1. Honesty. If you’re not being real with us, we can see right through you.
2. Presence. We want you to be listening when we’re talking, and we will return the favor every time. We want you to be in the moment as much as possible, instead of constantly hooked up to your phone, computer, etc. We understand that everyone gets distracted (and it happens to us, too), but we value someone who is fully present, especially during the intimate moments.
3. Kindness. We want genuine kindness and someone who is earnest and whose niceties have depth. We don’t want someone who is simply sweet on the surface, we want their kindness to run deep, and we want to show you that ours runs deep also.
4. We want people to be straight-forward, because we don’t want to decode modern dating innuendo. We don’t care for digital dating minutiae, and don’t want to play 20-something love games.
5. Small, meaningful gestures, instead of big, empty ones. We don’t need you to whisk us off to Paris or Madrid to prove that you care, because while those gestures are touching, we know that an act that simply says, “I can afford this,” may turn out to be empty down the road.
6. We want people who will lay it all out on the table. When the time is right, that is.
7. We want someone who can be all-in with us, but can also discuss it openly when commitment scares them. Because all we want is someone to talk through these things with. We understand the need to pull away, to spend time alone, and the fears that come with commitment. And for us, being “all-in” doesn’t need to mean spending every waking hour together.
8. Communication. If you can’t have open, honest conversation, you can’t grow. Most people shy from communicating well because they don’t want to be vulnerable. We value someone who is willing to expose their vulnerabilities; it won’t scare us off.
9. Forgiveness. Because we can give it easily, but we know that forgiveness is valuable and needs to be earned, and shouldn’t be taken for granted. (And if you do take our forgiveness for granted, that’s a huge strike against you.)
10. We want someone who will understand that we need time to ourselves. And that enjoying our alone time isn’t an affront on the other person, nor does it mean we’re sick of them.
11. We want someone who understands what it’s like to have experienced big love before. It’s pretty likely that one of our past loves has shaped how we care about someone now, and we want to hear your stories, who you fell for, and (if applicable) who broke your heart. We know what it feels like to love someone with all of your heart and have it not work out, and we bring those lessons into our next relationship in a positive way, and hope that you can do the same.
12. Empathy. We’ve been through things that perhaps you haven’t, but we would never begrudge you for that. We don’t need you to share all the experiences we’ve had, we only need you to want to hear about their experiences, and care enough to ask questions, and try to relate. In turn, we want to hear about your experiences, and it’s impossible for us to not deeply empathize.
13. We want people who won’t rush through the conversations that need time. We are the types of people who love to hash things out, and go through things point by point. We don’t skirt over the details, even the undesirable ones, and we rarely pass judgment.
14. Simplicity. We don’t want drama. We don’t want midnight fights, jealousy, and rage. We don’t feed off that stuff the way some people do; it just exhausts us. We want maturity, and real conversation. We want to address problems right away, talk through them, and put them behind us.
15. We want someone who is purposeful in their actions. We want someone who is deliberate, and thinks through things, and asks when they have questions. While we love occasional spontaneity, we don’t want someone who operates solely on whimsy and impulse reactions. We are much more methodical than that.
16. We want someone who is positive, but never faking it. Yes, we want a sense of humor, and someone who is upbeat, and who can make light of a shitty situation. But we don’t want someone who fakes it. We don’t want the person who uses fake positivity just to brush the bad things under the rug. We don’t need someone to protect us from the negative parts of our life; we want someone who will confront and work through those parts of life with us.