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“What Are You Looking For In A Relationship?” — Questions & Answers

How to respond to “what are you looking for in a relationship” is a very dreaded thought for a lot of people while trying to find a partner.

Dating is difficult enough as it is, without having to come up with what might feel as predefined answers.

After all, dating is all about who you are, and finding someone who appreciates that, right?

Well, to put it simply, yes! That is indeed the whole idea of dating. Finding someone that truly appreciates you, and reciprocating those feelings. In the end, relationships are all about mutual growth, respect, love and support. 

But then, why must it feel like an interrogation in the beginning? Why all these intrusive questions about:

  • Who you are?
  • What are your preferences?
  • How do you enjoy spending time?
  • What are you looking for in a relationship?
  • Do you want to get married?
  • Do you want children?
  • And so many others!

Well, don’t think about it in a negative way. You’re both looking to share your life with another person, so it’s natural to want to find out if that person is worthy of your time.

While it might give you the impression you’re applying for a job, the other person just wants to get to know you better, same as you want to better understand them.

Here’s a tip for after you find your boyfriend or girlfriend. If you want to make meaningful conversations easier (even fun!), download Better Topics. It’s a free & replayable couple’s game, available for both iOS and Android.

Do I Need To Make Myself Sound Appealing?

This type of reasoning and self-wondering is actually a trap of your own making. Since finding the right person is by no means an easy task, you might be tempted to go as broad as possible with descriptions about yourself (especially when you’re online dating).

After you gather a larger pool of interested people, it’s a straight shot to pick the one that’s correct for you, right?


The more people you try to draw in with details like “I’m a fun person looking for like minded individuals” and “I’m easy going and relaxing to be around”, the more problems you’re creating by yourself.

If you’re saying broad and general things, then you’ll indeed find yourself in the scenario where a lot of people want to meet up.

However, just as they basically have no clue who you really are, you won’t know either.

The only thing that can amount to is frustration and wasted time. Or, messages which might make you give up on dating altogether.

Sure enough, if you just clench your teeth and choose to go from date to date, no matter how awkward or unpleasant they turn out, eventually, you’ll find someone.

But why taste the waters this way, when there’s a much better way of finding a suitable partner.

What To Actually Do

So you’re unsure how to respond to “what are you looking for in a relationship” when you’re being asked by potential partners. However, did you take time to answer it for yourself first of all?

The sooner you’re 100% sure about exactly what you want, the sooner you’ll be able to communicate that properly.

Try to get rid of any ideas like “I’ll know when I find them” and get down to some introspection. Monogamy, poligamy; something casual, or maybe you want to move in with someone?

Marriage material? Kids? Well, how many? Life is short, so do not wait for it to happen; make it happen yourself!

Once you’ve had this talk with yourself, only then is it time to “put the pen to the paper” as it goes. And now comes the best part! You can write…anything you want!

There are no restrictions here, because once again, you’re not applying for a job, and you’re not trying to get 5 stars our of 5. You want to find someone who gets you and cherishes you for who you are.

No limits, no undertones; make explaining who you are and what you want plain and simple.

When someone’s wondering what you’re looking for in a relationship, you must have answers that will clarify everything without the need for interpretation.

That being said, keep in mind that you want to be honest and straightforward, not blunt and rude

What’s the difference?

True enough, being frank and being blunt might just sound like the same thing if you’re having a quick read, but there is a difference. Here, see for yourself:

Honesty: “I want to be with someone that accepts me for who I am, and who understands that there are some things that I do not want to change.”

Bluntness: “I will never change for you no matter how much you ask.”

The second method is a great example of how to respond to “what are you looking for in a relationship”. Of course, only as long as your objective is to scare people away.

Yes, you want to be upfront. But, keep in mind that this other person has absolutely no idea who you are. If you’re too in their face, chances are they’ll pass you by.

They might have otherwise been interested if you were just a bit more polite.

Remember You’re Actually Looking For A Person

Oftentimes, we talk the same way about the amorous aspects of life. We tend to say that our relationship is this one exact way. Or, we say that we’re looking for this and that type of relationship.

One important thing to always remember is that people form relationships. As such, you’re looking for another person. This, in turn, should affect how you express what you’re looking for. 

Instead of saying: “I’m looking for a relationship where we go out a lot.”

How about: “I’m a social butterfly, and spending time with friends is very important to me. You should also be the type of person that enjoys having others around.”

It’s much easier for people to understand what you expect from them, rather than explain a situation that they’d be a part of.

Moreover, presenting your expectations at a personal level can be more manageable than associating them with a grander scale (in this case the idea of a relationship).

Yes, if the person won’t think they fit into the category you created, they’ll move on, but that’s exactly what you want in that case.

Do not worry about driving people away; that’s the only manner in which the ones that are right for you will have enough “room” to find you.

Similarly, remember that finding each other is an ongoing process. People are complex, and you continue to grow while in a relationship too.

That’s why it’s important to communicate and keep asking the right questions.

Concrete Examples Of How To Respond To What Are You Looking In A Relationship

These are only some ideas about subjects that are broad in nature. However, they’ll usually come up when you’re trying to get to know someone. A lot of these can quickly turn controversial.

So, now that you have an idea on how to structure your criteria, let’s get into some examples of how a complete section of a dating profile would look.

Of course, this would work just as well in real life when you’re grabbing a cup of coffee with someone. Only a few modifications here and there would be needed.

So, for transparency’s sake, here it is: yes, you will receive hate messages. As long as you want to be open and straightforward, this is unavoidable.

People will message you about you being a religious loony, or a nazi, or a communist, or a loner with no friends, or they will write to you simply to prove that something you’ve written is wrong and that you should feel bad about it.

It’s part of the way of the world, and you’ll have to accept that. As long as you have any preferences, opinions, or otherwise choose to verbalize one of your thoughts, someone’s going to disagree.

The sooner you can state with pride that you believe something or that this is simply how you are and if someone disagrees they’re welcome to move on, the happier and calmer you’ll be.

Do not, and we can’t stress this enough, engage in meaningless fights over the internet. You are who you are, and you’re looking for a particular type of person.

Pointless arguments can only lead you to believing that there isn’t anyone out there for you, which is simply untrue.

No matter how specific of a being you are, your match is waiting out there, and that’s statistically true.

Wrapping It Up 

And that, in our opinion of course, is how to respond to “what are you looking for in a relationship”. It’ll filter out the noise associated with dating, and help you focus on what’s actually important: finding that one person, not drawing in loads of them.

Once you do, the work’s not over though. Dare we say, it’s actually only beginning.

Relationships can be extremely fulfilling, but only if you do them right. So, why not check out our 150 questions to ask yourself and your partner for a better relationship?

And after that, have a look at our replayable card game for couples, Better Topics. We created it with all the values and ideas mentioned in this article, and also based on our own marriage.

It’s a fun and engaging method to help you talk about the more important things in life.


Our mission is to help couples experience more love, joy, and connection.

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