Six Things to Look for in a Life Partner 1

A letter to my children about love:

I want all three of you to know what love is.  I hope that you never have the opportunity to learn from experience what it isn’t.  My wish for you is that you find a life partner who understands you right through to your soul.  Below is a list of things you should look for in a life mate.

  1. Understanding.  Sometimes even without speaking.  Do not marry anyone until you have experienced this feeling with them.
  2. Support.  This does not mean that your partner does not help you to critically assess your decisions.  You should help each other to make decisions.  However, you should have some power to make decisions on your own.  You should not make decisions because your partner has guilted you into them.  Your partner should be strong enough to push you into making decisions that get you out of the box, and make you feel like you can do anything.  Some of these decisions might push your partner out of their comfort zone – they must be willing to make sacrifices for your success as you should be willing to do for them.  And when your life path takes you somewhere you didn’t expect to go, your partner should help you to figure out why.  You are never a failure as long as you learn from your experiences
  3. Mutual physical satisfaction and attraction.  I know….MOM…YUCK – don’t talk about that.  Truly though – I want you to know that you and your mate should be equally satisfied by each other.  This means both giving and receiving.  A glance both when they’re at their best and when they first get out of bed in the morning should take your breath away.  And you should feel like they feel exactly that way about you.
  4. Love.  Your mate should make you feel loved.  Sometimes this means the verbal or written affirmation, saying “I love you”.  It shouldn’t be because they “must” tell you once a day.  Forcing the sentiment does not make it exist.  And if it is spoken, there should be an unspoken understanding if you don’t happen to parrot it back that you still mean it.
  5. Partnership.  It means that you both have equal footing and equal say.  About everything.  It means that you listen to one another.  You should never feel small and never be belittled.  You should be confident in both yourselves and each other.
  6. Equal parts of dependence and independence.  These two are very important.  You must be able to depend on your partner for all of the things that I’ve listed above, and your partner on you.  And equally important – your partner must give you the space you need to develop into the person that you are meant to be.

A few more:

  1. Never marry anyone who is not able to relate to both animals and children.  On their level.  Equally, if animals and children do not like them you need to be wary.
  2. Your family is important.  Your partner should be able to handle that.  This means that you should continue to both talk to and visit with your family without your partner feeling threatened.  Your partner should feel comfortable with us.  And equally, you should feel at home with your partner’s family.
  3. If your family or friends are wary of your partner or express some concern, you need to listen.  Sometimes they are wrong, but not often.  Sometimes they hear your own concerns before you’re able to acknowledge them.
  4. If your partner is not able to hold your hair back when you’re vomiting, if they can’t visit you in the hospital or take you to the doctor, if they’re embarrassed by the way you walk after you’ve sprained your ankle, or you would not feel comfortable having them with you when you are at your worst, they are not your partner.
  5. I’ve learned a lot of these things through trial and error and I continue to learn day after day.  I hope that I have taught you to be resilient and independent, and most of all, I hope that I have taught you to be comfortable by and with yourself. Until you know who you are, you will not be able to figure out who is for you.

I love you.



  1. Another to add – look at how they treat their parents, how their parents treat them, and how their parents treat one another, because a LOT of long-held expectations and modelling of relationships will be in the mix. Sadly.

    I had the opposite experience to Christina – I was checking off the boxes I *didn’t* match up to or get. Which was most of them, sadly. STILL – clarifies that it all wasn’t right all along and should never have been 🙂

    Great post 🙂

  2. Don’t you wish that someone had given us that list before we married our spouses? And yes, if they don’t relate to animals or children, not just a bad sign a deal breaker. And yes, see not only how someone takes care of you, but how the behave in a crisis situation in a hospital. Speaks volumes.

    1. Author

      I would hope that I had the insight to understand all the implications but sometimes I wonder if you have to experience it to truly understand.

  3. Just had flashbacks of when my husband and I started dating. I got food poisoning and he rushed over after work to take care of me. It was sooooooooooooo gross and he loved me anyway! LOL

    1. Author

      That’s wonderful. My husband has taken good care of me as well…and we’ve been through four leg surgeries, various flu bugs and a Caesarian.

  4. YES. Yes to all of it! Oh let all of our kids find THIS kind of love. Here’s to our every hope… <3

  5. I, too, come at this subject from a trial and error/experience standpoint–this is excellent advice! I wish we could get young women to take it all to heart. I’m so glad you found love the second time around. Glad I did too! 😉

  6. This is all great advice. Particularly like 3 & 4 in the ‘few more things’ section.

  7. I love this and think you’ve covered all the bases. I so agree about children and animals. You can tell a lot about a person (and their level of kindness) by the way they relate to this category and the way children and animals relate back. Lovely.

  8. Nailed it. Particularly the point about nailing it. I don’t think sex is more important than the other ten points…but it is the one most frequently left off of lists… I appreciate the care you took with this, with living and loving your partner, and passing your wishes forward.

  9. This is just the best advice – especially no 7 – in our family prospective partners would have to be horse lovers – and no 10 – we are forever falling of said horses and breaking and spraining things. Sharing this everywhere.

  10. I love this list, so wonderful. I also love that as I was reading it I was mentally checking off boxes in my head.
    Thank you for the lovely reminder this morning. <3

  11. wouldn’t it be lovely if our children found this type of person and could be this type of person in return? I think that is every mother’s wish 🙂

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