10 Signs He’s A Man Worth Keeping

Dating in NYC: signs he's a man worth keeping
I’ve been watching Sex and the City reruns. I love the witty, non-married-career-woman-in-NYC humor and share some of the woes adventures of dating in NYC.

One of my favorite stories to tell is about the time that a boy (the use of ‘boy’ is intentional) said he would date me if I lost weight. Scooby say wha’? Yes, this actually happened to me. Then there was that other time that in the middle of a get-to-know-you conversation, a guy thought it was absolutely necessary to grab my arm fat and tell me that he likes “big girls.”

Note to Men: No girl likes to be told that you like her because of her size, big or small.

Watching Sex and the City now with my “mature” set of eyes, I’ve realized Carrie has terrible taste in men. While they’re all cute and magically rich, they’re also unsupportive, insecure, alcoholics, non-commital, angry, addicts, self-absorbed, unhealthy, and the list goes on.

After 12 years of living, dating, growing up, and witnessing so many women go for the wrong guy in NYC, I want to have an honest dialogue about what kind of man one should look for. It will save you from losing a lot of money, binge ice cream eating, drinking, running mascara, and sleepless nights.

Here’s my list of what to look for in a man and 10 signs he’s a man worth keeping.

1. He works out.
You want a guy who understands the importance of being active and maintaining good health. Without good health, there’s nothing to stand on. A man who is active is more likely to take you dancing, zip-lining, back packing in Europe, for wine tastings…and just saying, he’s more likely to be active…in bed. 🙂

2. He can take care of his self and his home.
He doesn’t have to look like he came out of GQ Magazine, but he should definitely smell nice and look like he put on a clean shirt. He also should know how to clean and cook. You are not his mother! When someone doesn’t know how to do these basic things, he’ll rely on you to do them for him, thus leaving less time for you and your needs.

3. He eats a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Someone who eats a variety of foods understands that this world has so much to offer. He’s adventurous and open minded. A fickle eater also limits the restaurants and places you explore together.

4. He has a hobby.
It’s not all about you, or you two. A sign of a healthy relationships (and person) is that you spend time apart and alone. Whether he plays a sport, volunteers, or knits, your guy needs something outside of you to amuse and fulfill him.

5. He keeps you accountable.
The ideal guy keeps you on track and helps you get to your goals. When you’re tempted to have another scoop of ice cream, he will help you realize in that moment that it’s not what you really want. He is YOUR voice when you can’t hear yourself.

6. He doesn’t hold it against you when you fall off the wagon.
And when you do have your second scoop of ice cream, he doesn’t give you that look. You know what I’m talking about! He also doesn’t hold it against you when the crazy version of you rears her ugly head. You know what I’m talking about!

7. He says sorry.
But not for things he didn’t do. We don’t need overly apologetic wussies. We need someone who is brave enough to fight for us, but strong enough to apologize when he’s hurt us.

8. He wakes you up for your morning workout.
This goes back to #5 but in my case, this is a great feat. While I love working out in the morning, I HATE waking up. The process of getting me out of bed is torturous. I’m a snoozer. Anyone who is persistent enough to call, text, knock on my door, or drag me out of bed is a #winner. Think of something you absolutely HATE doing that’s good for you. Find someone who will help you do it.

9. He brings you gifts in the form of fresh-pressed juices, Soul Cycle classes, and heart rate monitors.
Forget $10 roses (the cost of 12 roses in NYC) and go for the $10 juice. That’s the sign of luxury and class. All the race entrance fees, gym memberships, workout clothes, juices, and gear add up. That stuff is expensive, yo!

10. He doesn’t ask you to change for him.
A man worth keeping sees the best in you and loves you +/- a few pounds. But if there are truly things about you that need to change, he’ll either respectfully leave you alone and walk away, or he’ll stay long enough to shows you how to love yourself better. You’ll begin to love yourself and change for you.

Based on my list, I hate to admit that Carrie probably shouldn’t have ended up with Mr. Big. Eeek! Did I just say that?

While I don’t share too much about my dating/personal life, I have to share that I have a good one. The night before last year’s Brooklyn Half Marathon, I decided to give up on the race and was caught (thanks, Instagram) out at 1 am with a girlfriend. He called upset that I was out so late the night before an important race. I quickly ran home home, went to sleep at 2 am, and somehow ran four hours later to set a personal record (PR). I set a frickin’ PR! He wasn’t upset with me, but rather that I had given up on a goal. He knew how important the race was, even when I didn’t, and knew I’d regret it, which I would have.

Is he worth keeping?


Time to Sound Off: What did I miss on this list? What do you look for in a mate?


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  • Tania

    I love this list! Now it is time to apply it. I’ll start by jumping back on the wagon and returning to the gym after a seven month hiatus. Thanks Grace!

    • You can do it, Tania! Good thing it’s also getting warmer. You’ll want to be active outdoors. Yay for spring. Thanks for leaving a comment!

    • Thank you @disqus_Yabe7fl5sf:disqus! i hope you made it to the gym!

  • Bunnie Hilliard

    feeling motivated. thanks for sharing!

  • I’ve had a “good one” for 12 years and there isn’t much you missed on your list but the one thing I always tell others when they ask is that when you’ve found “the one,” you’ll know it. You won’t doubt it, you won’t question it, you won’t dissect it, you’ll just LOVE it (and him)!

    • @melissa_roy:disqus – if only it were as easy as taking a blood test to find “the one.” But I’m with you, once you know, you know. And then you work really hard at protecting the relationship!

  • Carolyn Leanne Béchard

    I think a HUGE one for me was that my husband had been living successfully on his own for many years and already owned his own place. It told me he was responsible and mature. So much more attractive then guys still living with their parents and playing computer games all day!

    • @carolynleannebchard:disqus – you’re so right. It boggles my mind that there are men, ahem boys, who live with their parents…although coming from a traditionally Korean background, kids live with their parents until they’re married. But that’s a cultural difference and not a “I’m lazy and don’t work” difference 🙂

    • I agree 100%!

  • great list! especially #7. 🙂

    • @WendyKate:disqus – “I’m Sorry” is a must! Not all the time, but it shows humility.

  • Love this list! Number 2 – yes, yes, YES! I’ve always gone for men who were actually just looking for another mother… fortunately my husband is very self-sufficient and is a whiz in the kitchen 🙂 Also, number 4 = SO important!

  • Grace, this is such a great list! I would only add someone who is humble. Humility goes a long way in relationships. Besides who wants a pompous, selfish you-know-what?

  • this would definitely be my list! love it. thanks for the good read 🙂 following frmo http://www.ourpoolehouse.com

  • Great list! It is so hard to find a man and not a boy these days. #2 is a must especially since I take care of me and my own home alone!

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