What to look for in a partner

The title alone sounds like something out of Thought Catalog but this is a list of things I’ve mulled over and took from my own experience (being in a long-term relationship for a little over 4 years). I apologize in advance for being so heteronormative but this post refers to anyone who identifies as a heterosexual woman interested in heterosexual men.

  1. Making sure he’s not a misogynist.

Now no one goes around and blatantly says they’re one, but everyone has their own tendencies around it. Whether it be making fun of the way a girl dresses to backhanded comments about girls in the STEM field, to something as small as “you hit like a girl.” Make sure that your partner understands what he is saying could be potentially problematic. Educate your partner in a way they truly understand without “scaring them away.” List out links for them to read up on and talk about some examples coming from your own experiences. Your partner will never truly understand how tough it is to be a woman walking alone at night, but he can now understand the times when he’s walking at night and sees a woman up ahead suddenly quickening her pace.

2. Making sure he’s not racist.

Another thing that might not be as blatantly obvious but just as important. This is particularly aimed at all of the ladies who are in interracial relationships, making sure your partner is dating you because they love who you are, not for what you are. Too many instances occur where the woman feels inferior in a relationship because of the way their partner refers to them in social settings or in front of family. Remember to be there to call out stereotypes that can be reinforced.

That’s it, that’s all I have.

Kidding of course. But I think these two are the most important things amongst other lists you’ve read such as aligned interests, etc. However, the take away is that you’re never really going to meet anyone that encapsulates these two things fully. And that’s okay. The most important thing is that your partner is open and willing to learn. Even more importantly, willing to listen. Because as a man, he will be inherently privileged because of number 1, and if he’s White, then he won the privilege lottery of both 1 and 2. In any case, these are important not only as talking points to have or as a way to see if you’re partner is truly for you, but bettering both of your voices.

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