1.) Mutual Attraction of equal levels
Let’s face it, attraction is the first step for most relationships. It’s how we first know we like the other person. Maybe they look amazing, maybe we like their personality. Whatever it is this is where the relationship starts. For someone, you want to spend your life with, that mutual attraction should be, or should grow into a fairly equal attraction.
For example: How many times have you seen a woman who is head over heels for a man and can’t stop talking about him but then he’s just nonchalant about her, doesn’t answer her messages, doesn’t bring her up to his friends, etc?
Or what about the man who moves heaven and earth for the woman he’s into, but she flirts with other guys in front of him, maybe even talks about how obnoxious he and his interests are?
Attraction in a potential life partner should be a strong, deep, distracting, and singular power for both people! It should also be something that grows with time.
2.) Sharing Humor
All of us are a bit weird, bit freaky and have our insane peculiarities. Our senses of humor are one of the ways our freak shines through.
When looking for a life partner it is important to find someone who understands or better yet enjoys your sense of humor. Someone who can laugh at the same jokes with you will make life more joyful overall.
3.) Values and Compromise
The world takes all kinds, but when you are looking at spending the rest of your life with someone it pays to have similar values. Any values you do not share with your partner need to be something you are comfortable compromising about. If you aren’t comfortable with compromised values then you absolutely must find someone that shares yours. Do not try to change someone, in the long run, that will only bring resentment.
4.) Argument Styles and a Plan
Everyone argues at some point. Finding someone you can argue with and still love deeply, still want to be around, and are willing to compromise for is essential! Obviously, the hope is you won’t be arguing all the time, so instead of waiting for that first argument to make or break your relationship, try discussing how you both argue. Be honest, put all your flaws and nasty attitudes on the table. Let your partner know what they are in for and ask them to do the same.
Discuss your argument plan and agree to it. Likely you both have past experiences with arguments. If there is something, say ultimatums, that trigger you, make sure you discuss what needs to stay off the argument table. Discuss how you will make peace if an agreement can’t be reached. Sometimes taking a 15-30min break from the conflict and approaching it with a fresher mind can help ease the tension and move the argument back into a safer discussion zone.
5.) Money and a Plan
Again every relationship is different. Before you get to the sharing bank accounts point, discuss, discuss, discuss!
We all spend, save and pay our bills a bit different. Be honest about those spending habits. Talk about your saving goals. Discuss how comfortable you both are with debt and if you are at that point be honest about how much debt you have.
Make an agreement on how the finances will work. Who makes more? Is everyone comfortable with that? Do you want to have separate accounts or joint or both?
Make a plan and save yourselves the stress.
6.) Relationship status
First, realize that while I’m talking specifically about finding a life partner, relationships are varied. Some people want to get married, have a family (or not) and that is their ideal. For others, they may want a life partner but never want to put a ring on it. Maybe your partner believes in exclusive relationships and maybe they believe in open relationships. Make sure you discuss with each other what you want from life, and what you expect from and out of a relationship with each other. Make no assumptions! Always ask.
7.) Keep Dating, Romance one another
When you’ve been with someone for a while it’s easy to forget that “first date” feeling. When you are looking for a life partner, find someone you can continue to date and someone that shares the continuation of the romance. Small things like hand-holding, sweet words and simple acts of kindness make the best romance. Grand gestures are okay too! But they don’t need to be all the time. Just make sure both of you are committed to protecting that spark!
Again, in every relationship intimacy is a bit different. People have different sex drives, different desires, and different comfort levels. Discuss, discuss, discuss! Be open, be honest. When you are considering a life partner there should be no such thing as embarrassment. If you are embarrassed to talk to your significant other about intimate matters then you are not ready for commitment and the same if they are not comfortable with you. Don’t just assume you know what your partner wants, ask, listen, accept, and be open to those desires growing and changing.
Also, it is always good to discuss family planning before getting intimate! Don’t wait for a surprise, plan ahead and honor your partner's wishes. If your ideas of family planning and intimacy don’t fit then it is better to find out by discussion rather then after the fact.
9.) Our Family, Your Family, My Family
When you are considering becoming life partners, don't forget that most likely you both come with family and friends prior to meeting. Be sure to visit how you view your and your partner's family and friends and what role they will play in your relationship with each other.
For example, maybe one of you has an aging parent that you care for. Is your potential life partner okay with being a part of that?
Or maybe you have a mean friend but you still like hanging with them. Is that something your partner is willing to accept?
Talk about it!
Communication is the key to every lasting relationship. Communicate before committing, communicate after committing and leave all assumptions out of the conversation.
I'm a woman who sees the world a bit differently. I've studied relationships, both through those around me, my own experiences & through traditional education on how human psychology affects our interpersonal connections for over ten years. This is my story, my advice, and my not so humble opinions.