One of the questions i get asked often is this, “How do i know if they’re the right person for me?” Now, admittedly, this is a question that has flummoxed me in the past too. I mean seriously, how do you know? Most people who are dating *think* they know the qualities that they are looking for in the other person. What tends to happen though, is that they focus so much on the mental checklist that they forget to pay attention to the actual person and how they are. It’s so easy to get carried away when you’re dating someone and focus only on the external traits. For example, we spend time making assumptions about them based on their appearance, the way they talk or even what they do for a living but we tend to overlook certain basic traits that the right person always has. Surprisingly, it’s not that difficult to figure out the basics because guess what, it’s the same for everyone regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, cultural differences etc.. The must have qualities which make someone right to have a relationship with, are the same across the board. So, it’s good to know what these are so that you are well equipped to judge your compatibility with someone.
While the following points are the most important traits that the right person has, it is by no means an exhaustive list. Certainly, it’s not an overnight process getting to know someone. It takes time and it’s not about just going through a checklist. In fact, the whole purpose of making such a list is to acknowledge those things that are absolutely non negotiable and crucial for having a healthy, mutually fulfilling relationship. So again, keep in mind that these are what i like to call, the bare minimum qualities in the right person. There are other things which may also be important to each of us based on our past experiences, personal values and expectations. Those are more like our preferences and it’s best to not get the two mixed up. With that said, here are the ones that really matter –
1 . There will be mutual interest. You will not need to ‘force’ anything. You’ll know this because when you talk to them, you will feel a sense of peace and not anxiety.There will be a natural course of progression to the relationship. Sometimes, when you feel a sense of vagueness in someone, you might start to doubt yourself wondering if you’re over reacting or over thinking especially if they tick all our external boxes, but you’ve got to trust your instincts when it shows a red flag. If they are interested, their actions will show that they are interested.
2 . They will not blow hot and cold or disappear. They are consistent in their thoughts and actions. You won’t have to worry about any erratic behaviour. They also don’t just disappear, so if that happens, don’t try to contact them as this is one of the signs of disinterest. Maintain your self respect and move on. This also applies to people who disappear only to reappear. Don’t allow anyone to create drama in your life. Delete right away.
3. Their actions will match their words and they will not over promise anything. Their thoughts will match with what they say which in turn will match with what they do. If they feel they can’t do something, they will say it, often accompanied by the reason. This includes things like calling when they were supposed to, not cancelling a date unless they have a good reason. These people always set the right expectation. They know what they are capable of committing to whether it’s its terms of time, energy or interest for that matter and set expectations accordingly. This means they will be clear as to what they can or cannot do.
4 . Your thoughts will align with theirs on important matters. Even if you don’t know them really well, there will be a mutual agreement when it comes to things which are tied to your values. For example, both people will feel similarly about intimacy in relationships, how much time apart is too much etc. This is why it’s important to know our own values before we even start dating, because if we don’t know what is important to us or realise it too late then it will cause unnecessary problems later on.
5 . There may be disagreements but there will always be respect. Even when there’s disagreement, it will be civil. Rather they will strive to understand your point of view (presuming you do the same) even when they don’t agree with it. This also means that if things get a little out of hand, they don’t just try to have the last word, cut you off when you’re talking, argue instead of discussing.
6 . They are willing to have serious conversations. They don’t shy away from talking about things that might seem awkward or ‘too deep’. If you want to have a conversation that really matters to you and they either resist or try to deflect it then it’s not a good sign. The object is not to find someone who is perfect rather it’s about finding someone who is on a similar emotional wavelength. And while it’s also important to keep things light, one can’t be like that all the time. It’s one thing to not be comfortable talking about where the relationship is going early on, but at some stage it has to be addressed, either by bringing it up directly or indirectly, and if they don’t co operate then it’s difficult for things to progress.
7 . They are more inclined to listen than talk. Now this is where some people may roll their eyes. How do you ever get a man (or a woman for that matter) to listen? That’s the thing, people think they have to do things which are nothing short of circus tricks to catch someone’s attention, it’s actually not that difficult. You do need to find someone who has the capacity and the maturity to listen more than they talk though. By the way, the right person will actually listen and not just listen to respond.
8 . They are thoughtful, unpretentious and modest. Ironically, these are the very qualities which are considered boring in the dating world. I clubbed these qualities together because these often go hand in hand. You can tell someone has these qualities from the little things. They don’t do humble bragging. They don’t try to do one-upmanship or talk themselves up to impress you. They think before talking. They take care to not hurt the other person’s feelings. You’ll get a sense of this is the case or not if you really listen to them and watch them be themselves. There’s no need to do detective work, it’s enough if you’re mentally present and let things unfold on their own.
9 . They don’t keep scores. They don’t maintain a record on who did what. “I called last time so it was your turn to call this time.” Seriously? I’ve actually heard that one in my dating days. It’s too rigid and no relationship can thrive in such a situation. Same goes for people who insist on doing things exactly right all the time. For example, offering to meet somewhere convenient for the other person on a first date. NOT that you’re expecting it or you may not even take them up on the offer but generally it shows that they’re nice enough to look out for the other person. This is especially true in online dating and these small things often give you a clue. It shows that they are flexible and considerate.
10 . They are not desperate or display stalker type behaviour. They don’t feel the need to convince or impress anyone for anything. They will just be themselves, and while they might be disappointed if someone were to call things off, their world will not fall apart. They also don’t stalk you to find out more about you (they just ask). Often, people with stalker type tendencies, have a habit of trying to guilt trip the other person. They will act normal, and as though you’re the crazy one to call them out on their strange behaviour. The right person will respect your decision to not take things further and will not try to convince you if you’re not interested. They don’t persist or insist on anything.
11 . They are honest and transparent. This is a big one especially in this day and age, when most people seem to find someone online. The right person will not purposely try to hide something about themselves. If someone is being secretive, its a big red flag. If you met them online, and you’ve learned whatever you have about them so far from their profile then that information should not change. For example, if they mentioned that they’re a non smoker, online or in person, then they should not be a smoker, not even a casual one. If they do, then it means they misled you and lied to you. These small fibs are signs you should not ignore and they often set a pattern going forward.
12 . They don’t display vulgar/crude/sleazy behaviour. Basically they are classy. It’s sad but it’s almost become uncool for a man or woman to have some decency. Not being prudish here but seriously, it’s unbelievable how much people get away with bad behaviour these days. The right person will never use bad or vulgar language with you. If they talk about sexually explicit stuff when barely knowing you or knowing that you’re not comfortable with it, then i don’t care how great they seem otherwise, they are being disrespectful. Period. No, talking about sex/sexting/trying to get inside someone’s pants is not cool when you don’t know the other person well or till the time it’s okay with both people.
13 . They won’t be overtly curious about your romantic history and experiences, online or off. It’s not because they are not interested. It’s precisely because they are interested in getting to know you better, and not pre judge you based on your past. Certainly, they’ll want to know any basic information that you might be willing to share, but beyond that they don’t care. They only care to find out if you’re mutually compatible. And they will definitely not ask about your dating experiences so far. It’s totally unnecessary and turns away the spotlight from what could potentially be the start of something special. It shows that they are not serious.
14 . They don’t have an agenda. They don’t try to push you for a decision of any sort. Things progress naturally and don’t feel rushed. While they are sincere, they don’t put pressure on you to magically advance the relationship on a time crunch. Beware of people who indirectly try to manipulate. For such people, it’s all about the image and being seen with someone rather than being with someone who they can have a mutually fulfilling relationship with. In order to reach their goal of being in a relationship, they might alternate between being pushy and clingy based on your responses. They may just seem like a regular person who’s looking for love on the outside, so often it tends to confuse the other person. Make no mistake, if you are feeling rushed, you need to take a step back, have a chat with them about it and then let things unfold on their own.
15 . You instincts tell you that it’s okay to go ahead. One thing we need to remember is there’s a difference between what we want ourselves to feel and what we really feel inside. It’s really important to learn to tell the difference. If someone is right for us, we feel it automatically. We feel a sense of comfort and security around that person. They don’t make us feel threatened, insecure or anxious in any way. If they aren’t right for us, we feel anxious not knowing what will happen next. Many people call this having ‘sparks’ or ‘chemistry’. Let me tell you, chemistry means jack sh** if you don’t have a sense of well being around them. Yes, they may look and talk like the right person but it takes more than that. Your sub- conscious self will pick up on small hints by checking whether their words match actions, their character, their general behaviour etc.. Don’t ignore these. You have to trust your instincts even when your mind creates self doubt. For that, we have to learn to trust ourselves first and foremost.
If you’re not sure someone is right for you, they probably aren’t or you have something missing right now that will make you incompatible with them anyway. Yes, people change but only if they’re willing so don’t be with someone who’s clearly not right for you in the hopes that they might change in the future. Finding and being with the right person is not difficult, but it will take you to understand yourself, your values, wants and needs first. Ultimately, it’s about you and your life, so always make decisions keeping in mind your best interests.
Have you met your Mr/Ms Right yet? What was your experience like?