People love love. They love to talk about it, read about it, watch movies about it, and most of all, experience it. The ultimate goal for many is to find love. Every girl wants a prince to come along and sweep her off her feet. And every guy awaits the girl that makes life worth while. But maybe we’re so in love with the idea of love that we don’t consider the important stuff. Instead of movies that showcase examples of healthy, realistic relationships, we have ones like He’s Just Not That into You that focus on securing a love story even if it sucks, even if the guy is a complete jerk. In reality, we should prioritize what we want in a relationship and in a partner and then go after it. And we shouldn’t settle for anything less. So, rather than blindly chasing after love, consider the following qualities in a romantic partner that make for a healthy, successful relationship:

1) Honesty

I know of zero stable, healthy relationships that survive without a degree of honesty. Sure, maybe it’s not always the best idea to tell your girlfriend her hair looks weird today or your boyfriend that you really hate those pants he always wears. But you have to be honest about the important things: like talking about relationship dynamics, expressing happiness or unhappiness, or admitting to mistakes. So swap out that mysterious bad boy for an honest fellow who knows the value of this quality.

2) Drive

Stop chasing after people who are convenient. Typically, they’re the ones with not a whole lot going for them and their careless mindsets can rub off on you. A few months ago, I found myself really liking this guy. And I was excited; I hadn’t been interested in anybody for awhile now. But after a couple months, I realized there wasn’t much to him. He went to work everyday, slept when he was off, and spent time here and there with me. He wasn’t passionate about anything. He wasn’t motivated, he had no drive in life. It soon felt like I was stuck in time and the same boring days were on repeat. His kindness and his humor are what lured me in, but I realized I needed someone that excited me. Someone that I could chase after life with. What I’m saying is, don’t settle for boredom. Find someone who has drive and ambition.

3) Patience

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: patience is a virtue. It’s not easy to maintain patience in disagreements, but it’s certainly worth waiting for someone that is capable of doing so. And not only do you want someone that will be patient with you, but with others. You don’t want a partner who flies off the handle at Outback when their bloomin’ onion doesn’t come out right away. Or who throws a fit at the store because the lines are too long. Patience is an important quality to have, and while everyone’s certain to lose it at times, it can undoubtedly make for a more easygoing relationship.

4) Responsibility

Men’s Health surveyed 1,000 women to reveal what traits they look for in a partner: three out of four women said they want someone who makes commitments and who follows through on those commitments. There you have it—some people today are actually considering what truly matters! Ladies and gentlemen, find yourself a responsible, reliable partner. Someone who goes to work everyday, picks up pizza when they say they will, and ultimately doesn’t let you down. You’ll feel a whole lot happier, safe, and well taken care of in your relationship.

5) Kindness

Perhaps the most important quality of all: kindness. There are some couples that just make me say: How? How are you with him? How does an angel date the devil? Maybe she sees something in him that I don’t, but aside from these special cases, you should really prioritize finding a kind individual to share your life with. It isn’t too hard to identify the good eggs from the bad eggs. But if you’re having some trouble, use the oldest trick in the book: go out to eat with them and pay attention to how they treat the server. If they’re polite and nice to your waiter, that’s a good sign. If they’re domineering and offensive, that’s a sign that they’re a bad egg.

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Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett

Taylor Bennett is the Content Development Manager at Thriveworks. She devotes herself to distributing important information about mental health and wellbeing, writing mental health news and self-improvement tips daily. Taylor received her bachelor’s degree in multimedia journalism, with minors in professional writing and leadership from Virginia Tech. She is a co-author of Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book and has published content on Thought Catalog, Odyssey, and The Traveling Parent.

Check out “Leaving Depression Behind: An Interactive, Choose Your Path Book” written by AJ Centore and Taylor Bennett."

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