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7 Qualities That Shouldn’t Matter When Looking For a Life Partner

Some things matter more than age and their style.

Modern dating is difficult for a slew of reasons. People can ghost you, yet still, stalk your Instagram stories. Dating apps feel like some sort of weird Hunger Games none of us signed up for. And don’t even get me started on pandemic dating.

But the biggest pitfall of modern dating (and I blame the never-ending carousel of profiles) is that people are picky AF.

Now, if you’re casually dating, this list isn’t for you. But if you want a serious relationship and can’t seem to find one, this list may help.

Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of what makes for a great partner. Or, perhaps, we never even had the chance to understand what qualities would make for a fulfilling relationship.

With every Disney princess movie we watched, advice from older siblings we received and messed up priorities we saw on social media, we bought into the lie that certain qualities greatly matter in a relationship.

But the truth is, most of those qualities don’t determine if you can weather life’s storms with someone. They don’t indicate if a person will be there for you when you need them most.

So let’s talk about why the qualities that shouldn’t matter if you’re looking for someone you want to spend your life with:

Their hair color/height/looks.

Let’s start with the obvious, superficial aspects of a person that truly make no difference in whether they’ll be a great partner. There aren’t any studies that show people with six-packs have great communication skills or brunettes know how to love better than blondes.

Studies show that were usually drawn to people who look like us; that means most people stick close to dating those who look like them, their parents, or siblings.

Call me crazy but “keeping it in the family” isn’t a motto I typically use for romance.

Qualities that make a person’s appearance into account are essentially useless guides like a compass drawn on paper. Of course, you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to. But don’t let your criteria of “must be over 6-foot” limit you from potentially great people.

Age.

I dated a man who was twelve years older than I am. Currently, my boyfriend is two years younger. Yet, if you compared their habits, anyone would agree that my current beau is more emotionally mature.

Age doesn’t determine how great of a partner someone would be. What does matters are things like life experiences, how their parents raised them, their openness to personal growth, and how jaded they are from past loves.

Great relationships come in all shapes, sizes, and age differences. What matters most is the person who is in front of you.

How you met each other.

When dating apps first became a thing, the running joke for first dates was, “if this works out, I’ll tell everyone we met at Whole Foods.”

The joke insinuated that meeting on a dating app was somehow a bad thing, to the point that you should make up some false meet-cute story of grabbing the same box of cereal at the same time.

But this is 2020, and researchers have found over 30% of adults have used dating apps at some point in their life. At this point, dating apps are not only an accepted way to meet someone, but it’s inspiring to find a successful relationship in a pretty complicated world.

So don’t shy away from using dating apps or how your Bumble romance began; every love story has a different beginning.

How many relationships they’ve had.

I’m my boyfriend’s first girlfriend (I say with pride now, but I wasn’t so proud of at the beginning of our relationship). At first, I thought my he wouldn’t be able to handle a serious relationship, seeing as I’ve been in seven.

But it didn’t take long for me to realize that’s nonsense. Sure, you might be someone’s first love, or you might be their fifth. But that doesn’t detract from the person you see in front of you.

As long as they have an open heart, willingness to learn how to love you, and make you happy, that’s all that matters. Relationship history (or lack thereof) be damned.

Their choice in shoes.

Modern dating is difficult for a slew of reasons. People can ghost you, yet still, stalk your Instagram stories. Dating apps feel like some sort of weird Hunger Games none of us signed up for. And don’t even get me started on pandemic dating.

But the biggest pitfall of modern dating (and I blame the never-ending carousel of profiles) is that people are picky AF.

Now, if you’re casually dating, this list isn’t for you. But if you want a serious relationship and can’t seem to find one, this list may help.

Somewhere along the way, we lost sight of what makes for a great partner. Or, perhaps, we never even had the chance to understand what qualities would make for a fulfilling relationship.

With every Disney princess movie we watched, advice from older siblings we received and messed up priorities we saw on social media, we bought into the lie that certain qualities greatly matter in a relationship.

But the truth is, most of those qualities don’t determine if you can weather life’s storms with someone. They don’t indicate if a person will be there for you when you need them most.

So let’s talk about why the qualities that shouldn’t matter if you’re looking for someone you want to spend your life with:

Their hair color/height/looks.

Let’s start with the obvious, superficial aspects of a person that truly make no difference in whether they’ll be a great partner. There aren’t any studies that show people with six-packs have great communication skills or brunettes know how to love better than blondes.

Studies show that were usually drawn to people who look like us; that means most people stick close to dating those who look like them, their parents, or siblings.

Call me crazy but “keeping it in the family” isn’t a motto I typically use for romance.

Qualities that make a person’s appearance into account are essentially useless guides like a compass drawn on paper. Of course, you’re attracted to who you’re attracted to. But don’t let your criteria of “must be over 6-foot” limit you from potentially great people.

Age.

I dated a man who was twelve years older than I am. Currently, my boyfriend is two years younger. Yet, if you compared their habits, anyone would agree that my current beau is more emotionally mature.

Age doesn’t determine how great of a partner someone would be. What does matters are things like life experiences, how their parents raised them, their openness to personal growth, and how jaded they are from past loves.

Great relationships come in all shapes, sizes, and age differences. What matters most is the person who is in front of you.

How you met each other.

When dating apps first became a thing, the running joke for first dates was, “if this works out, I’ll tell everyone we met at Whole Foods.”

The joke insinuated that meeting on a dating app was somehow a bad thing, to the point that you should make up some false meet-cute story of grabbing the same box of cereal at the same time.

But this is 2020, and researchers have found over 30% of adults have used dating apps at some point in their life. At this point, dating apps are not only an accepted way to meet someone, but it’s inspiring to find a successful relationship in a pretty complicated world.

So don’t shy away from using dating apps or how your Bumble romance began; every love story has a different beginning.

How many relationships they’ve had.

I’m my boyfriend’s first girlfriend (I say with pride now, but I wasn’t so proud of at the beginning of our relationship). At first, I thought my he wouldn’t be able to handle a serious relationship, seeing as I’ve been in seven.

But it didn’t take long for me to realize that’s nonsense. Sure, you might be someone’s first love, or you might be their fifth. But that doesn’t detract from the person you see in front of you.

As long as they have an open heart, willingness to learn how to love you, and make you happy, that’s all that matters. Relationship history (or lack thereof) be damned.

Their choice in shoes.

On our third date, my boyfriend showed up in not only my least favorite shirt of his (a neon blue polo shirt) but these god-awful reflective sunglasses. We met up to tour an art museum, and I remember thinking, “At least I have the paintings to distract me from his blinding outfit.”
But someone’s style is such a small part of who they are — and not only that, but it’s something that can be improved upon. All that matters is you both love what you wear. Wouldn’t you rather be with a person who is happy with their clothes, rather than chasing trends and labels?
While I’m glad I didn’t let my man’s poor fashion choice dictate my decision, I still hide that shirt in the back of my closest. Because I love him, but I most definitely don’t have to love all his clothes.
How much you have in common.
Something I’ve always loved about dating new people is getting to know their unique hobbies and interests. Like the time I learned about the in-depth process of miniature action figure painting (which attention to detail is impressive).
Part of bringing another person into your life is exploring the things they love with them. If you had everything in common, things would become pretty stale pretty quickly.
Of course, you’ll have certain things you won’t budge on when it comes to differing opinions like politics, interest in animals, or love for the outdoors. But don’t let someone’s intense passion for indie German films scare you away.
A spark on the first date.
I didn’t feel a spark on the first date with my current boyfriend. Or the second. Or the third. In fact, I broke up with him after four dates into our fledgling relationship.
At the time, I was too caught up in the idea of “when it’s right, I’ll know.” But now I look back and realize that was some pretty illogical thinking. How in the world could I possibly know someone just from a couple of dates?
In fact, the idea that you will feel butterflies on your first date is more so a sign that something inside you is triggered. Perhaps they remind you of a boyfriend that hurt you in the past or your dad that left you as a child.
While some people claim to feel sparks on their first dates, I’d be wary of the whole “love at first sight” nonsense.
When you base your relationships on things that come and go, they’re bound to disappoint you eventually. What’s a better determinant of a successful relationship are the deep qualities of a person like communication skills, emotional intelligence, kindness, and honesty.
Because looks fade, style changes, pasts can’t be replaced, and age is a mere date on a birth certificate. But a loving relationship? Well, that’s much more complex.
Don’t let superficial qualities keep you from finding someone who makes you happy.

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