‘Choose your life partner wisely.’ This is something that you have probably heard in your growing up years. Along with that, you were probably also told that having the right partner would be the key to all your happiness. That it was the answer to having a fulfilled existence. That with the perfect person, your puzzle is complete. But with all that advice, chances are you were never actually told how to choose a life partner or what qualities to look for in a life partner.
Well you’ve come to the right place today. “How to choose a life partner?” you asked? We’ve got all the answers.
Choosing a life partner who is compatible with you emotionally, intellectually and physically is not all that hard if you know how to look for what you want.
With psychotherapist Snigdha Mishra on board today, who is also a mental health educator, founder of Life Surfers, and Founding Member of Bharatiya Counselling Psychology Association and Lets Talk (COVID mental health crisis support Helpline), we’ll try to better understand how to find a life partner.
Qualities To Look For In A Life Partner
There are a few steps that you need to take when you are choosing a mate who you want to spend the rest of your life with. To do that, you must first jot down the qualities you want in a partner, what we call the ideal partner description. To help you with the same, here are some tips from our side. Here are some of the qualities to look for in a partner.
- Don’t fixate on appearance only: Looks are important, but not everything
- Someone who is kind: Kindness and compassion are a must if you want to find someone who will make you a better person
- Someone who is not narrow-minded: You want your partner to respect your independence and a controlling attitude could be a red flag
- Understand their financial standing: You could be looking for financial security or you could be happy growing rich together too
- Find someone who has your back: Reliability should be your thing when choosing a life partner
- Humor is important: Having a funny bone is a must if you want to spend your entire life with this person
- Find someone with plans: You could want someone really hardworking and sorted out and is not lazy about their work or goals
- Similar hobbies: A love for travel is something you might want to share or anything else that helps you spend time together
Keeping these factors in mind when considering a life partner, we are giving you homework: Add your own likes and dislikes to this list. Of course, having the right connection, attraction and compatibility are all important. It’s not that you have to follow this structure to the T and use it like a rulebook. But jotting these down might give you a rough guide when you are looking for answers to the million dollar question: How to choose a life partner who will complement you?
It is equally important to be aware of what exactly you don’t want in a partner. Being bossy with the waiter could be a pet peeve and thus, an instant turn off; not having a deep connection with their family could be another. You might hate it if they talk too much about themselves or perhaps you just don’t like the way they chew. Whatever it may be, your journey of ‘how to choose a life partner’ has begun.
So choose your partner wisely.
Related Reading: Things To Discuss Before Marriage With Your Prospective Life Partner
Choosing A Life Partner Will Not Come Easily
Choosing the right partner may not be an easy job. Because it’s hard to find everything you want and desire in that one person.
And it’s equally hard to give you answers to the question, “How to choose a life partner?” On top of that, there is nothing like being absolutely right and being absolutely wrong when it comes to finding a soul mate. There is no right or wrong path here, really.
Let’s remind you, your potential mate could tick all the right boxes, but that does not come with a guarantee of a lifetime of happiness. On the contrary, you might just end up dating someone who is not the perfect long-term partner material even though you can spend hours talking to them!
Snigdha Mishra says, “What to look for in a partner is actually a personal call and depends on one’s personal preferences and value system. But, as a relationship and couples therapist, I have seen a pattern that makes relationships less of an effort and easier to work upon. For starters when couples share common family values, their understanding and mutual respect and communication are on more or less similar grounds. These value systems are not societal or parental, but created through life experiences and are like principles you live by and live for. The efforts you make in life as people are government by these values.”
How To Choose A Life Partner – 12 Expert Tips
So in the end, you just have to run a few checks and balances and see how much compatibility you have with the person in all the various aspects of functioning together. How to choose a partner in an arranged marriage? It’s somewhat the same process in that case too.
You need to spend some time together, maybe think of some questions to ask when choosing a life partner and really make your research as thorough. You don’t want to cut any corners and end up with the wrong person, your life is at stake here. Go through these 12 tips and you’ll have a fair idea of factors to consider when choosing a life partner.
1. You are totally comfortable around them
How to find a life partner? Just see if they can accept you exactly as you are (without the make-up, without the shave). Think of someone you can totally be yourself around without worrying even once about them judging you.
And also if they are okay with the kind of life you are used to leading. Things like your hobbies, girls’ nights out with friends, traveling for work, spending time with parents and so on.
If they don’t want you to change anything and are okay with those patchy boxers you wear at home or the LBD that shows a bit too much of cleave, then you have a treasure on your hands.
“If a person has values, respect, kindness and EQ, then it’s likely that person will both nurture and wish for certain mental, emotional, and physical independence as a person and partner. They will help create healthy boundaries in a relationship that would enable personal, professional, emotional and spiritual growth,” says Snigdha.
Being able to be yourself with your partner is the most important thing in a marriage. You don’t have to hide any of your purchases, interactions with colleagues, or that urgent late-night call from the boss from them.
2. Principles of choosing a life partner — talking to them comes easily
At every step of your life, communication will have to flow to make your marriage a success. There is no harm in one person being an introvert and another being an extrovert. One might talk more and one might talk less, but there has to be a flow to the conversation and an understanding between the two that comes with spending quality time together and having things to talk about.
Also, it’s important that the conversations are enjoyable. From politics to movies to which Spider-man is the best, your conversations should make you happy and want to go on.You can’t be just rambling about this and that and beating around the bush for the sake of it.
Do you both manage to hold on to each other’s attention while talking without either of you toying with your smartphone? If yes, then you are going in the right direction when it comes to choosing a life partner.
3. You have similar interests
One of the biggest questions to ask when choosing a life partner is about their interests and their hobbies. Our third point flows right from the second one. If you have to have interesting conversations then you have to have similar interests. Choosing a life partner wisely means having enough similarities to gel together and plenty of differences to make the relationship interesting.
For instance, if he is totally into the headlines of the day and you haven’t checked out the news in the last week, then the conversation would inevitably be one-sided. At first it may seem romantic for him to give you the news of the day, but then things will change. There will be times when he will get tired of being the morning newspaper for you, or you won’t want to hear it anymore.
Also having common interests might mean doing similar activities together which is very gratifying in a marriage. If both of you like experimenting with food, then exploring new restaurants every week could be a thing to look forward to in your marriage. The same goes for travel, movies, books and other things.
4. The differences will make your relationship thrive
One of the principles of choosing a life partner is to not end up dating or marrying your own mirror image. Be aware that it’s important to be similar like we mentioned before, but there should be plenty of differences too for a relationship to thrive, otherwise, the marriage wouldn’t work. For instance, you both could be into books, but your choice of books could be very different.
Or you could be into English books and your partner could be into vernacular books. So say if there is a power cut after a cyclone, you two could spend an entire evening telling each other stories from the books you read, most importantly the very different ones. Having dissimilarities could also mean that one would be good at something and the other would be good at something else. A marriage can actually be successful because of differences in a relationship.
So while he likes ironing clothes, you may be good with folding and stacking them. You get all the things ready on your travel list and you are not the kind to miss out on anything, but packing is just not your forte. Voila! Your husband is a fabulous packer and can do it all quickly. He can compress so much into a single bag that you are always left awed.
Now apart from these functional differences, even ideological differences can be good to an extent. They develop a great deal of intellectual intimacy and allow you to grow in your marriage as you always have something new to learn from each other. These differences could mean that you have chosen a life partner wisely.
Related Reading: 13 Ways To Make Him Realize Your Worth
5. How to choose a life partner? Find someone you love holidaying with
If you have been thinking about how to choose a life partner then you must ensure you spend at least a short holiday or even do a day trip with the person who seems to be on the top of your list. If you two are deeply in love, then that’s going to be easy for you two.
But remember, a holiday together could be a massive revelation. You could find out if your potential partner is cool and composed when the flight is delayed and when the food is served cold, or they jump into fits of rage because things aren’t going according to plan.
A drive in the countryside through the bumpy roads when it’s raining cats and dogs – do they find it romantic? Or do they keep cursing the whole idea?
In fact, you could be the one who can’t do without a luxury accommodation and your partner drags you along down a hiking trail and then sets up camp by the lake. Your anger knows no bounds when you stay awake dealing with the mosquitoes all around. So will this match work? Keeping in mind these important tips in choosing a life partner, you’ll know eventually.
6. Factors to consider when choosing a life partner: Sexual compatibility
While you have been told to choose a partner wisely, sexual compatibility might have been lowest in your pecking order of the qualities you look for in a partner. There is no doubt that sexual attraction wanes over time and it’s the mental and emotional connection that cements a relationship. But physical incompatibility can become a big issue in a marriage later on.
So do think about how strong your physical attraction is toward one another. Is it instant chemistry or is it an intellectual kind of an attraction that you feel for each other? How much do you enjoy each other in bed and also how much are you into hugs, cuddles, kisses and holding hands? These things really matter when it comes to how to find a partner for life.
7. You have the same financial and social standards
It is not always important to be from the exact same social strata in order to tie the knot with someone. Love knows no such bounds, we get that. But having a similar financial and social standard always helps in creating a good life together. If one person is from a very low-income background and the other is basically a Kardashian, then there is a possibility of a mismatch in lifestyles.
Now these things can definitely be overcome which is why this is not the foremost of qualities in choosing a life partner. There are instances when people from poor financial backgrounds have come up in their life by the dint of their own merit and have married above their own standards and created a beautiful life for themselves.
These marriages are very successful and happy too. So there is no rule book that says you should or should not do such a thing. Our duty is just to let you know that this is something worth thinking about, because you must remember that choosing your life partner means also choosing your future.
Related Reading: 15 Tips For Financial Planning For Newly Married Couples
8. Kindness > perfection
In finding a life partner, you may have certain boxes of absolutes in what you want as the perfect husband or wife, and you’re probably eagerly ticking them off. But your expectations, need to be little realistic. If you are expecting perfection in your life partner then that’s a cardinal mistake you are making. Perfect job, perfect family, perfect dressing sense – these might be things you are attracted to in a person, right now.
Nobody is perfect in this world. But how to choose a life partner depends on how much imperfection you are willing to accept in somebody. Sometimes, as long as you find someone kind and true, that is enough, and perhaps even better than finding someone who ticks the culturally constructed boxes of ‘perfection’.
Snigdha says, “It’s often said that if you have to find out about someone’s character look at how they treat the less fortunate. I am unsure if it’s an absolute truth, but I am sure that it does reflect their kindness and compassion. It’s easier to be with someone who is simply kinder and more compassionate and has more humanistic values.”
So when they have occasional temper tantrums you could be willing to accept that. But do they become too rude and start using hurtful words? Or act abusive? No matter how much you love them and feel you are made for each other, you need to think twice when it comes to abusive behavior. But please don’t judge a guy for his sloppy hair or a lady for her occasional unkempt eyebrows.
9. An engagement helps you to know each other better
Choosing your life partner is also choosing your future which is why having an engagement is a good idea. This is the pre-marriage stage, you are neither dating nor married, but there is some kind of legal binding. This kind of prelude really allows you test the waters in a great way!
This is the time a person lets down their guard more than before, knowing that the relationship is almost solemnized. They start feeling more comfortable in the relationship and could start showing you newer sides of themselves.
This is a good time to see how much you both gel together. Does she start loathing you for all the time you spend with your friends watching a game at the bar or does he expect you to get back from work at the same time every day? Does she start criticizing your family and does he start keeping track of your finances?
It is always possible to call off an engagement so there’s really nothing to lose here. Don’t get engaged as a whim or a social experiment. Do it only if you are really passionate about this person. But don’t get lazy in your search and understanding of how to choose a life partner during this time. Stay alert, as these few months you are engaged will give you a clear idea if you have chosen your life partner wisely.
10. Respect is crucial when choosing a life partner
The importance of choosing a life partner comes from spending your entire life tied down to this one person. From movies to dinners to sleeping, you do almost every single thing with them. Most of your conversations even, will be with them. Which is why when you are thinking, “How to find a life partner?” you must find someone who respects you. Because that is one major thing which keeps a relationship afloat.
Developing respect might just be more important than love in a relationship. Mutual respect helps a relationship sail through the ups and downs of marriage. This is one of the most important qualities to look for in your life partner.
Snigdha Mishra says, “Being friends and respecting each other’s differences is paramount in maintaining transparency and creating healthy boundaries in a relationship. Which is why when you want to find a life partner, you must ensure that you two respect each other immensely.”
11. How to choose a life partner? Be with someone you can laugh with
Choosing your life partner is also choosing your future and what is a future without lots of laughs?
A sense of humor is very important so as to be able to laugh through life, often through the tragedies even. If one person cracks a joke and the other does not get the punchline, it will result in an awkward moment between the two. If you get married to someone who does not have a sense of humor, your marriage is nothing but a string of such awkward moments.
It often happens that one partner is the serious kind and the other is the more cheerful, happy-go-lucky kinds, but when it comes to their sense of humor, most happy couples are always on the same page.
So trust us when we tell you that sense of humor is what you should look for in a life partner as it will help you achieve much happiness in the future. One of the godly tips in choosing a life partner, know that you need to be with someone who can always make you smile.
12. Principles of choosing a life partner — shared intellectual intimacy
When two people get married, they are usually young and do not look at the future with too much maturity or foresight. Sometimes marriages suffer when one person grows intellectually and the other person cannot keep pace with them. Then the conversations keep faltering and two people start losing interest in each other’s lives.
Having a similar educational background, similar interests and a shared goal could mean that you would grow together intellectually. Having the same level of EQ (emotional quotient) also helps in developing a good deal of intellectual intimacy.
Take it from the expert. “Everyone has a past and comes with some emotional baggage, but someone with a decent EQ will also have the resilience and good coping skills. They will also be able to express themselves and relate emotionally as a partner and help in mutual growth,” says Snigdha.
With that, we hope you now have a better idea of how to find a life partner and make the correct choice for yourself. Remember, that the answer is probably within you as you already know what kind of a person will make you happy and compliment you well. Don’t rush your search, don’t pressurize your boyfriend or girlfriend. Take your time, and things will fall into place. As long as you keep in mind these factors to consider when choosing a life partner, you will be just fine.
If you still feel you need help then pre-marital counseling could also be the way forward for you. A certified counselor will be able to help you well too. Our experienced counselors at Bonobology are ready to help you and just a click away.
When you are looking for a life partner, look for kindness, compassion, understanding, respect, humor, high EQ (emotional quotient), and also look out for your partner’s work ethics.
An ideal life partner is someone around whom you will be comfortable, you don’t have to hide anything, you have similar tastes and choices, you laugh together and you have sexual compatibility.
There is a great deal of importance to choosing a life partner. So do make your considerations well.
Looks are important in choosing a life partner, but that’s not everything. You need to have emotional, intellectual and physical compatibility with a person to be great partners. You know you have found the best life partner if you have mutual respect, you laugh together, you are financially secure with them and you have the same shared values.