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What Are You Looking For in a Relationship? 25 Qs To Ask Yourself

When figuring out what are you looking for in a relationship, there’s no right or wrong answer. Every person’s standards are different and that’s okay. 

what are you looking for in a relationship

When deciding what are you looking for in a relationship, there’s no perfect answer. Everyone wants different things in a relationship. And no two people are looking for the same things in a relationship. Sometimes, what we think we want ends up being the very thing that is the worst for us.

This is why it’s very important to stay grounded in what you really want. While physical standards are very much valid, it’s more important to ask yourself questions in terms of relationship compatibility, emotional and mental intimacy, and chemistry.

More than the physical aspects, these are the things that determine the longevity of any relationship. 

Why is it important to know what you want in a relationship?

If you don’t know what you want, then how are you going to know if you’ve found the right person? Being indecisive of your standards is exactly how people end up in the wrong relationships. You can’t just go through the motions of a relationship as it comprises a significant aspect of your life.

Knowing what you want gives you insight on which people to choose, rather than just giving your heart to anyone who shows an interest in you. By asking what are you looking for in a relationship, you know deep inside the kind of partner you want for yourself.

This means that anyone who doesn’t come close to this standard isn’t worth your time, energy, or attention. Knowing what you want also saves you a lot of time you would spend with the wrong person if you weren’t so clear on your standards. 

[Read: 50 relationship questions to test your compatibility instantly!]

25 questions that’ll give you the answers you need

Before you start dating and looking for someone, you need to ask yourself all the right questions. Otherwise, there won’t be any indication if they’re right for you or not. In this feature, we’ll be listing down the right questions on what are you looking for in a relationship.

1. Do you think a relationship is a partnership, or two people sharing space?

If you are someone who wants to be involved in every aspect and your partner is not, it can leave you feeling lonely, as if the other person is being secretive.

You need to ask yourself whether sharing a space is something that’s important for you because if it is, you need to be with someone who shares this importance. In fact, this can even cause significant problems in the relationship further on. [Read: How to give space to each other without drifting apart]

2. Do you want to have traditional roles?

We live in the 21st century, which means women are no longer required to stay at home to fulfill household chores. If staying at home is what you want, then good for you!

However, there are women who want to climb the corporate ladder.

If you are more traditional, and he wants you to be the breadwinner, it may spell trouble in paradise. This is why it’s important to know what are you looking for in a relationship early on. [Read: Types of feminism – Can’t we all just agree to disagree?]

3. Are you someone who wants your own time?

Time is a very important aspect, for some more than others. If you’ve always been independent but your partner feels otherwise, this could be a problem.

In fact, this could be the foundation for all your fights in the future. An independent person and a dependent person simply don’t meld well together.

4. Are you all about sharing or do you like to keep things separate?

If you want to keep your money and financial decisions separate, but your significant other is all about combining resources, it may come across as selfish or make you seem like you are keeping your distance.

You need to talk about this or at least find a middle ground if you want the relationship to work out. A lot of people believe that relationships should be all about sharing every single thing, but that’s actually not mandatory in relationships. [Read: 20 questions you HAVE to ask each other before getting married]

5. Lovey-dovey is all good at first, but are you looking for a PDA-display relationship?

With the exception of the first few months, are you comfortable with PDA or would you rather keep affection when you’re both alone? Of course, when you start out, you want to be as close as possible no matter where you are.

As you mature, you might start to feel there is a time and place for PDA. People have different needs for physical closeness so make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page. Otherwise, one could feel rejected or offended. [Read: What is PDA in a relationship? The full guide to every aspect of affection in love]

6. Does it matter how much money they make?

Money is a more significant aspect than you think. If one of you makes more money, are you both okay with that concept? It’s entirely possible if they make more money than you, that you’re not comfortable with it, which then causes arguments and even a power struggle.

This is why it’s important to know what are you looking for in a relationship. If you think their minimum wage job is just a stepping stone, but they think it is their life’s achievement, this can pose a real problem.

7. Do you want someone to rely on you or be independent?

Let’s not deny this – it feels good to feel needed and wanted. However, there are people who want independent partners, especially if they’re independent themselves.

Do you want to be the type of couple making decisions together and leaning on one another, or the type that does things to care just for themselves? In the long run, if you end up making a decision without consulting the other, this could offend your partner if you have opposing beliefs. [Read: Am I codependent? 15 signs you’re clingy and overstepping boundaries]

8. Will you want to make joint decisions or go it alone?

No matter how many years you’ve been together, some people just aren’t comfortable making joint decisions. You don’t want to be in too deep in the relationship before you realize you have different ways of making decisions.

To some people, making major decisions without discussion feels like you don’t care about their opinion, or that you are operating all on your own. [Read: 10 decisions you should never let your partner make for you]

9. Who should be the disciplinarian if you have children?

Good cop and bad cop only work when one wants to be in each role. If you are both too stringent, then there could be a power play. If you are both too lenient, you may have a house out of control.

Also, if one of you has a traditional mindset, that could lead to expectations for being the disciplinarian. Make sure you discuss this before having children, or early on in the relationship. 

10. Is family important to you?

If a family is important to you, it would be a complete nightmare to date someone with opposing values. Remember, whoever you marry, you marry their family too. If you aren’t the big family type, it may make you miserable to have family picnics once a month.

Of course, compromise is always possible but be sure to talk about this in knowing what are you looking for in a relationship. [Read: 6 practical ways to *put up* deal with difficult in-laws]

11. Who should wear the pants in the family?

If you are a traditional person and believe one person should steer the ship, then finding someone who agrees with you is very important. This is another aspect that can cause a power struggle if you’re not careful enough.

Especially when both of you have dominating personalities, expect this to be a problem. After all, you can’t have two captains unless that is something you agree upon early on.

12. Are you a saver or a live-in-the-moment person?

If you think you don’t care about the spending habits in your relationship, think again. A lot of couples argue about this aspect more often than you think, especially when they aren’t okay with their partner’s spending habits.

If you’re a saver and your partner is a spender, you make quite the match from opposing sides. It becomes a lot more important when you go to fill your gas tank, and your significant other has spent the monthly take-home on a Gucci handbag. [Read: How to talk about money with your partner without fighting about it]

13. Do you want to save for retirement or YOLO?

People who save and those who live in the moment are inherently different in many ways, not just money matters. There are people who save for retirement funds, and people who say screw it and just go with the flow.

Make sure you choose someone who’s compatible with you in this aspect or someone who’s okay with you being from opposing ends. 

14. How much time do you want to spend together?

This question on what are you looking for in a relationship might not be as focused on as matters like money, but it’s just as big a deal-breaker. If you’re someone who values quality time but you’re with someone who doesn’t share that love language or doesn’t give it to you, it’s going to lead to neglect and resentment.

If you want a guy who is going to give up his frolicking days for you, make it clear upfront and find someone who is willing to. [Read: 15 reasons why most couples get bored with their relationship]

15. Do you want someone who thinks you are hotter than them? 

Having someone chase you around like a puppy idolizing you is very flattering at first. However, people who adore you may overestimate your importance and downplay their own.

This can also smother you as they might cling to you and become extra needy, even when not necessary. This is an underrated thing to consider when dating someone, but it’s just as valuable. [Read: 5 big reasons why loving someone too much kills the love really fast]

16. Do you want to play together or do your own thing?

Some couples like to play together; some like to meet up after the play is done. Make sure you know which one you are before committing. You might not realize this initially, but it’s a bigger deal than you think. 

17. Are you looking for long-term love or a more casual time-waster?

Unlike most of the questions above, this is something you need to know right away before getting too invested in someone. They might want something casual and you’re expecting a long-term commitment. Before you say anything, no, you can’t change their minds.

People don’t change, and if you want something real and lasting, you have to be honest upfront. If they can’t commit, you have to move along instead of beating yourself up trying to change their mind.

18. Do you want to have a relationship based on sex or one where friendship rules?

While you can have both these aspects, there’s always one that will rise above. Would you want it to be friendship or sex? If you want to have a purely sexual relationship, but they want you to be there to support them and hold their hand during the difficult parts, then you don’t want the same things out of the relationship.

This is another crucial reason why it’s important to know what are you looking for in a relationship – before you’re in too deep. [Read: Sexually incompatible? The unlucky signs that confirm you two have bad sex all the time]

19. Do you really want a sensitive guy?

Most girls say that they want a sensitive guy, but can we be honest? There is nothing more unattractive than a guy who cries more often than we do.

Make sure you know what you really want before dating someone who’s more sensitive than you are. Be sure if you want someone who is highly sensitive and has more of a feminine touch, if that is really what you want.

20. Are you really looking for a bad guy?

Most girls are attracted to the bad guy, and that’s for a reason. A bad guy is only good when he is a bad guy to everyone but you. Sometimes we think a bad guy can be changed and will be a good guy to just us.

However, really consider what you’re getting yourself into before committing. You can’t change a person *unless he wants to change himself,* so why bother? 

21. Do you want someone who only listens?

We all want someone to listen to what we have to say, but if all they do is listen and are your “yes, dear,” then it can feel more like they simply don’t care. While there are people who want a genuine listener *especially if you’re a talker yourself*, it’s hard to be with someone who doesn’t contribute anything to the conversation.

In knowing what are you looking for in a relationship, really ask yourself if you’re okay with dating a listener. Do you want someone who is going to allow you to wallow or someone who is going to bring out the best in you? The choice is yours. [Read: 23 types of relationships to clearly define your love life]

22. Do you want a stay-at-home partner?

This all goes back to traditional norms in the relationship. Are you really okay with someone who’s probably less ambitious than you? He does the dishes and household chores, but you do all the working and hustling.

Are you okay with the idea of being exhausted from work, only to find your partner just playing video games? Be careful what you think you want from someone.

If they do nothing but wait on you hand and foot, what could they possibly bring to the table at the end of the day but a warm dinner?

23. Are you okay with having opposing beliefs?

We’re all entitled to have our personal beliefs. Maybe you believe in God, or maybe you don’t care about religion. However, this can be a huge deal-breaker in relationships if you have opposing beliefs.

Are you okay with a partner that believes in different things than you? What belief system do you plan to raise your potential children on? This question will save you a lot of unnecessary pain further on in the relationship. [Read: What does being compatible actually mean in a relationship?]

24. Are you okay with a temperamental partner?

Believe it or not, some people have the worst anxieties and panic attacks when their partner expresses anger. If you’re someone who grew up in a household where problems were talked through rather than expressed in any form of rage, this could cause a problem if your partner has anger issues.

You need to work on a compromise or decide early on if you can date them. Most often, this never works out. 

25. Do you need a communicative and confrontational partner?

Communication is the key to any relationship, but some people just aren’t as vocal and confrontational. Normally, a communicative person and a non-communicative person don’t blend well especially in arguments.

Reflect whether this is important to you because if it is, it can leave you feeling neglected and ignored when your partner isn’t expressing their feelings vocally. 

[Read: 6 reasons people have a fear of confrontation]

So, what are you looking for in a relationship?

We all have different standards and wants in a relationship. To find someone who fulfills those wants and needs, you need to ask yourself the important questions before diving in too deep with them. 

[Read: How to have a good relationship that gets better with each new day]

Make sure you’re realistic in asking what are you looking for in a relationship. Only you can have all the answers on what you truly want and need when dating someone. 

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Bethany Locke
Bethany was born and raised in Scotland and now resides in Brighton where she lives with her partner and rather disobedient cocker spaniel pup. And in her spare...
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