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What Should Your New Love (and You!) Bring to the Relationship?

By Andrea McGinty August 16, 2023 Dating

When you start dating someone new, often the initial spark takes over. But for the relationship to hold, and to bring happiness and joy, both parties must put their best foot forward.

Clients and potential clients ask me these questions constantly: What should I bring to the relationship? What should I expect my partner to bring to the relationship?

I realize some of you never want marriage, but a long-term relationship. I’ve had clients who had told me they’d never marry again. Then, voila! A year later, I get a wedding photo or a wedding invite!

Whether you want to date, have a long-term relationship or marriage, both parties need to bring certain qualities to make a relationship sound and happy.

Running a dating consulting service for well over 25 years, I’ve realized there are certain things a potential mate does that makes them worthy of the other’s love and a long-term commitment. If they don’t, I suggest we move on as we have a very big sea full of great men and women. (BTW, if I had a dollar for every man who asked me “Are there really any good women out there? I assume they are all married,” I would be very well off.)

I also like to provide the hard-core stats – there are 128 million singles in the US alone. You are single, right? And a wonderful catch for a lucky man? So, let’s see what a partner can/should bring to the relationship:

Prioritizing Health

It doesn’t mean either of you need to be a triathlete. However, taking care of oneself is important. Exercise and healthy eating habits are important. You don’t want to be the caretaker of someone who is only 50, 60 or 68, right? Of course, this goes the other way around as well.

Giving with No Expectations

That’s amore! Keeping track of what you did for him and what he did for you will never work. Now, this doesn’t mean it’s a one-sided relationship with one partner doing all the giving either. It means caring and giving with your heart and not keeping count.

Respecting Each Other’s Careers/Occupations

He may make more money than you or travel more for his career. He may have two Ph.Ds., and you have a four-year degree. If you both enjoy your professional life and hobbies, that’s what adds joy to a relationship.

Being Fully Supportive

No, I don’t mean financially. The vast majority of my clients want to date someone with the same financial stability and ability to pay for things on their own. Supportive means providing encouragement, practicing empathy. You give help when they need it, and it is reciprocated.

Being Considerate Where Large Decisions Are Involved

If you are in a relationship, and one of you gets an exciting job offer elsewhere, or wants to move closer to children/grandchildren, oh yes, absolutely this is something you need to discuss as it affects both of you.

Married or living together? Home improvements should definitely be discussed beforehand. After all, you are both going to have to live with the result (and enjoy it!).

Finding Inspiration in Each Other

You admire each other! He has new plans for travel that you’d never thought of. You come up with a new sport for the two of you. You have different traits and that is something I know from my own relationship.

I admire his analytical mind and organizational skills. He admires my ideas and outgoing nature. We both inspire each other. Now I put things back in the correct places in the fridge as he takes the time to keep it neat and organized!

Taking Responsibility for Mistakes

This is big, friends. No one is perfect. Two words are crucial in a relationship: I’m sorry.

Honoring Each Other’s Boundaries

You may like quiet time in the morning to meditate. He may like tennis and drinks with friends twice a week. A relationship does not mean you are joined at the hip, so set your boundaries early on.

Keeping the Spark Alive

Both of you take responsibility to keep the fires burning. Passion is important. One of my clients just gave her 3-month boyfriend a massage kit with a sweet note to save Fridays at 5pm for a massage. (No, she’s not a masseuse).

Another gave her boyfriend a set of sateen sheets – he was thrilled. A male client asked my advice – he sent me four cute photos of negligees from Nordstrom and asked me which one I thought she’d like. The reason for the gift: none at all!


What a loaded word. Without it, a strong, stable relationship is impossible. It’s the quality of being honest, having strong moral principles, behaving ethically even behind closed doors. I like this definition of five attributes of integrity: follow a set of examples, be truthful, help others, lead by example, and take responsibility.

If your partner is missing some of these attributes/habits, and they are important to you, think about why you settle and is it worth it.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What do you do to keep the spark alive? How do you keep healthy? Are you good at discussing boundaries? Or do you view this as conflict?

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The Author

Andrea McGinty is the founder of It’s Just Lunch dating service. She sold it and founded so she could help singles navigating online dating. In the 2020s, she knows the best way to meet people is through online dating using a professional coach and specializes in singles in their 50s-70s!

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