When it comes to relationships, there are as many types out there as there are people. No two relationships are the same. But one thing is certain – there are a few things that make a relationship stronger and happier. Here are the 12 things to look for in a relationship.
1. How he treats other women
Let’s start with perhaps an unusual thing to look for in a relationship, and a guy, but one that will show you straight away who you are dealing with.
If you are hoping for a serious relationship with someone, watch how he treats other women. If the guy you like tends to use derogatory or patriarchal language, sends unsolicited pics to other girls, or calls all his ex-girlfriends “crazy” then what makes you think he will be any better in this relationship?
It seems like such an obvious thing to watch out for, but you’d be surprised how many women are willing to get on with a guy, who just doesn’t treat women with respect. How many times have you observed a friend get together with a guy, who you are 100% certain is bad news?
Is she saying things like…
He’s different with me…
He’s not that bad once you get to know him.
I’ve not heard him say that about X, I don’t believe it!
When a woman is infatuated, she will build up a guy in her mind, often putting him on a pedestal and becoming too blind to spot any warning signs. Including the guy being mean to strangers, calling other women names, and generally being disrespectful to the other sex.
You don’t want to end up with someone who pretends he’s different when he’s with you but actually is a misogynist. You know better than that!
2. Acts of kindness
Even before you get in a relationship with somebody, it’s easy to spot from a mile away the nice guy. All you have to do is actually look beyond the really good-looking one who grabs your attention!
Good guys are easier to find and they treat people well – whether they date them or not! And when in a relationship, pay attention to your man’s random acts of kindness. What is it that he always does, regardless of whether you’ve asked him to?
Does he always change the toilet paper? Or brings you coffee in bed? Perhaps he doesn’t mind popping into the shops to get your paper towels? It’s really the little things a guy does when he cares deeply for you that make a relationship strong.
Some guys have just got that about them! They don’t mind giving and expect nothing in return. They jump at the opportunity to simply please you or help you. It’s easy dating a guy who simply notices things about you:
- he will hand you his jacket on a cold night before you ask
- he always gets the door for you and opens the door to your girlfriends too
- he does the dishes and doesn’t moan about it
- he switches off the TV when you start talking to him and pays attention
- he pours you a glass of wine after you’ve had a tough day at work
When a guy does these things it’s because he’s just kind inside, and he doesn’t mind it! Look for a guy who does these things naturally. He’s a keeper!
3. He doesn’t always need to be right
You wouldn’t believe how many relationships fail because one partner is simply incapable of compromise. If your guy is happy to be the bigger person, instead of trying to always win an argument, then you know you’ve got a keeper there.
The ability to compromise is crucial for a long-lasting relationship. Relationships will go through ups and downs and not all things will go seamlessly, make sure you’ve got a partner who wants to make you happy, not always win an argument.
Finding the ability to compromise for the good of both partners is a sign of a healthy, grown-up relationship. Even when you’ve got conflicts to resolve, couples who compromise will always find the best solution.
Make sure your partner can see things from your perspective – if he can’t then it will just breed resentment in the long term. If he’s taking you for granted and simply disagreeing with everything you say, then you need to have a serious conversation.
4. Knowing how to handle conflict
Alongside the ability to compromise, look for a partner who knows how to work out difficulties when they arise – and trust us, they will. Fights are a common occurrence in relationships, and they can make you grow and learn as a couple but knowing how to handle arguments when they arise is the most crucial bit.
It doesn’t mean that you two will never argue but when you do, he still treats you with respect and knows when to be the bigger person and simply to let the argument go.
Look for someone who is kind and patient even when you argue, someone who knows how to handle disagreements, or can even spot when something is about to make you angry. Remember that love and respect come first, followed by who said what and who did what and who’s right and wrong.
Research shows that a couple who knows how to argue can prevent the biggest disagreements and disappointments in their relationship. They wouldn’t let a bad holiday experience ruin their mood or a stranger who shows interest in one of the partners brings out a jealousy fit.
It’s important to acknowledge that hiding the fact you are upset or angry can do more harm than actually having a healthy argument about it. You don’t need to keep up an appearance of everything being rosy – that’s not how relationships work.
5. He isn’t trying to change you
Listen up ladies, this is a big one! If you have found yourself in a relationship with a guy who always has something to say about what you wear, what you say, who you meet, what you like, then you’ve got a big red flag there.
Relationships are about growth and change, but not about one partner actively trying to mold the other one into who they like them to be. The more you accept his ways and compromise when he makes a comment about something he wants you to change, the more you will be giving up who you are in order to please him and keep him around.
Set the boundaries from the very start of the relationship. You are you and he is he and that’s it!
You are not his possession or his doll for him to toy with. You are a fully-fledged woman with a mind, life, and personality of your own. Show him who you are and be proud of it. Don’t make him think that he can change you.
If you go down the slippery slope of changing for him, then don’t blame anyone else when you wake up one day having forgotten who you actually are and what you stand for.
6. Trust is key
A healthy relationship is a trusting one. There are no two opinions about it. Look for a man who is certain of himself and especially confident enough to trust you to be with him and only him. Not one who is always looking over his shoulder expecting you to cheat or lie.
Alongside compromise, trust is arguably the most essential trait of a strong relationship. It’s the strongest foundation for everything else!
Look for a partner that you can trust and who trusts you! Make sure jealousy never shows its ugly face, and he knows exactly where he stands with you. That means there’s no space for games too. Forget what Cosmopolitan taught you about saying or doing by which date, or which month of the relationship – it’s all lies made to sell magazines to gullible women.
And if you have been unfortunate to lose trust in him, or him in you, remember that you can always rebuild it, but it will take a long while until it feels like it used to.
7. Honest communication
Couples who spend more time talking to one another than staring at a TV or a screen are the ones who are bound to be together for a long time. Why? Because nothing can replace simply making the time to talk.
Whether it’s to share good stories, explore ideas together, plan for the future or even to disagree on topics – communication is absolutely everything in a relationship!
Why would you even want to be with someone who’d rather talk to his mates than you? Communicating often, communicating respectfully and being patient about the things that are hard to talk about is going to make you stronger together.
Can you remember the last time you truly talked to one another? No phones, no distractions, no rushing to do something else, no excuses? If you can’t then you’ve got some changes to make in order to make space for open and honest conversation. It will only bring you closer to your partner!
8. Genuine interest in one another
Yes, relationships come in all shapes and forms, but one characteristic remains unchanged – seek a partner who shows genuine interest in you! Not just when you hang out between four walls, but when you are surrounded by friends too!
The guy who deserves you will be listening when you speak, he will be asking about your hobbies, be interested in your family’s wellbeing, support your dreams, and many more. He will genuinely care for you and want to know your opinion on anything and everything!
And don’t forget that applies to you as well! Being interested in the one you date, truly seeing them for who they are is key to keeping that loving feeling for longer.
9. True affection
It goes without saying that a loveless relationship is no relationship at all, but there’s more to love than meets the eye! A true long-lasting relationship means that beyond the honeymoon period and the strong physical infatuation of the first few days, you two still want to be around each other.
It works both ways – you simply like one another and feel love and care each day you spend together! It’s in the way you look at one another, holding hands, looking after one another, making time for intimacy, hugging, and kissing often.
Affection and romance are a huge part of any healthy romantic relationship. Don’t overlook them!
10. Emotional maturity
The worst thing you can do is go for a partner who simply isn’t on the right level (or stage in life) to give you what you really need. Look for an emotionally mature guy, one who isn’t afraid to commit, who isn’t scared to say “I love you” first, who makes plans with you, and treats you like his partner, not his mother!
Emotional maturity actually has nothing to do with age – some men never mature or get ready to commit, even at an old age! Make sure you can tell from the beginning which one yours is!
The best thing you can do for your wellbeing and long-lasting happiness is to choose a partner who is fun! That includes making you laugh, being optimistic, and simply easy to be around.
Don’t overlook this quality about men and your relationship! Sometimes the most fun guy around won’t be necessarily the most attractive, or the one you see yourself with, but if he makes you laugh then he can win you over.
It’s proven that couples who laugh more live longer! So get yourself a guy who’s got a solid sense of humor and loves to see you laugh! Make the conscious decision to have fun in the relationship. Make space for spontaneity, laughter, excitement! Thank us later!
12. Viewpoint on life and the world
Some women may say this doesn’t matter when you love somebody, but it’s the secret sauce to a long-lasting, strong relationship. Find yourself a partner that you simply align with – that doesn’t mean agreeing on everything, it’s so much more than that:
- You are on the same wavelength about the big things in life
- You know how to reach compromise without fighting
- He helps you grow and learn
There are so many characteristics of a good relationship and you can read pages and pages of lists about it, but when it comes to choosing wisely, the above 12 things to look for will give you a strong basis for making the right decision.