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As a dating coach, I distinguish between two types of traits: attractive and important.

Hot, brilliant, charismatic, hilarious, rich are attractive.

Consistent, kind, committed, communicative are important.

Attractive qualities bring people togetherThat doesn’t mean you have to forgo looks, brains, charm, wit and money, but rather   finding a man with all of those attractive qualities does not ensure a happy marriage. Thus, attractive qualities BRING people together, they don’t KEEP people together. Tweet this!  

So what allows different people with different needs, different opinions, and different communication styles to live together in peace for decades? It’s not really a secret. You read it here every week. Yet someone posted this question on Reddit and crowdsourced the answer into an article called “13 Secrets of Happily Married Couples“.

Attractive qualities BRING people together, they don’t KEEP people together.

To which attributes did these happy couples ascribe their happiness?

Trust. Commitment. Respect. Honesty. Enjoy little things. Embrace your differences. Fight fair. Have fun. Cheer each other on. Support each other. Accept your partner’s flaws. Feel lucky you found each other. Uphold your promise “in sickness and in health.”

Not a word about height, weight, age, income, education, religion, or common interests.


What do you think, my single friends? Are happily married couples participating in a conspiracy to encourage you to “settle”? Or do you think that maybe they’ve been fortunate enough to discover and share what makes healthy relationships thrive?

Please let me know what’s missing from this list – and whether you’ve found it to be as true as I have.