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What to Look For in a Relationship: 23 Traits of a Happy Romance

It’s not easy to know what to look for in a relationship. There will be a few qualities that make all the difference between a perfect and failed romance.

What to Look For in a Relationship

It all comes down to the little details when figuring out what to look for in a relationship, but this is easier said than done. This often requires asking yourself what you really want because we don’t realize what we want until we start dating and looking at different characteristics. 

More often than not, we get an idea of what we don’t want pretty quickly, which isn’t a bad thing.

However, now it’s time to focus on the positive qualities you want in a partner. While it’s much easier to focus on the bad qualities rather than the good, you’ll never find the right relationship if all you see are their bad characteristics.

With that being said, it’s important to know what you want before entering any relationship as this kind of indecisiveness can sabotage your relationship in the future.

By knowing what you want early on, you’d be saving yourself a lot of time and energy. In this feature, we’ll be discussing everything you need to know on what to look for in a relationship. 

[Read: Dating checklist – How to make one and how it can benefit your life]

What to look for in a relationship

It’s obvious that choosing the right partner will take a lot of trial and error. If you manage to meet the love of your life on your first date, then good for you! However, it can take others a couple of hits and misses before seeing what they want in a relationship. 

[Read: What does a healthy relationship look like and your guide to building one]

If you’re reading this now, then chances are you’re ready to learn what to look for in a relationship. Even if you’re not yet sure about what you want, this feature is guaranteed to guide you until you get to the point of knowing what you want.

In here, you’ll see several traits to help you get started in your dating journey. After all, you are just as deserving of a healthy relationship as anyone else. 

1. You can be yourself

Even if a potential partner has everything you want in a relationship but you can’t be yourself, then they’re already the wrong person for you.

This is one of the most crucial factors in knowing what to look for in a relationship because you need someone who you don’t have to change for.

With the right person, they’ll accept you for who you are, flaws and all. Every minute you spend with them should feel nothing less than comfortable. 

2. They can compromise

Their ability to comprise is crucial to any working relationship as this is one of the core factors on how a relationship works. You need someone to meet you halfway and doesn’t make you feel like you’re in the relationship alone.

Without that compromise and effort, the relationship is bound to fail one way or another. When you both want different things, do they try to meet you halfway or do they insist on doing things their way? [Read: What you shouldn’t ever compromise on in a relationship]

3. You share a similar sense of humor 

The world is dark enough as it is, so the last thing you need is someone else adding to that negativity. Rather, you need someone who shares a similar sense of humor that you do and is capable of constantly making you laugh.

This is one of the most underrated traits to look for in an ideal partner, but it’s an important one. You want to enjoy your life with your partner. It shouldn’t feel like a soap opera!

4. They actively listen

In the world we live in today, it’s easy to listen just for the sake of responding. You don’t need a partner that just nods and agrees with what you’re saying, but you need someone who responds and mindfully hears the point you’re trying to get across.

Otherwise, why else are you in a relationship? You might as well date a rock. [Read: 14 little changes that really improve communication in a relationship]

5. They respect others

It’s important to find someone who treats people with respect as part of their personality. You need to observe how they treat women, their parents, and even people without authority.

The way they treat others tells you a lot about who they are, so keep an eye on this one. Otherwise, this counts as a red flag. 

6. They resolve conflict

People have different ways of resolving conflict. Some actively avoid conflict and choose to walk away, while others do everything they can to fix the problem.

You need a partner who’s willing to do everything to make up with you, rather than give you the silent treatment and ignore you for days. You need someone who can communicate effectively on everything you need to discuss. [Read: How stonewalling in a relationship can ruin something precious]

7. They understand your love language

We all have different ways we express our love and feelings to others. You don’t need to share the same love language, but they need to understand what makes you feel the most loved.

For instance, if your love language is quality time but it isn’t theirs, they must understand that this is how you feel the most loved. 

8. They share your lifestyle

This is one of the factors that are underrated, but just as important as the others in this list of what to look for in a relationship.

If you like living in the city and they like living in the country, this could be a problem eventually. You need to find someone who sees the same thing you do in a future together such as the place to settle down, marriage, and even kids.

Even if this is still a few years down the road, it’s eventually going to be a problem if your lifestyle doesn’t match theirs. [Read: 50 relationship questions to instantly test your compatibility]

9. They are emotionally mature

This is something most people complain about when trying to find a partner, given that it’s not easy to find!

A lot of people lack the emotional maturity to be in a healthy relationship. This is often due to several factors, one of which is the impact of their past relationships. [Read: How the foundations of a relationship can separate the good from the bad]

10. They appreciate independence

It’s so easy to find yourself in codependent relationships, which isn’t exactly a healthy relationship to be in. You need someone who lets you be your own person outside of the relationship, otherwise, there’s a tendency for you to lose yourself.

Unlike the common idea that’s being practiced in relationships today, you don’t need to do everything with your partner.

Maintaining your independence is an important part of being in love, which is why you need to find someone who also values their independence. 

11. They are empathetic

Empathy is an important characteristic for anyone to have, especially with how harsh the world already is. When it comes to knowing what to look for in a relationship, having empathy is one of the big guns.

If your partner doesn’t understand what you feel or doesn’t even attempt to put themselves in your shoes, then you can’t build a relationship with them.

Even if it potentially works, there will always be a wall in a relationship that drives both of you apart. [Read: The characteristics of people that lack empathy and suck your energy out]

12. They are honest

Honesty is a crucial trait in a partner and this isn’t something you can compromise on. If they’re not honest with you, then there’s automatically a lack of trust in a relationship.

You can’t build a relationship with someone when you don’t have trust as the foundation. 

13. They aspire to grow

There are two types of individuals in this world – one that is content with whatever happens, and one that wants to grow in every way they can.

If you were to choose a partner, choose the latter. Having someone to grow with is essential to any working relationship, but this only works if both of you have the desire to grow. 

14. They are consistent

You don’t want someone who’s unreliable and flaky in difficult situations or someone who might ghost you and come back whenever they want.

If you’re wondering what to look for in a relationship, look for someone who proves their consistency by following through with what they said they would do, or when they show their commitment entirely in the relationship.

Otherwise, inconsistency can easily be another red flag in the relationship.  [Read: What is commitment in a relationship? How do you know if you have it?]

15. They are accountable

Even if it’s difficult to be accountable for your mistakes and wrongdoing, you need a partner who owns up to their actions whenever they mess up.

Being accountable means they have the maturity and growth to be in a relationship, which makes this a very important trait. They’re aware of their actions and how it affects those around them so they make sure to really think before they act. [Read: The seven biggest clues that point to emotional immaturity]

16. They communicate

Communication is the key to any working relationship as without proper communication, it’s bound to fall apart.

Communication comes in many forms such as their ability to reach out to you, discussing conflict, and even telling you how they feel.

This is why a communicative partner is one of the important things to look for in a relationship if you want it to last for years. [Read: How to communicate in a relationship: 14 steps to a better love]

17. They have depth

You don’t just want a relationship that’s superficial and surface-level, but you need someone who has substance and depth in them.

This means someone you can have deep conversations with and someone that isn’t just interested in material objects or looking good for the ‘gram. Someone with depth is someone you can potentially build a life with eventually. 

18. They sacrifice their time for you

Quality time is one of the things you can give someone that might not be tangible, but very important. If they sacrifice time to spend with you, they really want to know you and they are capable of compromise.

You don’t need someone who gives you all the material objects in the world, but you need someone who gives you their time. 

19. They share similar values and morals

If you’re wondering what to look for in a relationship, focus on finding someone who shares your values and morals in life. This is an important factor that many choose to overlook.

In fact, disregarding this is the cause for many toxic relationships that occur. If they’re someone you eventually want a future with, a conflict of values will cause a lot of damage in the relationship. 

20. They provide you friendship

The best relationships that work out are also the ones that have friendship as a foundation of their relationship.

Your partner isn’t just your significant other, but they also have to be your best friend. When you have friendship, a lot of factors in the relationship end up working on their own, such as communication, compromise, and understanding. [Read: 15 rules to be a good partner in the relationship and wow your lover]

21. They are patient

When they don’t get their way, do they lash out on their anger or do they choose to understand instead? You need someone that isn’t just patient with you, but patient with almost everything.

Given that it’s a difficult trait to master, you need a partner that chooses their patience when things don’t go the way they expected to. 

22. They deal with anger healthily

There are two types of people you should be aware of – one that lashes their anger on anything and anyone, and one that tries their best to process their anger healthily.

If you were to choose a partner, choose one that doesn’t make their anger scare you or make you doubt their intentions.

You need someone who processes even their difficult emotions rationally and logically. Otherwise, this could be another potential red flag. [Read: The red flags in a guy that will only end in your heart breaking]

23. They give you what you need

While you might not always get everything you want in an ideal relationship, it’s important to get what you need – loyalty, trust, respect, compromise, communication, mutual effort, and love.

If you have all these things, there’s a higher tendency for the relationship to work. 

What should you really look for in a relationship? 

The truth is, nobody else can dictate what to look for in a relationship as only you have all the answers you’re looking for.

But if you’re looking for a good starting point that can up your chances of a successful relationship, and a happily ever after, start with these traits.

It’s challenging to find someone to be with, but this doesn’t mean you should settle for just anyone. You need to remember what to look for in a relationship with someone you can grow with. As long as you have all the traits you need, rather than want, then that relationship can grow and last a lifetime!

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of LovePanky.com, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...