Opinion: Audrey Byars

Agony Audrey: 'What qualities do you look for in a potential partner?'

Hi, everyone! Welcome to another week of Agony Audrey, where I answer your questions with sub-par advice that you could probably just get from your mum...

I won’t lie to you, reader: this week’s question ‘What qualities do you look for in a potential partner?’ really threw me for a loop.

As someone who’s simultaneously the self-ordained Queen of the Edinburgh Dating Scene and yet has had even less success in the 💕 love 💕 category than Taylor Swift (pre-Joe Alwyn, of course), I couldn’t help but wonder… what DO I look for most in a potential partner?

Image: Mayur Gala from Unsplash

Reflecting on my wide array of past romances, I realised that I usually just go for guys that fit the bill just enough for the time at hand.

I also find myself lusting for love most when I’m really bored and need some excitement.

In a classic example of one of my many dating escapades, I once (successfully, I might add) flirted with the guy across the street by putting up notes on a whiteboard You-Belong-With-Me-Music-Video-Style.

I was bored and on day ten of a two-week quarantine, and he was good-enough-looking to fit the bill at the time. Once out of quarantine for a few weeks, however, I realised my disillusionment, beat myself up for wasting £6 on new dry-erase markers, and subsequently aired him.

There were so many things about him that I knew I wasn’t looking for in a partner, but I ignored them because he was all that was available at the time and (FINE I’ll admit it) the attention was nice.

He still occasionally serenades me through the window as I eat dinner, but that’s a story for another time.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s so important to know what you’re looking for long-term. Because I don’t, and it’s gone badly.

I pretty much have just settled for whatever’s available and ‘good enough’ in the past, like the guy in the window from the anecdote above.

And while clearly I don’t know this from experience and know it sounds SOOO clichéd, loving and knowing yourself and your boundaries is the first step towards true love.

But it’s definitely not easy. It will take a whole lot of self-reflection and time, but guess what we all have a lot of right now — TIME!

From what I’ve heard, pretty much everything else will follow.

That’s why I’m going to challenge you to this: before going out and trying to find the right person, self-reflect on what you love in friends, family members, and yourself.

Then reflect on the things you absolutely cannot tolerate in a person (be as brutal as you want, we all have them!) - write it all down and update it as you realise more and more.

You may think these things are obvious and always in the front of your mind but they may not be, especially when disillusioned by the attention and excitement you’re getting from a new lover.

By writing it down you have a list to consult that’s not coloured by your feelings for a new chirpse. In turn the red flags will become redder for the bad apples, and the green flags will become greener for the right guy/girl/person.

Image: Carson Masterson from Unsplash

You’ll more than likely be more successful than I’ve been. Thanks for reading and as always, good luck!

Audrey 💕