What Matters Most in a Partner

What Matters Most in a Partner What matters most in your choice of partner? First of all in previous articles, I’ve reviewed basic nature of attraction: what men are attracted to in women and what women are attracted to in men. These articles reviewed those important elements that promote initial attraction and keep attraction going. Attraction matters. These articles can be reviewed at:

However, are those forces of attractions the only things important in relationships? No, not at all. Attractors helps people initially get together and stay together. But what are the bigger picture elements in a relationship that are the most important to truly be happy, healthy, close, and connected? Some of those bigger picture elements beyond attraction will be reviewed in this little article.

*How you talk to each other. This is a broad subject that deserves much deeper attention and review than this brief article can offer. Simply said, good talking involves being basically open, honest, civil, and respectful with how you converse with the other. Being assertive, instead of avoidant, passive, passive-aggressive, or aggressive. Not being shut down. Ultimately, sharing more of your inner life and world with the other person than anyone else is important (when marriage, anyway). So, good talking and conversation is about both quantity (how often do you open up to the other person), quality (how civilly and respectfully you talk to the other person), and content (more inner life discussion beyond surfacy, practical conversations). For more information on this subject of how to better talk to each other, consider some of these prior articles:

*How you listen to each other. It is pretty difficult for there to good communication, discussion, and conversation in a relationship without the second person also acting as a good, quality listener. It takes both sides of the conversation going well to make for good communication. Being a good listener is also a deeper topic deserving of a greater analysis than can be covered here. However, here are a few ideas to be a good listener. With your listening, show: empathy, validation, understanding, interest, patience, good eye contact, minimal distraction, and effort. Work to minimize or eliminate distraction, interruption, argumentativeness, disinterest, and other signs showing you are not listening well. For more ideas to work on your listening, see this article:

*Quality time spent together. Time spent together as a couple without anyone else is very important to nurturing and connecting a couple. This quality time can happen at home or out of the home, free or costing money. It doesn’t really matter what the activity is, as long as it is enjoyable, a chance to bond and connect, and provides an opportunity for both fun, relaxation, and/or good communication together. A marriage needs to be nurtured and fed like a living organism, and quality time spent together is an essential part of that feeding. For more ideas on quality time and other related issues to bond a couple, see this previous article:

*Being loving and affectionate. As with the last point to give quality time to your relationship, treating each other in loving, affectionate ways is very important. Affection can be verbal or physical, sexual or non-sexual (although as members, staying within law of chastity limits until marriage, of course). Affection shows and demonstrates love, caring, warmth, and connection, and further serve to draw a couple closer. Examples of loving, affectionate treatment includes expressing verbal love, caring, and appreciation, as well as physical affection like hugs, kisses, snuggling, and hand holding. For more information on being loving and affectionate, see:

*Being spiritually strong and united. Spirituality done right promotes love and connection in a relationship. Ideally a marriage is a covenant between man, woman, and God. Therefore, when spirituality is strong and is a regular, important element of a relationship, the closeness and bond together will only be that much stronger. Ways to feed your spirituality together includes doing such things like reading scriptures/other spiritual works, listening to conference talks, attending church, attending the temple, supporting each other in your callings, and overall acting nice, kind, loving, considerate, and respectful of one another. Of the list there, how you treat each other—the last point noted—is the best way to be spiritually strong and united. When the scriptures say, “love thy neighbor as thyself”, your spouse is the most important relationship to feed and treat well.
For more information on spirituality and relationships, see:

Final Thoughts:

The two challenges of a relationship are 1) finding someone you are both attracted to and 2) is healthy. When both of those components are present, the prospects of a happy, lasting committed relationship and marriage increase notably. Please consider and take into account both of these factors. You really can have a healthy, happy, committed relationship and marriage. Choose well and nurture well. And remember that “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:1.

Dr. G
P.S. If you have any questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at drgilchrist@yahoo.com.

2022-07-31 Randy Gilchrist Healthy relationships

Previous article Next article

About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).