These Are The Most Important Qualities To Look For In A Partner

Dating is so scary if you stop and think about it—at a certain point, the decision of whom to partner with will affect the trajectory of the rest of your life. Yikes. So, how do you know what to look for in Mr. (or Mrs.) Right? Here, the seven most important qualities your mate should possess if you want it to last forever—or at least a few years past the honeymoon.

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How To Find The Ryan To Your Blake

Research outlined here suggests that though we tend to value things like status and appearance when evaluating partners, those things have much less to do with relationship satisfaction than do things such as warmth, loyalty and kindness. The latter characteristics serve to meet your intrinsic goals, which are about "satisfying your own basic psychological needs," while the former serve to meet your extrinsic goals, which are those that are "dependent on how people react to you." Apparently, having your intrinsic goals met is more important to overall relationship health than is having your extrinsic goals met, and even if your partner is wealthy and handsome (think Jon Hamm), you will be unhappy if he or she does not take care of your psychological needs.

So often in dating, this quality is somehow overlooked—and yet, isn't it everything? Sure, your partner or potential partner may be shorter or less wealthy than you'd like (or whatever else you may perceive as a shortcoming). But do you feel good, happy safe and secure around them? If so, what's the issue?

If your eventual life plan is to own a yacht and your partner's is to live in a quaint house in the suburbs with your five kids, you are probably not destined for a successful partnership. While it's ideal for your partner to expand your mind in terms of life's possibilities, it's important that they at least be on a similar page in terms of what their life looks like 5, 10 and 20 years down the road.

According to research, it doesn't matter if your partner likes Mumford & Sons and you (hopefully) don't. What does matter is how your partner handles their emotions and whether or not that method is similar to your own. So, if they're a person who flies into a rage and you are a person who represses anger (until one day you burst), you may not be well-suited for the long run.

Interestingly, high relationship satisfaction seems to come from feeling like the most aspirational version of yourself around your significant other rather than the most authentic version. Apparently, we make progress toward our ideal selves when our partners possess, encourage or see in us the traits we most wish we had—this is known as the Michelangelo phenomenon. As we move toward this ideal—whether in reality or just in terms of how we perceive ourselves—we become happier.

Research shows that couples who laugh at the same things are more successful than those who do not. Apparently, when you both find a certain movie or joke hilarious, this reaffirms your relationship.

Time points out that while this word isn't exactly romantic, a person who exhibits grit—the tendency to persist in difficult situations—is 17% more likely to stay married than someone who does not.