somnambulist Posted August 21, 2008 Share Posted August 21, 2008 You know when you've been dating someone for a while, and you're just on the cusp of turning it into a bona-fide relationship? (Er, by "bona-fide" I mean fully-committed and interested in staying with this person for the long-term.) How do you decide whether to take the next step and turn it into a relationship? Most of us have checklists - conscious or otherwise - against which we tick off potential partners. When you've been out on a few dates (or many, depending on what your preferred timeline is), what are the top 5 things you're looking for? What are the top 5 qualities that, when found in a dating partner, would tip the scales from "fun date" into "relationship material"? Which is to say, what 5 things would make or break the deal for you? For me, it's these 5 qualities: 1) A strong psychological constitution, i.e. someone who is happy with themselves and at peace with themselves. By this, I mean that they aren't dysfunctional and don't have terrible hang-ups from their childhoods or their past relationships that they have yet to resolve. I want to be someone's partner, not their counselor. The great thing about this quality is that it automatically rules out abusers, poor communicators, stalkers, doormats and addicts. A strong, happy and peaceful person is generally well-behaved, and won't indulge in either self-harm or harm to other people. (That's my theory, anyway...) 2) The ability and the motivation to completely and totally commit to me, to the exclusion of all others. Yes, this means fidelity! Past infidelities automatically disqualify a person, since I don't give second chances to apparently "reformed" cheaters. Not that reform is altogether impossible, but it's unlikely enough to make it a waste of my time. 3) An interest in intellectual and purely geeky things. Hey, I'm a total geek; if the other person wasn't also a geek, I'd drive them up the wall! They'd drive me crazy, too. Basically, I'm looking for a person who is able to sustain a philosophical, scientific or aesthetic discussion just for the fun of it. Really, genuinely for the fun of it - not as an argument or a matter of pride. Someone who can appreciate "pure discourse" without bringing their egos into it. (Well, to a point. If they've defeated me soundly on a logical issue, they're more than entitled to look a little smug! And to demand certain, er, "rewards." ) 4) Definite plans for the future in terms of job prospects, finances, the possibility of children etc. A person who isn't driven, decisive or practical doesn't interest me! This doesn't mean that they have to be stubborn in a mercenary way, or that they have to be inflexible - just that they should care enough about their own lives to have seriously thought about what to do with them. 5) Warmth. This means the ability to be loving, to be emotionally expressive at the very least (if not outright effusive!), and to be tender in a spontaneous way. Some would argue that this is really the same as point 1), but I don't think that this is always the case. Some very happy and well-adjusted people can still have low emotional temperatures! And I definitely want a warm-hearted person who needs my company, rather than someone who is satisfied with little or no companionship. So those are my make-or-break qualities! My checklist, so to speak. When dating someone, I keep these qualities in mind, and if I feel that any of them is not met, then I won't be interested in dating that person any longer. On the other hand, if all five qualities are met, then full speed ahead! I'll definitely be interested in a long-term relationship. Please share your top 5 qualities, too! Make sure to discuss them at least briefly, because mere terms can have different definitions for different people. (For example, the word "warmth" may mean something different to Person A than it does to Person B.) If you feel like it, you can also talk about how or why you came up with these qualities. Or if you prefer to "wing it" in certain cases, then in what cases would you be willing to put aside your checklist? I'm all ears! Link to comment
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