20 Something and Single

The 5 things I’m looking for in a partner

Honestly I don’t know why I am writing this. I am not delusional enough to think that my perfect guy is going to read this and somehow find a way to me through this (like so many of the romcoms I love). I guess it is just for my thought process and to know what I am actually looking for because my teenage list of what I wanted in a boyfriend is drastically different from the reality of a lasting relationship. When I was in high school I jokingly told my mom they had to be tall, athletic, musical, have an accent, blah, blah, blah. It was some 20 points long and resembled that Hilary Duff movie “Beauty and the Briefcase”. And my mom has remembered my very vain list for a decade. Now what I have realized is that I don’t have a visual aesthetic I am attracted to near as much as I am attracted to the person. I.e. don’t have a preference on hair or eye color, I like beards on some guys and not on others I like muscles but they need not be a gym rat. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that I find every guy attractive, I’m just saying that I don’t have a “perfect aesthetic” on my list. I am much more interested in lifestyle compatibility. And I hate to say it but Tinder taught me that. As I’ve said, the longer I had the app the less I cared about bios and only swiped on the first pic. But honestly it didn’t seem to matter if I read the bio or not, the guys were all quite dull. The 1 guy I met, we had great chemistry… when talking about things he liked… We clicked talking about Marvel and Game of Thrones, but when those subjects were exhausted so was the relationship. I am not saying that we didn’t have good conversation after those 2 were done, but it was harder to find things in common after. He had no interest in music outside of country, hated Disney, didn’t care about broadway, didn’t enjoy the sports I do, and little interest in leaving his hometown.

The traits that I was attracted to online didn’t translate well in life and it made me question what did I actually want in a guy. I knew I wanted someone patient and kind who would pursue me. But outside of that… I had no earthly idea what I actually valued in a man. And when I expressed this dilemma to Mama she asked me the physical questions of what did I want, “what color eyes” “what color hair” “how tall” “build”? I don’t care for brown eyes… but is that a deal breaker? I have zero preference on hair, I’d like someone taller than me but that’s more for his benefit than mine (all the guys in my family are quite tall), and I want someone with an athletic build (because I strive to be fit and want someone who shares that interest). But is that my list? Is that ALL I care about? A fit, slightly taller guy, with a nondescript hair or eye color? Definitely not.

  1. Values – Whatever you believe in, your partner should echo. I am a Christian and it is very important for me to find someone who also puts God first. But basically the way you’re voting should aline–my friends and I don’t aline in a lot of our political views and I’m ok with that because I can not talk about that with them. But when it comes to my partner and the family we will have, there need be no conflict in what is right or wrong when raising them. As a people pleaser, I have let far too many people into my life and (you guessed it) tried to please them.
  2. Family – My family is important to me, point blank. I care about seeing and keeping up with as many of my 14 first cousins as possible. I love Christmas at home and talking to my Grandma about pretty much anything. But as much as I care about my family I know that when a couple gets married they have to pull away from their parent’s home and create their own. All that said I NEED someone who gets along with my family. I want my husband not to groan when I want to visit or have my family visit. I want his family to love me as much as they love their son and I need everyone to get along. It may sound like a fairytale but I need a unified in-law situation.
  3. Friends – Who are they with their friends? When you go on dates with someone they are putting their best foot forward. They don’t know you and they’re not going to act the same around their friends. It will bring out a new-to you- side of them, where they are comfortable and become their true self. But also to consider, who are they with your friends? Are they threatened by the closeness you share with a childhood best friend? Are they comfortable around your friends knowing that you’re comfortable around them? Or are they overtly uncomfortable in your world? Basically as much as I need my spouse to get along with my family, I need him to also get along with my friends.
  4. interests – I know its ok to not like all the same things as your partner, but I still desire support in this area. I don’t care if you don’t love broadway the way I do, but don’t make fun of it! Part of being in a relationship is having a built in date to the things you enjoy and shared interests just make that easier. I want there to never be a dull moment and those awkward silences only come from the lack of shared interests. But I crave the time in relationships when silence is not awkward because you’re just enjoying each other’s company.
  5. physical attraction – this may sound shallow but I hate it when people say that they don’t care about looks. Yes, physical looks will fade and the meme that says “if they get a haircut and you don’t find them attractive anymore it wasn’t love” is probably true. But you’re never going to walk up to someone you don’t find cute and strike up a conversation hoping that they have a good personality. Also those things that are on my short list of physical attributes that I do care about… I know God won’t make me settle out of those. I know he will find me a tall, fit, not brown eyed dude that has all the other attributes that are much more important.

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