A lot of people struggle with love in our world. It's a foundation in which we come into this world, usually, and it's the way in which we hope we leave it too. Everyone needs to (or at least should) feel love at some point in their lives, but it's not an easy thing to come by. When it does enter your life, it can be very difficult to figure out whether it's one that is going to stick around or just flicker away like a match in the wind. We all try to keep our eyes open for that one person, the "keeper." From the lessons I've learned, here are some qualities, gender neutral, that might mean someone is "keeper" material.

1. You remember the moment you met vividly and positively

It's arguably one of the most crucial moments of the relationship as it sets the foundation for the rest. First impressions are important, and they can define how the rest of your interactions pan out. If you remember the moment you saw them like a snapshot in your head, this shows exactly how much they stick out to you among a crowd. Do you remember what they were doing? Who they were sitting next to? The first feature of their person that you fell for? Did time freeze? If your first sighting was recorded in your brain and the rest of your interaction ended up going well, you may have your first sign of someone you might want to keep around.

2. They make the extra effort to get to know you

You want to know so much about this person, but do they show that same interest in you? Have you guys played "20 Questions" with equal amounts of enthusiasm? When you tell them about yourself, are they genuinely listening? If there's something about you that they don't understand, do they put in that extra effort to understand it better? If so, you can know from that point on that this person is truly interested in being a part of your life.

3. They are independent and clingy simultaneously

It's good to want to be around each other, but it's equally as important to be your own person. When you're alone with each other, are they fully invested in you? Are you guys spending time together or is their focus constantly on another plane? On the opposite spectrum, can they function without you? Are they doing their own thing with their own friends occasionally or do they keep a notebook on them recording your every location throughout the day like that one girlfriend of Spencer's from "iCarly?" Notebook partner is definitely not someone that you'd want to have around long as it's important to function together as a couple but also individually as two separate people as you both will have your own lives to live.


4. They are willing to go out of their way for you

Anyone who is willing to get out of bed to make you mac & cheese or stop by the local Target to pick up the new pack of Pokemon cards for you definitely gets pointers in my book. Honestly, they don't need to do that, but they WANT to for you. You can't not smile after someone does something like that for you.

5. They know how to help you

Whether by doing something themselves or by calling in your best friend when you need them, most of the time, they know exactly what to do to make you feel better. Have a favorite store? They'll bring you there to window shop or buy candy or Christmas lights or something. Have a favorite movie? They have the DVD in already. Anything to cheer you up.

6. They aren't afraid to talk about the future when things move along

Though this occurs at different times for different couples, eventually, you are going to have to chat about the future of your relationship. Is it leading up to marriage? Kids? Do you both want to focus on your careers and become millionaires living in a fancy mansion? Cool, but as long as you both are openly willing to talk about this once the relationship becomes more serious.


7. They apologize

Whether after a fight or a joke, they care about your feelings. They don't even have to say they're sorry. Sometimes, they'll have a tick that means that. Just something that you know is apologetic. They'll also own up to when they have fucked up. If they did something wrong, even if it's only wrong in their minds or yours, they'll be conscientious of how their actions affected you and apologize, even when its unnecessary.

8. They can just Netflix

I'll let the sexual nature of your relationship be defined by you two (or three or four; you do you). However, you don't have to get busy when you have some time alone. They're okay with just cuddling up on a couch or in your bed and watching the latest season of "Flash" or the new "Luke Cage." Hell, if you're into chick flicks, they willingly watch it with you without wanting something in return. That's a "keeper" right there.

9. You can be yourself

I can go on with dozens of more reasons on how to identify a "keeper," but most of that is up to what you are looking for when searching for love. However, most relationships shouldn't require you to sacrifice who you are for the sake of it. Around your person, you can actually be exactly who you are, and they're okay with that. No acting fake, no pretending, no hiding. You can be nerdy, sporty, shy, over-confident, really into business, really into action figures. You can be you with no consequences. If you're not afraid to be yourself around your person, that's you telling yourself you're comfortable around this person. You might want to keep them around for a bit or maybe the rest of your life.