How to perfect your Must Haves and Can’t Stands


The small quirks you find endearing in a partner when you meet can often become huge irritations or even deal breakers. At first you’ll be able to tell yourself you can overlook them, but eventually – whether that’s weeks or years into the relationship – they’ll become a source of frustration.

But, there’s a way to avoid this romantic pitfall: write yourself a shopping list. Not very romantic, we agree, but it’s an excellent way to focus your mind on what you really want from a partner. And no, this isn’t a list of physical attributes like ‘brown hair’ or ‘muscly arms’. This is about the things that really matter, such as honesty and sense of humour.

This is why choosing your Must Haves and Can’t Stands is an essential part of the eHarmony Guided Communication process with a match. It means you can identify any key sticking points early on. After all, do you really want spend weeks getting to know a match only to find out they prefer quiet nights in when you’re a much more sociable type.

Why do it?
Sure, you could skip Guided Communication altogether and go straight to eHarmony Mail with a match, but if you’ve got the time we urge you not to. Exchanging your Must Haves/Can’t Stands with a match has numerous benefits, the first of which being that it helps you really focus on what you want from a relationship, enabling you to make better relationship choices along your journey. It also helps you and your match see each other’s essential likes and dislikes, again enabling you to make better choices about whether to continue with the communication.

No one is perfect, but out there somewhere (hopefully on eHarmony!) is someone who fits you. This is why overlooking someone’s characteristics, even if they really annoy you, can be disastrous. You are just storing up disappointment and hurt for the future – a future where you may already be married with children. The simple answer is never settle.

How do you work out what you want?
This is the tricky part. After all, we ask you for only 10 ‘Must Haves’ and 10 ‘Can’t Stands’ when most people can come up with a list of 50 things they look for and can’t abide in a partner. This is an exercise in focusing on what really matters – these 20 things should be absolutely non-negotiable.

A good starting point is to think about your past relationships. What caused them to break down? Did any particular thing become a real dealbreaker at any point? What qualities did you really desire that you found lacking in your previous partners? Perhaps the ability to organise is important to you, or maybe a love of staying in and relaxing on the sofa – rather than going out every night.

What next?
Once you’ve compiled your list, review it and review it again. Remember, these aren’t nice to have traits, they’re essential qualities that you need in a partner. Be sure to carefully look at any match’s Must Have/Can’t Stand list too, as that might throw up something you may not agree with. Then, on your first couple of dates keep that list and your list in the back of your mind. It will help you build up a good picture of your match and help you decide whether they’re someone you could have a future with.

If this article gave you the confidence to find your match, try eharmony today!

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