1. Demonstrate kindness. Saying you’re a nice guy is the easiest thing in the world, showing it is tough. It’s also one of the most important things in a relationship because eventually looks and lust are going to wear out and you’re going to be stuck with someone’s personality.
2. Communicate openly. I can’t be with someone who thinks talking is a chore. I want to be with someone who loves to talk, who can communicate about problems without becoming passive aggressive, who shares his hopes and dreams with me, and who doesn’t want to be that couple out at a restaurant with absolutely nothing to talk about.
3. Be affectionate. He holds my hand or rubs my back when we’re in public. Those little touches are so important for me in keeping a strong bond.
4. Have my back, even when we’re fighting. He wants to work with me, not against me. He doesn’t insult or yell or undermine during a disagreement.
5. Make me laugh. It’s going to be a boring life together if we can’t laugh at each other.
6. Be trustworthy. I’ve been hurt enough times that this is massively important. If he doesn’t keep his word, it’s a big fat warning flag that things are only going to get worse.
7. Random acts of kindness. He brings me coffee without being asked or fills my car up with gas just to be nice. He looks out for me in the same little ways I look out for him.
8. Be empathetic. My problems are his problems. He doesn’t view me as some other person who is a burden on his life and his freedom. He views me as an extension of himself
9. Prioritize. Everyone is busy, we make time for what we value. I need a guy who values me, and therefore prioritizes finding time for us to spend together even when life is hectic.
10. Accept me. It’s easy to find someone who thinks you’re pretty great when they just see the Instagram version of yourself. You put a lot of time in dating into putting your best foot forward — but that only lasts for so long. When he starts to see all the not-pretty parts of me and accepts them wholeheartedly, that’s when I’ll know he’s a keeper.