The Search for True Love: Looking for a Partner

Key Points

  • Looking for a partner is often overwhelming and emotionally exhausting.

  • Figure out exactly what you need and want from a partner to search more objectively and effectively.

  • Make an effort to improve the qualities that make you a good partner, like honesty and open-mindedness.

  • There is no such thing as a perfect match and lovers need to work together to create a beautiful relationship.

  • Looking for a partner means finding someone compatible with you to build the foundation for a shared life

When you dream of a life partner, what qualities do you imagine? Sometimes it's difficult to verbalize your perfect match. What do you want and need from them? Committing to a partner is stressful because it affects the course of your whole life. Know your values and goals for a relationship before looking for a partner to remain objective and find success.

Deciding that you want a partner depends on many unique factors in your life. Take the time to reflect on your emotional needs before putting yourself out there. When looking for a partner, have a clear idea of what you want to avoid wasted time and heartache. Keep an open mind and enjoy the dating world!

Searching for a Life Partner

A life partner is someone you share a deep and meaningful connection with and commit to spending the rest of your life with. This often includes living together, getting married, starting a family, or any other level of life-sharing you decide on together. It is a beautiful commitment to make but it is sometimes challenging to plan and maintain.

When deciding that you want to search for a life partner, make this choice for yourself only. Society and parents often pressure individuals to find a life partner based on their age and gender. Having a life partner is a personal decision that exclusively affects your life, so make the decision regardless of what others tell you to do.

Couple in love

Base your desire to have a life partner on your readiness and ability to love someone rather than a feeling of loneliness. It's common to search for a partner to cure loneliness, but this creates an unhealthy bond and dependence on one another. Find a partner when you are emotionally ready to love and satisfied enough in your independent life to foster a healthy relationship.

Every life partnership is unique based on each individual's needs and the bond they create together. Find clarity in your personal and relationship life goals to effectively search for someone that complements you.

It is not obvious at first whether or not you are compatible long-term with someone. There are early signs and indications to determine your compatibility, but take your time in dating someone before deciding if they are suitable to share your life with. Start exploring your compatibility early on with some questions for a new relationship.

Wants vs. Needs

When in search of a partner, have a clear image of what you're searching for but keep an open mind to all types of people. Perhaps you want someone that also wants to have three children. When it comes to hair color or field of work, however, leave some wiggle room even if you have preferences.

There is a big difference between wants and needs. In basic life, needs include things you require for survival such as food and shelter. Wants include things you desire but don't require to survive, such as new clothes or nice furniture. All humans share the same needs for survival but possess unique wants.

Relationships work in the same way. Needs are qualities required for the survival and basic functioning of the relationship. Wants are desires and preferences that aren't necessary in a relationship.

Some universal needs include trust, honest communication, connection, intimacy, and conflict resolution. Every relationship requires these qualities to function. Individuals also have unique needs, such as someone that shares their life goals and moral values.

Wants in a relationship typically include shared hobbies, a particular appearance, a level of financial security or success, and lifestyle preferences. These things are a bonus to your compatibility but do not make or break the relationship long-term.

Qualities To Look For

Choosing a partner is a life-altering decision, so don't take it lightly. There are many unique factors to consider when analyzing compatibility.

Use the following qualities to find clarity in what you want and signs of compatibility in a relationship.


Lying is common in relationships, but incredibly damaging. Trust is a vital aspect of a relationship built on honesty. Trust allows you to feel secure and build intimacy between you and your partner.

Honesty means telling the truth and not concealing information. Any form of deceit is dishonest, even if you don't tell a blatant lie. Always be honest in your communication and search for a partner that does the same.

Look for someone that is honest about their feelings and stays true to their word. Honesty is a sign of respect and fosters a secure environment in which to be vulnerable with one another.

Emotional Maturity

Emotional maturity is the ability to manage your emotions and have a level of self-awareness. The ability to think for yourself and learn about yourself shows emotional maturity. When someone is emotionally mature, they regulate their own emotions and react appropriately to the emotions of others.

Self-awareness includes the ability to be cognizant of your feelings and recognize how they affect your actions. Emotionally mature people control their emotions healthily and constructively. They always think before they act.

Emotional maturity is necessary for self-growth and has a huge impact on human relationships. For a healthy relationship, work on your emotional maturity and strive to find a partner that prioritizes theirs too.


An independent partner functions on their own to pursue their goals and interests without relying too much on other people.

Independence allows someone to develop and experience personal growth. When someone is happy in their own life, they can be happy in a relationship without depending too heavily on their partner.

Happy couple dancing

Individuals that have a strong sense of independence are less likely to develop a codependent relationship. Codependent relationships involve partners that are too reliant on one another and lose their sense of self while in a relationship. Controlling behavior, lack of boundaries, and possessiveness characterize these unhealthy relationships.

Partners develop a healthy level of dependence on one another when they each have a strong sense of self. Independent individuals enjoy their own hobbies and pursue their own goals, but also support each other and experience new things together.


Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of another person. A good partner is empathetic and willing to hear your struggles to provide support or comfort to you.

When dating an empathetic person, you foster an emotional connection and experience deep intimacy.

Empathy is important in communication to ensure that your partner hears your emotions and understands your struggles. An empathetic partner makes their loved ones feel valued and understood. They are also able to resolve conflicts effectively and overall provide a more meaningful relationship.

Sense of Humor

If you have a sense of humor, you appreciate others' humor and make people laugh in return. A good sense of humor in a partner allows you to maintain a fun and happy relationship. It is often one of the first things that attracts you to someone, and although it seems shallow, it is a trait that contributes to the overall quality of a relationship.

A relationship with someone that shares your sense of humor creates a positive atmosphere and keeps a light-hearted dynamic, even during hard times.

Sharing a laugh with someone builds a deep connection and relieves stress. Find someone to laugh off the difficult times of life with to keep your spirits high. Who doesn't love a good belly laugh with someone they care about?


Respect is a non-negotiable quality in dating. Valuing someone for who they are by treating them with kindness, empathy, and appreciation are ways to show respect.

Another way to show respect is to have faith in your partner's ability to make decisions. Show mutual respect in a partnership through healthy communication and shared conflict resolution.

A respectful partner honors boundaries without questioning or pushing limits.

When partners respect one another, they create a healthy and fulfilling relationship with mutual trust and understanding. Respect is necessary from the first date and grows as the relationship progresses.


A healthy partner is open to new ideas and flexible in their perspectives. An open mind is essential for personal growth and the deepening of a relationship.

Remaining open to feedback from others is a difficult quality to possess but vital for personal growth. Everyone struggles with this at times, but make sure your boo has the ability to self-reflect and is willing to grow as a person.

Two partners in love

A flexible person is more equipped to navigate the ups and downs of life because they are adaptable. This is ideal for a partner as they face life's challenges with an open mind and take on unpredictability. They are willing to hear the perspective of others even if they do not agree with them, and don't argue their point!

It's so sexy when someone recognizes that everyone has lived a unique life that informs their perspectives and experiences. Open-minded people remain nonjudgmental and treat everyone with kindness. Because they are open to new ideas, they constantly learn new things and want to become a better person.

Life gets boring quickly when dating someone that is stuck in their ways. Avoid the stubborn ones and pursue someone willing to go with the flow a bit.

Are You Compatible?

There is no golden rule to tell if you are compatible with someone. There are endless layers to dissect with no straightforward answer.

According to the renowned therapist and author Esther Perel, "Relationship checklists usually start at the surface (think: tall, dark, and handsome), but underneath the superficiality, there’s a deeper layer that hopes to avoid disappointment and dysfunction…It's fantastic to know what you want. It’s important to communicate your desires and values. But there are major downsides to being overly reliant on your relationship checklist. By the time you get to the bottom of it, you may have put yourself in a box and boxed the other person out."

Have an idea of what you want, but stay open-minded when evaluating a potential partner.

Here are a few major categories to consider when deciding if you are compatible enough with someone to date them:


Compatability is largely dependent on your alignment of values. Most people prioritize honesty, kindness, and loyalty in a partner.

If you are a social rights activist, it's likely a priority for you that a potential partner cares deeply about the same causes. If you are religious, you want to find a partner that shares your religion or is willing to convert to your religion. Some cultures prioritize certain values such as caring for elders or communal living. Perhaps your partner shares these values already or you have the opportunity to introduce them to your culture.

Values shape you and decide your behaviors. Shared values are essential when making decisions or solving problems in a partnership. You are more likely to agree on important decisions and generally understand your partner better with aligned values.

Decide which values are a priority to you and keep them in mind when searching for a compatible partner.

Happy couple


Your lifestyle includes your habits, routine, preferences, and ways that you spend your time and money. Everyone has unique preferences, but find a boo with common ground. You don't need to have identical lifestyles, but polar opposites don't work either.

What leisure activities do you enjoy? How active are you? How often do you like to go to the bar? What time do you like to go to bed? How clean do you keep your living space?

Although these things seem minor at first, they dictate a whole relationship dynamic. If your partner likes to go to the bar three nights a week but you prefer to take a bath and read a book, you don't have much time to spend together. If you live an active lifestyle and prioritize your exercise, dating a couch potato might cramp your style and your routine.

Having similar spending habits and valuation of money is ideal when building a partnership. Once you build a long-term relationship together, sharing finances causes turmoil if someone has a shopping addiction or otherwise different money values.

Consider your lifestyle when searching for a partner and find someone that fits into your routine. Leave room for compromise and time apart, but work together to design a lifestyle that suits both of you.


Although everyone has personal goals for their future, sometimes they align with someone else's and sometimes they don't. What are your career goals? Where do you want to live? Do you want to have children? Perhaps you have humble goals to live in a small house and work a regular job, but your potential boo wants to make seven figures and live in a mansion up on the hills. Maybe one of you changes your mind, but it's more likely that you just aren't compatible.

Consider the self-discipline and motivation of your potential partner. In an ideal relationship, you each have a personal drive to work towards your goals and provide motivation to each other too. You share a sense of mutual support and respect for each other's ambitions. If you are highly motivated, you don't want to be with a person that lacks goals and motivation, holding you back from your dreams.

Goals provide direction and purpose in life. Setting your own goals sets you on track for how you want to lead your life. Find a partner with similar goals and motivation to achieve the lives you want together.

Sexual Compatibility

Sexual compatibility with someone is dependent on each of your desires, preferences, chemistry, and ability to satisfy the other's needs. The chemistry of attraction is typically the first factor considered in a potential partner. You notice how physically attractive they are and your pheromones go crazy.

Man and woman in intimate moment

As you progress in your sex life with someone, you notice whether or not you are compatible in this way. How often do they like to have sex compared to you? How comfortable are you with them? Can they pleasure you? How well do you communicate with each other about sex?

Remain patient and open-minded when exploring your sexual compatibility with a partner. Communicate openly and honestly about your wants and needs, and be receptive to their preferences too. Sex isn't the main component in building a long-term relationship, but it is useful to the connection and overall satisfaction of the relationship. Everyone has sexual needs!


Shared interests are the most obvious aspect of compatibility with someone. Consider what entertains you, what hobbies you enjoy, and what inspires you.

Having common interests with a partner allows you to share experiences and engage in things you are both passionate about. If you are an avid traveler, find a partner that also has their passport handy. If you like to listen to hip-hop music all day, it's awesome if your hot date enjoys the same artists as you.

You don't need to share every interest with your partner. It's more fun if you have differences. Introducing each other to your passions encourages personal growth and adds excitement to your relationship. However, if you are polar opposites or lack shared interests, it makes it difficult to bond and build a life together.

Having shared interests with someone is beneficial to building a satisfying relationship and creating beautiful experiences together.

Communication Style

Your communication style is the way you express what you are thinking and feeling both verbally and nonverbally. Communication style plays a role in building trust, resolving conflicts, maintaining an emotional connection, and day-to-day casual conversation.

It's healthy to express yourself clearly and respectfully. Work on the way you communicate and listen to others to foster a healthy relationship.

How do you communicate? How do you prefer to receive communication from a partner? Would you rather hash things out immediately or take time to reflect and discuss the issue later? How does your partner prefer to communicate and listen?

Be aware of your own communication style and be open to how others communicate. This is not an obvious point of compatibility at the beginning of a relationship but is vital in building a long-term connection.

Start Looking for Your Match

Committing to a life partner is a big decision that alters the course of your life. Enjoy the dating process as you meet amazing new people and learn more about yourself. Keep in mind that the perfect marriage doesn't exist, but healthy and fulfilling relationships are attainable and fulfilling.

Lifelong partners on a bench

You are fully equipped to decide your wants and needs and search for a life partner that aligns with your values and goals. Maintain your sense of self and work on the qualities that make you a good partner.

Head to your local coffee shop and pay for the cutie at the table next to you or step into the digital age and start swiping on dating apps to put yourself out there. There are plenty of cute singles ready to get to know you!

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