Every straight woman wants to find a man who is a keeper.

Dating is hard, and the dating landscape these days doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Somewhere on social media, there’s a man or woman trying to tell Black women how to date. From online tutorials on how to be feminine to social media users sharing their dating horror stories, dating as a Black woman can be overwhelming.

The Rise Of Dating Apps And Finding A Man Who Is A Keeper

Before dating apps were a thing, online dating was considered something that only desperate men and women used to find a partner. Now, almost everyone dates online with the help of popular dating apps like Tinder or Hinge. And according to a report from the Pew Research Center, online dating is here to stay with more and more young people, especially LGBT+ members finding online dating success.

Approximately 12% of Americans say they have formed a serious relationship or married someone they met on a dating site or app. And while it’s nice to hear that people are finding their person, dating still presents many challenges for those who haven’t.

A Cultural Shift

Dating the way our parents and grandparents experienced it seems a lot different than it is today. From dodging coffee dates to being ghosted, many women are left wondering if they’ll ever find “the one.”

It can seem like the men of today are no longer interested in courting. Instead, they choose to focus on themselves, their careers, and their friends. But for women who want more than just sex, finding a man who is a keeper in this dating climate is hard.

Contrary to popular belief, men want to find love, too. It’s all about finding the guy that’s right for you. Vetting a man is important, especially in the early stages of dating. It can mean the difference between walking down the aisle and wasting months or even years of your time. Here are five ways to tell if you have a man who is a keeper:


He Respects Women

Black man presenting a bouquet of flowers to a Black woman
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Respect is an essential factor in a relationship. But there are many men who don’t respect women whether they’re in a relationship with them or not. No woman deserves to be treated as an object or disregarded as inferior. Instead, a good man will respect you as his equal and always consider your thoughts and feelings as valid.

Pay attention to how the guy you’re dating talks about or treats the women in his life, from waitresses to coworkers. If the way he acts towards men and women is vastly different, his issues with women might be just the tip of the iceberg.

Happy Black man sitting next to his smiling grandmother
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You can tell a lot about a man from his relationship with his mother. Guys who love and respect the women in their families are more likely to do the same for you. Of course, not every family is perfect, and some men have a strained relationship with their mothers for good reasons. It’s important to vet the man you’re dating to make sure that his problems with his mother aren’t actually problems with women in general.


He Respects Black Women

Black man looking up at a Black woman with an afro
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Respecting women and respecting Black women are two different things, especially when it comes to dating. Black women have historically been erased from feminist movements, and have a unique position in society being Black AND a woman. It’s important to date a man who understands your perspective and how it affects the way you move in society.

Black woman laughing as she sits in her smiling boyfriend's lap
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There are many social media influencers who make a living by fostering gender wars within the Black community. Men who adopt the viewpoints of problematic influencers might not be worth the investment. A guy with a good head on his shoulders can think for himself. He’ll understand that Black women aren’t a monolith and that the actions of some don’t reflect all Black women.


He Doesn’t Badmouth His Exes

Black women looking at her boyfriend
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Talking about your exes on the first and sometimes second date is a no-no for many people. But you can learn a lot about a man by the way he speaks about his past relationships.

Guys who place blame on their exes by calling them “crazy” or “bitter” are usually not keepers. A decent man can acknowledge that the relationship was messy without resorting to personal attacks.

Visibly upset couple sitting on opposite sides of a bed
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As the saying goes, “There are two sides to every story.” And if the man you’re dating has a habit of badmouthing his ex, remember that he may do the same to you if your relationship ever turns sour.


He’s Upfront About His Intentions

Black couple smiling as they embrace each other
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A huge part of dating involves communication, especially in the “getting to know you” stages. Many people shy away from asking too many questions for fear of coming off too strong. But if you want a serious relationship, it’s good to ask the hard questions early on to avoid wasting your time later.

If a man is upfront about his intentions with you, he may be a keeper! You’ll know when a man is interested by how he speaks about you. If he’s serious about you, he might start including you in his future plans, like inviting you to be his +1 for a wedding or introducing you to his friends. When a man is for you, he will typically make it known.

Young man presenting a bouquet of flowers to a young woman
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Men who tiptoe around the topic of a relationship are more likely to just be playing games. Reclaim your time by vetting your guy so that you don’t spend weeks and even months with a man who never wanted a serious relationship in the first place.


He’s Got the Basics Down

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There’s nothing like a man who has it all together. How well a man manages his everyday life can tell you a lot about how he might be as a partner. Having a stable job and place to live that’s NOT his mama’s basement is the bare minimum.

Depending on where you live, a man should have the means to get around from place to place. Having a vehicle is important in cities like Los Angeles or Houston. It’s not as common and may actually be a waste of money if you live in places like New York, however.

Black man in a blue suit holding a briefcase
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A man who can manage a job, residence, and vehicle is just the start, but many men don’t even have that. Be cautious of men who use women to gain access to their homes, cars, and other resources. If he can’t seem to hold it all together, he probably isn’t worth the energy.