When I was younger, I placed a lot of value on attractiveness — both in myself and in a potential partner. I knew what I wanted, and tight buttocks and beards turned me on. But physical attraction is different than romantic attraction, and a 6-pack will only get you so far. So, what traits should you look for in your future partner?
Simple. They should be able to change diapers and shop at Costco.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. That’s absurd! Faith and loyalty should be on the list, and support counts for something, right? (They are, and it does.) But you don’t really know your spouse until you’ve seen them navigate Costco on a Sunday: head down, elbows out and like they are preparing for a battle — or trying to edge their way into the pit at a Rob Zombie show.
You see, a few minutes before we arrive at Costco, my husband’s demeanor changes. His shoulders raise, his gaze narrows and he leans forward. His grip on the steering wheel becomes terrifyingly tight. And I know why. The parking lot is a shit-show. Kids run wild. Adults walk (and drive) carelessly, and CARTS ARE EVERYWHERE.
Think Mad Max, but in suburbia and with fewer explosives.
Inside, things only intensify — hell hath no fury like hungry, sale-savvy shoppers — but even there, my husband shines. He shops with intention and purpose. He knows we need milk, bread, bananas and mac and cheese, and he snags every sample (not just for himself, but for me and the kids).
Be still, my cheese-loving heart.
That said, if you asked 22-year-old me what I was looking for in a partner, none of the aforementioned traits would have come to mind. Not even the mozzarella. So listen up 20-somethings, because these are things you really need in a significant other.
– Find yourself someone who is willing to do dishes, change diapers and unclog the toilet — even when you were the one who backed it up in the first place.
– Give your heart to the guy, gal, or non-binary pal who cleans cat puke, kid puke, and their own puke. Extra points if they are willing to hold your hair back while you puke.
– Snuggle up with the one you can laugh with — and fart on.
– Find yourself a partner who keeps their cool in a traffic jam but also knows when it’s totes appropriate to flip someone off and/or drop the “shit, fuck, asshole” bomb.
– Get yourself someone who supports you, challenges you, and loves you when you are sick. Seriously. The best partners won’t wipe only your eyes.
– Make sure they can cook. And yes, eggs and grilled cheese sammies count.
– Find someone who loads the dishwasher the same as you, finishes the projects they start, and remembers your birthday, the kids’ birthdays and their parents’ birthdays — or, at the very least, sets an iCal reminder.
– Find someone who makes you coffee, shares their chocolates, will let you eat the cherry off their ice cream, the last cookie from the jar and that sweet little pickle that comes with your deli sandwich. Oh, and while you’re at it, find someone who likes the components of appetizer samplers that you do not.
It is also imperative you find someone who is willing to admit when they are wrong.
This. Is. Clutch.
And while diamonds are forever, cell phone chargers are worth their weight in gold, and if they pack an extra cable — because they know you always forget yours — you’ve got a keeper.
Of course, they should also be empathetic, sympathetic, compassionate, and kind. Respect is a must, as is trust, and controlling or abusive behavior should never be tolerated. Full stop. But most importantly, find someone you love and who loves you in return because, at the end of the day, that’s all that matters.
So go forth, frolic, and have fun because while weight can fluctuate and financial situations can change, if you’re lucky enough to find someone with these sweet skills, you’ll be all set.
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