Sometimes I just can't resist the articles of dating advice that Yahoo dangles before my eyes when I sign out of my email account. There is something so intriguingly tawdry about them. Something sexy and ridiculous at the same time. And the worldview they represent is so incoherent. Take this latest, "Nine Signs a Guy is a Keeper," from Glamour magazine.
1) He has his act together.
Girls, fight that impulse to heal a crazy guy with your love and settle for the stable lunkhead!
2) He puts you first. Picture a delicious platter of grilled steak. Does your man offer it to you first to pick the best piece? He does if he's a keeper!
Because you're so narcissistic you couldn't possibly live with a guy who didn't accept how much more important you are than he is.
3) He's not afraid of your germs. You know a guy is really into you when he can't stay away, even when you're bedridden and snotty. When you're sick with the flu, he says, 'Let me come over and take care of you,' rather than, 'Oooh, you sound really contagious... call me when you're feeling better."
The first clue that there is something weirdly maternal going on here.
4) He asks about your family, and he seems to genuinely want to hear about them.
Now I see; this wasn't written by a woman of dating age, but a mother with daughters of dating age. Date nice boys who will want to take me to lunch!
5) He makes time for your friends. In the beginning of your relationship, does your man show an interest in meeting your besties? And does he follow it up with a plan, like hosting a low-key dinner party?
Honestly, ladies, how many of you have ever dated a man who would hold a dinner party and invite your friends? And why doesn't he have any friends of his own?
6) He's your biggest cheerleader.
Is this your boyfriend or your mom?
7) He remembers the little things. Does your man really listen to you? You'll know he's a keeper if you tell him you have a big scary work meeting and the next time you talk, he asks how it went. Or if you tell him you left your sunglasses at his house and he remembers them on your next date.
Looking past weird assumption that "you" have "scary" work meetings -- why are "you" scared of your job, anyway? -- we have to ask what this implies. If you ask me, it means, "only guys who act like girlfriends can be considered keepers."
8) He's happy when you're happy. This is the guy who goes to a chick flick with you on Friday night rather than an action film -- not because he actually wants to, but because it makes you happy.
Or because he's a weak-kneed mama's boy with no mind of his own and a deep-seated need to please women.
9) He makes you the best you can be. A guy who makes you feel like the luckiest woman alive -- like you can (and should!) be your confident, fabulous self -- is worth hanging on to.
Well, it's hard to argue with that.
Read this list over, close your eyes, and imagine the man who would meet all of these criteria. I see a sweet gay guy in a light blue sweater. Just what your mom wants for you.