My younger brother (who I used to affectionally call “Pooch” for his chubby little cheeks) is going to be getting married next summer at the ripe old age of 28. Even though he’s younger than me, he’s always had profound and wise words of wisdom when it comes sorting out my dating dilemmas; he’s my “dude decoder.” Oftentimes, he recognizes red flags and bad boy traits that an otherwise clueless and lovelorn sister might miss. I’m so grateful to have in my life and thankful for making my man mysteries a little less question mark-laden. I recently asked him for a round-up of the most important traits to seek in a significant other and here’s his answers verbatim (sans commentary on my exes as examples and with a TV show shout-out)…

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Here would be my list of traits to look for:
1. Positive attitude– negative people  become a drain. It might be funny at first but it wears you out.
2. How they make you feel about yourself — they should make you feel confident and give you internal courage. There are too many doubters and haters in the world. Those closest to you need to be your biggest fans.
3. Common interests
4. Fun– ambiguous term but when you go on a date are they excitable, are they enjoying themselves, do you enjoy yourself?
5. Taking interest in you and your activities– learning about you and reading your work is very nice and not narcissistic.
6. Friends or outside relationships– I still think it’s important and a good sign if someone can make or keep friends/acquaintances in life, even if it’s all work buddies, that’s fine.  040_40
7. Family values– we are extremely close to our family and it’s important someone values that. Anyone who says being close to your family is weird or negative at all is crazy.
8. Multiple interests and involved in activities– sports, book clubs, coding panels, neighborhood associations or whatever but they should have interests that keep them occupied and not reliant on you.
9. Looks- you need to attracted to someone. I still think you can become more or less attracted to someone the more you get to know them. Example: Big Brother’s Aaryn — when she walked in the door I would’ve said ‘total smokeshow’ (hot) now that she’s been in the house I literally find things about her that are ugly. Personality changes appeal.
10. Education– we value education a ton so it would be tough to date someone that didn’t.
105. Butterflies- They go away…. shouldn’t make a long term decision based on a short term feeling.

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