As in many aspects of life, you never really know what it is you want until you know what it is you don’t want. Think about it: You try a different type of food, realize you don’t like it and never indulge again. The same goes for the dating world. You think you want to date a bad boy because of the allure that surrounds his hard-to-get nature, but only when you are six months deep in the relationship do you find yourself asking, “What the f*ck am I doing? Is this really what I want?”
These realizations are far from immediate, as you need to spend an adequate amount of time with a person to gain a real perspective. You want to test yourself and see which behaviors you can tolerate and which are the true deal breakers. This is how you develop that “picture” in your mind of what you want your ideal person to be like.
No relationship will ever be perfect, despite what many people believe to be true. There will only be that person who is most compatible with you and your personality. This person will stick by your side through thick and thin, without thinking twice of jumping ship when the going gets tough. How can you tell if you have found the right person? Chances are, he or she demonstrates a majority of the following.
Does not judge you when you slip up
Perhaps this is the one of the top priority qualities to look for in a partner. Everyone makes mistakes; it's part of life. If you are willing to admit and own up to your faults and rectify them, then that should be sufficient closure to move on with your life.
Your partner should not be throwing your mistakes in your face. He or she should not judge you or make you feel guilty; instead, he or she should stick by your side as you try to make those mistakes right. Good judgment results from truly learning from your mistakes. If that’s what your course of action really intends, then your partner should support you in that endeavor.
Endures awkward family gatherings with you
When you are in a serious relationship, you are in a relationship with your partner's family, too. Everyone’s family is unique; some may be even a little more than difficult. Date someone who will stick by your side when you have to go to those family gatherings you know you would rather not attend. Instead of giving you a hard time, your partner will be your support system and understand why you don’t want to be there. He or she will not try to butt in or offer unsolicited advice; instead, your partner will feel what you feel and support you throughout the entire thing.
Notices when you get a haircut
This doesn’t literally mean your partner will notice your haircut; rather, he or she will notice those small physical changes you make to your appearance. Your partner should be paying attention to your appearance, not to judge you, but because your face is the one he or she adores; your partner looks at you standing in front of him or her every day.
When you are engaging in a multitude of activities together, you want your partner to be completely invested and not have his mind drifting elsewhere. If you make a drastic personal alteration and your partner doesn’t notice, chances are, he or she isn’t paying full attention to you in the first place.
Respects your opinion
You deserve to have your opinions heard and respected, even if your partner does not agree with them. Everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs; that’s what makes relationships so dynamic. How boring would your conversations be if you always agreed on every single topic?
Where’s the excitement in that? When you are in a group setting, you want your partner to support and defend your values and ideas even if he or she doesn’t agree. This is a concept that many couples seem to forget. Your counterpart is a representation of you, so why would you want to be with someone who publicly puts down your views?
Makes you feel like you deserve the world
This sounds so simple, but too many women let the men in their lives walk all over them, and vice versa. Everyone deserves to be respected and treated with dignity. Do not waste your time dating someone who makes you feel as if you are lucky to have him or her.
You want to be with someone who wants to give you the world and make your daily life that much better -- something you should want for your partner, as well. If your main goal isn’t to make each other happy, why are you dating in the first place? Don’t be in a relationship just to be in one, especially if your needs are not being met.
Has the approval of your friends
Your friends are the family you choose for yourself -- shouldn’t their opinions matter? When you are in a relationship, more often than not, your judgment becomes clouded by feelings.
Your friends offer an objective view of your partner. They want what’s best for you and have your best interests at heart. If they grow concerned about your relationship, you need to take that as a sign that maybe this person just isn’t the right fit. Don’t become angry if they express these views to you; instead, listen and reflect to see if they really are justified. When you remove yourself from certain situations, it’s much easier to gain clarity.
Never makes you feel like you're indebted to him or her
Don’t be with someone who only goes out of his or her way for you, expecting to get the same in return. Keeping a scorecard in a relationship is only going to put you on the fast track to a breakup. You should want to do little niceties for your partner without thinking he or she needs to return the favor. Isn’t that what relationships are all about, anyway? Acting selflessly because you want to, not because you want to be rewarded?