What you should look for in a partner


We all have expectations of what we want in a romantic partner. Some people’s requirements are sweet and simple — kind, funny, and honest. Others may be more specific, like being a hockey fan or having a certain level of education. But finding someone that fulfills all our wishes isn’t going to happen. Nor will it make you truly happy, since being too alike can become boring and predictable. So where do you draw the line while still having the kind of relationship you want and deserve? The key is to narrow the list to a few core values that you should be able to spot early on. While there’s no guarantee in the game of love, the following qualities are a good sign that you’ve found someone who’s in it for the long haul!

Compassion and loyalty

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The best part of finding your other half is having someone who always has your back. That means being a comforting presence when you need a shoulder to cry on. When you’re contemplating a life-changing decision, they’re always there with support and encouragement. They may not agree with your choice, but they want you to be happy and will stick by your side no matter what.

Another aspect of loyalty is trust. A trustworthy partner will be faithful to the beliefs and boundaries you’ve set in your relationship. Granted, there’s no way to check up on your partner 24/7. But their words and actions should inspire trust, not doubt and suspicion.

A strong character

Someone with a strong character is secure in their image. They proudly stand by their beliefs and maintain integrity even when there’s strong opposition. Why is this important? For one thing, it means they’re not looking for validation from someone else, or for a romantic relationship to mask their insecurities. Instead, they’re looking to share their already interesting and fulfilling life with the right person!

However, a strong character shouldn’t be confused with an unwillingness to change. Your other half should still be able to admit when they’re wrong, or when another point of view is just as valid as theirs. In short, there’s always room to grow and improve while staying true to yourself.

Shared values and interests

“Opposites attract” works great when you’re in the honeymoon stage of a relationship. But, it can soon lead to conflicts that eventually wear away at your bond. As we mentioned, you don’t want a partner who’s a carbon copy of you. Still, you do want to find someone that you can share your life with. That means having enough interests, hobbies, and values to keep you together more than you’re apart. It also means fewer arguments about things like what to do, how to spend your money, and how to raise your kids.

By the way, don’t be afraid to admit what’s important to you. For example, maybe you’re hesitant to fess up about your love for all things Harry Potter. However, life would probably be a lot more fun if you share it with a fellow Potter fan!

Willing to work for it

Even with all the above qualities, a relationship takes work and dedication. Throughout the months and years, there will be many bumps in the road. That’s why it’s important to get a sense of how the other person deals with conflicts and disagreements. For instance, people with good long-term potential see relationships as growing and ever-evolving. Growth is something you develop over time by working through challenges rather than avoiding them.

So ask yourself: when you and partner disagree, do they try to run from the issue or see it as a sign that the relationship is doomed? Or, are they willing to talk to you about the problem, and find a compromise that works for both of you?

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While this isn’t an in-depth list of what you should look for in a partner, it’s a good place to start. It’s also quite possible you may find a great partner who doesn’t meet all these qualifications. But these factors have been associated with long-term couples who feel satisfied and fulfilled with their other half. So there’s no harm in keeping them in mind the next time you’re gauging someone’s relationship potential.