1. They support your passions and decisions.
He or she should be your biggest cheerleader and encourage you to pursue any endeavors despite how it may affect them.
2. They add value to your life.
Not in terms of monetary value — your partner should contribute a quality that inspires you to grow, whether that means he or she is smarter or more ambitious than you. (But make sure you can provide the same.)
3. They can be completely silly with you.
“Til death” is a long ride that should be filled with the most fun moments. Along the way, they shouldn’t have a problem being playful with you or exposing their inner child without inhibition.
4. They adore you.
Even if you’re not one who needs the validation, your partner should show how much they love and adore you without necessarily putting you on a pedestal.
5. They are willing to compromise.
The two of you will never not disagree on something, so make sure he or she is open-minded to your needs and desires, too.
6. They treat your family just as well.
If your partner shows zero respect for your friends and family, it’s hard to ignore, even if he or she has no problem showing their appreciation to you.
7. They value your opinions.
Your partner doesn’t have to agree with you at all times, but he or she should be able to respect your beliefs (without imposing theirs on you) despite them being different from their own.
8. They love themselves just as much as they love you.
The best partner is someone who can stand alone without constantly depending on your company or attention. He or she should be comfortable with themselves and be totally secure without you there.
9. They are trustworthy.
Even if every other aspect of your relationship is solid, the power of doubt is hard to dismiss. Problems down the road will be inevitable if you’re constantly second-guessing their honesty (and vice versa).
10. They exhilarate you, not deplete you.
Your partner should make you excited about life and its offerings. He or she should never make you feel bad about yourself or diminish your spirit in any way.
11. They have a life outside of the one you share.
It’s important for your S.O. to understand that you have a life of your own and to encourage you to enjoy things without him or her.
12. They don’t hold grudges.
Despite any bumps in the road, your life partner should seek to improve your relationship rather than dwell on any setbacks.
13. They bring out the best in you.
Your partner should not provoke your inner worst qualities — only the ones that make you a better you.
14. They love all of you.
This includes your flaws, especially. Your personality traits don’t come à la carte, so he or she should be able to embrace you as a whole, shortcomings and all.
15. They can be held accountable.
He or she should be able to put aside their ego to be held accountable for any mistakes. Your partner should own up to them rather than place blame on someone or something else.