What are you looking for in a partner? Are you looking for someone to understand you and your needs? Are you searching for a partner-in-crime who shares your idea of what's fun and funny? Are you on a quest for a kindred spirit to share your journey of exploration into life and the world? Are you seeking a cerebral relationship?
Whatever you're looking for, sooner or later your individual inner desires and needs will rise to the surface and demand attention. Those facets of your inner selves need to be satisfied by the both of you individually as well as jointly.
Some relationship professionals suggest compiling a list of the qualities you have and those your ideal partner would have. There may be some validity to that. At the very least, it will provide you with an idea of what your standards are. If you go with the list, be realistic about your expectations and honest about yourself.
Looking Through the Eyes of Love
Speaking of expectations, although physical beauty is in the eye of the beholder, real beauty is usually found in the heart. If you meet someone who shares many of your likes and values, don't discount that person simply because they don't have the right hair color or the physical attributes of a model.
In the end, values and personality are worth so much more than a flat stomach and blue eyes. However, coincidentally, the eyes are a great place to begin your evaluation of a partner's sincerity. The eyes are true windows to the soul. A person who's wise, studies the eyes.
Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing, Baby
What about your own beauty? What are you bringing to the love fest? Whatever it is that you bring, whatever qualities make you shine, they have to be real. You cannot expect a healthy, strong relationship to develop if you aren't being honest in your personal assessment. Your red Ferrari is a super toy but not a reliable relationship enhancer.
You should also know what your partner expects you to be. If you don't possess their preferred personality traits, somebody's going to have to change. Somebody will need to adapt, which is why remaining true to yourself and sincere to your partner is so important. Sure, it's OK that you put off belching the Star Spangled Banner until you're alone. In fact, it's highly recommended. However, to pretend that you're into sports or marathon Scrabble sessions when you'd rather watch cooking shows and play Chutes and Ladders could create a problem down the road.
The Times, They are A-Changin'
Being honest about yourself also means recognition and acceptance when things aren't going all that well. If you find yourself uncomfortably wishing your partner wouldn't make those loud, embarrassing body noises in front of your parents or in church, you shouldn't accept it just because the sex is to die for. If you do, at least recognize that your concerns bear discussing and you should make a point to do that. Otherwise, resentment will eventually settle in.