By Dr. Noelle Nelson

You are a high-level male—handsome, intelligent and successful with all the finer things in life, but do you know how intimidating that could be for your partner? Or a potential partner? The pressure to live in your world can be immense. How do you get past that? How can you ensure your partner sees the true you, not the outside exterior but the good person inside you?

Interestingly enough, it’s by looking at your partner’s positive traits. You want, even expect, your partner to value and respect the man you are, but too often, you forget that “what goes around comes around.” When you take your partner’s good qualities for granted, they may find it challenging to value yours.

Ask yourself, “When was the last time I stopped for a moment to appreciate my partner?” If you are like most people in a relationship, it probably has been quite a while. It is also common that when our partner does something to irritate us, we are quick to judge.

It’s human nature to focus on superficial flaws—the wet towel dropped on the bathroom floor or forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning. Too often, we don’t step away from our fault-finding selves to appreciate the essential qualities in our partners that help build strong relationships.

Here are characteristics we typically take for granted in our partners yet are the foundation of a genuinely loving relationship. The more you notice and verbalize your appreciation for these traits, the more likely your partner will continue to try to please and delight you.

Essentially Honest

Unless your partner is a compulsive liar, they strive to be truthful with you. They know that telling the truth strengthens the bond between the two of you.


Your partner does what they say they are going to do most of the time. People, in general, want to be seen as reliable. We don’t want to let each other down.


If your partner says something is so, it most likely is. Trust is the cornerstone of any relationship. Most partners understand that without trust, a relationship will falter.


Your partner responds to the world about them appropriately. They participate in life, in your life. They don’t just sit on the sidelines.

Not everyone is an extrovert, but your partner is usually willing to put themselves out there for you, especially if they feel their wants and needs are respected.


Your partner takes responsibility for their thoughts and actions and is willing to acknowledge both successes and mistakes. We don’t always want to own up to our actions when things go wrong, but your partner, for the most part, is willing to do so.

Appreciates Other People

A key quality is being appreciative of you and caring about the welfare of others. Is everyone a little self-centered from time to time? Yes, but for the most part, your partner naturally shows empathy and consideration for those around them.

Is your partner 100 percent, all the time, perfect at these? No, but if they demonstrate these characteristics most of the time, you have much to appreciate. Focus on what your partner is doing right rather than on what they are doing wrong.

By doing this, you will enable your partner to see who you really are beyond your worldly success and accomplishments. A deeper love can then flourish and reap great rewards.

Dr. Noelle Nelson is a clinical psychologist and author of over a dozen best-selling books that focus on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and others. They include “The Power of Appreciation” (Amazon).  Listen to her podcast Up! Uplifting, Inspiring, Practical on Spotify. Visit her at, Facebook and Instagram.

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