What are your standards when it comes to choosing a life partner?
What I looked for in my life partner are many of the same qualities that attract me to women in general. I have a better sense of myself, what turns me on, what personality traits I like now than I did when I was dating in my twenties. A few things have changed, but most of what I think is important has stayed the same. In no particular order, she needs to be:
- physically attractive
- socially outgoing
I think it's important to have a partner who will give you space. I've always been a very independent person, can happily spend a day by myself and not get bored. Sandy's good at giving me alone time, to work on my hobbies or to write and get my thoughts out of my head and onto 'paper'. It's my way of decompressing and does me a world of good.
I need a partner who's challenging, who won't let me walk all over her (not that I would). We're both very strong-willed at times, it's rare that we're both feeling that way at once but I love how we play off each other when we both want to assert ourselves. There's a certain sexiness to this exchange of dominance I find; when neither of us will back down it can lead to a playful physicality between us.
It's important to me to have someone who will take time to stop and appreciate the little things during a busy day. Sometimes when we're in the middle of rushing off somewhere Sandy will point to the clouds or the way the sunlight is hitting a tree and casting shadows. God I love this about her.
Things in a long-term relationship can get pretty routine after a while. You can get to know your partner very well over eighteen years, and it does take effort to keep things new and fresh. So it's important to me that a life partner be open-minded and willing to try new things, whether it's travelling, experiencing new cultural events, being sexually adventurous, meeting new people..whatever. Gotta keep things interesting in all areas of life.
It's also extremely important to me that a partner not be too possessive. I've seen many relationships smothered by insecurity in one or both people. While spending time together is vital to a relationship, it's also necessary to give yourselves breathing space to spend time with others without being under a blanket of jealousy. Trust can't be over-emphasized.
Every relationship has its own dynamic. If a relationship is going to work long-term, both people involved need to accept the other for who they are without intending to change them down the road. If there are things about your partner that don't suit you now, they won't suit you in the future.