You lean all of the following as you age.

First and foremost, does that person show up? Can you count on them? To do the right thing, not only with you but as your representative out in the world?

Fantastic sex won’t mean much if your spouse can’t balance his or her checkbook. If he or she constantly overdraws, incurring thousands of dollars in bank fees every year, never mind angering local merchants and friends.

A great conversation is wonderful, but if your spouse never calls to say he or she is late, never practices common courtesy, you’ll be tearing your hair out.

And if you just got that big promotion at work, had a thrilling victory and your significant other just doesn’t care, you’re going to be very unhappy.

If you’re lucky, you make no mistakes. But this is extremely rare, based on the divorce rate, never mind the unhappy couples who stay together.

And speaking of staying together… That’s another trait you want to look for in a spouse, perseverance. Breakups are never mutual. Anybody who tells you otherwise is lying. And it’s one thing if it’s just a fling, but if you’re married, if you got up in front of God and country and said “I do.” you hope your spouse is gonna give it much more than the old college try. You hope the commitment is such that not only will they not step out, but they’ll hang in there through the bad times to get to the good.

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