look for this one quality
Do soulmates exist?
Some people believe so — I do not. I believe some people are more suitable for each other, but regardless, relationships require work.
I used to think a “perfect” woman had a perfect body and flawless face (This was before I learned women in Hollywood are products of makeup and photoshop), but as I grew older I realized no one is perfect and looks don’t matter that much.
I’ve been with my wife for almost 11 1/2 years. Don’t get me wrong, she’s beautiful, and that certainly helps, but her appearance has changed over the past decade (as has mine), but I love her more now than I ever did when we were running around like rabbits as new lovers.
The reason we’ve lasted comes down to one quality we both possess that I feel is the key to any successful relationship (friendships included).
The quality is — communication.
There is nothing my wife and I can’t discuss with each other. This doesn’t mean we never argue or disagree, but after every debate or discussion, we both process the other’s information and come back with a new understanding.
It wasn’t always this way.
When we were young, we were pretty toxic. She had some anger issues and I lied to avoid conflict. We were both wrong.
It didn’t matter how small or large the issue, her reaction was level 100 either way, so I resorted to hiding things and lying to avoid a conflict. This only made me look worse when she inevitably found out what I was hiding (I am terrible at lying), and I blamed her for my own cowardice.
After years of hard work, we both grew. She learned how to let go of her anger (childhood issues), and she is such a lovely, calm, funny woman. A real inspiration! And I learned how to not hide things just because I think she won’t like it (my childhood issues — textbook people pleaser to a fault).
For the past 8 years or so, we’ve been growing and improving every day. It all comes down to communication. No matter what she tells me, whether it’s positive or negative, and no matter how it makes me feel in the moment, I just listen and she does the same for me.
After we process the information, then we have another conversation where the roles reverse (the one who listened first becomes the talker, and the other person just listens).
Once we both voice our opinions, sometimes that’s where it ends. Sometimes there is no solution, but we just both needed to be heard. Sometimes one of us just has to accept that we don’t like what the other person is doing, but not liking it doesn’t necessarily make it wrong.
Communication is key. There are plenty of articles online on how to effectively communicate. The short of it is to be an effective communicator, be a great listener. Don’t listen to reply, just hear what the other person is saying.
If I can give one bit of advice for what to look for in a significant other, look for someone who values communication. It’s the key to everlasting relationships!