We all have our list of personality traits that we’re looking for in a soul mate. It’s natural to want someone who checks off every box. And then I meet a person who wasn’t interested in going out with someone because he or she didn’t seem to match their list, but due to luck, a friend or relative nagging them, or some other twist of fate, they ended up dating each other and lo and behold they discovered that they belong together.

I do believe in having a list – or rather an understanding of what characteristics would make up a good partner. I don’t recommend compromising on essential character traits or values, but there are usually other bullet points on the list that can be more flexible. What items are really non-negotiable and which ones are worth compromising or being open minded about? Anything that doesn’t change who the person is and what kind of marriage partner they would be is worth a second look.

Is it worth saying no to someone who has a different background than you? Although it may be your ideal to have someone from a similar background, it’s not necessarily a reason to pass up meeting the person and giving things a chance. Maybe your date grew up in a different country or had a different upbringing that may feel foreign to you at first. However it could be that the two of you have other things in common. More important than the past is the future: are you both going in the same direction in life? Do you have similar goals and dreams?

Of course there must be attraction and chemistry. However, there are thousands of stories of people who fell in love with someone who wasn’t “the look” they expected for their spouse. Does he have to be six feet tall? Maybe your soul mate is really 5’10 and you’re missing out on him. Does she really need to look like a model? Why is drop dead gorgeous your criterion? Is that really what you need to be attracted or is it more for status? Do her glasses bother you that much? Maybe you’ll grow to love how they look on her after another date or two. Stay open minded when it comes to the way they dress, their hair color, and general looks. Your view of attraction may change as you get to know someone.

Personality Traits

Certain character traits are key for a successful marriage – patience, compassion, honesty and kindness. On the other hand, some traits are more about preferences. Maybe someone you’re dating isn’t as talkative and outgoing as you’d prefer. But they could still be an amazing spouse; they may just need a little longer to open up. As long as everything else aligns, this shouldn’t be a reason to say no right away. Give them more time and wait to see the rest of their personality. You might grow to love what a great listener they are and realize that is important to you.

Make a list of basic character traits that are important to you. Know your ideal. Sometimes going outside your comfort zone and trying something different will work.

May you keep your mind open and allow the right person in at the right time.