Characteristics To Look For In A Romantic Partner

Medically reviewed by Julie Dodson, MA
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

The characteristics of your special someone may play a role in finding your perfect match and your relationship's overall health and success. Several features you may wish to explore include common interests, the belief that relationships require effort, aligned core values, the same humor, and an appropriate amount of physical attraction. Body language and honest conversation are also essential when dating. 

If you're unsure about your feelings, values, and needs in a relationship, joining dating websites, a book club, or attending a party to meet people might be helpful. Online therapy and success stories from friends and family can be valuable tools to help you navigate the dating game, understand past relationships, and find love in the real world.

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Knowing yourself better may help you find a compatible partner

Common interests

Despite the variety of differences that exist across relationships and the idea that opposites attract, healthy relationships tend to involve partners who enjoy spending time together in the dating game. This typically holds true whether you live together or apart, and during the first date or further into the relationship.

Many people find it easier to spend time with their special person if they have the same interests. When a couple has the same hobbies like hiking, art, or cooking, they may be more likely to spend their free time together. Additionally, moments that bring both partners joy can strengthen the relationship and pave the way to finding their perfect match.

Interests can affect more than how people spend their time. If partners take part in the same pastimes, they may be more likely to support each other's pursuits of hobby-related goals and understand why their partner prioritizes spending money on items related to their interests. Respectful communication and talking openly about their interests can make a difference.

Furthermore, interests can impact aspects of real life, such as where someone wants to live and how much money they need to support their hobbies. If your interests align, it may be more likely other aspects of your life will line up as well, making it essential to explore these areas.

The belief that relationships take work

While there are characteristics that can make a relationship more likely to work, there may be no such thing as a “perfect relationship.” No matter how compatible you and your partner are, there are likely to be hard days when you might feel rejected. How partners view and handle these challenges with respect can affect their relationship’s health and stability.

Professionals have determined that individuals are most likely to experience one of two beliefs about the success of relationships: destiny beliefs or growth beliefs. Simply put, someone with strong destiny beliefs typically believes that the success of relationships is tied to fate, while an individual who holds strong growth beliefs may understand that relationship success depends on partner efforts. Research suggests that those who hold a strong growth belief may be more likely to apply coping strategies and talk openly to overcome relationship challenges.

Therefore, while you may find it appealing when someone tells you it’s fate that the two of you are together, it may be worth questioning whether this belief will impact the ability to weather challenges together. Keep in mind these tips as you navigate through the complexities of relationships.

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Aligned core values

Most people understand that partners don’t necessarily need to have identical beliefs about every subject and topic. However, it can be important to determine which views you’d like to align. Thinking about your core values can be a helpful way to establish non-negotiable similarities between you and a partner.

Some items that you may want to investigate both on your own and with your partner include religion, children, politics, finances, and life goals. By determining how strong your beliefs surrounding these topics are, you may better determine if your partner must have the same beliefs for you to be happy. Once you identify your sacrosanct values, you may be better prepared to ask potential partners essential questions.

If you don’t know what you value, you may wish to seek out a therapist who can help you identify your core values and how they may relate to choosing a partner.

Common positive humor

Different types of love need laughter. It can be an important part of many relationships, including romantic partnerships. Research suggests that finding a partner with a positive sense of humor can help improve relationship satisfaction. It can be important to remember that not all types of humor are the same, and they can affect relationships differently.

A partner who can tell a funny joke and make you laugh may improve your relationship, and being able to tell humor during trying moments may help you positively navigate relationship challenges. However, negative, self-deprecating humor may bring challenges to relationships in some situations.

Appropriate physical attraction

While there is often more to a successful romantic partnership than physical attraction, this can still be an important aspect of many romantic relationships. However, it can be key to realize that physical and sexual attraction exist on a spectrum, and a lack of physical attraction doesn’t necessarily mean the relationship won’t work. For example, if you identify as asexual, it’s possible to have a successful romantic relationship without experiencing sexual attraction.

Overall, a healthy romantic partnership should provide the amount of physical attraction you desire.

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Knowing yourself better may help you find a compatible partner

It’s okay to ask for help

Knowing what you’re looking for in a partner and finding someone who matches your desired traits can be challenging. If you’re questioning whether someone will be a good romantic partner or feeling like you aren’t finding anyone who aligns with your values, online therapy may help you examine your beliefs and how they relate to your search for a partner.

If you’re searching for a partner while handling all the other aspects of your life, it may be difficult to dedicate time to finding a therapist and driving to appointments. Online therapy may allow you to connect with a licensed therapist and meet with them from anywhere you have internet. That means you might discuss relationship questions from your home in the evening or even during your lunch break.

Recent research shows that online therapy can be an effective method for helping individuals manage the difficult emotions that may arise when searching for love. For example, one study published in Behavior Therapy—a peer-reviewed academic journal—found that online cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) was an effective way of addressing feelings of loneliness. Post-treatment, participants in the study showed a significant decrease in loneliness and worry, along with an overall increase in quality of life.

Takeaway

Although everyone is unique and may have different needs and desires for romantic partners, several characteristics may improve the relationship’s chance of success. If you’re looking for a partner, it may be helpful to seek out someone who has the same core values and interests as you. A person who believes that relationships take work and is willing to put in that work may contribute to a healthy partnership as well. In addition, it can be beneficial to seek out a partner who has the same humor and matches the level of physical attraction you desire in a relationship. Some may find it challenging to identify their wants and needs in a romantic partner, and if this is the case for you, online therapy can be an excellent way to gain insight. 
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