When meeting up with potential clients, I will ask them what they are looking for in a potential partner.

Must be attractive. Big eyes. Slim.

Tall, broad shoulders, extroverted, must make me laugh.

These are just some examples of basic dating preferences.

Many a times, when singles list down their ‘I-Want’ list, it is based on things that would spark off infatuation, or chemistry. The things that make our hearts race.

However, the truth of the matter is, infatuation lasts, on average, 3 to 12 months. When the chemical reaction in our brain subsides after a year or so, you begin to see your partner in a different light. All of a sudden, the things you used to think was really endearing becomes really annoying.

And you suddenly realise that you do not even know this person. You have nothing in common. You have nothing to talk about.

People often say, it is different when you are looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend vs. when you are looking for a husband/wife. I believe that there is some truth to that.

When you are looking to spend the rest of your life with someone, we are looking for long term qualities.

For some, the question might be, “Is he reliable and dependable? Is he patient and kind?”

For others, it could be, “Would she be a supportive wife and a nurturing mother to our children?”

And a very important question to ask, “Do we get along well? Can I imagine him or her as my best friend?”

After all, a good marriage should be friendship on fire or friendship magnified.

What is your list of traits and characteristics that you want in your long-term partner? Most companies have a mission statement. Lunch Actually’s mission statement reads:

Lunch Actually exists to create a solution for single busy professionals who do not have the right environment to meet other like-minded people as a result of their busy and hectic work environment.

We believe that every individual deserves love, respect and companionship. Thus we strive to create supreme value and provide immaculate service to address the needs of the people we serve.

Jamie and I created this mission statement to remind ourselves why we started this business in the first place. Because in business and life, sometimes, you will lose your way. And you will forget, what was the purpose of it all?

Same with finding love.

What is your dating mission statement?

What are the traits you are looking for in your long-term partner? Ponder upon it. It would be even more powerful if you could write it down. Because along the way, you might be swayed by your biological and short-term needs. These short-term needs unfortunately do little to contribute to the success of a long-term relationship.

You might ask me at this point.

“Violet, why can’t we have it all? Someone who will fulfill our short-term biological needs as well as our long-term relationship needs. “

Of course that would be most ideal. But when we are searching for a partner, we make our choices, and others make their choices as well. He/she is your cup of tea, but you might not be theirs. And at the end of the day, do we want to be going around in circles and never meeting the right one, when the right one could be just right under our nose?

When I was looking for a potential partner, I thought I definitely wanted someone who is muscular, extroverted, and the life of the party. Those who know my hubby Jamie would know that he is anything but those criteria. I was looking out for my short-term biological needs when I put down those criteria. Muscular and well-built so I feel secure and protected. Extroverted would suggest that he’s fun to be with.

But when it comes down to it, all of these are not important because he might not be much of a talker in front of others, we can talk and talk and talk. 9 years after we first met, we still spend hours talking to each other every day. Does not matter he might not come across as the most witty and fun person, but we sure have lots of fun hanging out with each other.

And I am definitely very different from his initial list of ‘I-Want’. You can ask him to share them with you when you meet him.

So, what is your dating mission statement?

Are you looking for a short-term biological relationship?

Or someone whom you can share the rest of your life with?

Happy contemplating!

P/S For my readers who are already dating, or happily married, do you have any related stories to share?