While the reasons we fall in love are often a mystery, the reasons we stay in love are much less elusive. There may be no such thing as the perfect companion, but an ideal companion can be found.

Characteristics to recognize the ideal partner

There are certain psychological characteristics that both you and your partner can strive to make the relationship successful for the long term. Learn below the qualities that make a person a good companion.

1. The person has grown

This is crucial. One of the common criticisms people make of their partners is that they need to “grow up.” What many of us fail to recognize is that growing up is not just a matter of acting like an adult . Growing up truly means recognizing and resolving early childhood trauma or loss, and then understanding how these events influence our current behaviors.

An ideal companion is willing to reflect on his past . They possess a maturity that comes from being emotionally free from their family of origin. They have developed a strong sense of independence and autonomy, having made the psychological change from boy to man or girl to woman.

Having broken ties with old identities and patterns, this person is more accessible to their partner and the family they created themselves, as opposed to the one into which they were born.

Because this couple has grown up, they are less likely to reenact childhood experiences in an intimate relationship. Because you have evolved as a person, you are not looking for someone to make up for shortcomings and weaknesses.

You are not looking for someone to complete your imperfection. Instead, this person is looking for someone in a certain way like her who is looking for another adult with characteristics similar to her own, with whom she can share life in a compatible way.

2. The person is open and not defensive

The ideal partner is open and not defensive , and is willing to be vulnerable. As a result, they are approachable and responsive to comments, without being overly sensitive about any topic. Arguments and disagreements are reasonable and productive, and they concern what is right, not who is right.

Their openness also allows them to be frank in expressing feelings , thoughts, dreams, and desires. It includes an interest in personal development as well as leading a purposeful and scrutinized life.

3. The person is honest and lives with integrity

The ideal partner realizes the importance of transparency and honesty in a close relationship. Honesty builds trust between people. Dishonesty confuses the other person, destroying their trust, along with their sense of reality.

Nothing has a more destructive impact on an intimate relationship between two people than dishonesty and deception. Even in such painful situations as infidelity , the blatant cheating they engage in is often more damaging than the cheating act itself.

The ideal partner strives to live a life of integrity so that there are no discrepancies between one’s words and actions. This goes for all levels of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.

4. The person is respectful and sensitive to the other, having unique individual goals and priorities.

Ideal companions evaluate each other’s interests that are different from their own. They feel related and supportive of each other, their respective overall life goals. They are sensitive to the needs, desires and feelings of the other, and it places them on an equal footing with their own.

Ideal partners treat each other with respect, understanding, and sensitivity . They do not try to control each other with threatening or manipulative behavior. They are respectful of their own defined boundaries, while at the same time being physically and emotionally close.

5. The person has empathy and understanding of his partner

The ideal partner perceives his partner both on an intellectual, observational and emotional, intuitive level. This couple is able to understand and empathize with their partner.

When a couple understand each other, they realize the similarities that exist between them and also recognize and appreciate the differences. When both spouses are empathetic, that is, able to communicate with feeling and with respect for the other person’s wishes, attitudes and values, each one feels understood and validated.

6. The person is physically loving and sensitive

The ideal partner is easily loving and sensitive on many levels: physical, emotional, and verbal. They are personal, recognizing and expressly demonstrating feelings of warmth and tenderness. They enjoy closeness and are uninhibited in freely giving and accepting affection.

7. The person has a sense of humor

The ideal partner has a sense of humor . A sense of humor can be a life saver in a relationship. The ability to laugh at oneself and at life’s weaknesses allows a person to maintain proper perspective, while dealing with sensitive issues that arise in the couple.

Couples who are playful and laugh often at their opportunities for change defuse potentially volatile situations with their humor. A good sense of humor certainly relaxes tense moments in the relationship. Plus, it always feels good to have fun with someone!

The ideal partner is mature enough to recognize when he or she needs to apologize and repair the damage, and does so proactively and really (that is, sincerely) tries to change or curb negative behavior.

And an ideal partner is the one who really wants to understand more and more, and does it, little by little, every day. And part of it is reflected in the way you express your love. Most people love their partner not as much as their partner wants to be loved, but as they want to be loved by their partner.

But when we truly love our partner, we do so in a way that is meaningful and healthy for her, in her way or language, not ours.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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