it looks like to be a Keeper in guy form.

“I have to say that, any girl would love to have a man like this, even one that is not the girl you’re describing.” – Ashley

“Thank you for not saying “run away and wait for her to stop being insecure.” I have found a lot of men don’t want to take the time to dig underneath the insecurity to find the awesome woman below.” – dtdorrin

“But really, this guy isn’t just for insecure girls. I think all girls could benefit from a man such as this.  ‘shield her from those who would use her innate generosity and fear of rejection against her.’ I know you wrote this Sharideth, but SWOON.” – Mandie Marie

“How many men are there that are actually like this?  I am this girl in relationships, I am not proud of it but it is insanely hard to switch out of. I finally found a man who has been patient with me, except we will only ever just be friends.  So for those of us women who are still stuck with this insecurity, are there still men prepared to enter into a relationship with us to help us help ourselves?” – Charmaine Stanley

did you notice a theme, gentledudes?  it runs along the lines of “i want that guy.  where is he?”

a Keeperman has the following qualities:

1.  basic survival skills – i’m not talking about building a leanto out of palm fronds or starting a fire with rocks, though those things are dead sexy, i’m talking about the ability to feed yourself, do your own laundry and keeping your bathroom from becoming a biohazard.  and just to drive this home, here’s another quote from the comments yesterday: “Nope, dudes don’t want a mom. They have one already. And if they’re digging the mom- girlfriend… run the other way. No one wants to deal with a guy who has mommy issues.” – Jess Mueller (@HeartCommaJess)

2.  balls – be strong enough to not be bullied by anyone in your family or hers.  be ready to defend, to protect, to intercede, to shield if and when it becomes necessary.  in other words, be a man.  all growed up and everything.  it’s wisdom to listen to good counsel, but it’s cowardice to accept irrational or overt criticism.

3.  self-confidence – this really helps with #2.  know who you are and where you’re going.  that doesn’t mean you have to have life all figured out, it means you have to have a life.  know your own mind, know your own worth.  to quote the always genius and exceptionally good looking me, “the public at large and women specifically, will value you at whatever price tag you put on yourself.  are you Armani or Men’s Warehouse?  nobody can say but you.”

4.  kindness – to quote GFresh, “don’t be a douche canoe”.  i don’t know what that means, but i like the way it sounds.  in a culture that is ever bending towards selfishness, kindness is becoming highly underrated.  considering the needs of others before your own is critical in healthy relationships.  drawing your sense of satisfaction and joy from giving to the satisfaction and joy of others is a beautiful thing.  it’s like catnip for chicks real women.

5.  patience – patience is one of those things you offer generously because you need to receive it as much as you need to give it.  we all have things that will drive our chosen one to drink.  and not in the fun way.  be willing to cut her some slack and be ready to communicate about anything and everything before you get to the point of frustration.

i know there are a gazillion more things i could list, but i’m going to let the ladies speak for themselves.  i will only add that when assessing what kind of man you are, weigh everything against “is this something that makes her proud of me and does it make me proud of myself?”

get your man on.

…that didn’t sound right at all…

ladies, now’s your chance.  tell them what you’re looking for in a Keeperman.

gents, what do you struggle with most?  what are the things you think you’re already good at?

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29 comments on “the keeper – testosterone edition

  1. Okay good. Glad I’ve got all of that worked out. #HeyLadies

  2. Tyler says:

    i have trouble dancing

  3. G Fresh says:

    I’ve got 1, 2, 4 and 5 down pretty well I think, but I really struggle with self-confidence and always have. What’s super weird is that I have #2 in SPADES, but somehow it has never translated into social confidence as least as far as the opposite sex goes.

    Is there such a thing as compartmentalized confidence? Because I’m totally good with just hanging out with a bunch of people in group settings or getting up in front of a crowd by myself with my guitar or at a karaoke bar and singing a song, but if you put me face to face with a girl that I’m attracted to…man, I turn into Captain Awkwardpants. :/

    • for sure there are certain ways we can be confident while totally biting it in others. it’s all a process.

    • Jenn says:

      I would like to chime in – because GFresh if I can call you that, I feel like we’re somewhat acquainted via Ms Sharideth’s blog and Twitter. I think the issue with “confidence” is all in how you understand it. I am going to be bold and suggest you are actually confident. Why? Because I think the male brain understands confidence as cocky more than I have my sh*t more or less together.

      Speaking for myself and maybe my fellow single ladies – a man who has confidence isn’t someone who has it all figured out, knows the answers and feels they need to tell you them or direct you life or whatever – it is someone who knows what they want and is prepared to grow in the understanding of themselves to get there. If you like that girl – yes it’s going to be awkward but we (ladies) don’t bite unless you like that sort of thing and then well I cannot help you, but nevertheless, if she’s cute, respect her and yourself enough to embrace the awkward – if she’s a keeper she’ll see the confidence in you that you cannot in that moment see and she’ll find a way to encourage it. If you fail at this part that is when things go south. We can lead a man to his realization of his own self confidence, we cannot however make him embrace it and own it.

  4. Jacquelyn says:

    Love all these listed essential qualities, Sharideth. However, I feel like the only danger of putting an open ended “what are you looking for in a keeperman?” might start an onslaught of “the 1,452 things on the list” women want in a man (come on women, you know most of us have made an impossible list of attributes that even Jesus struggles to meet), which, I imagine, can be discouraging for most men. Not that I don’t believe in having character standards, I just know that the best guys usually surprised me with their unique awesomeness, & what I thought I wanted usually didn’t look anything like the fusion of Han Solo-Disney Prince-Wolverine-with a hint of the Jesus-loving Billy Graham (…and I mean that in a very non-weird way).

    • yeah, i thought about that. i think if we keep it terms of good character instead of “over six feet, dark hair, green eyes (blue are acceptable), truck, car, boat, horse and independently wealthy”, it could still be helpful.

      *the above does not at all resemble the list i carried in my pocket when i was 18*

      **yes it does**

  5. Tabitha says:

    I want a man to be my best friend. We’ll love, laugh, fight, drink some beer, watch tv… And have girl and guy friends, but he will always consider me the best.
    Each person is technically responsible for their own security in the relationship, but a man (girls, us too) that doesn’t try to reassure me of my significance in his life just won’t do.

  6. I’m doing okay on those, some better than others, but at least a passing grade on all 5 I think.

    I’m curious where you think this anecdote fits in with it all:

    When I met SNS in London for a first date, we decided we would cross the Millennium Bridge to go to the Tate Modern. As we approached the bridge, I confessed to her that I was not sure if I would be able to make it across. I suffer from acrophobia, and footbridges in particular really set it off. I was plain with her – “I may need your help to get through this”. I got very close to a panic attack but I did make it on my own, although knowing she was there to support me if I needed it helped. I knew that she was a real “catch” because of how she accepted my needs.

    It’s from a blog post I made earlier this year talking about self-confidence, standards and so on.

    • i think it fits perfectly. you were vulnerable and she responded with support. it’s exactly the right example for this post.

      • Showing her as “keeper” material, definitely I see that.

        The question is more, where do I fit in as a “keeper” or otherwise, since I was the vulnerable one? In my original post, I argued (quite vehemently) that I was also showing strength by admitting my vulnerability and that I might need support (in contradiction to “normal” standards of masculinity). I wondered what your take was on that?

        • showing you as keeper material, too. being open and upfront about your own vulnerabilities is its own kind of strength and just as important and being the strong one when necessary. i liked it as an example for men.

  7. Jenn says:

    As an aside – I would have tweeted but it’s a little long – since we were all so awesome in our discussion about hugging a while back could we discuss the issue of “nudging” or light arm tap/punching. I’ve found now that I’ve left secular academia an entered a Christian graduate school that this apparently is a form of appropriate male to female contact, stand close and nudge her – like I need to be coerced to agree or join a conversation. I’m a chatty Cathy so I don’t need help sharing my opinion, one that would be well buddy you’re invading my personal space while you keep forgetting my name though we’ve been introduced like 4 times…

    I am no nudging unless you like a girl – because from where I am from out in the “real world” men don’t touch women unless there is definite reason, so I’m interpreting this as a signal and not just being jovial, am I wrong? That is totally possible. Could we get a blog consensus on this? Yay, nay? When is it appropriate?

    • oh man, jenn. i’m going to have to think about this one. hmmmmm…..

    • Chris says:

      In the meantime, while Sharideth is pondering a better answer… 🙂 I’d just say that in an environment like that, you’re going to have to say something. They probably won’t realize it on their own, and will require a “Please don’t do that” on every nudge.

      It sounds like a rule that was put in place to discourage indecency has turned into a license to touch. I don’t blame you at all for wanting clarification, and I’d even agree with you, but I’m afraid you’ll have to be the one to begin the process. I’m pretty sure the guys won’t, and even if they have a different opinion, they will probably just change their own behaviour, and not challenge the culture of the group.

      Knowing this, it might also be a useful tool to detect those guys with different beliefs.

  8. Mandie Marie says:

    What I have learned:

    It’s not enough to be a fulfillment of qualities. It’s not “I can see myself with someone exactly like you” it should be “I can’t see myself with anyone other than you”.

    So. That takes balls. But I guess you already mentioned that.

    • Chris says:

      I’m not entirely sure that this is how the male mind works. I suspect that “having balls” sounds more like this: “I can see myself with someone exactly like you, and even though there is a slight possibility of someone better out there, I willingly and gladly and unconditionally reject it in order to start loving you properly right now.”

      Not very romantic, but when the chips are down, probably more reassuring.

      • I’m not the type of girl who needs romance. I do need reassurance. So if a man said that to me I’d be all like, “Let’s do this, dude.” Because a statement like that shows confidence and, like Susan said, integrity. Both things that are high on the keeper list.

  9. susan says:

    Chris, maybe not romantic but sensible, mature and demonstrates the three things on my keeper-list:
    kindness. energy. intregrity.

    Everything else is just real estate.

  10. Carlos says:

    I’m too shy (not sure which category is it).. but it’s weird for me ‘cuz I’m shy only and specially around women I REALLY like (I totally hate it!).. in all the other points I’m cool I guess.. but it just does not make it for me that my female friends want to marry me and the the girls I like don’t respond to me the way I’d expect them to, why is that? I’m pretty sure that I don’t like girls out of my league either, just girls I find interesting…

  11. kuchiyose says:

    we have the same story Carlos, it’s #3 with #5. maybe she’s waiting for your move.. go and talk to her. you are shy because first you already have a feelings for her you have to control your emotion.. be friend with her be natural when she’s around. if you really like her do everything to win her.. 🙂

    • carlos says:

      Thanx man, that’s really good advice.. and I have to say I’ve been following’ it without knowing it for a while now… we speak almost every day, we don’t see each other much because I’ve been working’ like crazy for the last couple of months.. but it’s like that, we’re friends that talk and share almost everything all the time.. The thing is that I’m not sure about this.. She’s coming out from a long and psychologically difficult relationship and I’m pretty sure she’s seeing somebody else.. she hides it from me even if I know it almost for a fact.. these two things make me nervous because, even if she works very hard to give me the “right” impression and to let me know that she likes me, I sense lots of insecurity left over from her past relationship and I’m not sure that I’m the right man to comfort her at this moment simply because I have baggage too, and I have enough trouble managing it on my own .. so we’ll see.. in the meanwhile I’m getting to know her and that’s fun..

      Regarding the article, I think my problem it’s the 5th point more than the 3rd.. I don’t have problems finding women, I just have problems finding women that I really like.. and by liking I mean women that I find exciting and fun but also deep and interesting.. the problem is that when I find them, they’re always somewhere else in they’re lives.. and maybe “shyness” (more better described as uncertainty in my case) comes out from dealing with that fact more than with dealing with their specific persona… all I’m saying it’s that timing sometimes it’s important.. outside our personal features.. personally, I just hate to become the obvious choice for someone so late in the game, after we’ve known each other, after their confidence has been rebuilt but when maybe I’ve lost all interest.. In this particular case I guess I’ll follow ur advice and be just more patient 🙂

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