I remember two years ago when I was looking for a partner. The three questions I would ask myself were:
Is he cute?
Is he funny?
And is he thrilling?
I thought to my younger self, “Isn’t humor and physical attraction the most important things when looking for a new lover?” WRONG!! Being attractive and humorous are of course enticing traits to have but I learned that those two factors are not as important as I thought they were.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been a fixer upper with my partners. I was attracted to people who had many emotional issues and issues when it came to school/work life. Now, I'm not saying that everyone doesn't have their own journey to travel when it comes school/work but I would find myself in situations where our goals in life just didn't match up in the slightest. This left me down for the ride in the beginning of dating and questioning the entire existence of the relationship a couple months later. Eventually because I wasn't satisfied, I developed fixer upper syndrome! I tried to change people who I knew deep down inside could not provide a healthy relationship for me, compromising on certain things I knew my body and mind weren't comfortable with. Prime example, during my junior year of college, I dated someone who was pretty handsome and charming. This was extremely alluring in the beginning but eventually that fairytale infatuation began to dwindle down and I got slapped with reality. There was so much that I eventually wanted to change about this person but it just wasn't in my power to do so. How could I make him more ambitious, less selfish or even take me out on dates? As time progressed, the relationship became toxic and I decided for the sake of my emotional health and self worth to end it. In the midst of my heartbreak, I assessed the situation and realized that I was so caught up my ex’s charm that one of the most important things I forgot to do was asses his character holistically. Blinded by attraction, I failed to realize at the time that my partner was missing core traits that were essential to a healthy relationship with me.
As I was healing from the nasty breakup, I remember speaking with my best friend about my fear of entering the dating world again . He asked me a question that I will never forget, he said “ What are your core values when looking for a partner?” I looked at him with wide eyes and thought what in the world is he talking about. I am a nursing student who consistently takes arduous exams. However, this question was by far harder to answer than any question on any exam.
I remember my friend saying that you have to know what your core values are so that if anyone violates them you can run the other way! I realized this was the step I skipped before jumping into my last relationship. Taking heed to this advice I developed a list of my core values, I mean I sat down and wrote the list out so I could always go back to it in case a charming sly fox tried to find their way to my doorstep:
1. Ambitious: I want someone who is striving to accomplish their goals through actions. For example, I want a partner who is going to school or working hard in a field that they love. I need to be with someone who inspires me. I'm going to want to share my dreams and goals with them and I never want them to be intimidated by that!
2. Emotionally aware of themselves: My partner should be able to assess any issues they have that they would like to work on. I want someone who is committed to self-care and emotional growth. Self-care is so important to me so if they are too "macho" to come to a wellness workshop with me or therapy then all bets are off!
3. Spiritual: It is important to me that the person that I am with has faith and is spiritual in terms of having a positive outlook on life and looking to achieve a higher sense of spiritual awareness. I identify as a progressive Christian so I would want a partner who is Christian as well and progressive in thinking. I'm all for loving everyone so if my partner has hate towards any marginalized group, it's just not going to work!
4. Giving to the people around them including me!: I want someone who is generous towards me and other people such as their family and friends, someone who is willing to take me out on dates (I believe both partners should be open and willing to treat each other even if it’s just getting ice cream (5$) and walking the bridge (Free99). I shouldn't have to beg a partner to be giving with their time or money ( Yea I said it money!) I'm not saying I need red bottoms first date but dates cost money and time, I would like to see effort that they at least tried to do the best with the funds they have whether its through a well thought out letter or summertime picnic!
5. Family oriented aka believes in a union: I dream of dating someone who wants to start a family one day and believes In marriage ( I personally want to start a new family with a partner one day so, I wouldn’t want to spend my time trying to convince a partner that having a family one day is important) ( While I am young, I am not open to someone who has a different outlook on this), I did not grow up with both by biologic parents together which caused confusion, so now I have two separate families and I personally, do not want the same for my future kids!
Now, please if the core values listed are not something that you possess then it is unfair to expect it from someone else. The law of attraction is at play, so put out into the dating world what you want to receive. Additionally, I am not saying that funny or attractive can’t be in the top 5 of your core values. But, it’s important to know what values represent what is most important to you. What are the core things a person needs to have the privilege of dating you? Additionally, these core values are not set in stone by any means!!! We are human and we change consistently. These values are fluid and can change as you change. Remember core means something that is non-negotiable to you at this very moment so sit down and take the time to really think about this. Hopefully this inspires you to make your own list of 5 core values of what you want in a potential partner!!
Hint: Write a list of uncompromising qualities you would love to have in a partner.
Comment your core values in the box below: