5 Things I’m Looking For in a Mate (After Getting to Know Myself First)

My boyfriend of 3 years paid me a wonderful compliment the other day. He told me that he has always appreciated my level of self-awareness. He said the fact that I know what I can offer another person and what exactly I want from a partner has pushed him to do some introspection himself and prioritize the traits that he deems important.

Dating at any age is hard. But what’s even harder is not knowing what you’re looking for. It’s like going to the grocery store without knowing what you want to buy; you’re likely to waste a lot of your precious time. It’s important to know yourself and what you can and cannot deal with. Look past the superficial traits and delve deeper into your personality to figure out what kind of partner will truly bring out the best in you. Before we get to know someone else intimately, it’s only fair that we get to know ourselves first. My advice: introspect, and do it often.

A few days ago, an old family friend, RS and I were catching up after many years. We were discussing what were the most important ingredients that make up our ideal partner, aside from the cliché list that people normally put forward. Sure, I want a man that is tall, attractive, successful, loyal, and the list goes on, but don’t we all? So we decided to dig a little deeper into our personalities and figure out what would truly make our perfect match. Ironically, R was my childhood crush for many years, and it makes me chuckle a little when I think about how I used to fantasize about us getting married, having children together, etc. You know the usual crazy thinking a pre-adolescence young girl with raging hormones experiences. But the funny part is that as we share our thoughts with each other as 20-somethings now, 15+ years later, we couldn’t have grown into more different, incompatible individuals. But moving on, my five things, in no particular order, that would be deal breakers are:

  1. Non-religious. I probably can’t stress this enough. I simply cannot spend the rest of my life with a man that believes in organized religions, vehemently or otherwise. For starters, I want a completely secular wedding, so that would probably create the first problem. But the endless headaches that I foresee religion creating are enough to drive me away from the entire thought.
  2. Adventurous. I am not talking about climbing Mount Everest. Having an adventurous side reveals his zest for life. It’s important that he is willing to take risks and push himself. It also shows me he’s willing to face his fears and looking to improve himself by stepping outside his comfort zone.
  3. Worldly. Having traveled constantly for the past 6 years and having lived in four different countries, I couldn’t be with a man that wasn’t well-traveled. He has to share my same passion for traveling and exploring other countries, foods, and cultures. What started out as a hobby quickly turned into a lifestyle. A worldly man also often means that he’s open-minded, which is so so important in my book!
  4. Conversationalist. Looks fade, but one’s ability to tell stories will last a lifetime. Being a good conversationalist tells me that the guy has had many experiences in life that are worth recounting and sharing. It gives a certain depth to his personality that keeps me intrigued.
  5. Humorous. He doesn’t need to be a comedian, but he should be able to make me laugh and more importantly, laugh at himself. People shouldn’t take themselves so seriously because life is too short. A sense of humor also speaks to other traits such as confidence. If you can laugh at yourself, you are more than likely pretty secure with who you are. And there is nothing sexier than a confident man!

What are some important traits that you look for in a partner?

One Response to “5 Things I’m Looking For in a Mate (After Getting to Know Myself First)”

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Globetrotter and Journalist
food enthusiast. amateur photographer. avid reader. travel journalist. globe trotter. native Californian. perpetual student. independent spirit. ambitious woman. Fulbright scholar. wine drinker. UCSD college graduate. LSE master's holder. MBA candidate. human rights supporter. ardent dancer. creative mind. sushi lover. pilates patron. event planner. fashion fiend. passionate baker. adventure seeker. alliteration aficionado. karma believer.