If you are looking for a long term, fully lived and experienced relationship there are a couple of things which are critical to keep in mind.
Things frequently do not run smoothly. From the moment you awaken in the morning you are tasked with many decisions and you will be asked to solve problems one-after-the-other until you place your head on the pillow at the end of the day and close your eyes. (Hopefully after a fulfilling and wonderful day; hopefully in the arms of your beloved.)
To have-and-hold a long term partner you will both have to support and nurture your own dreams and hopes along with your partner’s dreams and hopes. You will have to always be in the position where you respect yourself and your partner almost equally. Not quite equally I suggest because the most important person to nurture is yourself. If you are not operating 100% then your help for others will be limited.
Choosing a person to live with the rest of your life is not about falling in love and desiring their company and attention all day and night. I am certainly a fan of falling in love and being mad about that dreamy man who wafts past me every morning as I have my coffee. However, that dreamy man soon shows all the normal human attributes and the honeymoon is (far too) soon over.
Choosing someone is about how well you able to combine a shared vision; have and maintain a common understanding about big and small life issues; manage and enjoy the hum-drum along with the ecstatic; respect and admire your partner and be there for them as they are there for you through the good and the bad.
Leaning how to do this is a lifetime effort. Many of our lives are heavily weighted by things that have occurred in our past going back to the way our families understood just “how things are” and “must always be”.
As we grow and learn to differentiate from our familial history there are many things to newly experience. A great partner shares these experience and adds to your life with their understandings.
Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC – AD 65) suggests in his essay “On the Shortness of Life” that if you want to live thoroughly you need to be a philosopher. This is the requirement I ask of you if you decide to follow through with learning to have a full and rewarding relationship. You will be asked to learn new things and experiment with uncomfortable practices. It is the very uncomfortableness which brings you to new and fulfilling understandings… better and exciting relationships.