Decisions are a part of life. At various times you may need to choose the best vacation spot, job candidate, babysitter, or place to live. Your most important decision may be figuring out your best romantic partner. Relationships matter – a lot. They have implications for your health, your reactions to stress and even how you look at the world.
But how can you determine if your current romantic partner is the best of the best for you? It’s hard to know what factors truly matter, what you should not overvalue, or what is best to ignore entirely.
This kind of assessment comes up in a variety of contexts. Consider, for example, something that may seem entirely unrelated to relationships: determining whether a baseball player qualifies for the Hall of Fame. The task requires wading through dozens and dozens of highly qualified candidates, each with various outstanding characteristics, to determine who warrants permanent enshrinement. Still, no candidate is absolutely perfect – just like finding a quality relationship partner.
So as a relationship scientist, I’ve gathered inspiration from the Hall of Fame selection process and infused some science to draw up a checklist of intangibles you can use to think about your own relationship.