The Most Overlooked Qualities in a Partner

BY
Zaheer Shah

Bisma Parvez for Minder

When you think of your future spouse, you are probably thinking of the most obvious qualities — kind, intelligent, good looking and caring. While the most common characteristics people want are indeed important, sometimes the best qualities in a partner are the most underrated.

After years of marriage and talking to married couples, I have come to the realization that individual characteristics that help foster a healthy, loving and long-lasting relationship are often overlooked. Just because someone is nice, smart and good looking, doesn’t mean they’ll be a good partner.

Here’s are the qualities that are often overlooked, but are most needed to make a marriage work:

1. Emotional Intelligence

Having an emotionally intelligent partner is so important to a relationship because marriage starts and ends with emotions. If your partner has emotional intelligence, they have the capacity to be aware of, control, and express their emotions. It also means your partner will understand your emotions and the impact they have on situations you both face in a marriage.

Believe me, you don’t want to go through life living with someone who is completely unaware of what you are feeling or someone who doesn’t know how to express their own feelings. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s filled with ups and downs but having a partner that can communicate their feelings and express appreciation is going to help make a strong relationship.

2. Ability to Grow

You shouldn’t marry someone hoping they will change because that isn’t healthy. However, having a partner who has the ability to grow is like winning the lottery. Someone who is too stubborn or stuck in their ways will have a hard time adapting to the constant changes that come in a committed relationship.

Marriage is a wonderful thing, but it also requires that both spouses are willing to learn and grow as needed to deal with whatever comes their way — be it financial issues, family problems, raising children or how to run a household. Perhaps, a mediator or a therapist may be needed when things get tough. It may require humility on both parties to understand a problem in a relationship and take the steps to make changes. If your partner doesn’t want to grow with you in the relationship, you’ll likely be stuck fighting and sacrificing, which doesn’t make for a healthy marriage.

3. Positive Attitude

Nothing kills a relationship faster than someone who is constantly negative, always seeing the worst in things and never seems to be grateful for anything. A positive attitude isn’t just something taught in elementary school to kids, it in fact sets the tone for the rest of your marriage.

Allah (swt) has told us to be grateful to Him and He will give us more. A positive attitude helps with being grateful and seeing the best in situations even when times get tough.

You should look for a partner who can see the silver linings and aim to do the same so that your marriage is filled with positivity and smiles, no matter what happens.

4. Openness

Openness can mean a lot of different things but overall, it’s the willingness to understand new people, new ways of thinking and new ideas.

When two people get married, they are bringing their own set of beliefs, their own interests and their own ways of doing things. The challenge is finding that happy balance where the two systems can adapt and merge so that you have a new system that both partners are comfortable with. If your partner is so headstrong and narrow minded that they only see things one way and won’t be amenable towards a new perspective, then it’ll be difficult to find a balance that works for both people. At the end, one person will end up sacrificing too much for the other. On top of that, raising children between two conflicting belief systems will likely be an unhealthy environment.

These qualities are not always easy to spot, but if you recognize their worth, it’s something you can look for and weigh accordingly when considering someone for marriage. May Allah (swt) guide you in finding the right partner for a happy and healthy marriage.