How To Be A Keeper

We hit the streets to find out straight from the mouths of men, what makes a great girlfriend. Is it nightly nookie, legs for miles, free-time with the guys or just a BFF to call their own? Well, interestingly from coast to coast, 20-something to 40-something guys pretty much all want the same things, and truth be told, their formula is a lot less complex than ours tend to be. Follow the recipe below to become a keeper in the eyes and hearts of men.

Girl hugging her boyfriend


"All of my relationships have started to sour when my girlfriends began suffocating and trying to control me. As they attempted to police my every action and rob me of my freedom, we became adversaries."

– James, NY, 25


"If I catch a girl searching my phone or she starts suspiciously questioning me, it is over. A great girlfriend is secure in herself, and trusts me. If you put your faith in me, your feelings on the line and just trust me, the last thing I want to do is disappoint you."

– Shay, San Francisco, 35


"I need to have the same idea of what fun is as my girlfriend does. For example, I am a speed tourist – I can't last with someone who would take 7 hours at the Vatican – 2 hours is plenty; I want to see the waterfall, not hike in it for hours, and so on. We need to like the same kind of restaurants, parties, etc. Also, be willing to try 'my' things because I will be willing to try yours."

– Mark, Seattle, 43


"I can't be with someone who doesn't want sex as much as me, or more than me. We definitely need to be on the same page in bed."

– Gregory, Houston, 31


"The biggest thing that separates a good girlfriend from an OK one is someone who has a life of her own. If the relationship is a girl's primary focus, invariably she finds things missing in it, whereas if it's a compliment to the rest of her life's goals and interests, the little things are no big deal."

– Matt, Los Angeles, 27


"Good girlfriends don't nag or hassle you or argue all the time. When you complain all the time to me, I stop listening and start thinking about something else, so you are really just wasting your time."

– T, Grand Rapids, 38


"I don't need an Iron Chef but a woman who can throw down a respectable meal or two is really important. Not only is it nice to be cooked for every once in a while, but this can be an indicator that she is mom material."

– Michael, Providence, 34


"I'm all for a little kissing and cuddling when out, but save the show for the bedroom. If a girl needs to be attached to me 100 percent of the time when we are out, that shows me that she has to prove to herself and others our status, which is a real turnoff."

– Jason, Montreal, 33


"I want to be my girlfriend's boyfriend, not her girlfriend. I can't stand it when a girl blabs on and on about her friends' drama or even worse – celebrity gossip."

– David, Baltimore, 28


"Just be happy. Be someone I look forward to seeing because of your light, positive energy – project sunshine."

– Jandre, Washington, DC, 35


"Please ladies, don't ask to have 'the talk' about exclusivity after a month, or bring me to meet your parents on our third date. I don't want to talk about what it would be like to have kids with you just because you saw a cute kid on our fourth date. And buying me a gift to celebrate two months of dating is out of the question. Take it slow and let things unravel naturally."

– Kevin, Phoenix, 29


"A good girlfriend, no matter what, will never ever flirt with my friends, no matter how much better-looking they are than me."

– Keith, Miami, 24


"I am done dating girls who make me guess what is wrong with them. When I ask, just tell me. Be assertive with what you want, what you need, what you think and how you feel. Otherwise, you come across as an emotional basketcase and that makes you a bad girlfriend."

– Pat, Portland, 28


"I'm not a jealous person and girls who try to make me jealous are not cool. Also, don't perform secret little tests to see what I will do in certain situations – I know what you are up to, and I will pass every time, but you will fail because it is annoying and shows that you are insecure in our relationship."

– David, Chicago, 32


"I like my girlfriends to maintain their look. That means being well groomed and making an effort to look nice. I like a sexy look that shows off her physique but not one that crosses over to looking trampy – a good girlfriend always projects class and saves the real good stuff just for her man."

– Craig, New York, 27


"One of the best things a girlfriend can do to show she cares is to notice the little things that might help me out in my life and take care of them for me – like if I am working late, bring me dinner or if I've been complaining that my back is bothering me from a lot of business travel, book a massage for me at my next hotel. These are the things I do for my girlfriends and it is nice to have them reciprocate."

– John, Los Angeles, 36


"You have to be yourself. A thousand percent yourself, all the time. A bad girlfriend morphs herself into what she thinks I want her to be instead of being confident enough in her own skin to just be herself. If we are meant to be a match, our natural selves will mesh, if not, we won't. I am not going to change for a girl and a girl shouldn't change for me, either."

– Joe, Miami, 34


"The higher maintenance the girl, the worse a girlfriend she is. A woman who is down to earth is much more appealing – someone who can go with the flow and isn't caught up in superficiality and little things that really don't matter."

– Chris, Seattle, 37


"My best relationships have been with women who have been supportive when I needed support but also respected my space when that is what I needed. Sometimes a guy isn't ready to talk about his problems or feelings with you and pressuring him to do so will push him further away. Instead, be patient and he will come to you when he is ready."

– Yusef, Atlanta, 43


"Here's the thing. I like me for me and you should, too. If you don't, then don't be with me. Trying to change me (the way I brush my hair, how I eat my food, what I say, etc.) is an exercise in futility and just makes you a bitchy girlfriend."

– Eric, Boston, 34

Learn more about what men want in our single girl's dating guide >>

More on how to be a good girlfriend

10 Things every woman should demand from a man
7 Deadly sins of dating
Things to watch out for a on a first date


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Comments on "Hey, guys: What makes a great girlfriend?"

Not pleased March 22, 2014 | 5:34 AM

I think the part where the guy sas I dont wana hear your babble/gossip/talking was just plain rude. Get a heart guys!! We feel stuff you wouldnt believe, you dont want us? There's the door---->

Alyssa October 10, 2013 | 1:38 PM

I think this was a great list on how to be a good girlfriend. I agree and I do most of the things on this list for my guy. I give him space, I do not act jealous, do not go through his phone, I let him have time with his friends (which I think is important). I like to have time with my friends as well. I don't nag, I cook him nice meals, give him massages, I don't expect him to pay for everything. I like playing video games with him and we have fun doing almost anything together. And in return, I have a happy guy who makes me happy in return and we have an awesome relationship.

redvirgo October 08, 2013 | 9:46 AM

This is a pie in the sky list that makes it impossible for a women to actually be real. If you are worth her trust you will earn it by allowing her to quell her concerns, for one thing. Women are trained by articles like this to not "snoop" or show "jealousy" and what happens is we have an epidemic of women being used and abused because they blindly trusted. If you are a real man and have what it takes to respect and protect a woman than you will stand up to the testing and if not then move along; you're too weak in the first place.

Abby June 28, 2013 | 9:42 PM

Guess what I found out my bf of 16 months had been lying to me the entire time about his job (it was part time-not full time), he did not own his home (he lived with his mother), name it he lied about it. So guess what he wanted to stay with me and in order to I do go through his phone, I don't let him have a lot of freedom BECAUSE HE CREATED THIS DISTRUST. He had those things (freedom, trust, acceptance) I was fun and happy all the time around him, but when you learn your whole relationship was a lie it's hard not to be angry, hurt, and a major ----- all the time.

Georgia March 20, 2013 | 8:44 PM

This list is great. I am a dating coach and I agree with every one of these. I'm not totally sure where the confusion or backlash is coming from, but ladies, you would be smart to heed this advice.

ChaosWanderer September 04, 2012 | 10:34 PM

I find the comments from these girls to be funny. We are asking for a little respect and not be accused as being like your last boyfriend. These traits represent a functional human being and they aren't as out there as you think. To the ladies that think "will leave me alone" and "tells me whats wrong when I ask" are contradictory ought to think before speaking. The "will leave me alone" means we will tell you whats wrong when we are ready. The "tells me whats wrong when I ask" refers to telling us the problem instead of using lines like "if you don't know I am not going to tell you" crap.

Shelby February 01, 2012 | 9:25 AM

This is not even realistic. Sorry guys

kailee December 22, 2011 | 9:46 PM

i agree with Dharitris comment "'will leave me alone sometimes' and 'tells me what is wrong when I ask' are a bit contradictory. Like a guy wants to be alone just because he is not ready to talk, so does a girl. In those cases, leave her alone too because she too needs her time alone and is not ready to talk." so true! also it says to be yourself but then its giving all these rules & what you should be. i think if you be yourself someone is bound to like you, even with your faults.

Jenny July 31, 2011 | 2:13 PM

This whole article is void because every man that answered was old! and probably has never been married and for a good reason. Losers! A keeper is a girl who stands on her own two feet and is willing to drop it all and walk away if the standards don't meet hers. A girl who stands up for herself and her man knows she won't stick around if he crosses the line to many times by cheating, disrespecting, or have outrageous expectations. How about asking men on the market to get married say 20-25?

Isabel October 09, 2010 | 10:12 PM

I would like to have, somthing nice for my bf thanks.

Liz September 21, 2010 | 10:19 AM

We are women, not girls. I don't take seriously anything that a man who doesn't know the difference says.

Samantha August 27, 2010 | 11:58 AM

This list was confusing. If it's on the list that women should just be themselves ALL the time then what's the point of reading this? Even though women should know that they should always just be themselves. The list was fun to read but I'll keep doing me and if he's worth my time then he'll become my boyfriend. If not, then on to the next one. :D Guys should love you for you just like they want us to love them for them. I'm not sure what I was expecting to find from this article but it seems like another one of those "How to have Great " articles in Cosmo. I think the best thing to do is be yourself and SOMEONE will love you and you'll be their girlfriend...quirks, cutisms and all! :D

Dharitri April 03, 2010 | 6:35 PM

'will leave me alone sometimes' and 'tells me what is wrong when I ask' are a bit contradictory. Like a guy wants to be alone just because he is not ready to talk, so does a girl. In those cases, leave her alone too because she too needs her time alone and is not ready to talk.

Lisa March 09, 2010 | 12:47 AM

Yes, they are helpful. Thanks!

morgan fourman March 01, 2010 | 9:59 AM

i think all these are some good tips they helped me alot

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