It's easy to get so caught up looking for the perfect person that you forget whom you actually want to be with. What to look for in a partner is so much more complicated than simply finding someone who wants to be with you. A lasting partnership needs to be reciprocal, of course. Just because somebody wants to be with you, doesn't mean you want to be with them, and vice versa. A good partner also needs to be able to move with you. You don't stop changing as soon as you meet someone special. So in a partner, it's important to find someone who is willing to grow in a similar direction as you are.
Your relationship with them needs to grow as well. Even the best partnerships can stagnate if they are not being carefully tended to. Nurturing one another as well as the relationship ensures that your partnership can thrive for years to come. Giving one another the space you both need to exist as two full, completely realized humans is also important to making sure that you can be together for years, without being stifled. When you're looking for the perfect partner, it's important to keep in mind that they should be flexible. A relationship that is built too rigidly will definitely snap.
Here's what else you should look for.
1. Someone Who Surprises You
They don't have to surprise you with expensive gifts or spontaneous vacations, and they definitely shouldn't surprise you by not showing up when and where you expect them to be. But in a lasting relationship, you need to be with someone who surprises you in a deep and sustainable way — with their knowledge, their consideration, their humor, and their own personal growth.
2. Someone Who Complements Your Skills
When you're looking for a lasting partnership, you shouldn't be seeking out somebody who completes you. You need to work to feel complete within yourself — flaws and all — throughout the course of your life, and another person won't be able to fill in those gaps for you.
When you're looking for "the one," look for someone whose strengths are your weaknesses and whose weaknesses are your strength instead. Maybe you are extremely cerebral, living in your thoughts and daydreams all of the time. Look for someone who can ground you and help you keep your feet firmly planted on the earth. If you are a careerist, look for someone who adds pleasure and balance to your life. And when you find that partner, think about what your strengths are and how you might also strengthen and enrich their quality of life.
3. Someone Who Is Not Possessive
Possessiveness will eventually break a relationship, because it means that you fundamentally do not have trust in one another. When you are looking for "the one," look for someone who trusts you enough to know that if you start to feel differently about them, you'll say something. And look for someone whom you can trust to do that for you in return.
4. Someone Who Puts You In Equal Charge Of Your Happiness
Of course you want to be with someone who cares about your feelings and wants to support you. Nobody wants to be with someone who thinks their partners' feelings have nothing to do with them.
But you also should look for someone who understands that, while they have a part to play in your joy and satisfaction, they cannot be solely responsible for it. "The one" wants to facilitate your own personal journey toward finding fulfillment. They will understand that they cannot be your only source of joy, and they will encourage you to find it in as many other places as you can.
5. Someone Who Expects You To Change
Most relationships change because people grow out of one another when they weren't expecting that to happen. You change, and then, you feel like you don't know each other anymore. So when you are looking for "the one," look for someone who understands that people change as they get older. Look for someone who is excited to see how you can continue to develop and who is interested in changing alongside you. Look for someone who can't wait to find out where you both end up.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!