Looking back, I got married really young. I was 23 and starting a career in my chosen field. I met my wife at the end of high school and carried on a long distance relationship with her throughout my 4 years of University.

Our relationship was so perfect, or so I thought. Our weekends together were quick and special! Our summers flew by and before I knew it, we were separated again by distance.   I was so excited to finish university and spend the rest of my life in the same city with my girl.

Which is exactly what we did. We moved into a place together and played house as adults living and working in the real world. I proposed and she accepted and we were going to live happily ever after.

We spent 5 years together as a married couple. I call them the unraveling years. We were navigating life, love, careers, and friends. Questions on house affordability, when to start a family and why were we arguing so much were an ongoing concern.

We realized we had jumped into marriage without really thinking about what we both needed in our lives. We were young, in love and extremely immature. Sadly we divorced, but it allowed me to really understand what I needed in a partner for the long run.

I have been on my own for the last 2 years. I have been working hard, dating harder, playing sports, spending time with friends and really defining myself as an adult.

At 30, I am really clear on who I am and what I want out of life. It’s amazing how much growth happens between 20 and 30. I shake my head at the thought that I really believed I was ready for such a commitment at such a young age.

When I think about the kind of women I would want to marry and share a life with, there are certain traits that are important in a partner.

Here are my top 10:

  1. A partner whom I can respect and Trust.
  1. A partner who supports me in good times and bad.
  1. A partner who has her own ambitions in life and works hard to achieve them.
  1. A partner who wants to spend time with me but also has a life and friends and passions of her own.
  1. A partner I have great sex with.
  1. A partner who thinks about me and sometimes showers me with thoughtful gifts, trips, cards.
  1. A partner who accepts my imperfections.
  1. A partner who is honest and speaks the truth.
  1. A partner who understands disagreements and arguments will happen.
  1. A partner who I can enjoy life with at every phase.

Obviously these traits are mutual which ultimately form the foundation for a great marriage.

I don’t regret my first marriage. We were young and in love and thought we were ready to start our life together. Through pain comes growth and maturity, which has allowed both of us to redefine what we are looking for in a life partner.   She will always be my first love, my first wife, and now my friend.

Jason, 30

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