I get asked this question a lot: How do you know when the guy/girl I'm seeing is a keeper? How long to give it before either making a serious commitment or moving on? What are the warning signs or red flags, and how to wait before moving on? In this particular post I'd like to focus on the men, and more later on how to know if the woman you're dating is a keeper. There are many ways to tell if your guy is a keeper. The most important and number one reason is if he is a man of his word, meaning if he says he will call you on Monday - he calls you on Monday. Of course things do happen and sometimes people can't keep their word, once is alright but if he never does what he says, or rarely - it's a pattern and he isn't capable of sticking to anything, so you need to move on. Second way you can tell if your guy is a keeper is if he is on time for your dates, for your phone calls, and for other things like work, business and events. It shows that he is a mature adult who values his and other people's time, and is respectful of others' schedules.
And the last way you can tell if your guy is a keeper is if he doesn't only talk, but also shows you that you mean a lot to him, that he cares about you, and that he respects you. Talking is one thing, but actually showing is a whole other! So, don't waste your time on someone who only says he cares about you but rarely shows it.
Being prompt, doing what you said you will do, truly caring about how your day went and taking the time to call and find out, showing emotion and not being selfish are all signs that he is or will be a good match. Also, having things in common is a big deal. You wouldn't want to date someone who is into heavy physical exercise on a daily basis (rock climbing, surfing, mountain biking, etc), if you aren't into any of those things yourself. You don't have to have everything in common, but some things are important or else you will run out of things to do and say to each other.
How long you should date someone before deciding if he is going to be right for you in the long term really depends on the person, and on the relationship. If it feels right after the third date, and he is respecting you and your time, showing that he cares about your day, your feelings, and overall considerate, then go for it! Don't just jump into it all the way until you've both discussed that you are exclusive and monogamous, but until then you should definitely keep your options open and see who else is out there.
There are definitely certain points when people should bail. The biggest point is the one I mentioned above: his disrespect of your time. (And of course this goes both ways, ladies!) Meaning he shows up late to your dates, and I don't mean 10 minutes late. Showing up late without a phone call or a text is not only rude but shows he clearly doesn't care about your feelings or time. And if this becomes the typical routine, I say you need to move on. Once or twice is alright, especially if he is stuck in traffic but calls to let you know, however if this is something that you begin to expect from him on a regular basis... then it's a definite red flag.
The other red flag and a means for bailing out of that relationship is his vagueness about things. If you ask a person about their day, or what they did over the weekend, or about his past relationships, and he beats around the bush the whole time or doesn't quite answer the question while changing the subject... another red flag. Run before you get emotionally attached!