How to Keep a Guy in 10 Ways

You will not believe how many of these ways I didn’t learn until after marriage. Like, for example, saying exactly what I meant and asking for what I wanted-instead of hoping Michael would magically read my mind. He’s not going to imagine that I want him to help me clean the house, unless I ask him. He isn’t going to infer that me saying, “I had a rough day” means I want to cancel our plans for the evening. If I want him to cancel our plans, all I need to do is ask instead of beating around the bush and trying to get him to guess. That may seem simple, but it has proven difficult for me to learn-because before I spent most of my time with women. And we are so good about reading each other’s minds and knowing when to bring chocolate.

How to Keep a Guy in 10 Ways:

1.) Be his girlfriend, not his mother. He already has one mama, he doesn’t need another. Listen to yourself when you talk to him and make sure you sound more like someone he’s kissing versus someone who taught him how to tie his shoe. Don’t endlessly nag him about his future or the way he spends his money.

2.) Let him be a “knight”. Chivalry isn’t dead, I promise. Let him fight for you and help you. Michael said a huge turning point in our relationship was when I called him from China distressed and he was able to help calm me down and fix my problem. He felt needed. He felt strong. For more, read Wild at Heart . Best book on understanding this concept.

3.) Affirm him that he has what it takes. Everyday. Tell him through your actions, through your belief in him, and through verbal affirmation. When Michael was going through a rough period with his job, I learned to continue to affirm him in being able to provide for our family and saying, “I believe in you. You have what it takes.” It truly goes a long way.

4.) Show genuine interest in developing your character (more than your body). Men want to marry women of character-who will be great wives, mothers, and partners for life. Spend time reading. Read your Bible and read books that help you grow. You aren’t going to develop deeper character just by hoping it happens, anymore than you will have rock solid abs from thinking about it. Make a plan!

5.) Laugh at his jokes. Seriously. Sometimes he will act like a middle schooler, but laugh at his jokes and weird dance moves. Don’t roll your eyes-let him entertain you and don’t be that ‘irritated older sister’ type. His buddies think he’s funny and he’ll find a girl who thinks the same . . . so laugh! 

6.) Ask him to lead and then let him. Let him call you. Let him decide how much he wants to pursue you. Don’t manipulate him (if you are breathing and female you are good at this) into spending time with you. Know your worth separately from him and put the relationship in his hands. If he doesn’t call, it’s always his loss. Hint: if you start off a dating relationship manipulating him to get what you want, this will continue into your marriage.

7.) Say what you mean. No really. He can’t read your mind. Girlfriends can often read your mind and know exactly what you want (oh, you brought me chocolate and Starbucks…how thoughtful!) whereas guys don’t know unless you tell them. TELL THEM what you are thinking/what you want and don’t get mad if he doesn’t read your ‘signals’.

8.) Show interest in his hobbies and passions. If he plays football, go to a game. If he has always wanted a truck, let him get a truck. Don’t pretend to be a huge Nascar fan (this is lying) to get his attention, but show interest in his hobbies.

9.) Praise him in front of his friends (or yours). Tell his friends how he helped you fix your car or how he got a promotion at work. Tell his parents what a great son they raised. Praise him and never, ever criticize him in public. Women need love, men need respect (Love & Respect=best marriage book) and the best thing you can do is speak highly of him in front of others.

10.) Show him grace. Every guy is going to mess up. Michael’s first message to me on Facebook after several calls ended with “keep me updated”. He didn’t do everything perfectly in dating. It is vitally important to show grace to men who are sinners just like us. They will mess up & hurt you. Your guy will say something he doesn’t mean. Show him grace, because he’s going to need it . . . just like we do. Tell him when he hurts you (again, don’t expect him to read your mind-”he should know I don’t like Chinese food!”) and allow him the chance to make it up to you.

Thoughts? Let’s discuss! What would you add to the list? What surprised you on this list?


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13 Responses to “How to Keep a Guy in 10 Ways”
  1. Jennifer Keller says:

    Such a great post Ruthie! So many of these things are lessons I’ve been learning while dating Zach and during our first year of marriage. I have made SO MANY of these mistakes. We communicate with each other in so many way besides just talking and these are some great pointers on how to communicate well.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Me too! So many mistakes…I don’t think “praising him in public” or “letting him be your knight” is often as intuitive as it seems in hindsight. I have a feeling in 10 years, we’ll still be making mistakes and learning how to better love our husbands. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Mayra says:


    thank you very much for these wise advice! =)

    I’ll be sure to tell my friends

  3. Maggie says:

    (Gonna be another long comment from me I’m sorry but I feel like this is the best way for me to respond…And btw if you didn’t already know from looking at my blog Maggie is not my real name and Sunny is not my boyfriend’s real name.)

    1. At first being his girlfriend (we’ve been together for 2 years Thanksgiving) was easy being his girlfriend, but after a while things did go south because I was nagging him and making him feel bad. Thankfully I’ve been working on not being a nagging girlfriend.
    2. I’m sure there are lots of times where he’s been my knight. Can’t think of any right off the top of my head. I’ve been trying to have him do that more but with things the way they are right now it’s kind of difficult to really pinpoint (for me to see right now at least) what is him being a knight.
    3. Because his self esteem has been so low and he’s been under a lot of stress among other things I’ve been texting him throughout the day (because we literally can’t talk on phone with work and school) saying encouraging things to him like he’s the best and I’m so blessed to have him in my life and that he’s a really good friend to his friends that are struggling.
    4. Showing interest in developing my character…That’s a hard one to say whether I am showing him that I want/am trying to do that. I want to say yes that I’m trying that and maybe if you asked him that he’d probably say ya I am…
    5. Unless we are genuinely sad and not cracking jokes, I’m always laughing at his one liners. Its one of the first things that had me fall in love with him.
    6. This one is a hard one. We’ve had some…behaviors that aren’t good because I’m always make him give in…and well. This is a work in progress. So far we’ve just been doing our own thing and seeing each other on weekends when I’m home. Not a lot of pursuing. Which is fine, We’re busy.
    7. I try to dance around this a lot. Because what I want to say I’m afraid it’s gonna hurt his feelings or be something bad. But when it’s stuff that I need him but I never ask, he’s there or wishes he could do something (like when I’m at school). But I do have my moments where he gets irritated that I don’t tell him what I want or dance around trying to say what I mean, without really saying it.
    8. I LOVE his hobbies. He is a photographer and a darn good one at that and I keep telling him that I love his work even when he doesn’t. Video games I’m not too get in and go but we occasionally play button mashing games together.
    9. Other than when I really need support from other people I don’t reveal anything bad about our relationship because I know talking bad about anyone, including your significant other behind their back is just rude and hurtful.
    10. I feel like that I’m not showing enough grace to him because I can’t see him a lot to do the kind of things I want to do for him. But he’s been real clear that he feels I’m doing more than I should and that he’s blessed to have me. I just don’t really see it that way because there’s so much I could do to change myself to be better for him and to be a better person in general.

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Wow-Maggie. Love that you took the time to think through each point. Will this change your relationship? Strengthen it?

  4. Meg Murray says:

    Love this, R. Especially love the part about saying what you mean. yes. great points. xx!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Meg!

      Thanks. Michael (mainly) came up with the list-so it’s probably pretty true. Great seeing you the other day. Seriously-you are such a joy to be around!

  5. Christy says:

    Love this post, Ruthie! Some great reminders to me too…I’m still trying to remember these things & practice them in marriage. Number 5 made me smile because my husband, who teachers middle schoolers, definitely acts like one a lot. Sometimes it annoys me, but the other night he was showing me his Gangnam style dance moves and I couldn’t help but laugh. As crazy and annoying as I find his antics sometimes, I’m so glad God made him that way. It keeps life interesting!

    • Ruthie Dean says:

      Hi Christy! Seriously, our fun-loving, often goofy husbands will keep us from taking ourselves too seriously. I know my Michael does!

  6. Most shocking discovery – he could not read my mind! what! Then i discovered that I could not read his mind either. shock upon shock :)

    Love your list.

    I’d add “pray for him”. his dreams, hopes, aspirations, growth, everything. Prayer breeds intimacy.

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