Let’s be honest: dating isn’t easy!
You can have crazy chemistry with someone, only to find out they’re not who you thought they were.
I’ve been through this more times than I’d like to admit — and it caused a lot of heartache.
And that’s why I firmly believe you should stay single until you find someone with these 10 traits.
It may take a bit of waiting, but the relationship will be 100% worth it. Let’s have a look at what the 10 traits are.
We’re kicking off this list with one of the most important traits to find in a partner: honesty.
I don’t know you personally, but I’m sure you’re a person with a big heart. You may tend to trust people easily — perhaps too much.
But unfortunately, not everyone is true to their word.
So while you’re looking for someone who’s honest, remember that it will take time to truly know if someone possesses this trait.
Watch for patterns and inconsistencies in the things they say.
See if they follow up on the things they say they will do.
And above all, listen to your gut. Our sixth sense tends to pick up when things are off, even if we can’t quite explain why.
Just as important as finding someone honest is finding someone with empathy.
This is the trait that will ensure you feel heard and understood in your relationship, and keeps you on the same page.
If someone can’t or isn’t willing to put themselves in your shoes, a lot of conflict will ensue.
I’ve unfortunately spent a long time with someone who didn’t empathize with me, and it took me a really long time to get over the pain that built up inside me as a result.
I felt like he was never on my side, and looked for things to criticize rather than reasons to forgive me.
Of course, you don’t want this, and I would never wish it on anyone else either.
So make sure you stay single until you find someone who can empathize well with you.
3) A growth mindset
If a relationship is to last, it has to be able to grow.
What this means is that both people who make up the relationship have to be willing to work on themselves.
Naturally, this can only happen if you believe that growth is possible, otherwise any effort isn’t worth it.
I love to improve myself in any area of my life, and of course relationships are no exception.
So I felt frustrated when I was with someone that didn’t seem to share my interest in strengthening our bond.
I suggested we listen to relationship podcasts together, or take a course with a relationship expert.
Unfortunately, he took that personally as criticism, like I wasn’t happy in the relationship.
Now, I’m with someone who understands that no matter how happy you are already, there is always room for growth, and if you take that opportunity, that’s when your relationship can become truly extraordinary.
Another important trait to find in someone is patience.
This goes hand in hand with all the other traits you’ve read so far, and the ones that follow too.
Because truthfully, it takes patience to get anything good in life. You need to be patient with someone in order to communicate with them, and find the best way to express something with empathy.
You must also be patient with both yourself and others in order to see any kind of personal growth happen.
If you’re with someone who doesn’t have the maturity to understand that anything that’s worth it takes time, you’re better off staying single until you find someone who does.
Some time ago, I dated a guy who I thought was my endgame. We had so much in common, and could stay up all night talking about anything and everything.
The problem? He was really not respectful of my feelings.
He talked about how hot his female friends were, and he flirted with them right in front of me.
The bigger problem was that I actually talked to him about how this bothered me, and he said he would stop but then kept doing it.
This is an obvious sign of a person who doesn’t respect you, or take the time to fully consider your feelings.
And it goes without saying, that relationship didn’t last. Better save yourself the pain and wait for someone who’s truly respectful.
6) Emotional intelligence
Now, let’s talk about the importance of emotional intelligence in a partner.
This is the ability to recognize and understand your own emotions, as well as those of others.
This ties into being able to self-reflect, empathize, communicate well, and choose which emotions to act on.
All of this is extremely important in a relationship where two people have to consolidate their differing experiences, opinions, and feelings.
It’s a crucial trait for solving the inevitable challenges that come up in relationships, and working through them in a healthy way.
One of my first relationships was with someone who I considered a total dream.
He was tall, athletic, cool, and thoughtful. He was also very non-conflictive, and quiet most of the time — he had that mysterious air around him.
But after a while I realized that he wasn’t so much mysterious but rather had nothing much to say.
There wasn’t anything he felt deeply passionate about, and he spent a lot of his free time on social media or texting with friends.
That might be fine for someone who does the same, but I have dozens of interests, and found myself feeling bored in the relationship.
I can’t say I regret it, because every relationship teaches you many important things — especially the first ones.
But you may be better off staying single until you find someone passionate, or you might miss the opportunity to meet the right person.
Where do you imagine yourself in five years? This isn’t just an annoying interview question — it’s actually important to consider in terms of your ideal relationship.
Chances are, you probably don’t picture yourself having the exact same life as you do now. Many things will be different — whether you wanted them to change, or not.
You will also change a lot as a person, thanks to the many rich experiences you’ll have over the years to come.
So to have a lasting, loving relationship, you need to find someone who is able to adapt to these changes with you.
If you want to find someone who’s adaptable, you need to also honestly consider if you have this trait yourself — it only works as a two-way street.
9) A sense of humor
Another key trait to find in a partner is a sense of humor.
Let’s face it — life is full of ups and downs. If you have someone by your side who can make you laugh through it all, life is much nicer.
Not only that, it becomes much easier to navigate conflicts too. You need to be able to look back and laugh at some point, otherwise you’ll just collect more and more reasons to feel unhappy.
Humor also helps you deepen your bond with your partner, as laughter brings people together.
Especially if you share a unique sense of humor and inside jokes that only the two of you understand, to make it feel truly special.
So, stay single until you find someone who can make you laugh, and you’ll have a much healthier and more resilient relationship.
Relationships mean two people mutually support each other, and help each other through life.
And for that, reliability is crucial.
I found this out the hard way. The guy I mentioned earlier who didn’t make me feel very respected — unfortunately he wasn’t too reliable either.
He frequently kept me waiting when we made plans, and sometimes he’d even cancel them last minute.
Anyone can slip up and forget to follow up on something they said they would do, but when it happens frequently it’s more than just a mistake.
That’s not what you want from a relationship — so you’re better off staying single until you find someone you can depend on.
Finding the right person
Finding the right person, with the traits you want, can be difficult.
Many of us make long lists of all the things we want in a partner, setting unrealistic expectations for how people should be.
The truth is, you don’t need someone who’s perfect. We’re all human. It’s enough if you find someone with these 10 traits — it will set you up for lasting relationship happiness.