Over the years, I’ve developed a better understanding of what I wanted in a partner. Every time I get asked about my ideal person, I think back to when my high school boyfriend asked me the same question. I distinctly remember answering with someone who is intelligent, confident, honest, goal oriented, and shares my sense of humor. He scoffed and told me I was too high maintenance. It always makes me laugh because since then, I have met people who possessed every quality on that simple list. It’s always hard to answer on the spot, so here’s my more thought out answer. My ideal person is:

Someone who can skip the small talk and jump right in to an engaging conversation. We already have so many ice breakers at work, school, and social gatherings. Wouldn’t you want to know a person’s substance past three interesting facts about them? With this hopefully comes with knowing how balance things and being able to appreciate the silences as much as the conversations.

Someone who not only has their own goals, but also supports mine. By that, I don’t mean that they’re ruthlessly ambitious and step on others to move up, but that they have a clear idea of where they’re going or at least where they want to go and works hard to get there. Even if our goals differ, it’s important to support each other in the pursuit of our dreams and grow together.

Someone who is confident in themselves and their abilities, has the skill to back it up, AND knows the importance of humility. Being able to put your money where your mouth is shows that you’re dependable when the going gets tough. Often times, those who are confident and talented are not humble. Unchecked confidence is unattractive and gets boring quickly.

Someone who values honesty as much as I do. As someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, you can only hope that others are being as truthful and transparent with you as you are with them. Trust is the foundation of any solid relationship and building anything meaningful would be quite difficult without it.

Someone who loves learning and is open minded enough to exchange knowledge and ideas with me. One of the most exciting aspects of a relationship is being able to share new perspectives or approach an old problem in a new way with two brains instead of one. Otherwise, how will we grow and improve? Those who are complacent have no place in my life.

Someone who is willing to put in effort into the relationship even if it’s daunting. I was naive and used to think things would be clearer after graduation. In actuality, they only got hazier. Our twenties are some of the most tumultuous times with college graduation, job relocations, graduate or medical school and the numerous variables that comes with those, on top of life’s endless uncertainties. In Michelle Obama’s Becoming, she said, “As months passed, our feelings stayed steady… It became one less thing in life to question.” How lovely it would be to have that one constant relationship to keep me anchored to endure the waves of change.

Someone who accepts all of me as I am. My culture and its traditions, my quirky sense of humor, my rapid mood swings, my inability to couple good intentions with the right tone, my random bouts of sadness, my rapid fire ideas that come with little notice, my incoherent ramblings that are very clearly connected in my mind, my occasional existential crises, and my need for consistent affirmation. Someone who welcomes me with open arms despite knowing all this, and chooses me anyways.

All these years, I forgot an important quality: kindness. When I attended an old friend’s wedding earlier this year, her mother-in-law told us all how the first word her son used to describe my friend was “kind”.

Often times, I’d idolize someone because of one or two traits I really admired and neglected their less desirable qualities. Several people I’ve been with who were also pursuing a medical career were incredibly confident and determined when it came to their passions. It was so inspiring to see, but they lacked any sense of respect, compassion, and empathy. They disrespected me, my boundaries, and my friends and family. They were not kind.

In addition to all the other qualities, my ideal person is someone who looks beyond themselves and cares for the well-being of others. Someone whose kindness transcends words and shows in their actions to make this world a little better.

2020 marks TEN years of being on the other side of selfish, one sided love. One of my favorite quotes is, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” There is a greater, higher love is out there and after all the learning I’ve done these past ten years, I know I deserve nothing less.

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