9 Things You MUST Know to Find Your Lifelong Partner

Things You MUST Know to Find Your Lifelong Partner

I often read things that I wish I’d written.

Then I realize I already DID write them – just over a series of 1000 blog posts and not syndicated by some content portal like Huffington Post, Good Men Project, Elite Daily or Elephant Journal.

This week’s article that I’d like to take credit for is by Ellen McCarthy, editor of the Washington Post’s “On Love” column. I haven’t read it myself, but I assume it’s very much like the New York Times’s “Modern Love” column on Sundays. Anyway, if you immerse yourself in the world of dating and relationships, you’re bound to learn what works and what doesn’t through sheer osmosis,  which is not to denigrate McCarthy’s findings.

Stop looking for someone who’s perfect on paper.

Here are 9 brilliant pieces of advice that your grandma probably should have told you:

1. Stop looking for someone who’s perfect on paper.

2. Ignore other people’s expectations.

3. Don’t hit the panic button.

4. Go for genuine interest, not game play.

5. Aim for comfortable.

6. Don’t force your partner to be your everything.

7. Lay out your expectations – all of them.

8. Stop thinking about sex. Start thinking about everything else.

9. Forget about finding The One.

Make sure you click on the link above to read the full piece – and please comment below to add any (serious) piece of advice that you also think is a must-know for any single person about forging a healthy long-term relationship.


Join our conversation (19 Comments).
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  1. 1

    Pick and choose your battles.

    To me, that means not to be too rigid, not to demand or deny something solely on principle, to let the little things slide and not sweat the small stuff.

  2. 2

    Don’t partner up for validation (i.e. don’t go after the hardest-to-get, most difficult to please person because landing him or her says something about you). Kind of a mash-up of 1 and 5, but still a separate point I think.

  3. 3

    ” Stop thinking about sex. Start thinking about everything else.”   Yeah, try telling the guys that.

    1. 3.1


      You have to read everything under each point from the article. Admittedly, I had a quick reaction to the sex point, but I followed Evan’s link. In the article, it’s more about romance than the physical act. Do you mind expanding on your comment ” Yeah, try telling the guys that”? It’s only fair that I expand on my thought as well. I find that I am a lot more flexible when there is a connection between the sheets. Absent that connection, I am not as willing to attend events that I have no interest in. So thinking about the “appointment” after a long day of whatever I’m not feeling, helps me to get through those events.

      1. 3.1.1


        Love the direct communication:)   Not personal, not offensive, no room to misinterpret:)

    2. 3.2

      If a guy is only with you for the sex, then obviously he is not the one for you.   If his emotional connection with you is not enough to overcome any issues you both have in the sexual area, then he is not the one for you. If his professed love is not enough to have him work harder to deal with any sexual issues he may have with you, then he is not the one for you,

  4. 4
    Emily, the original


    Are you saying that you will put up with a lot from someone if that person knows how to lay it down?


    1. 4.1

      Emily, the original,

      Put up with a lot is such a wide window that anything can fit in there. I was thinking more along the lines of time allocation. Let’s suppose that we have different musical taste and your favorite artist is coming to town or within a reasonable driving distance. We both know I don’t care for the artist, but I still go to the concert anyway. That’s because I am focused on the after party.

      1. 4.1.1
        Emily, the original


        But if I’m sitting through a genre I don’t care for — country or religious pop — that after party better be pretty spectacular.    🙂

        1. GoWithTheFlow


          Hate to tell you this, but if you’re at a religious pop music concert, there is no “after party.”


      2. 4.1.2
        Emily, the original


        Well there is, but it ain’t a party that offers any fun.   🙂


        1. Buck25

          Is that ever the truth! If I ever go back online, one thing I will NEVER respond to, is a woman’s profile containing phrases like “Born again”, “My life centers around my church”, or “I want a Godly man!”. These, I have found, are euphemisms for ” I’m a Bible-thumping fanatic, I might be willing to have sex once a month (missionary position only), I’ll drag you to church seven days a week, and I’ll proselytize constantly!”

          I don’t know whether wearing religion on your sleeve like that is a man repellant or not, but it sure has that effect on me!

  5. 5

    Know thyself, know what you truly want

    1. 5.1

      VERY true. Self knowledge is the start of all knowledge….especially at this age. And then we can add the concept of being true to our authentic self….if you know your triggers and your tags you can predict or at least understand your own reactions….for sustainability of a relationship that is essential. Falling in love is easy, the problem is staying in love.

  6. 6
    Atolagbe bunmi

    Don’t compare yourself with other, cos every body is different in there own of life

  7. 7

    Did anyone listen to Asthon Kutcher’s speech for the kids choice awards?


    To be honest, before that I really did not like him, now I actually really respect him, and his point about sexy was so great to me because he is a guy who could and probably did have the sexiest women.

    ….      ….      ….

    Just a warning, if you google the speech, you will struggle trying to hear it for all the annoying teen fan girls. Sadly, none of them heard all the wonderful things he said, they were too busy yelling for him to take his shirt off (-_-).

    1. 7.1



      I haven’t seen that speech.   Interesting comment though.   I think that a good piece of advice on this subject is to know yourself and what you want in a partner.   There are so many occasions where this seems to end a good relationship.   Whether it’s unrealistic expectations of others, or living in an alternative version of yourself that only you really see.   Saying things like I’m a geek, and an introvert, and like to hang out with my friends a lot, maybe those things are truly covering something else.   It’s easy to say that something doesn’t work because of someone else’s contribution, but it’s more difficult to say that it’s due to yours.   And to the guys, don’t judge a woman so harshly at the beginning.   The last point works best for this.   The person that’s right for you, isn’t going to be perfect at ALL.   They are going to be themselves, and as much good as you want to see them as.   (Within reason.)

  8. 8
    Ms MC

    These are great points. I’d love some more details on no.7 though.
    Lay out your expectations — all of them.
    I’m interested in how to balance laying out expectations with keeping things light and fun and in the moment, and not trying to look ahead, in the early stages. When do you think is a good time to lay out your expectations so it doesn’t come over as too heavy too soon?  

    1. 8.1

      I don’t think you’d want to do that on a first or second date, obviously. I think, when you start to find yourselves mutually “into” one another, it’s time to start having those conversations. Might be better to start with “I really like it if my partner…..” or , “It makes me feel really good when my partner…..”. That way it comes across as less demanding or judgmental, but still asserts what your needs/expectations are.

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