When Dating Gets Serious, What Qualities Should I Be Looking Out for in a Potential Life Partner?

Getting married is a big leap in life and choosing a lifetime partner is a matter that should not be left to chance. Really, it boils down to you and your choice. Now, before we dive into the topic, let’s put things into proper perspective. There are a gazillion of qualities that are ideal in a life partner and preferences do vary per person. We can’t talk about all the qualities out there, so today, we will focus on qualities that are important in the realm of conflict. Why, you may ask? Well, there is no perfect person and there is no perfect relationship. Therefore, conflict is inevitable. And in the many years that you will be spending together, conflicts and challenges will come your way. Hence, you may want to watch out for a partner with qualities that will aide in overcoming these challenges.



[From: Provençal Countryside Engagement / Photo: Darren Lebeuf]


(1) Respectful

A partner that respects you accepts you for who you are, including your shortcomings, and values your difference in opinion and interests. Respect opens a mutual space for each individual in the relationship to continue to grow. Without respect, the tendency is to become controlling, an act that stunts your partner’s growth and leads to resentment. The lack thereof, therefore, is a catalyst to even more problems. On the other hand, when a relationship is reflective of respect, couples are more in tune with each other as separate beings. They are able to manage differences and constructively resolve issues even with separate perspectives.



[From: Blue Rendezvous / Photo: Hilary Chan]


(2) Open

A parter that is open and lets his guards down to converse and share his most inner feelings, dreams, and desires allowing you to truly know him. This quality also opens doors for unobstructed conversations on problems and issues which help in personal development and development of the relationship. Communication is the forefront, but openness to understand and work things out is the second part that also makes a big difference in a lasting relationship.



[From: Wide-eyed Wanderers / Photo: Ben Yew Photography]


(3) Honest

Trust is very difficult to earn, but very easy to break. Hence, an honest partner will save a relationship from doubt, confusion, a shattered image of one another, and an underlying tone of distrust. In times of conflict, honesty is important for couples to understand one another and hurdle hurts that if left unresolved, resurface as greater threats. Honesty is a fragile quality in a healthy relationship and should therefore be considered with high regard.



[From: Simple Seaside Love / Photo: Angel Cheung]


(4) Mature

Being mature doesn’t only mean a person is “grown-up”. Maturity includes the ability and the active effort to recognize negative experiences and influences in the past in order to understand current behaviors. When a person is emotionally mature, he is able reflect on things that happened in the past and resolve them so that he does not take it out on current relationships. This quality is important because as you face problems, you and your partner will be able to dissect them, understand them, and resolve them so that these don’t hinder your growth forward as a couple.



[From: Intimately Intertwined / Photo: Subtle Production]


(5) Empathetic

Since we all come from different backgrounds, we deal with daily events, whether good or bad, in different ways and we react to these events differently, too. An empathetic partner takes the initiative to place himself in the shoes of his partner, understand the situation better, and process the emotions that tend to rule during stressful conditions. Empathy also allows for more kindness and compassion in the relationship, a deterrent to conflicts arising from misunderstandings and insensitivity.



[From: Casual Pleasantries / Photo: Angel Cheung]


We hope this helped you gain some practical knowledge about relationships and some ingredients that contribute to a lasting union. Again, there are still many more qualities that are ideal in a lifetime partner. And to reiterate, preferences really do vary. In the end, you will decide. Don’t worry too much though, you’re intuition and personal insight will help you identify “the one” but do keep these in mind as well. Your heart and mind will work together and soon enough, you’ll realize whether the man you’re dating is for keeps!

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