How to Choose the Right Person for You

October 21st, 2013 by Nick Notas 12 Comments

I Choo Choo Choose You SimpsonsWhen you’re looking to build a healthy relationship, how do you make sure someone is right for you?

For a long time, I had no idea.

So I asked other people what they looked for in a partner, and I got answers like…

“A sense of humor, attractiveness, intelligence, creativity, sexual compatibility, passion, an active lifestyle, a stable career.”

I knew those qualities were important. I had some of them myself, and even looked for them in women. But something was missing. The women I really liked and dated, always broke it off first.

After a breakup, I asked a former boss who had been happily married for over 20 years for advice. He just said…

“Do they respect you?”

This simple guideline has profoundly changed the relationships in my life.

Once you like someone, respect is the first thing you should be screening for. And you should continue to do so as the relationship deepens.

None of the other qualities will matter if you aren’t treated well. The novelty will eventually wear off and you will feel used, abused, frustrated, and want out.

By prioritizing your self-respect you immediately:

  1. Avoid wasting time on unfulfilling relationships that make you feel miserable.
  2. Spend time being happy and building healthy relationships with good people.
  3. Reinforce your self-worth. You stop holding on to people out of fear or comfort. You develop an abundance mentality. You give yourself the power of choice.

I understand it’s hard to define what “treat you well” means. But, I can share insight from my own relationships and the relationships I’ve helped.

Here are some traits you should expect in a partner who treats you well:

  • They’re supportive of your interests, hobbies, and passions.
  • They respect you in front of other people. They don’t put you down, ignore you, or share personal details without your consent. 
  • They are willing to contribute and be an equal partner. They invest time, effort, and money back into you.
  • They communicate their feelings and expectations to you. They don’t hide them or use passive-aggressive tactics.
  • They aren’t controlling or overly jealous. They allow you to see friends and don’t try to isolate you from the outside world.
  • They don’t try to change you against your wishes. If you have bad habits, they are a support system rather than a critic.
  • They don’t make you feel guilty or ashamed about your sexuality, views, or values.
  • They don’t physically abuse you.
  • They don’t belittle you or talk down to you. No gaslighting, either.
  • They’re honest and don’t lie — even by omission.
  • If you’re close to your family and friends, they make an effort to get along with them.
  • When you express your needs they are receptive and proactive. They don’t minimize them.
  • When you talk, they listen. And act in ways that show you they listened.
  • They challenge you to be better and don’t let their own insecurities hold you back.
  • They take responsibility for their actions and words. They don’t make excuses or shift the blame.
  • They recognize, empathize, and care about your emotions.

Fortunately, I always chose girls who were respectful to me. But I can’t say the same about how I treated them. And that’s why they left.

You can’t expect respect, nor will you get the respect you desire, if you don’t hold yourself to the same standard. Respect has to be mutual. A relationship can’t flourish without it.

Want to build healthy relationships with women? Let’s have a free strategy session.

  1. Justin on October 21, 2013

    What’s really great about this list is that I can see what qualities I should have, too. In my last relationship I did let my insecurities hold her back and I was sometimes jealous. You’ve given me a lot to think about, Nick.

    • Nick Notas on October 21, 2013

      Thanks Justin and glad I could help. I remind myself often about these qualities to make sure I’m being the best partner possible.

  2. Myra on October 21, 2013

    I stayed with a guy for 2 years who always put me down and blamed me for his problems. For a while I started to believe that it was my fault.

    Then a friend gave me a book called “Who’s pulling your strings?” It made me realize how I was being manipulated and controlled and gave me the courage to end the relationship. It talks about recognizing the same signs you wrote about Nick. I think you would like it!

    • Nick Notas on October 21, 2013

      I’m sorry to hear you went through that. But the positive is that you gained a lot of insight and strength from it that will stay with you forever.

      I’d never heard of the book but it looks great — just ordered a copy. Might do a review for it when I get the chance. Thanks for the recommendation :)

  3. Les on October 21, 2013

    Great stuff! Some people use others simply as a means to validate themselves. There’s no mutual respect. These kinds of people will never be right for a committed relationship until they learn to share respect for the other person.

    • Nick Notas on October 31, 2013

      Spot on Les. Codependent relationships generally don’t last.

  4. Dale on October 21, 2013

    Respect HAS to be mutual.

    That is the truth that so many couples forget. I see so many classmates rush into relationships with a person they don’t even know that well, just because they want to be in a relationship with someone. They never really get the time to earn respect for one another for whom they are.

    I’ll admit I made this mistake various times in high school. But the mutual respect you described explains why females will choose an alpha over a beta (with comparatively nothing to offer) any day.

    • Nick Notas on October 31, 2013

      I think more people need to be comfortable with being alone. Not saying you have to stay alone but while you are, it shouldn’t make you miserable.

      Like you said, I know too many people who rush into relationships just to be with someone. A lot of it is desperation and they’re not actually creating connections for the right reasons. It’s unfair to the other party as well.

  5. Kenneth on October 31, 2013

    Hey guys I need some advice on something.
    I’ve read almost every article on here and I want to know if my situation applies.

    I met this girl, her name is Julie, the first day of school in my Spanish class. I was a senior in a class dominated by Sophmores and Freshmen so I didn’t know anybody in the class. She was sitting next to me, there were way too many people in that class at the time and I used that as a conversation opener. She agreed with me and we had a friendly conversation. Over time I’ve found out that she is a wonderful girl and that I am truly attracted to her. We met in late August of this year and we’ve been having a lot of fun together. I tease her she teases me. She has this thing where she playfully punches me a bunch. I first complimented her during lunch. She has the prettiest blue eyes and I told her that. She smiled and said thank you. Her birthday was today and I found out from one of our conversations that she LOVES candy corn. So I bought her a 3 pound bag of candy corn and told her like 2 weeks prior to her birthday. I then teased her, saying I accidentally ate it, or I didnt buy it and stuff like that and she started this thing where she does this adorable puppy dog face that just melts my heart. One of the times when she was doing the puppy dog face she told me I had really pretty green eyes. We text each other everyday. From morning to when we sleep and we always find the silliest things to talk about. I feel very relaxed around this girl and she doodles on my arms at least every week. I feel that her and I have built a very very strong relationship together and I find myself thinking about her all the time. The only hiccup is that a guy, named Nigel, asked her to homecomming then asked her out on a date and she said yes. This really put me down I just don’t know what to do. Should I back off or should I keep doing what I’m doing?

  6. Jon on November 3, 2013

    Great advice definitely everyone should use!

  7. Jada Simons on November 4, 2013

    Sometimes, people in a relationship think that love is enough to keep the relationship going. Love, indeed, is an important factor, but love alone is not enough to make a relationship a lasting and blissful one. I agree that respect also plays a very important part in any relationship, next to love. Just try to think on how you want to be treated and apply that same treatment to your partner. Also, you have to make sure that you have respect for yourself. The more that you show people, especially to your partner, that you have self-respect the more respectful he will be of you as well.

  8. Sandy on December 18, 2013

    Sometimes it’s hard to choose the person whom you fall in love with, because once your heart choose who you will love, there is no turning back even though he/she is not your ideal type. I’ve been looking for so long for a guy who will treat me well and love me unconditionally, unfortunately, I still can’t find him.