What do you look for in love?

What do you look for in love?

When you think of your current partner or your ideal future partner, what factors matter the most to you?  How has it changed over time?

When I think about the man that I hope to meet someday, there are a few things I already expect from him.  The qualities of being slow-to-anger, patient, and compassionate are very important.  Physical appearance matters to some extent.  A passion and drive in life is important.

I base this ideal-man on previous experiences dating, on books and movies, on the ideas that I got as a child.

Yet, I am aware of the Guys and Dolls problem.  Sarah Brown thinks she knows exactly what her future husband will look like and act like and be like.  She can list it in tremendous detail.  Then life gets in the way and she falls in love with someone very different.

I hear contradictory things in real life.  Some say that when love hits, it changes everything you thought you wanted.  Others say that being with someone who isn’t quite right is settling and you will eventually grow resentful.

Sometimes what is most important changes as we come to different points in our lives.  One friend was looking for men based on looks alone throughout her twenties, but now in her forties she places much more value on someone she can really talk to.

What has your experience been?  Have you been surprised by love?  Or have you found in a partner everything you hoped to find?  Are you single and determined not to settle?  Do you have a list of qualities?  How much does it matter to you?  How has your list changed over time?

1 Comment

  1. Robyn Bradley
    Aug 24, 2011

    I definitely refuse to settle. Of course, I’m approaching 40 and might feel differently in a few years. 🙂

    A few years ago, I made a list of what I was looking for in a partner. I’m not even sure if looks made it to the list. For me, there has to be chemistry, that “thing” that’s impossible to define, but, like porn, I’ll know it when I see it. 😉

    And my “wants” have definitely evolved with age. I often say to my nieces and nephews that “what you want at 20 will likely be VERY different from what you’re going to want at 30.” Of course, this concept is easier to “get” in hindsight.

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