Many of my clients struggle to define the specific characteristics that make up "the one." Sure, they want someone who is kind, gainfully employed and financially stable. Some prefer those with green eyes while others will not settle for anything below 5'9". Fair enough.
While preferences are great to have, they don't seal the deal for guaranteed happiness going forward. Often times the strength of a relationship is tested during times of stress, unemployment or emotional upheaval when teamwork between partners is necessary -- and those green eyes can't soothe the trouble waters.
So, how do you know if the person sitting across from you in the cafe is the one for you? Turns out, there is one character trait that stands out above the rest as being a true test of relationship longevity, according to Psychology Today writer Paul Dobransky, MD.
Dobransky says that "if we could choose one thing to look for (in a mate), it ought to be their capacity for curiosity."
That's it. It's that simple. Find someone who is interested in learning what makes you tick, about themselves and how to solve issues as they arise.
Curiosity is a buzzword trending on business and parenting sites. In a recent post, leadership guru John C. Maxwell pinpointed the difference between those who are curious and those who fail to ask questions or seek advice.
"People who fail to ask questions live in a mental fog. Trapped in the limitations of their own perspective, they have difficulty seeing their present situation clearly or discerning the best path forward. Conversely, people who seek ideas and input from others strengthen their decision-making, work smarter, see their surroundings with sharper clarity."
Dating someone with a curiosity streak will open the doors to how you see each other and where your relationship can go. When "disagreement and challenges arise, you both know you are a good team at handling that, collaborate out of curiosity - even in the face of unhappiness or displeasure - and compromise out of curiosity," according to Dobransky.
Try it. On your next date, ask "What do you think of (whatever)?" Or "How do you feel about (this or that)?" Dobranksy says that if you encounter vague answers or a thoughtless response, chances are slim that they are a curious person by nature.
Embrace the curious side of your nature to open the doors to opportunity.