My Top Ten List of Qualities in a Life Partner

Including DEAL BREAKERS and BONUS POINTS

Courtney Christine Woods, LSW

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Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

In this story, I shared how a fun little list I created following a long-term abusive relationship helped me feel safe and trust my own intuition. It’s been revised and added to the more I dated, talked to friends, learned from therapy, read, wrote and grew, so below is its current form.

Note that my list is exactly that — a subjective gathering of qualities in people I’ve learned I work well with. It isn’t meant to be used as a guide for finding a partner for anyone else, though it might be a good starting point if you haven’t created a list of your own!

Note also that this list does not attempt to capture that unexplainable quality one sometimes finds in another person, which binds them in a way no one completely understands. What I like to call, “the magic.” This list is intended to be more like a security blanket — you use it until you don’t need it anymore.

Top Ten Qualities in a Life Partner

  1. Emotionally Stable: Treats me and my children with consistent respect, kindness and grace. Takes responsibility for their mistakes and owns their own shit. Rolls with the punches. Good listener and easy to talk with about hard things. Shows up for their friends and family. Expects conflict and deals with it forgivingly and gracefully, giving me the benefit of the doubt.
    DEAL BREAKERS: ABUSIVENESS. FRAGILE EGOS. CONSISTENTLY CLINGY, JEALOUS, RAGE-FILLED, MEAN-SPIRITED, DEFENSIVE, GRUDGE-HOLDING, OR PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE.
    BONUS POINTS: CURRENTLY ATTENDING THERAPY.
  2. Funny: Shares my dark sense of humor. Enjoys witty banter, especially through texting. Loves to laugh. Loves to make me laugh. Knows how to tell a good story. Can take a joke and dish it out too. Enjoys playful jabbing and harmless sarcasm. Has social grace and self-awareness, but also comfortable with awkwardness.
    DEAL BREAKERS: EMBARRASSES ME, IS OFFENDED BY ME, OR LEAVES ME HANGING.
    BONUS POINTS: CANNOT READ JACKY HANDY QUOTES WITH A STRAIGHT FACE.
  3. Strong Character: Honest and transparent. Has integrity and would never cheat. Committed to growth and believes people can change. Reliable, consistent, loyal, helpful. Wants to journey our separate journeys…

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Courtney Christine Woods, LSW

Storyteller, social worker, solo parent. Fan of triads and alliteration. Believer that we’re all out here doing our best. Find me on FB @courtneycwrites