Love, particularly love that lasts, does not happen by chance. It happens for people who are ready to drop their illusions, commit, keep committing even when it’s the harder thing to do, and generally not need someone to save them from themselves. Love is a practice, and it’s success isn’t random. Here, 15 personality traits that can predict the quality of your romantic future:
1. You like yourself. Some research shows that for a romantic relationship to work, your “big 5” personality traits need to align. You have to like who you are as an individual, otherwise you’re not going to like the person who mirrors you.
2. You can respect others you don’t understand. You can acknowledge that other people’s feelings are valid, even if you haven’t had them yourself. In other words, you can practice empathy.
3. You base ideas on experiences, not assumptions. This is to say: you will pick a partner because you love to spend your days with them, not because you have checked off enough boxes and believe them to fit some description you made up about what your soulmate would be like.
4. You have a “growth” mindset. You believe that your life is about developing yourself, and because you look at everything that happens to you as feedback, you’re able to do the same in a relationship. It makes you better able to function in a relationship that will naturally change and evolve.
5. You can work even when you don’t “feel like it.” You don’t always need to be comfortable and happy to carry on, which is absolutely crucial when it comes to compromising and making a relationship work.
6. You can be present. Your mind isn’t always reaching for something else to look for, or another problem to fix. You’ve already begun doing the work of learning how to focus on what’s happening in front of you. So you’re able to actually fall in love – not fall in love with the idea of someone.
7. You have the grace to communicate your feelings, and the confidence to know they matter. You express what you want and need rather than suppress your true emotions and wait for them to explode some day. You can share what you want and how you think without it becoming a stress-inducing ordeal.
8. You’re independent. You see yourself as an individual first. Even better: you’ve lived on your own, or at least supported yourself in some capacity. When you develop sense of self first, you are no longer dependent on a relationship to make you who you are, or make you feel secure.
9. You’re more realistic than you are romantic. Ironically enough, a romantic outlook on life does not make a romantic relationship work – it’s realists who have an easier time accepting the dark sides of intimacy, and then being more grateful and present for the lighter ones, too.
10. You have standards, not expectations. The difference is that a standard is being able to determine what’s acceptable vs. what’s not. An expectation is the idea that something will turn out exactly as you imagine or desire.
11. You have goals for your life that you desire just as much as you do a romantic relationship.
12. You aren’t a perfectionist, which is to say that you don’t believe you can earn or guarantee love by eliminating “risk factors.” You see love for what it is: a genuine exchange, most profoundly given between two imperfect people, in spite of those imperfections.
13. You can confront the pain of your past. If you can’t let yourself feel pain, you will also be unable to feel love. It’s not an either/or kind of thing. To be avoidant of one is to also avoid the other.
14. You are willing to be wrong. You know you don’t know what you don’t know (read that twice-over). This one is probably self-explanatory in terms of a relationship, but what it also indicates is that you’re willing to grow.
15. You don’t think the world owes you anything. You believe that a soul mate relationship is something you build more than it is something you “find.” You know you have to work for what you want to have and keep. This is the attitude that tends to keep people around, because you don’t take them for granted.