1. The kind of inside jokes that make you crack up just by looking at each other, and that you think of while you’re alone (and which make you laugh like an insane person in line at the grocery store).
2. Respect for your family when they come to meet them, even if they’re not best friends right away or wouldn’t choose to hang out with them. They should come into your life with an open heart.
3. The ability to make your friends laugh.
4. At least one hobby or interest that they are passionate about, that you don’t have to be present for. Drinking does not count.
5. Respect for your interests and hobbies, even if they’re not personally into them.
6. Good finances. They don’t have to be rich, they just can’t be incredibly irresponsible with credit cards and hiding their debt all over the place.
7. A love of cooking, or at least of eating good food. There is a place and time for Easy Mac and dinosaur nuggets, but you don’t want to be with someone who only ever eats that, and only ever wants to eat that.
8. But being able to make decent breakfast is a must. Someone who can’t do good eggs and toast on a late Sunday morning is just not acceptable.
9. A good group of friends. You want to be sure that they can take care of the other people in their life, not just their significant other.
10. The conversations that last all night where you tell all of your biggest secrets and know that the other person will keep them safe.
11. A similar perspective on “the dream wedding.” If one of you wants a huge 300-person blowout, and the other wants a tiny gathering in a back yard, and neither is willing to compromise — you are in for a bad time.
12. Sexually compatible with you, in the way where you’re not afraid to ask for what you want, and you’re not afraid to make mistakes.
13. Doesn’t mind doing the household chores you despise the most.
14. Laughs at your jokes, and not out of pity or because they think that you will have sex with them immediately after.
15. Never calls you stupid, or insinuates anything about your intelligence.
16. Does not have “rules” for their basic respect for you as a human. They respect you even if you had too much to drink last night, or you weren’t a virgin before you met, or anything else that doesn’t hurt anyone.
17. Wants children as much or as little as you do.
18. Lets you do your own thing from time to time, or just have a little moment to yourself, and doesn’t feel threatened by you having a life outside of your relationship.
19. Does not go through your phone, under any circumstances. Maybe they have a normal human amount of jealousy, but they do the right thing and keep it in check.
20. Loves the nights where both of you just marathon a TV show, eat Chinese food bundled under a blanket, and slowly devolve into sex with the show still playing in the background.
21. Knows how to kiss. And does it often.