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How to Find a Good Relationship Partner


“How you feel about yourself when you are in the relationship is perhaps the strongest predictor of whether you should stay in it.”

One of the many great lines from this piece titled “3 Essential Signs of a Good Partner,” by Maya Ackerman over at The Change Blog. She opens the article talking about something we’re all familiar with: the list. Maya then gives some great reflective advice on navigating a relationship and being healthily selfish. Check out the first few paragraphs below:

I used to have a list. He had to be tall. He definitely had to be smart. He had to have brown hair and blue eyes, hmmm.. I guess dark eyes are also OK. The list went on and on. I had many relationships where I tried to stick as close as possible to this list, most of which didn’t last for more than a few months. But then, I seemed to hit the jackpot.

This man satisfied every requirement I had ever had to the ‘T’. He was tall, exceptionally smart, had the same religious background as me, and spoke all the same languages. To top it all off, he had those sparking, deep blue eyes. I was certain that I had found my life partner.

I was very confused when only three weeks into the relationship, things weren’t going well. Instead of happiness and bliss, there was frustration, anger and constant arguments. But I couldn’t let this one go. It took me so long to find someone who satisfied all of my requirements! We had to work this out. And so, I tried. I tried as hard as I could to work things out – for three long, dreadful years.

I don’t want to blame him for everything. But, it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, within days, we would return to a state of chaos. It was constant drama. Arguments, frustration, tears, all mixed in with a sense of hopelessness.

To make a long story short, the relationship left a deep imprint on my health and self-esteem. When we final broke up, I felt as if a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. I was free. I could breathe.

At that point, I resolved to never let this happen again. I threw away my list.

Click here to read the rest over at The Change Blog.

SBM Fam, do you still believe in lists? If so, why? If not, when did you give up on it and change your approach? Also, what advice would you offer on finding a good relationship partner?


  1. I think having a list is actually a good thing. It gives you certain standards that you can look for in a mate or even a friend. IMO, people put too much on physical features. Thats where the problems arise. Once you get "that person" looks wise then everything else is secondary…no bueno! I think it takes maturity to recognize that you're not perfect thus he/she doesn't need to be as well.

  2. Totally agree that it’s about how you feel in the relationship, not about the list. I never had much of a list, because there’s always articles talking about how having a list is problematic and horror stories from 92-y-o spinsters who clung to their lists with their dying breaths. But if I did, then my dude currently does satisfy my list AND I’m HAPPY in the relationship and not constantly confused, hurt, angry, etc. That’s a big GREEN flag. 🙂

  3. Oh, I def had a list, lol. And I've had EVERYTHING on my list. I could've wrote that post myself…minus that hollywood ending, LOL. I'll get there eventually.

    But, yeah. The list has been destroyed. I fully embraced this concept…and ended up in a lovely 2 1/2 yr relationship. Best relationship flow I've experienced to date. But, I never had peace about it. Something was off. I could never say, "THIS IS IT" with confidence. I attributed my lack of peace to past trust issues and ignored the feeling for the longest as best I could. And it just got worse and worse. I didn't see anything visibly wrong…nothing overtly 'bad' happened. I thought I was crazy. THEN, we had the discussion (that he fought NOT to have) that revealed the "IT" and I fully understood my lack of peace.

    So, now…I'm combining this method with only dating men that KNOW who they are, what they want, where they are going, and how they'll get there.

    1. "So, now…I'm combining this method with only dating men that KNOW who they are, what they want, where they are going, and how they'll get there."

      -Wow. I think you summed up my last relationship to a T. I completely agree with this statement, and like you, will only consider dating men who meet the criteria above.

  4. Nothing wrong with having a basic list. An outline or a track to run on if you will.

    I believe people make the "deal breakers" too long on a list which is the issue with lists, in my opinion, and not the lists themselves. Religion is an understandable requirement if one chooses to make it so, however someone that must have curly hair may want to treat this more as a preference, not a requirement.

  5. I have a "list" in terms of the basic things that I need from a partner. It's not very long and is kinda similar to the "list" for friends and relatives. Other than that I just wait for that "click" with a person. Once I feel the chemistry and strong sense of security I'm good.

  6. Yeah, I definitely have a very simple, but straight to the point list of requirements for my potential new gf. I think that is necessary so that you will atleast know what the basics are in keeping you happy at the start. After meeting those requirements, then we can get to the chemistry and actually looking to see if we mesh together.

  7. Okay im not going to lie, i still have "my list" but i havent had any luck in finding that guy who fits everything on my list. Shiiiidddd im having a hard time at least getting guys to approach me, although im shy but thats anhoer story for another day………but i dont want to throw away the list but im thinking about throwing it away, and just work on myself for now, which i'm doing now!!!! wish a sista goodluck!!!! ol

  8. I'm for a list as long as it's not shallow. We need to remove things like height and hair color and focus more on character, integrity, and common views on faith.


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