Valentine's Day is the perfect time to think about relationships. Everyone has a list of qualities they hope are traits of their perfect partner. Most people keep the list in their heads, and vaguely refer to the list only after a hard breakup or in the midst of a difficult time.
It is time to write down your list. Own it. There is great power in writing down the actual words. Take a pen and paper and make a list of traits you would like in your partner. Start with 10 traits. Then divide the ten into two lists. One list will be your non-negotiable traits. The other five will be those which you might be willing to negotiate on.
After you make a list of the traits you would like in a future partner, it is then time to do the hard part. Do a self-inventory. Writing down the traits you seek in a partner will show you a lot about yourself. You may discover that you are materialistic, shallow, or perhaps even more value oriented than you had thought.
After you write down the traits, and do a self-inventory, take the time to reflect on your past relationships. When you reflect you may find that your expectations of a partner are impossibly high. Or perhaps you will find that some of the traits you listed need to be modified or removed.
Making a list of traits you desire in a future partner will help you look at others with a different eye. You will be more discriminating when it comes to spending time with people. Be careful, however, not to ignore those who do not perfectly fit your list. Life is filled with little surprises, and you may just find that once you spend time with someone who does not fit your list perfectly, you may expand your list. In the process, you will grow as a person and possibly find love where least expected.