Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

What Do You Look For in a Significant Other?

Like many of you — not BitterGayMark though, who, apparently, doesn’t believe in love and romance and fairytales — I watched and loved the Royal Wedding this weekend. I didn’t watch it live but waited until that night after the kids went to sleep and I could get lost in the spectacle (and love and romance and fairytale) of it all, without interruption. And then I promptly spent an hour or two Googling Meghan Markle, who I had thus far managed to avoid learning anything about except that she was on some TV show.

Anyway, I found an interview that I think Meghan and Harry gave shortly after they announced their wedding that a lot of you have probably seen where they talk about how they were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend and Meghan just had one question for her friend before the set-up: “Is he nice? Because if he wasn’t kind, I didn’t really see there was any point.” And I thought that was so sweet! It reminded me of when Drew and I were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend (we are SO similar to the duke and duchess of Sussex!) and I wanted to know if he was funny because, if he wasn’t, I didn’t think we’d be a good match. To this day, Drew’s sense of humor remains one of my favorite things about him. I also like his generosity, loyalty, and sense of responsibility. Also, he’s nice.

What traits are most important to you in a significant other? If you were being set up on a blind date and could only ask one question about your date, what would it be?

43 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Ruby Tuesday May 21, 2018, 1:29 pm

    I believe in @bittergaymark.

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  • avatar

    Ale May 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

    I have never been set up on a blind date but I think I would ask about his sense of humor too. Recently I have been thinking that the next guy that comes into my life has to make me laugh.

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  • Copa

    Copa May 21, 2018, 1:42 pm

    I realize I’m not exactly answering the question posed here, buuuttt…

    I don’t usually care much about celebrity couples, but I LOVE watching videos of them talking to and about each other, cause I’m like, “Look at those healthy relationship behaviors!” I like these two, and I love their love.

    Also, I have a friend who says that she eventually (not necessarily on a first date) asks all of her dates one question: Do you think you’re a kind person? She said she’s heard all kinds of messed up answers to that, but all the people she considers genuinely kind have the exact same response: I try to be.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph May 21, 2018, 1:46 pm

      I really don’t care much about celebrity couples either, but I was all about Will and Kate back in the day and I really like Harry and Megan, too. So I guess royal couples are my jam?

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      • Copa

        Copa May 21, 2018, 1:51 pm

        I truly don’t know what it is about these two, cause I didn’t/don’t care about Will and Kate. I care pretty deeply about Kate’s hair, though, and would love to know her hair secrets.

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        bondgirl May 21, 2018, 2:37 pm

        I am ALLLLL about the royal couples and love eating up every little update on public engagements going on with Will & Kate as well as Harry & Meghan. And I also want to know all of Kate’s secrets to having her ALWAYS flawless and amazing hair. Seriously, how the heck does she do it? Also, how does she look so incredible immediately after birthing her THIRD baby?!

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        Kate May 21, 2018, 3:06 pm

        She doesn’t do her own hair. I mean, she has thick, pretty hair, don’t get me wrong, but whenever you see her, that’s a professional blowout with top of the line products and expert brush curls. She probably gets it done every couple or few days. She might also have keratin treatments or something to cut down on frizz. But basically her hair is a canvas in the hands of an artist.

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        Kate May 21, 2018, 3:27 pm

        I just googled it, and the blowouts her salon does cost 325 pounds. There’s a hot-roller set involved after the drying with a shine-enhancing round brush. Her hair is shiny because it’s well moisturized and they probably use very little product… some root boosting stuff, some serum maybe, some anti-humidity spray (have you tried oribe’s anti-humidity spray btw? It works). They probably also really curl the layers underneath, to build volume.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph May 21, 2018, 1:44 pm

    I have been on a blind date that I didn’t ask my “one question” about and it ended up being pretty awful. (I had already started non-exclusively dating my husband though, and this experience helped me decide that I wanted to be off the market).
    I think the question I should have asked is “does he take himself too seriously? My husband isn’t that funny (although he has his moments), but he laughs at my jokes, even when I poke fun at him, and he can act silly with me. The blind date dude… holy moly did he take himself seriously. He insulted my family (when I told what I thought was a funny story about my parents), he insisted on driving to be chivalrous or something, and tried to debate me on politics. It was awful and unfortunately I had a whole car ride, dinner, and car ride back before I could escape the dude, because he didn’t let me drive myself!

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    • avatar

      Hannanas May 22, 2018, 6:01 am

      YES I SO agree on the taking themselves too seriously stand. Why the pretentiousness?

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  • Lucidity

    Lucidity May 21, 2018, 1:45 pm

    I can’t think of a better question than “Is he kind?” I used to ask my female friends who were setting me up on blind dates “Would you date him if you were single?”

    The most important traits to me are kindness/thoughtfulness, intelligence, humor, confidence, honesty and being motivated – by that I don’t mean ambitious, just someone who sets goals for themselves and gets things done. Someone who isn’t lazy. It’s also important to me that a partner is good with money – not necessarily wealthy or a high earner, but capable of living within their means and a smart consumer. It’s important to me that my significant other has a strong sense of morality and places a high value family.

    I’m kind of with BGM on this one – not thinking their marriage will fail, but in that I don’t understand everyone’s obsession with the royal weddings or the monarchy in general. Royalty perpetuates the class system, and undermines democracy by allowing the unelected people born to those families excessive influence on politics. I don’t think the monarchy should exist in today’s societies.

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    • Lucidity

      Lucidity May 21, 2018, 8:17 pm

      I discussed this question with my husband this afternoon and realized I left off an important trait that I always look for in a partner: open-mindedness. Realizing that others who think differently could expand your worldview. My husband is conservative, while I am liberal, so this trait is especially important when we discuss politics. Sometimes I change his mind, sometimes he changes mine, and sometimes we agree to disagree, but if he wasn’t willing to listen to opposing arguments or thought his opinion was equivalent to fact then we would never have made it past our first date.

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      • avatar

        keyblade May 21, 2018, 10:04 pm

        If I may be so bold, did your husband support Trump?

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      • Lucidity

        Lucidity May 22, 2018, 7:03 am

        No, we live in Canada @keyblade. He wouldn’t have been a Trump voter even if we live in America, though, because he’s the fiscally conservative type, not the racist, misogynist, climate-change denying bigoted conservative type.

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  • avatar

    Ale May 21, 2018, 1:47 pm

    And also, I didn’t watch the Royal Weding entirely but I watched clips and you can see these two make each other laugh. They seem to have fun together, during the ceremony Harry looks at Meghan a couple times with a kind of mischievous grin. He makes her laugh a lot, they seem goofy together. I want something fun like that.

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  • Miel

    Miel May 21, 2018, 2:00 pm

    What attracted me the most to my boyfriend was how self-motivated he was, and how he was trying to make himself a better person, not for someone else but for himself. One our first date he would mention hobbies, things he did that were outside of his comfort zone, he took good care of himself, his studies, his career, his finances, etc.

    I’m very self-driven myself, and so I never wanted to “take care” of a romantic partner as if he were some man-child. I still think it’s hot how I don’t have to tell him what to do. He doesn’t need me to make decisions for himself.

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  • avatar

    bondgirl May 21, 2018, 2:11 pm

    I’ll be honest, I was also in the camp of “who the heck is that?!” when I heard about who Prince Harry was dating and couldn’t understand why Meghan Markle was so famous. To this day I’ve still never watched an episode of Suits, and quite frankly I’d never heard of it until they got engaged. But now that I’ve read more about her and watched about 100 different TV specials about her life on TLC, I’m quite impressed by her resume of humanitarian work and feminist causes. I look forward to seeing what type of charity work she and Harry will be championing!

    As for the topic at hand, kindness is definitely a must in a significant other. I’d always told people I’d marry a male version of my best friend — she’s incredibly kind, creative, adventurous, and I laugh until I cry and my stomach hurts every time we are together. These are traits that I also highly value in my fiance. In addition to these traits, he balances me out in a way that we’re like a ying and yang put together.

    Other important traits are having similar life goals and being able to communicate, honesty/ability to communicate, this one may sound silly but a sense of maturity/responsibility. For example, I couldn’t marry someone who has reckless and irresponsible spending/money habits. I think I read somewhere a while back one of the top reasons couple divorce is money.

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  • avatar

    K May 21, 2018, 2:38 pm

    Being kind is definitely a big one. Intelligence. Being funny and/or having a sense of humor. Being okay with acting silly – my boyfriend and I are silly together, and he’s the first boyfriend I’ve had where I felt comfortable being silly with him. Someone who has an interest in doing things and doesn’t want to stay home all the time (staying home some of the time is fine, just not all the time!) A guy who cooks is a big plus. Someone reliable and trustworthy. Someone who communicates well.

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  • avatar

    ktfran May 21, 2018, 3:45 pm

    I watched Suits (because Gabrial Macht – effing HOT!) maybe a couple of years after its debut and caught up pretty quickly so I was familiar with Meghan Markle. I will say, her character annoyed me to no end. And about season two, she started looking a little bobble headish. You know, got super skinny super fast. I think she corrected that, good! And I’ve quite enjoyed her interviews of late. And her fashion. Anyway…

    It’s no secret that the husband and I work at the same company. Part of what drew me to him is the praise all the people, from assistants to coworkers to mgt. spoke about him – hard worker, smart, genuinely a good guy, etc. etc.. Because, honestly, my first impression was not good and he knows that. And then we actually hung out a few times and he was not only all of those things, but so, so funny! Our second date, I laughed and smiled so much my face effing hurt. I knew then that he was it. We also have similar values, which further solidified it.

    One of the things he has said about me is that he knew I was a kind person and that’s one of the reasons he loves me. Gross.

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    • avatar

      ktfran May 21, 2018, 4:11 pm

      I need to add that I love that Gabriel Macht is married to Jacinda… who was on the Real World London. I loved the Real World from Season 1 to I think Vegas, when it started getting kind of trashy/annoying.

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      • avatar

        JD May 22, 2018, 6:18 pm

        If you love Jacinda, I do too, watch Bloodline on Netflix. It’s aoo good. Lots of big names in it.

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  • avatar

    keyblade May 21, 2018, 3:55 pm

    I remember having a conversation with my spouse about this. Honestly, I can’t remember exactly what he told me. In my defense, it was fourteen years ago. But I do remember telling I couldn’t have a partner who wasn’t kind, honest, or loyal.

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    • avatar

      keyblade May 21, 2018, 4:10 pm

      He questioned me about the loyalty part. It concerned him because he thought loyalty could lead people to make bad choices. My thoughts were a partner was both kind and honest with both a partner and themselves loyalty, though not necessarily compatibility, would come naturally when considering other people. I still think that, but I realize now there was also a component of insecurity to my answer.

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      • avatar

        keyblade May 21, 2018, 4:18 pm

        edited- if a partner was both kind and honest in both intention and action towards their spouse *then* loyalty to their spouse would not create a value conflict because honesty would require disclosure and kindness would require awareness of oneself. Loyalty was about a commitment to others.

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  • avatar

    Ange May 21, 2018, 4:53 pm

    Eh I’m with BGM as a member of the commonwealth and a staunch republican. Why do we have to pay millions of dollars for a bunch of vacuous toffs to come and smile next to our landmarks? Meh. Plus none of this new generation of royals works hard at all. If they weren’t royal they’d be nothing more than welfare moochers. Racist, inbred old welfare moochers.

    BTW on a different note Wendy there seems to be a script making the site run SUPER slow at the moment for me on Android.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy May 21, 2018, 5:35 pm

      Hmm, I did add a plug-in over the weekend. Is anyone else experiencing speed issues with the site?

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      • avatar

        Ange May 21, 2018, 5:55 pm

        It only seems to be on the main page, forums have been working fine.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 22, 2018, 6:41 am

        Thanks, let me know if it’s continuing today.

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    • avatar

      Ange May 22, 2018, 5:35 pm

      Seems to be a lot better today but I’m still getting a little bit of lag when typing (which I had to type this comment to test, meta).

      Thanks for looking into it 😊

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 23, 2018, 6:27 am

        Ok, thanks. I’ll keep working on it.

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  • avatar

    JD May 22, 2018, 7:07 am

    My number one is being able to talk. A lot. Openly. My ex and i weren’t a match in the end but ten years in we still could have three hour conversations on the phone. We’d talk driving home, at home, etc. As much as I’m glad that is over it taught me how important that is for me going forward. His lack of affection also taught me i really need that.

    My dear husband and i talk constantly much like before. He is also very affectionate. He really ticks my most important boxes for happiness with someone. Always grateful my past relationship taught me so much to make for a good marriage.

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    • avatar

      K May 22, 2018, 8:59 am

      Those are good ones I forgot. Being able to have an easily flowing conversation and being able to always find things to talk about. Also, affection. Quality time and physical touch are my love languages so if someone didn’t want to cuddle or touch, I wouldn’t be happy.

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      • avatar

        JD May 22, 2018, 9:02 am

        Yes on affection. My ex, if I so much as grabbed his hand to cross the street, would find a reason to pull away. It ended up impacting our sex life and intimacy a lot as I really wasn’t into “hey wanna do it” after not being so much as grazed against for a week. I am one who happily will be intimate numerous times a day and the lack of any affection caused me to have no interest. I don’t think it bothered him but it didn’t work for me. He also deserved to be with someone who has the same level of intimacy needs as him.

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark May 22, 2018, 10:14 am

    Hah. That so many believe this union is based on love… IS the real Fairytale.
    .
    PS — do a little RESEARCH. Everybody at the time gushed and babbled away about just how much Charles and Di loved and adored one another…
    .
    That said — how very interesting that neither of their sperm doner biodads were at the wedding… 😉

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    • avatar

      Fyodor May 22, 2018, 1:05 pm

      Yeah-this. I guess I don’t get all the crowing about how great their relationship is, etc, all the glowing admiration for MM. None of us know enough to make any kind of informed assessment about their relationship. None of us would know if she were a raging asshole. We’ve heard these same things over and over about other celebrity couples who split up or had rampant infidelity/dysfunctionality in their relationships.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark May 22, 2018, 3:06 pm

        Or HIM.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse May 22, 2018, 4:31 pm

        Ehh, I don’t watch TV, I only stream. So, I haven’t seen or read about most of that stuff.

        I like looking at the designer gowns and styling, and I love that a 36 year old, divorced, American biracial woman is now in the royal family. It’s a tiny amount of social progress, but still-progress! A generation ago, this all would have been unheard of. Also, the the service (which I only watched the highlights) and the choir singing Stand by me was the little boost and distraction I needed from the everflaming dumpster fire of trash that sits in the Oval Office.

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      • avatar

        Fyodor May 22, 2018, 4:42 pm

        I’m not faulting people for watching it or liking it-BOF and SOF were up watching it (on delay) saturday morning.

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      Ange May 22, 2018, 5:38 pm

      I firmly believe Charles is Harry’s dad, looking at Harry now. He’s getting that beady eyed, receding from his own hair and teeth Windsor look.

      Why everyone thinks Harry is so great is beyond me. He doesn’t do much more work than William and he has numerous incidents of racist behaviour. If Meghan was the colour of say, Leslie Jones, with a huge unapologetic afro Harry wouldn’t have looked at her twice.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy May 23, 2018, 6:28 am

        Yep, Harry has the same close-set eyes as Charles (and William). The red hair comes from his mother’s family not from a different bio dad.

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      Kate May 23, 2018, 7:45 am

      I read all about Lady Diana recently when I was bored, and it does not seem like the theories about that other guy being Harry’s father, or the royal family having her killed, are true.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse May 22, 2018, 12:58 pm

    Kindness, patience and open and honest communication are some of the most important attributes in a partner to me. There are so many things I love about my husband, one of my favorites is: he doesn’t keep score. I feel like that was something I’d eventually see in all my previous relationships, and he’s never-(still true to this day) brought up any misstep I’ve taken to make me feel bad about myself. He’s always supportive, so caring and so kind. I am so thankful I landed such a good man.

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  • avatar

    Crystal May 23, 2018, 12:01 pm

    I’m married and well out of the dating scene, but my one question, with the hindsight of a 35 yr old who’s been through stuff: Is he reliable? Can I know I will be able to lean on him in hard times, trusting he’ll support me, count on him to keep his word, and always follow through? In little things and big. Because without that foundation of mutual trust and reliability, it won’t work. Yes that foundation has to be built in a couple, but it does start with each person bringing their own cornerstone of reliability to begin with.

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