Everyone has a list of things they are looking for in a partner. I remember in high school I was only looking to check one box: “is he hot?”
As you get older though that list gets longer (there are more boxes like: “does he have a car?” “does he have a career?”, “does he want children?”, “will he be a good father?”, etc. etc.) and guys have boxes too.
This is why I think it’s so hard to find your person in your late twenties and thirties. We have higher standards now! Which is not a bad thing.
Here’s are my 5 tips for picking the right partner that aren’t on the typical checklist:
#1 find someone you want to have sex with and #2 that YOU really like hanging out with because if things work out you will be DOING BOTH WITH that person a lot.
This might seem kind of obvious but it’s a hard combination. Oftentimes, you really like to do one activity but not the other. But both are required to have a great relationship long term.
#3 the most important quality to look for in a partner IS Loyalty.
Relationships are a lot of work with ups and downs. Even if you are great communicators there will be a time when you can’t talk to each other. Even if you are both extremely honest there will be a time when you lie to each other. Finding someone with a good sense of humor may have been at the top of your checklist but I promise you there will be times when that person who you find hilarious is anything but funny. Looks fade and money certainly doesn’t make you happy.
So my advice is pick someone who is loyal – who will stand by you through the bad times.
How do you know if someone is loyal? (1) Do they have close friends they have known for a long time? (2) Are they good to their family? Their parents? (3) In a time of crisis, do they “show up”? Of course, there are extraneous circumstances and not everyone is close to family or have old friends but you get the point. Just ask yourself the question and you’ll figure it out.
#4 The least important quality IS money. Don’t look for Money, but do look for potential.
When I was a teenager I told my dad, “I don’t care if I marry a poor guy.” My dad was a blue-collar guy raised in a blue-collar family by parents who had struggled and worked hard to give him that life. My grandmother told stories about her childhood, about not having a lot of food and growing up in one room with 11 brothers and sister. About how my grandfather left home when he was a kid to move across the country alone on only a third grade education.
My dad continued to work hard to give us a comfortable middle-class lifestyle. He must have thought my comment was naive and said “You have no idea what it’s like to be poor.”
I’ve thought about this comment more since that day and it’s true. Being really poor (I’m not talking about not being able to take trip or buy a new purse, etc.) but not being able to feed and clothe your kids would be extremely hard on a relationship. And there is a reason finances are a huge cause of divorce.
Money is important, you need it. And there are so many ways you have to get on the same page and communicate about finances to have a successful relationship. But your partner doesn’t have to have a lot of it when you meet or a great job yet. They only have to have a strong work ethic, they only have to have potential.
#5 and most importantly don’t get married unless you are 100% in love.
Don’t ever settle. Relationships are HARD. If you start out not 100% in love with that person I don’t know how you can possibly make it through the times later in the relationship when you will inevitably hate that person. You have to at the very least start out on the right foot to give yourself a chance at a successful relationship.
If you’re getting older and thinking “I may have to settle” on a few things because you want to get married and have children, etc., DON’T. Who cares if you get married only to get divorced 5 years later. Wait until you find your right person.