Whether you are in a contended relationship at the moment, or in the process of seeking a soulmate, you will most likely have a set of ideal habits in your mind: the characteristics your partner should possess.

Common image of a perfect partner

Searching for a perfect partner is the basic plotline of every rom-com. In movies, that common image is someone who understands their significant other at every level, a person who will always empathize, treat them with respect, and meet them half-way whenever there is friction between them. While life can sometimes be a little more complicated, many of these basic ingredients for happiness are just as relevant to the real world.

Desirable habits of a potential soulmate

There are many different types of relationship aspirations, but these can often be drilled down to two basic headings: casual or long-standing. Some singles are looking for fun, with no-strings-attached, others have more meaningful goals. The former can quickly transform into the latter. If a partner displays any of those sought-after habits, one-night-stands can easily develop into something much more passionate, with genuine emotions overpowering flippant fun. So, what would constitute 5 of the most desirable habits?

Respectful attitude

It would be difficult to prioritize any list, but having a respectful attitude should always be near the pole position. This will apply at any stage of your relationship, from the moment you are making inroads about getting to know each other better, to the stage you might have arrived at when you are ‘going steady.’ This is all about treating your other half as an equal, listening to their issues, sharing problems – becoming less about two singles, and operating as a unified partnership. In most cases, this type of behavior will come intuitively. When respect begins to wane, and you can no longer count on your partner being supportive or putting your needs first, that would be one of the clearest indications that things were heading into less welcome territory. A lack of a respectful attitude is a key indicator of a relationship becoming toxic.

Desire to help and show care

Another important habit would be the desire to help and offer care, no matter the circumstances. This can cover a diverse range of situations. At its most basic level, it’s about being willing to offer a helping hand, and doing so because this comes naturally. There’s a degree of chivalry about this conduct that transcends contemporary ideas of gender equality – holding doors open, giving up your seat on public transport, particularly for the elderly or pregnant females, but sometimes because it’s simply polite to offer your position to a woman, regardless of her age or medical condition.

This sense of empathy will run throughout a successful relationship. When you are experiencing difficulties, whatever they are, from struggling to understand the instructions for some piece of software to the bigger obstacles in life, such as issues at work, bereavement, or illness, your partner should always be the first person you feel you can turn to. There’s an adage about a problem shared is a problem halved, and knowing you will always be able to count on your partner to shoulder your burden is such an integral part of a committed relationship.

Regular communication

Unconditional trust is the cornerstone of a partnership, and the factor that drives this at all times is communication. There is so much more to this habit than dropping texts to touch base – although the sight of an incoming message from a loved one, expressing positive emotions and liberally-laced with heart emojis, will always provide a lift! But truly mindful communication is a two-way process. It’s about setting aside time, even amid busy timetables, where you connect. It’s about listening to your partner, considering their feelings, even when they might be talking about sensitive issues where you might disagree. By airing grievances, you’ll gain a better handle on a partner’s point of view.

Desire to show feelings

Again, there are various degrees to this habit, but they are all crucial in their own way. The ideal partner will be someone who isn’t afraid to let you know exactly what they think of you. In the pre-digital era, depths of emotion were commonly expressed in written communication – love letters. The 21st-century equivalent might seem less personal, but it can be equally potent. As stated, text communication can put a smile on your face when you’re feeling down. Mobile phone chat might not be as personable as handwritten correspondence, but this method of communication beats snail nail hands-down because it is so convenient. You might be separated from a partner for whatever reason – employment, study, family commitments – but you can keep in contact 24/7. A simple phone call concluding with ‘I love you’ can be all that is required to re-assert the depth of feeling within a relationship.

Readiness to forgive

Conflict will impact any human interaction. A relationship coasting along in neutral, with neither party willing to rock the boat, is surely a little unnatural, repressed, even. We are all individuals and will have unique points of view. That these might clash with our partner’s is a fact of life. What is crucial about this is how you resolve matters, which is why forgiveness is such an important habit. You should feel comfortable about debating issues, especially seeing them from the other’s side.

Misleading signs and behavior

To conclude, there will always be misleading signs, and one of the problems with virtual communication is that messages can be misinterpreted. Subtle nuances like irony might come across as sarcasm. This is less likely when you’re face-to-face. But the more familiar you are with a partner, the easier it becomes to recognize their true feelings.

How to be a good partner yourself

You’ll be a good partner yourself if you think about those same habits you look for in a partner and aspire to these. Successful relationships develop in tandem, so you should always strive to reflect those same attributes you’ve been seeking in your partner.

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