Leandie Buys Realtionship Therapist & Clinical Sexologist

The top 6 qualities of a great life partner

As a relationship therapist and clinical sexologist, I help couples through heartache and relationship issues on a daily basis …

Some of my clients are working through infertility, some have difficulty communicating, some are dealing with the aftermath of an affair, and some are facing sex addiction and difficulties with desire. All of these issues can drive a wedge between a couple that once felt so “connected”. They are often left wondering if they even really know the person that they married.

That is why I always advise my clients to write down a ‘job description’ for the life partner they are looking for.

Job description

We all have an idea of our ‘ideal partner’.

When we are dating, we sometimes forget to check our job description to see whether our partner fits the criteria. Too many of us would rather have ‘somebody’ than ‘nobody’. However, once married, it could lead to major conflict if our partners don’t live up to our expectations.

Never enter a relationship hoping that you can change your partner – it will only lead to unhappiness for both of you. Rather wait for someone who fits your job description.

Disconnected

If you’re struggling with feeling disconnected from your relationship, and you can’t figure out why, take a look at some of the qualities that are most important to you. Does your partner fit these qualities? Did they ever fit these qualities?

If you think that you and your partner need help to feel connected again, don’t be ashamed to ask for help. Learning how to communicate your needs to your partner is the first step to rebuilding your relationship.

Here are my top 6 qualities for an ideal partner:

You can remove or add any that you think are important. I’d love to hear from you, so please add your suggestions in the comments below.

1.       Caring

When you are sick, or under huge pressure at work, you need someone who will take over your responsibilities for a while – whether it’s preparing meals, doing household chores, taking care of kids’ homework, or tucking you into bed with some Vitamin C and a hot water bottle.

I like my partner to “faff” over me when I am unwell. I need a partner who will bring me tea in bed, ensure that I take my meds, and allow me to “take things slow” until I recover.

I do the same for him when he needs me.

2.       Kind-hearted, compassionate

If you’re someone who loves animals, or volunteering for a charity, then you will need to find someone who shares this compassion for others (humans or pets!). This is something that you need to clarify at the very beginning of your relationship.

Being an animal lover, I always notice how people speak about their pets, and how they treat their animals. This shows me how much kindness they have in them.

3.       Reliable

Does your partner have your back?

I tell my clients to imagine going to war and turning around to see if the rest of the ‘army’ is behind you for back-up. You should be confident that your partner will be there no matter what. Through ‘war’ and peace, they will have your back.

4.       Trustworthy

This is someone with integrity who knows right from wrong. It’s all about their value system. Couples often have different value systems, but trustworthiness can be a deal-breaker.

When you’re getting to know your partner, find out what they think is important in a relationship… also find out how their previous relationships ended. This will give you good insight into how much they value trust in a relationship.

5.       Considerate

A considerate partner is one who values your opinion and will support you even if they don’t always agree with you. Someone who will do the things that they know are important to you, even if they don’t necessarily understand them.

For example, they might personally think that flowers are a waste of money, but they understand that buying flowers for you makes you feel loved, and so they do it in order to please you.

6.       Forgiving

Someone who knows you well enough not to hold grudges against you for the things you say when you're in a bad mood! Or when you forget to do something, or you hurt them in some way. This is the kind of person that understands that we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect. And they love you even more because of your flaws.