5 Ways To Figure Out What You’re Really Looking For In A Partner

Before I started dating people, I had no idea what I wanted from a partner, or how to figure out what I should look for in a partner. Sure, I sort of knew the basics – pick someone who's nice, someone who's supportive. (I may have been given some helpful guidelines from Harry Styles.) But after that it was all kind of guessing. When I entered my first relationship in college, I wasn't seeking out much of a certain type; we just got along and I thought he was attractive. So it kind of just happened. But as the relationship broke down, I realized there are certain aspects to a personality that just don't work for me. For example, something that I think would really help my next relationship is getting along with my SO's friends. Knowing that going in makes things a lot easier for sure.

Now, whether you know it or not, if you're the relationship-kind-of-person, there are qualities that just will or will not work with you. It's OK to not mesh with everyone, and it can be way helpful knowing what you like and don't like when seeking out a new relationship.

I spoke with Lori Salkin, senior matchmaker and dating coach, and Nina Rubin (no relation), M.A. and life coach, to get a handle on how to know what you want in a partner.

Have an open mind.

Salkin says that entering each potential partnership with a checklist of qualities or attributes is a "sure way to fail."

"Most people cannot check off all of their boxes for their own checklists at any given moment and will admit that it is a constantly evolving list," she tells Elite Daily.

She recommends you just evaluate how things go after spending time with that person, and be open to the idea of being in a relationship if you enjoy their presence.

"The most important way to figure who is 'the one' for you is to be open-minded," Salkin says.

Stop striving for perfection.

"Also remember that no one is perfect," Salkin says. "The people you date will have imperfections. You need to look at the bigger picture and find someone that is not perfect but perfect for you."

Learn from the past.

Even if a relationship wasn't "successful" so to speak, there's something you can learn from every life experience. When a partnership ends with someone else, you take lessons learned into the next relationship, and move on.

"Evaluate your past relationships and recognize what’s worked and what hasn’t," Rubin tells Elite Daily. "When you identify what works, think about the qualities of the person. Keep your heart open to this type of person who is attentive, kind, and available."

Just be mindful that you're not trying to recreate that person from your past completely. That would be creepy.

Learn from other couples you know.

Rubin suggests to look to other couples in your life for inspiration in what you want. You may like how a partner treats your friend and want that specifically for yourself – there's nothing wrong with having a "relationship role model" in other people you know.

Acknowledge that what you look for may change as you grow.

"One of the hardest things about dating is actually realizing that you can end up falling for someone completely different than you had always pictured and expected," Salkin says. "Adulthood comes with a lot of changes, finding where you stand professionally, socially, religiously and realizing you may be different than your upbringing or exactly the same after thinking you were different or that your goals change as you grow."

So if you grow up thinking you'll marry someone in your religion, but fall in love with someone who doesn't practice it? It's OK, things happen, preferences change, and you can't help but love who you love.

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