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A few days ago, one of my colleagues posted a question on Elephant Journal‘s Facebook page.
“What is the number one thing you look for in a partner?”
This question made me pause for a second. On the surface, it looks like a simple question, and our answer might as well be a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t wish for a physically appealing, fun, outgoing, smart, loving partner? Someone who’d move mountains for us and do absolutely anything to be with us.
However, when your heart has been broken again and again and you discover that love goes beyond good looks, you realize there is no simple answer to that deep and much-needed question.
It took me many years and many failures to realize that attractiveness, humor, and fun don’t cut it. There’s more to it—much more.
We might end up with someone who’s not our type physically, is bad at cracking jokes, or is a couch potato. But what really matters are the qualities that are serious deal breakers. The qualities that could badly hurt our relationships and are big red flags.
Trust me, I haven’t found the answer to this not-so-simple question overnight. My bad romantic choices have led me to discover that we shouldn’t overlook someone’s true colors.
It took me a few minutes to answer my colleague’s question, but when I did, I was pretty damn sure that the qualities I had thought about should be on everyone’s list. We have to keep in mind though that no one’s perfect and someone with these qualities doesn’t mean they’re flawless; we shouldn’t expect them to be anyway. However, looking for these traits represent our values and self-worth. They represent a healthy and conscious relationship that could be free from unnecessary quarrels.
Well, I’m lucky to have a husband who’s extremely humorous and fun and good looking, but most importantly, he has traits that make our relationship stronger by the day.
So, when choosing your life partner, make sure they have these five extremely important qualities:
1. Look for a partner who’s kind. I’d say this is the most important quality we should look for in our life partner. For me, kindness means a lot of things. It means unconditional support, understanding, empathy, thoughtfulness, acknowledgment, and validation. When we’re with a kind partner, we will always feel loved and cared for, and in return, we will feel the love and care that our partner extends to others.
Kindness is at the roots of any successful relationship. At the end of the day, how much we love someone is determined by how well they treat us.
2. Look for a partner who’s emotionally mature. Emotional maturity is of utmost importance. I can’t stress this enough. Being with an emotionally immature partner might feel like we raising a kid (and no one wants to feel as if they’re parenting their partner all over again). Someone with a lack of maturity won’t be able to easily resolve conflicts and properly deal with them. Because they don’t know (or understand) how to deal with their emotions (or their partner’s), they might be quick to blame, avoid difficult conversations, pull away or get defensive when they feel threatened, get upset easily, or take things personally.
I think it’s easy to spot a partner who hasn’t learned how to process their feelings. They will simply react badly in bad or difficult situations without weighing the consequences.
3. Look for a partner who can practice forgiveness. In any relationship, no matter how good and successful it is, partners will at some point make mistakes. When someone hurts us, we tend to hold on to our resentment as a way of punishing them. We might also be afraid to come off as weak. However, when it comes to relationships, forgiveness is not a weakness; it’s an asset.
That being said, choose a partner who has the ability to let go of their grudge and move forward. Relationships without forgiveness can never thrive.
4. Look for a partner who’s constantly learning and growing. Doing the necessary inner work is a must if we want a solid relationship that lasts for decades. So, make sure to look for someone who has the willingness to learn and grow. Look for someone who associates outer events with their own behaviors and checks in with themselves to figure out how they can become a better person. They are constantly looking for new sides and features of themselves and letting go of what no longer serves them.
A partner who knows how to care for themselves individually will undoubtedly know how to love you and care for you. It’s sexy when our partner knows us better than anyone else, but it’s even sexier when they know themselves and how to regulate their life and emotions.
5. Look for a partner who’s honest. Honesty is everything, trust me. Without honesty, there will be too much worry, fear, curiosity, and disappointment. It is the foundation of a strong, long-term relationship because if we don’t trust or believe our partner, we can never commit to them, take them seriously, or feel safe in their presence.
If you want suspicion and conflict out of your romantic life, choose a partner who’s completely transparent with you, who’s not afraid of your reaction, who trusts you equally, and who’s righteous and gentle, even if they hurt you.