While we may not know who exactly we are going to marry, as fully developed, young adults, we have a pretty good idea of the qualities we’re looking for in a partner.
This isn’t a little girl’s “Prince Charming” wish list. Think of this, instead, as the list Rihanna’s friends gave to her after she broke up with Chris Brown… for the second time.
Despite this suspicious feeling that writing this list will guarantee my future as a spinster, here are the 20 qualities you should look for in the person you marry:
1. Shares your beliefs
Regardless if you believe in Satan or sprinkles, your partner should have respect for your views. Believing in the same things — like Beyoncé as a religion, or coffee as a morning non-negotiable — brings you two closer.
2. Teaches you something new
Life together will be pretty boring if you can’t learn from each other. It can be a lesson as small as how to bake chocolate chip cookies with Oreos stuffed in the middle (this has actually turned out to be an important life skill), or something more substantial, like how to use chopsticks properly. For me, this means he’s well-versed in politics and will give me the Sparknotes version of White House current events. Let’s also not forget there’s an inherent good feeling when you teach someone a new fact or skill.
3. Trusts you (and is trustworthy him or herself)
If you feel the need to raid your partner’s cell phone, you’re basically displaying your distrust for him or her — what good is a relationship like that? Once you start prying into each other’s phones, all faith goes out the window and every text is grounds for an argument.
Bottom line: If you go digging for sh*t, you’re gonna smell it.
4. Appreciates staying in together
Every couple needs quality time — just make sure your definition of “quality time” is the same as your partner’s. Going out and socializing as a duo is always fun, but it’s equally important that your partner can curl up next to you for an intimate night in. Sometimes, the most magical moments are the ones we take the time to slow down and enjoy with the person who’s right in front of us. No audience necessary.
5. Makes you a better person
You want someone who brings out your best self. A great way tell if you and your partner should tie the knot is by honestly asking yourself, “Does this person make me better?”
6. Entertains inside jokes
No, I’m not talking about how you both love to crack up while watching the “Afternoon Delight” scene in “Anchorman.” I’m talking about the kind of inside joke, where all you have to do is give the other person a certain look and it instantly sends you both into a laughing fit. You are both so on the same page that the joke doesn’t need to be explained; your partner just gets it.
7. Does not place restrictions on you or the relationship
The person you marry shouldn’t give you ultimatums like, “I won’t date you until you get a promotion,” or “If you go out with your friends, I’ll break up with you.” There shouldn’t be rules to your relationship that prohibit you from doing certain things or hold you back from being who you are.
He can’t prevent you from wearing your crop top to the bar (although, it is very flattering when he gets jealous like that). Likewise, she can’t stop you from playing video games before bed (that is, unless she’s not wearing any clothes…).
Compromise is the key to any successful relationship; we’ve been taught this since kindergarten. Do I love going to Phish concerts and listening to 20-minute guitar riffs? No, but I’ll make it my mission to enjoy myself and do it anyway (for the drugs, mostly). And I’m sure he doesn’t like being dragged to see weird indie films, but I’ll buy the popcorn and soda and toss in a Xanax because I’m nice like that.
9. Respects your family
Notice how I don’t use the word “likes” here; although, that’s always a plus. This also goes for both sets of friends.
10. Satisfies in bed
If you can’t please your partner in bed, chances are, he or she is gonna look for that satisfaction elsewhere. Being satisfied in the sack goes beyond pleasure; it means you two are also sexually comfortable with one another. When it comes to matters in the bedroom, you and your partner should keep an open dialogue.
11. Maintains a healthy relationship with alcohol and socializing
If your partner can’t handle drinking or social situations, then you’ll either: A) Have to accept the role of the occasional babysitter, or B) Pass on it altogether. (Shout out to my future hubby!) Drinking Jameson and crying at the bar afterwards is kind of a deal-breaker — same with getting violent, Chris Brown.
12. Loves your flaws
True confession: I love not wearing pants. If you don’t love that about me, then we probably aren’t meant to be together. The person you marry should, of course, play up your strengths, but also appreciate your imperfections. It might sound trite, but it’s your quirks that make you… You.
13. Gives you well-deserved compliments
So sue us for wanting the person we love to tell us we’re beautiful and perfect and incredible and smart and the best person on the planet?
Seriously, though, you don’t need to shower us in flattery, but when we’ve spent all day researching the perfect lingerie, hearing that we look “sexier than Rihanna in her ‘Pour It Up’ video,” is always well-received.
(Yes, patrons in the comments section, these are my daddy issues talking — you’ve totally figured me out.)
14. Shares the same values
Someone who is materialistic and enjoys splurging on extravagances probably won’t last very long with someone who is down-to-earth and likes to rough it. This is why celebrities marry other celebrities***.
(***The reason they don’t last very long, though, is completely unrelated to this list.)
15. Stays faithful
This seems fairly obvious; although, you’d be surprised at how many people are more and more accepting of the fact that their spouses will cheat at least once in their relationship.
I am not one of those people. Don’t f*cking cheat on me, or I’ll break up with you… And then cut off your balls because I assume you have none in order to do that to a person. (Smiles.)
16. Displays intelligence
Smart people don’t suck. They also offer insightful advice and help you make good choices. Your spouse doesn’t have to be a college graduate. We’re referring to the kind of partner who innately possesses that brand of sage intelligence.
17. Appeases your attraction (whatever that means to you)
Because you’re going to be spending the better part of your life with this person, it’s mildly crucial that you also feel connected to him or her. I happen to be fond of older, hairy men. And I’m pretty sure that sounds attractive to no one but myself.
18. Partakes in various hobbies
They don’t have to be the same hobbies as yours (see #8 ‘Compromises’), so long as your partner has other ways of fulfilling him or herself, aside from banging you and then cuddling on repeat. Whether that means frequenting museums or watching viral videos, your partner should have other interests outside of your relationship.
Bonus points if by “hobby,” you also mean “grubbing.”
19. Shares in your vision for the future
Hopefully you’re both in it.
20. Delivers unconditional love
Unconditional love is kind of like the Olive Garden: When you’re there, you’re family.