1. Being treated – and treating your partner – with respect, loyalty, and dignity.
2. A sounding board, with whom you can share literally anything.
3. Great nights out, and even better nights in.
4. Conversations in which both of you are fully present, and nobody’s looking at a phone or a tablet or a television or anything else that can distract you from being in the moment.
5. The knowledge that no matter what happens, you’re both always going to try.
6. Laughter – which doesn’t necessarily mean that one or both of you has to be funny. It just means that you are capable of finding humor and joy when you’re together.
7. Vulnerability over perfection.
8. Support in the flourishing times, but more so in the difficult times.
9. Actions matching words.
10. A relationship that focuses on the future, not the past.
11. Faithfulness, without question or doubt.
12. Not worrying about how ugly you look when you sleep.
13. The ability to argue and fight in a healthy and productive way.
14. A desire to always be growing, because the two of you constantly challenge each other to be the best versions of yourselves.
15. No jealousy.
16. …But at the same time, no apathy.
17. A best friend.
18. The knowledge that you always have someone to go to things with you – church, weddings, funerals, work events, vacations, museums, new restaurants, the gym, the movies, the park, that one bookstore you love, whatever.
19. Passionate excitement in the beginning, and solid contentment when the falling stage is over.
20. Something that feels so genuine and real that it actually hurts.
21. A partner who doesn’t provide all of your self-esteem, but does support you in your efforts to maintain a healthy sense of self.
22. A solid foundation, so that when things inevitably get rocky at different points in your relationship, you two have something to fall back on.
23. Someone who can read you better than anybody else, with or without words.
24. Honesty – so that you can be truthful to each other, and to yourselves.
25. A person who makes you feel beautiful on the outside, but more so, for who you are as a person.