When it comes to
finding "The One," some people have a clear vision of who that person is — all the way down to what kind of socks they wear. From the ideal job, to the perfect height, to their political leanings, many, if not most of us know what we want in a partner. It's just trying to find that person who embodies all those "perfections" that's hard.
While it's great to have an idea of who and what you want in a partner, it can easily lead to
unrealistic expectations, which can cause problems in the long run. Not to mention, people can change. The person you are today is not the person you're going to be a year from now, and the same can be said for your partner. If you don't look at the whole picture and take off those blinders, you could find yourself in a relationship with a person that actually isn't a fit for you at all.
But because we're all guilty of looking for things,
ideals, in a partner, know that you're certainly not alone if this sounds familiar. Here are six things that people commonly look for in a partner that actually end up being a source of disappointment down the road.
"Everybody wants chemistry with their partner," New York–based relationship and etiquette expert of
Relationship Advice Forum, April Masini, tells Bustle. "But it shouldn’t come at the expense of other character and lifestyle traits, and the problem with chemistry is that it tends to blind people to real life problems."
When we meet someone new,
one of the first stages is lust. But as anyone who's been in a long-term relationship can tell you, that initial infatuation that's fueled by chemistry isn't just blinding, but it doesn't last. Eventually reality rears its ugly head.
"Chemistry is great, but if you’re looking for chemistry as one of your top three reasons to be with someone, you’re going to be disappointed when you realize you’ve gotten involved with a partner who isn’t compatible in other ways," Masini says, whether it's your stance on monogamy or money.
If there's anything to be learned by the onslaught of dating apps and
the swiping culture, it's that looks trump all else for many people. While looks may be what draw us in in the first place, it's important to realize that looks certainly aren't everything.
"It’s great to know your type, but you may be overlooking some really great potential partners...," Masini says. "Be open-minded and consider other attributes like respect, work ethic, generosity, and sense of humor — and if someone is outside of your typical go-to appearance features, but has these other attributes, give it a go."
If you don't give yourself a chance to see past looks, then it could backfire. "Otherwise, you may wind up with someone super hot — and boring, lazy or slow to get the joke," Masini says.
"It’s easy to understand why people want to partner with someone who is very successful," Masini says. "... but the reality is that you may be disappointed."
As Masini points out, some people who are super successful might not have time outside of work. Plus, someone having a desirable job doesn't necessarily mean you'd be compatible with them or that they'd have similar values.
"So, open your mind to career tracks," Masini says. "And understand what success in certain careers means to relationships and partners of those people."
"If you’re dating someone to please someone else, prepare for disappointment of your own," Masini says. "Choosing a partner is way too important to not think of yourself first. So, if you’re just dating them because everyone thinks he or she is great, and you don’t, stop. You’re making a mistake, and if you don’t see it now, you will down the line."
In other words, it's great that your
parents and friends approve (finally!), but their approval means nothing if you're not happy. You're in the relationship; your friends and family aren't.
Someone With Flashy, Materialistic Things
For some, a person with a flashy car is what they're searching for. But, at the end of the day, what's in a car or any other materialistic item meant to impress? Not much. And it certainly
doesn't guarantee happiness.
"If you’re dating someone because of their car, don’t be ashamed," Masini says. "You’re not the first or the last to fall in love with the way someone looks in a fabulous car — or the image in your head of how you’d look in that car with them. But the reality is that what someone drives has nothing to do with how they will treat you or others, and that’s really more important than a hot car. So admire the car, but don’t date someone simply because of it."
While real estate, especially in cities, is impressive, the white picket fence idea doesn't necessarily lead to happily ever after.
"Lots of people are impressed by a great house — whether it’s an incredible country cottage, a penthouse with rooftop views to die for, or beachfront property in exclusive enclaves," Masini says. "But don’t date someone just because of their real estate. It’s not enough to keep you in the deal for the long run." That view of the park means nothing if your partner isn't a good fit for you.
If you're dating in the hopes of finding a partner, then it's important to think about the long-term. What might woo you now might not be as important in the future. You want to share your life with a person, not meaningless stuff like job titles, cars, or an apartment — no matter how amazing that apartment (and view!) might be.