When we’re doing our own thing, playing the single game, it’s hard not to envision an ideal partner. After hundreds of failed dates, our vision only strengthens and we can’t help but imagine that one perfect person. Here are some of the main traits people look for in their ideal mate.
#1 Five Years
My boyfriend and I just got back from separate weekend vacations before we had a big old fight. I mean, we were steamed with each other. Apparently, he missed me like crazy the whole time and got all mopey when I told him I didn’t really miss him until the second day (he asked!). If this doesn’t work out, I’m giving up and taking a job in the Yukon. Five years of dating apps and crummy clubs and groups. Five years until I found someone I actually wanted to have a future with.
#2 Perfect Together
I never really believed in soulmates until my wife passed away at 37 years old. We were married for eight years and dated four years before that. Needless to say, when she passed, I was crushed. In looking back and dating again, I realized that although she had medical issues, we had a perfect marriage. There was no fighting or harsh words between us.
We knew each other and put each other's needs before our own. We talked; we shared, we trusted. I put her happiness before my own, and she did the same for me. We were considerate of each other's goals, dreams, and feelings. I would go back in time and do it all over again, even if it still ended the same way. Our situation was never perfect or ideal, but we were perfect together.
#3 Comfortable Silence
A date recently told me, "I enjoy comfortable silence, so if I'm quiet, that's why." And I’ll be honest, I was honestly so pumped about it and grateful that he said that. Once I knew, I could stop talking and enjoy the comfortable silence, too. Sometimes it’s just about being with someone you can share silence with.
#4 Real-Life Relationships
A lot of people, especially younger people who haven’t experienced much yet, don’t realize that a long-term partnership isn’t what you do on dates or the romantic relationship stuff. It’s living your regular life you already have, with someone by your side living theirs. Real life is having to do the dishes, having to go to bed at different times sometimes, reading a book while your partner watches the game since you’re not interested, etc.
#5 Who You Are
Someone who loves you for the person you are, not the one you could be. Someone that really tries to get to know your real self. I mean people who see some aspects of a person as "errors" that can be removed or changed until that person is how they want them to be. I think every aspect of a person is important and hobbies, friends, personal tastes or behaviors truly make out who someone is. Of course, everyone can improve, but it should be what that person really wants to improve on, not how others think. Except maybe harmful behaviors.
#6 Equal, Yet Better Half
Someone who's not afraid to rely on me when they need to and I can rely on when I need it. Someone to get excited about doing new things with. Someone with whom I can joke, flirt but also have an interesting discussion with. Someone who would appreciate — without sarcasm — my small meaningless victories as much as I would appreciate theirs. Someone who would be a source of motivation and creativity, and would find the same support in me. An equal yet better half, more together than the sum of our parts.
#7 My Ideal Man
Someone who loves me and shows it. All that nonsense where “if you love someone you’ll give all your love and expect nothing in return” is just not working in real life. You expect a cow to look in a picture of green grass and feel like she ate enough? Nope. If you give enough and he doesn’t give back, there’s something wrong there. Some people like to be loved less, which is understandable. Find someone who gives the right amount of love you need. I want a man who shows his love, not only says it for the sake of saying three words. That’s my ideal man.
#8 Make the House a Home
Honestly? I want someone who’s clingy and can express themselves, someone who makes a house feel like a home for me. Someone who can sit in bed all day but drag my hermit butt around the world and make me feel like we're the only two people in it. I like doing stuff with someone everyday or every other day. It can be watching a movie, an eight-hour-long call, etc.
I don't care, but I like the closeness. I like people who are affectionate and I've never cuddled before. I like physical intimacy, so I guess someone I can hold in my arms for hours? I also like to sit in silence with someone but I'd like that more than most things here. I can give up a lot in exchange for comfort.
#9 When the Time Comes
Someone who makes me want to spend the rest of my life with them. I've learned that I'm terrible at knowing what I want. Whenever I think I’ve thought up some "ideal" qualities I think I want in a partner, I'll meet someone who doesn't at all fit that mold but who fits with me perfectly anyway. I don't need to make a grocery list of traits to search for in a wife. When the time comes, I'll know if I've met "the one" or not.
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#10 Listen When I Talk
I have no idea who I consider my ideal partner, but I like it when we both can just sit and do something (or nothing) and not feel like we need to fill the silence. I think I’ve been on both sides of this, it's just not great. But, I also someone who will listen when I'm talking about stuff. I’d love someone who would be interested and vice versa.
#11 Mutual Understanding
Someone who’s financially stable or at least responsible. I’d also love someone who’s willing to compromise and share insignificant stuff like chores. They’d need to be capable with children, in case that becomes a thing. Just all around not an idiot. Aside from the bare practicalities, I would like to have a mutual, thorough understanding between me and my partner, without things becoming dry or resentful. We should understand the nuances of each other’s speech and mannerisms while still being entertained by each other’s conversation and presence.
#12 Least Expect It
There are some times when the right person for you is where you absolutely least expect it. I quit my job out of frustration one day and started traveling across the world. I met my now-wife across the world based on a spontaneous bad day at work that made me throw in the towel. Life's weird, but it’s worth it.
#13 Common Interests
I want someone who has some common interests to bond with. Who is attractive to me. Someone who can make me feel that I'm valued, loved and will be there for me in my dark times. Who can share my stupid little excitements over little things. I’d want someone who’s happy, funny and talkative, but also openly emotional at private moments. I’d also love it if he had a hobby or job that he liked so much it was his lifestyle.
#14 Fear is Ruthless
I was really reassured when I just let things go with my current girlfriend and stopped getting scared as soon as there was silence between us. It took some time to get there and a lot of work on myself to make it happen but now we can have happy silences without any problems. Man, fear in a relationship is ruthless.
#15 Gosh Darn Youths
Someone who won’t judge me for projecting Gollum vibes as I eat cheese out of the fridge at 3:00 a.m. But realistically, someone who meshes well and accepts who I am and back in turn. Someone I can talk to about anything, someone I can depend on. Also, someone who’ll be cranky about those gosh darn youths when we’re old.
#16 Make Me Laugh
For me, I think it would have to be somebody whose company I don't get tired of. I’ve thought about it and the only people I don't eventually get tired of are people who constantly make me laugh. Looks, baggage and bad habits kind of go out of the window once that happens. Admittedly, that might just be me, though.
#17 On the Same Page
Someone compassionate above all. I have some friends who really make me want to be a better person, and that's a quality I want in a spouse. Honesty is vital, too, and shared values and life goals. For example, I want kids, so I'd need to marry someone who also wanted kids. No marriage is going to work if the people involved want fundamentally different things out of life.
As far as other personal qualities go, I'd like someone who shares my sense of humour. I also really find myself attracted to people who are passionate about something. It doesn't really matter what that thing is, but seeing someone's face light up while they talk about what they love always makes me really happy.
I also secretly really love sappy romantic stuff, but I've sort of given up on expecting anyone else to be on board with that. I'm okay to settle down with a partner who finds the idea of exchanging sonnets ridiculous, as long as they have the other stuff down. In the end, these are some of the qualities I cherish most.
#18 Best Friend and Confidant
I'm 21 and would rather not be married for another decade, but I guess someone funny and who can make me laugh, both take a joke and give one. Someone who will stand up to me but also support me when I need it. A best friend, a confidant, and my main motivation. Someone who would just make me smile when I'm struggling to do so on my own.
#19 Do Your Thing
Love people for who they are. I remember this one time when I accidentally walked in on my wife floating in the tub. She had the lights out, candles lit, and was eating string cheese and jello while watching Disney cartoons on her phone (she's 31 years old). We looked at each other and she then just continued on.
#20 Appreciate the Little Things
I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I just want someone to appreciate when I cook for them, shovel the drive for them, play with their hair through full episodes of TV, actually watch horror movies and enjoy them with cuddling, etc. I want someone to enjoy my nights and miss in the mornings when we go to work.
#21 Being Ourselves
My wife. We were best friends with a casual arrangement for a few years and then one Valentine’s Day we jokingly did an “anti-valentines” day. I got sick shortly after that and she drove three hours to take care of me for a few days and that made me feel more loved than I had ever felt in previous relationships. She’s the kindest person I’ve ever met. She’s hard-working. We’ve seen each other at our worst, so we’re comfortable being ourselves. I’m truly lucky to have that wonderful woman in my life.
#22 Advocate for Online
We don't tell people this often, but my wife and I met online and it worked out great for us. I was on a ship for a couple of months, she messaged me early in the trip, and we had long conversations every night. Any kind of attraction or physical communication was on hold until we'd known each other for two months. There was no stress or obsession with getting into bed together and there was no risk at being vulnerable or letting each other know our inner selves.
We're both in our 30s and pretty experienced with relationships. We’re also both divorced and neither of us had ever been in one nearly this whole and complete. We don't tell people that we met online; we have a different story we tell people because it still sounds weird to a lot of people. But I have two little sisters who also met their husbands online and are very happily married. I'm a big advocate. Just be honest and patient.
#23 Tastes and Hobbies
Honestly, just someone to share my tastes and hobbies with. Someone who I can dedicate myself to and make each other happy. I was in a perfect relationship for nearly four years. It ended with a mix of my job taking most of my free time and making me very tired when I had any free time at all, and she finding her own thing to do and a new group of friends. She eventually fell in love with a guy and broke up with me. I tried to end on good terms with her, but we rarely talk nowadays. I guess it's part of the "breaking up with someone" package…
#24 Getting Older
I will only marry someone who will show and make me feel that he would never find someone younger when I get old. I don’t want him to look for someone sexier when my body isn’t in shape anymore. I also want someone who won't be ashamed to be with me when I get wrinkles and who won't make me fear getting old.
#25 Be Loyal
Just be loyal, that’s all. I focus so much on working out if a potential partner is the cheating kind that I never really get to know them. Given that faithfulness is so important to me, I feel that nothing else really matters to me. I know that it’s a terrible trait and stops me from seeing the real person, but I value loyalty.
#26 Coming Back Together
I've been married for 10 years now, but I was in my mid-30s and had given up on finding a woman because all of the ones I'd dated over the years were dishonest in one way or another. Then the one that got away got back in touch with me. She was open and honest with me about everything. It took me a while to warm up to her, but over time, I saw a big difference in her compared to the other women I'd dated. A decade later and I'd do it all over again. Trust. That's the one word I'd sum it up with. I trust her with my life and every fiber of my being.
#27 When You’re Ready
My definition of an ideal partner is one that does not exist because I like being alone. And to be honest, if you want to have someone just because "you don't want to be alone" and not because you care for another person, then the entire relationship is going to be dishonest. Date someone only when you’re ready.
#28 Blinded by Love
My mom actually gave me pretty good criteria. She said that to fully build a life with someone, sometimes love isn't enough, you need to ask the tough questions about the things that you deem important to your life. She also told me to "look for someone who balances you, but not someone who forces you to rely solely on them." Mainly, it was not to be blinded by your love for a person when choosing them as a life partner. Not everyone you love is the right person to make a life with!
#29 Someone Special
Someone with whom we understand one another. As people, as a couple. Someone who can challenge me, reign me in, be crazy with me, be firm. Similar interests and life wants. Educated, funny, the kindest heart. The usual things. While I don't expect a lot, I expect a special kind of person. Marriage is a whole different kettle of fish, however. Like a lot of people seem to, I’ll never settle for less than really special.
#30 Talk About Everything
Somebody who can laugh at my jokes and who won't take advantage of the fact I like going out of my way to make somebody I love smile. Usually, the motion to be kind get's confused with me being stupid or being weak-willed. Basically, if we both focus on giving love we won't have a need to ask for it or feel insecure. All I want to do is talk about everything.
#31 Someone Like That
Do you know that feeling when you get home after a long day, get through the door and just feel yourself completely relaxed? The sofa is calling, there's a drink in the fridge and you don't have a single worry until 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. I’d honestly really love to have someone who gives me that exact same feeling.
#32 Learn to Love Yourself
There are so many broken hearts out there and they definitely get in the way of sought out qualities. If you learn to love yourself, you will never be without love. You don't need someone else in your life to make you happy. That's Hollywood stuff. Human relationships are really volatile. We all will leave this world alone. Learn to live alone.
#33 Perfect Partner
There is no perfect partner. What you want is unconditional love and loyalty. Somebody who will love you and support you no matter what. There will be ups and downs, good times and bad, but if you seek these two traits, you will find joy and meaning. I lost my wife about three weeks ago and while she wasn’t perfect, we both had these qualities.
#34 Ideal Traits
I just want a patient and affectionate wife with a few shared hobbies and something she can talk passionately about for hours. Solid requirement to be good with physical affection because I'm constantly hugging my friends and family. I actually wrote down a little while ago what I would want in an ideal wife and these traits are in my list.
#35 Comfortable Balance
For myself, I’d honestly want someone who I could call your best friend. Someone who you can joke with. I find it so hard to find guys with a sense of humour and also want a relationship. It should be a comfortable balance. We should have arguments every so often, but also able to forgive and love each other regardless.
#36 Affection and Playful Banter
My ideal spouse is someone I can turn to when I'm freaking out and they can calm me down. Someone who comes to me with their troubles, and finds comfort in my arms. Someone who's not afraid to show the world they love me and doesn't shy away from copious amounts of affection. Someone who knows that little gestures can mean just as much or more as grand gestures.
Someone who I can playfully banter and argue with without getting upset. Someone I can debate with reasonably and calmly so we can consider our different viewpoints like adults. Someone who I can play games with, but also has their own activities they like to do and invite me to. Someone who can be perfectly fine to do things on their own, but chooses to bring me because they want me with them. Someone who thinks the world of me, but will call me out on my mistakes.
#37 Support the Victories
Aside from the normal don't go behind my back or lie baseline, I want someone who’s capable of entertaining themselves and letting me do my introvert thing on a regular basis. I’d also love it if they didn’t feel the need to cut me down or downplay my victories. If I wanted someone like that, I'd marry my mother.
#38 Best Version of Myself
Someone who makes me smile, can roast me in front of friends and family, is happy, and tries to put me first while I do the exact same thing for her. I want someone I can be vulnerable around, who makes me want to be the best version of myself that I can be for her. And she picks up on a random comment about the type of cookies I like and surprises me with several dozen of them.
#39 Sharing With Someone
Someone who just likes to spend time together without necessarily doing anything in particular. Also, someone who wants to hear about things I find interesting. I may find an interesting solution to some problem or just hear something new in conversation. When I get new information, I just have to share it with someone.
#40 My Ideal Type
I’ve been in love with the same girl for three years now. Honestly, I would say she’s spot on with being my ideal type. She’s very career-driven, ambitious, independent, loves to laugh a lot, artistic, etc. But I don't know if my “ideal type” is because of her influence on me or if it's what my soul desires. We may never know.
#41 Mutual Feelings of Love
Someone you have mutual feelings of love with, someone you get along with. Understanding each other, caring about each other and being comfortable and knowing that you can be honest with each other, with mutual respect. Also, someone that has similar opinions and beliefs as mine. I guess it should go both ways since it’s a relationship that involves two people.
#42 Sense of Curiosity
Someone who has a healthy sense of curiosity about the world. Who initiates trying new things and is never done learning. Someone who has their own ideas and opinions. Someone who has their own passion projects and life but we have respect for each other and love each other's company. I want more than someone who just loves me and misses me.
#43 Complete Devotion
It’s pretty simple for me. I’d give anything for loyalty. I feel like with this generation, there are always plenty of shallow “options” dangling in front of people — they’re always wondering if the grass is greener or whatever. I’m loyal to a fault and would give anything to find a partner who is loyal and devoted to one single relationship with meaning the same way I am.
#44 Brighten My Days
Someone who shares some of my hobbies and interests, tolerates the rest. At least convincingly feigns interest when I get really excited about something and have to talk about it for a while. Someone who still loves me when I'm dumb or indecisive sometimes. Makes me feel a little better just by being around and can brighten a day with a long hug. She’s super sweet and always makes me want to love and support her.
#45 By My Side
A person that stands by your side, someone who is not ashamed of you and supports you. Preferably someone who can cook because if the cooking is up to me, we’ll be eating pasta, rice and fries forever. Someone willing to adopt since biological kids are not an option for me. Overall, someone who genuinely loves me.
#46 Quality Time
After my last relationship, I read The Five Love Languages. I always thought that I needed kind words to feel loved, but after reading the book, I realized that it was quality time that I value more than anything. My previous partner never spent time with me, and it made so much sense. So quality time is now what I seek in a partner.
#47 The Strong Type
I want someone who isn’t the passive, submissive type. For some reason, this is all I seem to run across and all my friends seem to think I'm into. If I meet one more girl who tells me they want to get married so they don't have to work anymore, I'm going to lose my mind. Why do guys find that appealing at all?
#48 Joy in Life
I’m 23 and have only had maybe two serious relationships. So maybe these seem super basic and logical, but I’d say someone who doesn’t back down from responsibility and understands when to walk away from something. Also, a person who can be adventurous and have a goofy side but also be serious and still be able to prioritize things all while still seeing the joy in life.
#49 No Guessing Games
I need a team player. Not someone who is self-absorbed, but someone who helps me with my goals and ambitions because I will 100% do the same for them. I don’t like petty arguments. I prefer issues be resolved as swiftly as possible so we can get on with our lives. I am also a very straight-forward communicator, and prefer people who are open with their thoughts and feelings so I don’t have to play any guessing games.
#50 Still Recovering
I'm one of those people who still hasn't recovered from an old relationship. My ex was just the perfect girl for me, we were both gamers, had a lot in common, so she was someone I could talk about things that I really liked and get satisfactory responses. She always told me that I made her the happiest girl in the world, until she dumped me. So I would like someone just like her, but without the false sense of security part.