What Do I Want In A Relationship? 7 Things To Know If You're Single & Looking

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While it's easy to imagine, when you're single and desiring a partner, that a loving relationship is all couples dinners, hiking selfies, and luxurious Sundays in bed, the reality of partnerships has a lot more working parts and dynamics. It can be hard to tell what you want in a partner when you're looking, especially in a day and age where you can flip through potential lovers like you're ordering on Seamless.

And while in some instances, the only way you can really know what works for you is to try and see what fits, you have to give yourself the space to ask some probing questions about your own fundamental needs.

"You have to take the time to see your desired future and be willing to sacrifice short-term wants — someone to text every day, physical affection, feeling pursued, and desired — for your long-term wants," therapist Dea Dean LPC, owner of Counseling Collective in Jackson, MS, tells Bustle. The long-terms wants are things like belonging, deep intimacy, being known, and a healthy partnership, Dean says.

"It can be difficult to put off the short-term for the long-term because our short-term wants are so valid," Dean says.

And if it takes awhile for you to know what you want, and to find what you're looking for, don't be discouraged. Finding love and partnership that feels good to you is a process that takes work. Below, take some advice from the pros on how to get a little more clear on what it is you want in a partnership as you search for it.