The quest to find that special someone in your life can be frustrating. And the sad reality is that some people never find “The One.”  At least some of that stems from the fact that a shocking percentage of people don’t really have a clear idea of what they’re looking for.  Even worse, many people have a clear idea of what they’re looking for, but what they want really isn’t conducive to a successful long term relationship.

If you want to have a successful long term relationship, and find your perfect match, you’ve got to look beyond what is skin deep.  Yes, there’s no denying that some level of attraction is important. However, it’s short-sighted to say that it’s the only factor, or even the most important consideration.

So what’s the secret to relationship success?

Here are some of the biggest considerations:

Someone Who Can Make You Laugh

laughterCompatibility is so important to a successful long term relationship. Finding someone who can make you laugh consistently is a major part of that.  If you find yourself attracted to someone who has a similar sense of humor and gets all your jokes, that’s a really good indicator that the two of you have long term potential.

Similar Goals and Dreams

dreamsIf you long to be a world traveler, and the person you’re dating is a dedicated homebody who has never been out of the county that he or she was born in, and has no interest in leaving, you might not run into relationship trouble right away, but it’s a ticking time bomb.

The same is true if the two of you have very different visions of what the word “success” means.  If you’re the type who is perfectly happy with the simple life, and the person you’re dating is “high maintenance,” you’re just asking for trouble.

A Similar Outlook On Life

Opposites may attract initially. But long term, people with more things in common tend to have the most successful relationships. This is because they can better relate to each other.  While you may be drawn to someone who is very different from you, or leads a very different kind of life, those differences are bound to present severe challenges to the health of your relationship.  If you find someone you’re truly compatible with, that goes a very long way toward making a fabulous relationship that will stand the test of time.

Emotional Age is More Important Than Chronological Age

emotional-ageMen and women reach emotional maturity at different times.  It’s not an ironclad rule, but a good general guideline is that men tend to be about ten years behind the curve, emotionally.  If you’re a thirty year old woman then, in general, you’re probably going to find yourself more emotionally compatible with a man who’s in his late thirties or early forties.  Odds are that women at any given age will find men their own age or younger to be somewhat exasperating.

This is not to say that such relationships can’t work. There are, after all, exceptions to every rule. That said, women will typically find more relationship success by looking for men who are at least somewhat older than they are.

There are, of course, plenty of other ingredients that make a successful relationship, but these tend to be the bigger ones.  If you find someone who checks these boxes, you’re well on your way to finding long term relationship success.