Sometimes love (or lust!) can happen at first sight, but a slow and steady approach will involve identifying what you want in advance and looking for someone who possesses those qualities. Though what individuals we are looking for is personal to each of us, there are some basic characteristics and traits you might want to consider adding to your ‘list of wants’ in a partner. Maybe you love bike riding, yoga, cappuccinos, or travel! Regardless of your favorite pastimes, finding someone who cherishes the activities you do likely won’t create a good or lasting relationship if they don’t also have other qualities, like honesty.
1. Honesty: Being honest is something each of us should strive for in all our daily affairs to avoid complications, lies, or mistrust. To have a great partnership we should practice and give honesty to others. But how can you tell if a date or potential partner is honest? First, look for small clues.
Do they do what they say they will do?
What do their friends and family say about them?
Do they have close, long-term relationships with friends and family who trust them?
Do they have any particular red flags from their past (i.e., times they weren’t honest in the personal or professional career)? Some frequent or compulsive liars can seem very genuine when lying, as they have had a lot of practice doing it! If you being to notice that the person you’re dating is vague, doesn’t tell you many of the ‘5 W’s (who, what, why, where, when) about their life, seem to have hole’s in what they say or get defensive… then trust your gut! Generally, if your intuition feels like someone is lying there is probably more to the story! Honesty also ties into fidelity. If your partner lies frequently, there’s nothing to stop them from lying about being unfaithful and more!
2. Sense Of Humor: Why is this second on the list? Because finding a partner who can laugh off the challenges and complexities of life is a gift that keeps on giving! This doesn’t mean you need to be, date, or marry a comic. However, someone who sees the humor in the day-to-day is probably better at navigating challenges that can arise. They will also be resilient to any ups and downs. A sense of humor in a partner makes the good times better and the hard times palatable! What is funny to you? A sense of humor isn’t just about cracking jokes, but more how you see the world. Some of us like sarcasm, others slapstick, goofy humor, irony, or wit. A way to tell if you have compatible sense’s of humor are as simple as a smile. Do you smile and laugh when around the person? Do they laugh at your jokes, even the terrible or silly ones? Someone you can laugh with will create happiness in a relationship.
3. Positive Outlook: Can the person you’re dating handle life? While no one is happy all the time, consider how your partner navigates the storms of life. Do they slip into tantrums or dismal thinking?While we all might have our off days and no one should be penalized for periods of darkness or worry, but you will usually be happier and better off with a cheery, lighthearted date and partnership!
4. The Ability To Empathize: When you’re sad, upset, or have a concern, does your partner share in your feelings, in a healthy way. While too much sympathy can border on co-dependence, genuine empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another’s feelings. Much of life is navigated through empathy. It will be a benefit during fights or misunderstandings, if you and your partner can try and see one another’s points of view!
5. Compatible Love Languages: If you’re affectionate, choose an affectionate partner. If you are big on gift giving or receiving, find someone who appreciates that or goes the distance. Don’t forget quality time, acts of service, and affirmation. Generally, one or two of these are the primary languages we use to give and express love. If you can know, communicate, and receive the above love languages, you’re off to a great start!
6. Respect: When we think respect, we may think of how others treat us. That is one component, but it is also how we respect ourselves. Does your partner or potential partner take care of their body, mind, and inner workings? If they take that time, care, attention, and respect of themselves, it is more likely they will recognize that with you. Respect is letting others be themselves and, as the poet and novelist Victor Hugo once said, “The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved — loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.”