1. They don’t wait for fate. They do not take a passive role in finding a life partner, they see it as something you must actively pursue.
2. They focus on compatibility. Their criteria for a healthy, happy relationship is based more on the tenets of best friendship than a Hollywood romance.
3. They don’t think with their feelings. They know their feelings aren’t facts, so they feel with their feelings. They think with their heads.
4. They know that just feeling something doesn’t make it true. You can feel that you’re meant to be with someone, but that doesn’t mean you will be.
5. They do not search for signs as to whether or not they’re “meant to be” with someone. They’re able to recognize this as the biggest red flag that they aren’t – when we need existential proof a relationship is valid, it’s usually when we know it’s not working out.
6. They work hard on knowing themselves well enough to choose a partner. They place self-development before anything else, as they realize they must know what they want before they can seek it out.
7. They work to actively, consciously detach from what a relationship “should” look like. The deeply embedded idea of what love “should” look like hurts and hinders more relationships than really anything else.
8. They’re unassuming. They don’t assume that someone is interested until it is explicitly said; they don’t assume a partner will know what they want unless they communicate that they want it.
9. They maintain autonomy: financial, personal, and emotional. They do not fall back on the idea that someone else will have to take care of them in these fundamental ways. It’s great if they do, but they don’t rely on it.
10. They integrate love into their lives, they don’t change their lives when love comes. It’s an expression of knowing that they are their own person first – romantic love is a beautiful part of life, it is not the only good thing ever.
11. They follow an 80/20 rule when it comes to romance. In their relationships, they behave like best friends and true partners 80% of the time. 20% of the time, they are romantic and sexy and gooey-eyed. It is seeking relationships in which these percentages are switched that usually results in turmoil.
12. They take one year as a time frame to see whether or not a relationship will work out for the long-term. If by the end of year one your potential partner does not want to commit marrying at least sometime in the future, it’s best to exit (assuming marriage is what you both want in the grand scheme of things).
13. They differentiate choosing a feeling and choosing an action. Love is a choice, sure, but you cannot choose to simply have the feeling of love out of nowhere – you can only choose to take actions that will facilitate the creation of it.
14. They don’t subscribe to the idea of “having a type.” Love does not always arrive in the package we expect, and if we’re not careful, we can pass it right by because of that fact.
15. They don’t expect any given relationship to last forever, but they cherish it as though it could. Because they don’t take someone’s presence in their life for granted, every day with them seems like a privilege to enjoy, not a given to endure.