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People in a relationship

24 Things to Look for in Relationships We Know as Kids

Written by Jennifer Smith
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What Makes Good Relationships?

What are things to look for in relationships? It’s kind of personal. We all have certain things we look for in relationships over other things, like football fan or movie buff, but what about the deeper things that make love last?

I knew more about dating when I was 10 than when I started dating years later. I was a nerdy kid: I loved reading more than playing dodge ball, wrote reports about whales and Abraham Lincoln for fun after school at a little table in my bedroom. And when I had my first neighborhood-boy crush at age 10, I made up a questionnaire for him to fill out to determine our compatibility. He was older than me, all of 11.

I can’t recall if he passed or even filled it in. We did have a brief, awkward sort of half-kiss on my front porch. It ended shortly after that. It wasn’t him, it was me. I just wasn’t ready.

I’d like to see that nifty survey-document – hand written on lined 3-ring notebook paper. It’d be fun to see exactly what I considered important in a man as a 10-year old girl. It couldn’t have been about career paths or income, or good credit or investments or pension funds or even political affiliation – because I didn’t know much about those things. And surely retirement or old age seemed like eons away when I hadn’t even entered middle school.

I can only assume the issues I cared about were things like trustworthiness and whether or not he liked books. Character traits of 10-year old loyalty, honor and respect. I wanted a man who knew I was equal to him inherently. Not identical, but equal. I wanted someone respectworthy and true. I knew I was loyal and faithful – I wasn’t going to toss that away on a 12-year old cad. Where was this caution and level-headed deliberation 10 years later? And 20 years later?

What to Look For in the Man We Date

All I can say – with a sigh of one who’s had some life experience – is at least I’ve come full circle. After a few not so-nice times with men who were far worse than not-nice – and some good times with a few who were incredibly good. I’m fully back to making up a compatibility test that covers what I knew was important way back in grade school from a grown-up point of view. Here’s what I’d be looking for:

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  1. Someone magnanimous and with a sense of humor.
  2. Someone who likes that I’m smart and funny.
  3. Someone who can cook, because I can too, but I don’t want to do it every day.
  4. A man who can do laundry, take out garbage, run a vacuum cleaner. Or is open to hiring a housekeeper.
  5. Someone who carries things for me and opens doors.
  6. A strong man who can cry or be sad and show it.
  7. One who can get the oil changed in the car.
  8. Someone who likes it – a lot – when I bake a pie or make cookies.
  9. One who is genuinely happy for other people’s success and accomplishments.
  10. A man who wants to see me reach all my goals and supports my efforts.
  11. A guy who puts the toilet seat down.
  12. A man who admires women from the bottom of his heart.
  13. Someone who loves his family.
  14. A man who is kind.
  15. A man who likes a lot of the same kinds of movies I do, but shows me others I don’t know about.
  16. A guy who doesn’t spend hours watching sports. Really, let’s go on a bike ride instead.
  17. Someone who takes me places. I sit at home if left to myself.
  18. A very honest man.
  19. Someone who truly values relationships for all the right reasons.
  20. A guy I love to kiss.
  21. Someone who likes to stay home and just be there with each other.
  22. A guy who likes to be among our friends.
  23. Someone who knows how to smile and laugh every day.
  24. A man who likes books.

And now that I’m older and a little wiser:

25. I’d want a man who can bring home the bacon and save for the future. Because I can too and we’re in it together.

The way I’d find this out isn’t by his answers to yes or no questions on a pencil-smudged piece of paper, or even with an Internet background check – it would be time. Time. Time spent together. Time spent with friends. But not too much time in any one week. I’d take time for myself too. And we’d talk in person, instead of texts or by phone. I’d meet his family and spend time with them. I’d have my sister give her stamp of approval. I’d take time. And after a year, maybe two years… then I’d think about a life together.

Here’s to REAL True Love and Happiness!

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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