Finding your soulmate might be your overall goal when dating, but it's often more challenging than it looks on TV and in movies. The qualities that people look for can vary from person to person and can even change as you grow older or the circumstances of your life start to change. Though you might think, generally, that men and women would be looking for the same sorts of things in a soulmate, that's not always the case. From personality traits to relationship characteristics, life goals, and more, the qualities men say they look for in a soulmate can be quite different than what women say they look for.
Whether or not you've long dated with a list of soulmate-level qualities in your head (or written down somewhere), comparing each potential partner to that list and wondering if they might be your perfect match, it's interesting to know about the ways in which what men and women look for in a soulmate differ. Though some things, like a sense of humor, seem to be fairly universal, other qualities vary from person to person. Romper consulted real people (and a survey to which real people responded) to find out what sorts of qualities they're looking for or what kinds of qualities clarified for them that their partner was the person with whom they were meant to be.
1. A Sense Of Self, Confidence, Persistence
Confidence and determination can be very attractive qualities. You want the person you're with to know how great they are, just like you do. And determination can help you overcome obstacles and achieve goals that you set for yourself and together as a couple.
"[N]umber one, actually, probably is a sense a self, in that she knows who she is and she knows her value and what she brings to the world. And that really sends a message of confidence, not being overbearing or anything, but just a confidence in who she is as a woman," Justin, 37, tells Romper. "And then, I would say, a determination. Whether that be when she was dancing, performing and hitting those moves right on, whether that be working on a project now or taking beautiful photography or whatever it is, she’s absolutely persistent and sticks to that and, you know, it’s inspiring."
2. Shared Goals, Values, & Sense Of Responsibility
"I wanted someone who shared my values and goals in life. But also someone who was willing to grow together and be generous to one another," Airto, 37, tells Romper by email. "A marriage will be successful if both parties want to work together, and want to make the other happy as much as themselves. I knew my soulmate needed to have a strong sense of responsibility in having children. I've always felt my responsibility is to raise my kids to be confident, happy, and accountable. Therefore, I wanted a soulmate who felt as strongly as I do about such a responsibility."
If you have a sense of what sorts of goals and responsibilities you want in your life in the future, it makes sense that you'd find that your soulmate has similar or complementary goals and values.
3. A Sense Of Adventure
Life, like love, can be exciting. So some people want to find someone who values a sense of adventure as much as they do when they're looking for a soulmate.
Mark, 71, tells Romper by email that he looked for someone who was adventurous in bed, interested in skydiving, "great at lovingly sharing a greasy bag of popcorn in the movies," and had a "sweetness born of an independent toughness."
4. The Ability To Be Completely Authentic & A Sense Of Connection
"We get pleasure out of seeing each other as authentically as humanly possible. Good, bad, and ugly," SaraJane, 34, tells Romper by email. "We touch all the time. We’re currently on opposite ends of the couch but our legs are on top of one another. We hold hands a lot and even sleep back to back with our backs touching. It’s not about PDA. We simply value feeling connected."
A craving for connection is human, but wanting that with the person who you think is your soulmate is often considered essential. Plus, if you can't be yourself around the person who you consider your soulmate, who can you be yourself around?
Superdrug Online Doctor conducted a survey of Europeans and Americans, searching for what sorts of things people looked for in a partner, dividing findings by men and women. The team found that nearly 21 percent of women who responded said that they believe their ideal partner should be "kind or nice," while nearly 10 percent of men used the words "kind" or "nice" to describe their ideal partner.
Kindness is something that both men and women look for, but more women say that it's something that's important to them while searching for their soulmate.
6. Ambition & A Similar Sense Of Humor
"The number one thing I look for is ambition. I know I have big career aspirations and goals and my significant other needs to as well. When someone doesn't have the same 'end game' as you, it is difficult (and uncomfortable) for them to truly encourage you to reach your full potential — sometimes consciously and sometimes unconsciously," Alissa, 23, tells Romper by email. "A similar sense of humor is also a must."
Both men and women cite a sense of humor as a quality that they look for in a soulmate, as the previously-mentioned survey found. But women were slightly more likely to say that they look for a sense of humor than men were.
7. Mutual Interest In Learning About The Other
"When I met my wife, who most certainly is my soulmate, I think it was a mutual interest in learning about one another that revealed that we were indeed soulmates; that we shared not just interests and perspectives, but a fundamental philosophy on life," Patrick, 32, told Romper by email. "Meeting my wife finally allowed me to understand the term, 'better half,' because each of us really is just one half of a whole, a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts."
The only way to truly know whether or not someone is your soulmate is to truly know them.
8. Faith, Intelligence, Chemistry
Damon, 43, tells Romper by email that when looking for his soulmate, he looked for someone who was "...strong spiritually and full of faith," someone with intelligence, who could offset his weaknesses with their strengths, who would support and challenge him, and "someone with whom I am able to have natural [and] organic chemistry."
You, your siblings, and your very best friends might not all have exactly the same list of qualities that you're looking for in a soulmate. In fact, you likely don't. They vary from person to person and some men and women also look for different kinds of things than the other. Whether your list of qualities matches up to anyone else's or not, hearing where some of the differences might lie can tell us more about ourselves and more about each other.