5 Things We Undervalue in Our Romantic Relationships

5 Things We Undervalue in Our Romantic Relationships

Fairly recently, we took a look at the confusion that surrounds dating and just how often people prioritise qualities that have little to no bearing on your romantic happiness. Judging by the interest that story received, we can assume there are a few of you that can relate (mates, me too). For that reason, I thought I’d take a look at the other end of the spectrum and shed some light on the positive qualities we tend to undervalue in potential partners.

Turning back to behavioural scientist and dating coach Logan Ury and her book How Not to Die Alone, we can learn a lot about unhelpful habits and just how easily we can sabotage healthy romantic opportunities.

There are five things Ury believes we undervalue when considering potential partners, and we’ve listed them for you below.

5 things we undervalue when it comes to finding a partner

partner healthy traits

Finding a partner who is emotionally stable and kind

Kicking right off with the juicy stuff, Ury makes no secret that she finds lots of people undervalue the benefits of dating someone emotionally stable and kind.

It may sound a little unsexy, but Ury shared that this combination of qualities “predicts the satisfaction and stability of their [a couple’s] happiness”.

Hollywood may like to sell the story of the brooding, uncommunicative man that gets won over in the end, but in reality, that does not a healthy partnership make.


Do you really want to build a life with a partner you can’t trust to be on your team? Loyalty is a necessity in any strong, lasting relationship. Life will not always be simple and stress-free (it kind of rarely is), so you need to know you’re dating someone who will stick out the rough patches with you.

“Find someone who will be there for the good and the bad,” Ury wrote.

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t prioritise this quality in a partner.

A partner with a growth mindset

Here, Ury touches on the work of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, who has completed loads of research on the concept of ‘fixed’ and ‘growth’ mindsets.

The general idea is that people with fixed mindsets have strong beliefs that skill and intelligence are something you’re born with; that if you’re not naturally proficient in an area, you never will be. People with a growth mindset, on the other hand, are keen to learn and develop. They believe that with work and commitment, you can achieve great things.

Growth mindsets, per Ury’s writings, are conducive to attitudes that promote working through problems. Yale’s course on the Science of Wellbeing touches on this topic also, and it suggests that a growth mindset is more likely to lead to a happy mindset – which is always a plus.

Someone who brings out the best in you

“In the end, a relationship is not about who each of you is separately, it’s about what happens when you come together,” wrote Ury.

Some important questions to ask when considering a romantic partner are, what does this person bring out in me? Does your behaviour change for the better or worse when you’re together? How do you feel when they’re around?

If your answers are all overwhelmingly positive, it’s probably a pretty good sign.

A partner who can fight well with you

Arguments are going to happen. How they play out is where things get interesting.

If you can argue efficiently with your partner, and you can then recover from disagreements in a balanced way, you’re setting yourself up for a less bumpy ride, Ury shared. Communication and care are critical here.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

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