What Makes a Good, Loving Partner in a Relationship?
“What do you look for in a person?”
“Someone sweet, funny, cute, caring, and fun.”
“Yeah, what else is there? Oh yeah, honest and loyal.”
Along with some people having very limited versions of what they feel that “Love” really is, it seems as though some people do not know a great deal of what they want, either. Actually, people seem to think they know what they want without thinking in terms of the greater spectrum of character traits, habits, etc that they could or could not put up with, or even that they would need their potential partner to be able to put up with.
That makes me think about all the little things that go on from day to day. I guess technically, if you have not had any relationships (or very few, or all VERY good ones) to learn from, then you probably don’t know a lot of what you don’t like in order to form a valid opinion on the subject. But if you’ve been hurt, I’d hope you’d learn from your mistakes and decide further what you want and what you do not want in the next person/relationship you commit to.
It all just makes me wonder though, how much people do give thought to someone? I think that although most people most likely know what they want and don’t want, specifically, they are not specific enough when they are actually seeking out a potential mate. Some people seem to date almost anyone, and it seems as though often times their criteria is very broad.
That is fine for choosing a date. But if you are looking for a potentially serious, committed relationship with someone you could settle down with, shouldn’t you look for more than just a handful of basic qualities?
So you find a girl or guy who is sweet, funny, caring, loyal, and even hot! And then you find out that – they regularly treat the waitstaff poorly at your favorite restaurant! You know what this often indicates for sometime later on, the deeper thoughts and intentions that they of course do not wish to let surface.
To really know what you want, you have to know yourself.
What if you have a problem with depression? Perhaps on the surface, or during the time you are meeting them and starting to date them, you act completely normal and happy. How is that person going to react when they discover that side of you? Or maybe you are not depressed, but they are? How will you react at seeing them act like this? What if the person you are starting to get serious with has anger problems? What if they’ve cheated? What if they do not want children, and you do? How much of these differences can you handle? What kinds of issues are you capable of accepting in your partner? What kinds of issues do you have that they’ll need to be able to accept? Can you honestly accept the other person as they are without desiring to change them?
Obviously, no one wears a name badge to a date stating all their problems and innermost issues.
“Hi, I’m Bob, and while I seem nice right now, I’m really a narcissistic prick with anger management issues and a history of domestic abuse. Nice to meet you!”
Yet people still seem to let infatuation take control and when they feel like they are “in love“, they go gung ho into it. One key thing I often consider: if you can’t see faults in the person, be careful. This to me would generally indicate to me one of the following two potential options:
- You’re completely blinded by infatuation and don’t realize their faults, and/or…
- You see no faults in them because they are still hiding them all.
The basic foundation of any relationship to me is not just trust or commitment, but most of all – honesty and openness. Honesty is the mere act of being truthful whereas openness is speaking truths that you may not feel are necessary for the other person to know, especially those that you do not wish to tell them, and by completely being yourself.
How can the other person grow to love you as you are, if you are not truly being as you really are? This is unfair to both parties of the relationship. It’s unfair to you because you will not know if they will truly love you if you have skeletons in your closet. It’s unfair to them because they are not being granted the opportunity to show they love and accept all of you, including whatever skeletons may be hanging around.
Do they feel comfortable opening up and being completely their self around you? If not, they are robbing you of the ability to know them and love them completely, or to know that you can’t accept them as they are and must move on. However, if they continuously receive backlash when they attempt to open up to you, you can bet they will stop trying.
If you think you are in love, stop and ask yourself these questions:
- How well do you know yourself and what you want and need?
- Are you able to be completely yourself with the other person?
- Do you allow that person to be completely their self without admonishing them for it?
- Will you feel loved, and be able to show the other person love, the way they see it?
- Are you comfortable opening up the most deep parts of yourself to the other person?
- Can you accept them as they are without needing to change them, and do they offer the same to you?
Don’t put all your time, energy, and resources into someone you are merely infatuated with. Infatuation makes you feel like you are on top of the world and the other person can do no wrong. Think about what you are really interested in the other person for, and why that person may really be interested in you, before you take that next step in your relationship. Don’t limit your thinking to what you would like in a person, think about what type of person would actually be best for you.