Editor’s note: Happy New Year! This week we’ll be sharing some of our most popular posts that will help you be a better dater in 2012, in case you missed them the first time around. This post was originally published in September 2011.
Good news for those of you who are bending over backwards to figure out how to attract your dream mate. As it turns out, the equation is very simple. Pretty much everyone — men and women, gay and straight, young and old — is looking for the same ten things in a partner.
No one in their right mind really expects to find a partner who excels in every single one of these areas. After all, if you’re already perfect, what do you need a relationship for?
Identifying which of these areas you may be lacking in and beginning to work on them will not only improve your chances of finding someone, but will make you happier with yourself.
This is the big one. Confidence attracts. There’s no magic formula for getting it (or keeping it once you have it), but taking an honest look at the things you don’t like about yourself and working to change them is a good start. Acquiring new skills won’t hurt either, but your best shot at becoming more sure of yourself is to devote yourself to something you love and work to excel at it. Easier said than done, sure, but probably easier done than you think.
2. Sense of Humor
Ask anyone what they’re looking for in a partner and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t say one of two things: “Someone who makes me laugh,” or “Someone who laughs at my jokes.” If it you’re not naturally blessed with a sense of humor, it’s not hopeless. Start by making a decision to value laughter in your life. Then take the ride.
Yep. Looks are important. Of course they are. But most people that you’d actually be interested in spending time with aren’t looking for perfection and not everyone is attracted to the same look. Most people, however, do respond to how a person presents his or her self. If you’re not terribly interested in fashion, that’s fine. Just put a little effort into finding the right hairstyle and wearing clothes that fit you and you’ll be all good.
4. Good Sex
It’s very common, almost universal in fact, to have insecurities about sex. I’m not here to feed those insecurities. More than anything else, being good in bed boils down to enjoying sex. Have fun, get creative, and don’t worry too much about it.
Feeling that we are accepted by someone is one of our deepest motivations for seeking relationships in the first place. The trick is, you’ve got to be willing to give it it if you want to get it. Take stock of the things that you may be unfairly or needlessly judgemental about and work on letting go of them.
When people say they don’t want drama in their lives, what they mean is they want someone with simple communication skills. Someone who’s not going to make problems where there are none because they don’t know how to simply express their feelings as they arise. No one is perfect in this regard and most couples fight at least once in awhile. But, at the end of the day, everyone wants to someone who will listen and express themselves clearly when it matters.
Most people want to be comfortable, but nobody wants to be bored. Many people seek the challenge of trying to lock someone down who is unavailable — which is an obvious dead end. Unfortunately, many others try to appear unavailable in order to attract this type of challenge-seeker. It can work, but usually only in the short term. Better to challenge a person to more more open, present, engaged. It’s just as attractive and it actually helps a relationship rather than hurts it.
8. Financial Stability
It’s not a dealbreaker for everybody, but there’s no question that, all other factors being equal, getting your money right makes you universally more attractive. Even if you can only take small steps toward it now, take them. You’ll begin to feel more confident once you stop avoiding the issue.
Taste is attractive because it’s an indicator of the quality of life you’ll have with a person. Some people have better taste than others, of course, but nobody likes a snob anyway. The heart of connoisseurship is caring. If you begin to care about what you eat, what you listen to, what you watch, what you read etc, your tastes will develop naturally.
Nothing on this list is nearly so important as chemistry. It’s the ultimate romantic trump card, and it is, unfortunately, almost impossible to define. All we can really do is seek it, stay open to finding it, and be ready to back it up with the other nine items on this list when we are lucky enough to have it.