The stakes in dating are high.

 

Break-ups can be very painful and cause long-term issues.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a crystal ball to know if things will last?  

 

 

New relationships always feel great…for a while.

The challenge is diagnosing who has long-term potential or not.

The longer we stay in the wrong relationship…the tougher the recovery.

After a break-up, the feelings of wasted time and regret only compound the disappointment.

In some cases, it leads to desperate attempts to MAKE things work, which leads to an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship.

What if you knew who was a ‘keeper’ before things go too far???

Many aspects of compatibility are subject to personal taste.  However, certain traits are proven to be more conducive for long-term relationships than others.

Stack the odds in your favor and ask yourself the following questions about your partner.

(It’s not a bad idea to evaluate yourself in these areas too.)

 

 

Does your partner have a passion?

 

We’re NOT talking about sex! …Yet

We’re talking about someone with a purpose in life.

Pursuing goals is universally perceived as an admirable quality that generates lasting attraction.

No matter how physically good-looking, people who don’t know what they want in life are not attractive.

Passion is contagious!  Others are naturally drawn to the journey and want to feel part of something meaningful.

Lofty or unrealistic goals are not required.  Everybody can’t be the President of the United States.

The key is exhibiting a strong passion for something outside the relationship.  It could be something as modest as a dedicated hobby or charitable cause.

Don’t be afraid of your partner demonstrating a passion for something other than you.

Subliminally, you will respect the fact that they have a life and are with you because they WANT to be with you — not NEED to be with you.

Many relationship failures start with one party being too needy and the other party losing respect.  When one party does not respect the other, cheating soon follows.

Avoid needy people and you will be amazed how much less drama invades your dating life.

 

 

Does the person have a positive attitude?

 

Everyone is attracted to positive people.

Conversely, no amount of good looks can sustain attraction from someone who is negative.

People with a positive attitude are generally happier and more successful.

They also inspire others with their enthusiasm.

Don’t overlook the importance of honestly evaluating your partner’s attitude!

It’s easy to be positive when things are going great, but how does your partner respond to stress?

Many relationships fail due to the inevitable challenges in life.

A person’s attitude in the face of adversity speaks volumes about their true character.

A partner with a positive attitude will help both of you cope more easily with the daily affairs of life and improve your odds for a happy long-term relationship.

 

 

Does your partner view you as an equal?

 
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One-sided relationships never last.

No matter which side of the coin — You can’t be happy in a long-term relationship if you are…

a)  viewed as inferior and feel subservient, or

b) allowed to walk all over the other person.

It doesn’t mean both parties have to be ‘equal’ in the eyes of others.

For example, we’ve all been guilty of looking at a couple with severe differences in looks and thinking they are a total mismatch.  Yet, they are perfectly content and happy together.

Just because we can’t see ourselves with someone doesn’t mean everybody feels the same way about that person.

Conversely, we may fall in love with someone who nobody else finds appealing.

Relationships AREN’T mathematical equations.

Plenty of professional “matchmakers” and online dating sites like eHarmony (http://www.eharmony.com/) try to break relationships into equations, but forecasting dating like the weather does not work.

The only element of math needed in a relationship is the symbol “=”.  

As long as BOTH parties perceive the relationship as equal, then a healthy long-term relationship is possible.

How do you know if the other person views you as an equal?

Look for things such as…

  • Does he/she surprise you and do things not required/expected?

It’s easy to send flowers or buy a gift on special occasions or when the relationship feels threatened, but how does the person behave when not under any ‘obligation’.  Noticing you need something and picking it up for you without asking speaks volumes about how much they care for you.

Remember…Nothing symbolizes love more than putting the other person first.

  • Is money an issue?

A viable long-term couple needs to think of finances as one.  If one side is taking advantage of the other financially, then it will likely lead to taking advantage in other areas too.

We acknowledge that some people hold onto cultural values where inequality in this area is encouraged.  That’s fine as long as you both subscribe to the same traditions and values…AND…you plan to keep these traditions.

As people age and gain experience, their values often change and that can lead to problems in a relationship when certain cultural values don’t treat sexes equally.

  • Does your partner put you down or build you up?

If someone is in it for the long-haul, they will inspire their partner and support them.  Conversely, someone who constantly puts their partner down exhibits no genuine respect.

 

 

Is your partner healthy?

 

A killer body or great face may have initially grabbed your attention, but they could also foreshadow something problematic.

Some people achieve their ‘looks’ through drugs, fad diets, or plastic surgery.  The debate over these things is reserved for a different article.  However, it’s important to look deeper than “looks” when assessing someone’s health and long-term potential.

Does your partner sacrifice their long-term health for short-term gains in appearance?

For example, if your girlfriend is staying slim by throwing up her food each night, the underlying psychological issues will offset any physical attraction in the long run.

For women, if your guy is building muscle by doing steroids, are you prepared to deal with diminished sexual performance, mood swings, and other side-effects from him down the road?

Being healthy is essential to a long-term relationship.  Even those that pledge to love someone “in sickness and in health” know that the former is drastically more difficult than the latter.

Simply put…People who lead a healthy lifestyle make much better long-term partners.  They reduce the risk of so many issues that can stress a relationship.

Look for a partner who…

  • Eats right
  • Exercises
  • Doesn’t do drugs
  • Doesn’t abuse alcohol, and
  • Doesn’t smoke

Few relationships prosper when one party is abusing their body.

Don’t forget about mental health as well.  Your partner doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist, but anyone who lacks proper mental faculties such as self-esteem and common sense will put undue stress on the relationship.

We now live in an advanced society where success and happiness are determined more by education than anything else.

 

 

 Does your partner show vulnerability?

 

A willingness to be vulnerable signifies a key trait of lasting relationships.

Lust and novelty dominate new relationships, but they must eventually transition to a deeper connection if expected to last.

A long-term partner must become an ally, not foe.  

Couples that share their feelings and care for each other demonstrate a hallmark sign of true love.

The tricky part is identifying genuine vulnerability versus normal emotional vomit.

As relationships progress and feelings become stronger, jealousy almost always creeps into the equation.  If it doesn’t, then..

a)  there is a good chance the feelings are not strong, or

b)  they don’t feel comfortable sharing their emotions.

In either case, these are not good signs for a long-term partner.  However, people frequently make the mistake of…

    • being in denial about a)
    • trying to play psychiatrist to partners who are b)

The result is usually disappointment and/or an unhealthy co-dependent relationship.

Look for a partner who is comfortable expressing their emotions, but does it in a mature fashion.

In other words, they are relaxed about opening up and careful with their expressions — not frustrated, angry or wounding with their words.

Everyone can benefit from someone they can rely on.

Psychologists have found that partners in these type relationships show low anxiety and cope better with stress, including the stress of having a child.

In a strong relationship, you should be able to seek support, comfort, and assistance from your partner.

Knowing your partner is encouraging and rooting for you provides the necessary security and support required from all long-term relationships.

 

 

Can you talk openly about sex?

 

Let’s face it…if it weren’t for hormones, men and women wouldn’t seek each others company nearly as much…especially in early adulthood.

Hormones virtually REQUIRE us to seek a partner for sex, so there is no sense avoiding the topic.  Without sex, we’re really just talking about “friendship“, so a strong sex life is a crucial requirement of any ‘keeper’ in long-term dating.

The problem is that “great sex” does not have a universal definition.  Every person has different tastes, experiences, fetishes, and needs.  Hoping to find your perfect match in bed cannot be left to chance.  You must have open communication!

People who take an active role in ‘sexual communication’ experience a much healthier sex life.

In other articles, we discuss everything from one-night-stands to orgasms to fetishes.

However, for the purposes of determining a ‘keeper’, the only aspect to evaluate is whether you both can openly discuss these topics and respect each other’s needs.

We acknowledge that a person’s upbringing and cultural/religious values may make this type communication more difficult to jump into head-first.  If your partner passes the other key criteria for a ‘keeper’, but is deficient in this area, try this tip…

 

Sexual Communication Tip

For couples with limited experience/communication in the bedroom, it may not be comfortable to disclose your deepest fantasies or fetishes.   You have to start somewhere though, so proceed slowly with just the basics such as:

  • “Faster”
  • “Slower”
  • “I love this”
Even certain moans communicate more than you think.

 

Most sex partners with long-term potential are generally interested in pleasing the other person.  If you start with modest feedback, you will be amazed how quickly your partner picks up on these things and remembers even the slightest cues.

 

From there the sky is the limit as you continue to build on the communication.  Just make sure you start at a comfortable place for both of you and progress from there.

 

 

SUMMARY

 

Somebody is out there for everyone…but you can’t force a square peg into a round hole.  Look for these signs of a great long-term partner and save yourself countless drama and disappointment down the road.

 
 

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