I think we all are looking for one true love, a partner in crime, someone to share our secret world. Love is complicated, though, and it is hard to know what to look for in another person.
When I was younger, I came up with a list of ‘non-negotiables’ – ten attributes that I wanted to find in a person like ‘moral,’ ‘communicative,’ and ‘lifelong learner.’ At the end of a relationship, I would reflect on my list and change it based on what worked and what didn’t.
I found myself frustrated that my list of qualities didn’t seem to be a good predictor for whether or not she and I would actually be compatible. A relationship with someone who checked all the boxes would sometimes turn out to be a disaster. I think this may have been the point my friend was trying to make when he told me that a relationship is not an Excel spreadsheet. Continue reading