How do I love thee?
November 27, 2017 12:32 PM   Subscribe

If you were making a list of things you love about your partner/spouse/significant other, what would you include?

I am putting together a list of things I love about my partner. My goal is to include 100 items on the list, but as the list grows the ideas are coming more slowly. I adore my partner and they are a wonderful human being in so many ways, but I am a person who struggles to put emotions into words. I'm sure there is a TON of stuff I am overlooking because it's all just become a part of that general warm fuzzy glow I feel about them. I'd like to hear what other people would include on such a list about their partner. Obviously I'm not looking to just take someone else's answers, as such are highly personalized. I am hoping that seeing what others would include will jog my memory or get me thinking in a direction I might have overlooked.
posted by sock puppy to Human Relations (31 answers total) 47 users marked this as a favorite
I have always appreciated the partners who accept me for who I am, and who love me unconditionally. This is a pretty hard thing for people to do, so when someone actually possesses this ability I very much cherish it.
posted by sockermom at 12:42 PM on November 27, 2017 [7 favorites]

I did a similar exercise for my partner one year for their birthday. Along with the important ones, I listed a few silly things:

- Good at reaching the top shelf (I'm short, they're tall)
- Great parallel parker
- The best at picking out gifts for kids (we have a few nieces/nephews)

Also consider things like: do they make the perfect pasta sauce, are they willing to do your least favorite chore for you, do they let you pick the movie on movie night, are they a good sibling/friend/etc? The small things really add up!

Have fun with this!
posted by too bad you're not me at 12:48 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would include the small gesture things they do that are considerate, that may not be considered romantic or loveydovey, but their thoughtfulness just makes you feel more cared for and understood.

For me, it is stuff like:
- already having the seat warmer on in the car for me when he picks me up
- the fact that he sets the alarm clock to go off early every morning so that we have time for morning cuddles
- he always gives me my favourite spoon whenever he brings me ice cream/dessert
- he brings me drinks/refills while I'm sewing so that I don't have to get up or lose my train of thought
- he always makes sure I have at least one orgasm before he finishes
- he refrains from eating bad breath foods if we're planning to have sex later that day
- he thanks me for making the coffee every day
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 12:49 PM on November 27, 2017 [19 favorites]

From past relationships -- kindness, decency, an affectionate nature.

(Though I might not make a list of adored qualities, but a list of remembrances ["that time you ___ / all the times you ___"] that exemplified the qualities.)
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:50 PM on November 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

has the best stealth jokes
posted by Omnomnom at 12:52 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

All right, I'll bite with four or so as an exercise:

1. Your compassion, my dear; never have I met someone so bitterly cynical about humanity who nevertheless refuses to allow an elderly woman to trudge the mile to the bus stop without a ride, or who hoards bags and masks for neighborhood children lest a local teenager abruptly decide at the last minute that they aren't too old for trick-or-treating after all.

2. The breadth and eloquence of the curses you hurl at drivers during your frequent bouts of road rage, coupled with the care and attention you pay to every aspect of road safety. The juxtaposition makes me smile, and the creativity makes me want to take notes.

3. Your care and attention for detail; I would never have thought to evaluate stand mixers and rank them in order of practicality before ever having an opportunity to purchase one, but the one you selected is delightful and shows every sign of happily functioning for decades to come.

4. The sound of your farts, which never fail to elicit peals of adolescent laughter, and sometimes helpfully rid the bed of four-legged interlopers so that we can more fully stretch our legs across the mattress. Practical!

My point here is that you can totally keep qualities if you'd rather, but you can go with the intensely silly and intensely personal as you like to shake things up. Obviously, use the sense of humor that goes with your own relationship. But watch the small things that make you smile as you pass through the day, and take mental notes--I'm sure that if you carefully pay attention to things your partner does that ping that warm 'n' fuzzy feeling feeling, you'll notice a bunch you wouldn't necessarily think of while writing a list. And I bet you that some of the things you have developed an affection for are frankly much, much weirder than you'd initially think of or expect as you think of a list.

unless of course that's just me, which is also possible.
posted by sciatrix at 12:59 PM on November 27, 2017 [11 favorites]

Generically: I filled out the book "What I Love About Us" as a recent gift for my partner, and it got me thinking in some unique ways about our relationship. If you click "See Inside" you can see the first 10 items but it's worth taking a look through it in person for all the additional ideas. There are probably 25-30 items in total? Here are a few others I remember:

I love how we always ___
I love sharing ___ with you
I love the ____ ritual we have
I love how you ____ and _____
I love that we share the same taste in ______
I love how we never get tired of _______
I love how we ____ like _____
I love how we ____ each other
I love remembering the time we ____

Specifically, some things I love about my partner: treats me as 100% his equal, is not afraid to be vulnerable, has fantastic, sexy hands, teaches me things all the time, values and seeks out my opinion, speaks of me very highly, is an excellent cook, a great driver, has a passion for life, is affectionate and loving.
posted by yawper at 1:04 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

He always texts me GIFs of otters when I'm having a rough day.
posted by cooker girl at 1:14 PM on November 27, 2017 [22 favorites]

We are a team! We are a team doing house projects, team hiking places, team snarking other people, and making back stories up at boring events... we are a team in everything
posted by kellyblah at 1:16 PM on November 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

Here are something I love that aren't the obvious cute, funny, warm, sweet, good at lifting boxes, gets along with my friends things.

- I can wake him up in the middle of the night or morning and he is legit happy to see me not "RARARAR you woke me up!" (as I might be)
- He truly loves being alive and living in the world.
- He is a good son, gets along with his mother and makes an effort with their relationship
- He is kind to animals and treats them like other sentient beings he shares the world with
- He likes (nearly) all food and is fun to cook for
- He can laugh at himself
posted by jessamyn at 1:19 PM on November 27, 2017 [10 favorites]

I love that without fail when getting out of the shower he will at some point stare at himself in the mirror, suck in his gut & then pretend he's a robot. Every single time.

On a more serious note I love how he worries about me. I've had people care about me but he's the first person to worry about me. Even my parents thought me super practical & always able to take care of myself, and maybe I can, but man it's nice having someone worry about you & bring you chocolate when you're sad or just appear with a mug of coffee when you're working late into the night on something you should have finished a week ago. Or who makes sure I eat right.
posted by wwax at 1:20 PM on November 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

He happily eats the tomatoes off of my hamburgers and sandwiches when the restaurant gets my order wrong or I don't want to be The Special Order Person.

He will also order food delivery BY PHONE, which is a particular anxiety of mine.

To date, he has "taken care of" 3 bats and 2 dead mice in our house, plus multiple centipedes, wasps, and spiders.

He loves comic book movies/shows with a passion but will "save them" to watch with me instead of rushing out on opening night by himself or binge watching them all on Netflix in one go.

He gives me the window seat on airplanes and books the middle seat for himself so we can sit together.

He loves going to weddings.

He works in the same city as my mom and occasionally will dress up in a suit and take her out to lunch (she is his #1 fan, as you might expect).
posted by castlebravo at 1:23 PM on November 27, 2017 [12 favorites]

He makes sure to move over a lane for emergency vehicles or just people who've had to pull over on the highway.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:47 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

Have you been ill this Thanksgiving weekend? Because some galloping crud is going around. So....
We were at the lake, working on the "lakeside cottage," with my sweet husband and his brother welding the floor beams together. We had a nice lunch on the deck of his brother's trailer (the husband made three-bean soup, which was very delicious on a fall day, but I didn't have any) and then they went back to work while I cleared up and washed the slow cooker. I laid down for a nap, and well... unpleasant reactions began.

Saturday night was not enjoyable. Sunday I finally said we really needed to head home. And so my husband drove three hours back to our home, including a stop by his parents' house.
Turns out all three of us came down with the crud. So did other family members after Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday.
My dear husband did not mention until the next day that he was already feeling bad before he began driving. Did I mention some of those roads are poorly paved and rough as all get out?

Anyway, here's to all the spouses that pick up medicine and diapers and chicken soup for their families when they would really rather be in bed under a heated blanket.
posted by TrishaU at 1:55 PM on November 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

My partner has a moral compass that flies absolute true North, and I really appreciate that about him.

He begrudgingly though continually welcomes the foster dogs I foist on him. And walks them without fail.

He is amazing at finding things. Which is ace because I am amazing at misplacing them.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:05 PM on November 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

Definitely the little things:
- the instagram messages he sends with cool new tattoos that I might like, or more importantly, adorable puppies doing adorable (or hilarious) things
- the coffee in the to-go thermos, or the lunch that he packs for me most days to take to work
- the breakfast/lunch/snacks he brings me when I am marathon training and too lazy to get off the couch/bed after a long run
- the glass of water he will bring to me with dinner, because I always remember that I need one after I have sat down to eat
- that he asks if he can watch ahead on a TV show that we are watching together instead of just going ahead and doing it
- that when I have particularly bad bouts of anxiety, he will lay with me in bed and read me random wikipedia articles to calm me down (and bonus - increase my knowledge on my random things!)
posted by something_witty at 2:40 PM on November 27, 2017 [4 favorites]

I can depend on him.

I feel safe when he's driving.

He'll remember to add movies to the Netflix queue that I mention once and forget all about.
posted by fingersandtoes at 2:52 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

He makes me feel totally safe and welcome.
He can fix pretty much anything.
Whatever happens, he manages to look as if that was totally meant to happen.
He talks to cats he meets on the street.
He has long arms that are great for hugging.
He makes silly word jokes that no one else thinks of.
He's fine with me using a different distro than he does; he's just delighted that I'm using Linux.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:09 PM on November 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

- LOVES our kitties like none other
- his look of delight while playing fetch with the dog
- that he grows homemade tomatoes
- that his default is "fix it" in a macguyver fashion
posted by Ms Vegetable at 4:26 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

- it's rare that we aren't laughing together, even in places as dreary as IKEA returns
- I'm currently living abroad for a few months, and I wake up every morning to dog GIFs
- he makes the most hilarious face when he fucks up and it makes me laugh every time
- I love his doodles!
- and his handwriting!
- after we have a fight he never dwells, and if I bring up something that bothers me he actually internalizes it and does something about it instead of just trying to appease me in the moment and forgetting about it later. our fights feel really adult and mature, something I endlessly appreciate
posted by thebots at 5:56 PM on November 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

Knows everything about birds. You could be anywhere, the mall parking lot, and he can show you all the birds nearby, who they are, what they're doing and why. Once a red-tailed hawk dropped a half-dead rabbit almost at his feet. It was an offering, a token of his acceptance into their feathery ranks. Now that we're divorced, I'm an outsider -- I can see house sparrows, European starlings, maybe a mockingbird but the rest hide from me, and none of them reveals its motivations. I miss him, but he took the birds too when he left, and I miss being part of their secret lives.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 6:28 PM on November 27, 2017 [21 favorites]

He's my best friend with benefits.
He's my human calculator.
He gets my weird pop culture references.
posted by tafetta, darling! at 7:59 PM on November 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

I love that my boyfriend calls other guys out on their gross sexist shit.

He is absolutely my number one cheerleader in life. Any time I experience significant success, he is so proud of me and when I am struggling, he is there with the non-infantilising pep talks.

He is super sensible with money (like me), which makes me adore him even more.
posted by BeeJiddy at 8:10 PM on November 27, 2017 [3 favorites]

My partner's many great traits include:
Calming presence
Smells good
Very gentle with kids and animals
Can mentally calculate surprisingly large numbers
Calm, safe, cautious driver
Not superficial about people's looks or status possessions
Laughs a lot
Lovingly taught some kids to question the homophobia they had encountered at their church, but in a sensitive, common-sense way that was impactful and will definitely stick but also won't cause them problems at home or in school
Brings me coffee in bed, and makes it exactly how I like it, despite hating coffee
Good listener
Very patient with my challenging family members
Scrupulous about keeping secrets
Conscious around kyriarchy, privilege, classism, ableism, misogyny, racism, homophobia, etc
Does weird little dances on the stairs to make me laugh
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:05 PM on November 27, 2017 [6 favorites]

Kindness: we learned our love languages for each other and he ticks my boxes
Partner: unfailingly does his yard work, kid laundry, dishes and housework without complaint, all kid math homework and accounting and reaches for all things out of my reach without thinking twice
Compatibility: comfortable in silence but we each listen to each other's rambling
Calls me out on my shit then holds my hand when I fall apart
Allows us to do things alone: he cycles for hours with his guys, I get girls weekends, I watch reality shows and he reads for hours on his kindle, I get to eat all my favorite foods if I keep his favorite cereal in ready supply and allows his insane indulgence on chocolate
Patience: has a high tolerance for my family
Calm: is my Northstar whenever I flounder
Loving: likes to hold hands, says I love you a lot, brings me water when I say I'm thirsty
posted by IndigoOnTheGo at 5:31 AM on November 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

- Excellent teamwork, never resorts to blame or annoyance
- Attempts to shoo insects outside rather than killing them
- Likes the same kinds of food and always shares
- Plays Jeopardy! with me
- Occasionally surprises me with french fries from the best local spot
- Also enjoys spicy food
- Offers to do dishes because he knows I hate doing them
- Always looking to hold hands
- Super great hygiene, plus he has the genotype for less body odor/sweat
- So kind to others, always
- Writes romantic cards and notes
- Reads regularly
- Super woke and feminist
- Dresses real snappy
- Has a great reading voice (and reads to me)
- Has never yelled at me (hasn't yelled at all, but we're less than 2 years in)
- Worked with my family to plan a surprise birthday party for me (and they're crazy perfectionists who adore me)
- Cares deeply about my health and well-being (asks me how my toe is doing 4 months after I broke it)
- Improvs commentary and voiceovers while we're watching videos of animals doing silly things

There are lots and lots more but those are what came to mind this morning!
posted by rachaelfaith at 6:11 AM on November 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

-Packs my breast pump parts already assembled each morning to save me a couple precious minutes during my pumping sessions
-Indulges my paranoia by going to check if my wallet is still there at 11 pm at night
-Calms me down when I'm angry or upset
-Remembers both his side of the family's birthdays and mine
-Is determined to be an equal partner in raising our son and shows it in multiple ways each day
-Spontaneously said that we needed to raise our son to be a feminist
-Has really great forearms and thick non-balding hair
-Has multiple close friends who are women, of different ages
-Is utterly dependable - if he says something will be done, it's as good as done
-Seems to find me just as beautiful when I'm 10 kg heavier postpartum
-Is obsessed with geography and history and really wants to understand the world through travel and reading
-Has kept a record of every book he's ever read for more than a decade
-Is unfailingly kind to other people unless they've given him a reason to act otherwise
posted by peacheater at 6:34 AM on November 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

Aside from her character, intelligence, beauty, and all her internal traits, here's been something huge.

I make mistakes. I sometimes do dumb stuff. I'm sometimes wrong. I'm sometimes difficult to be around. My wife, when I'm wrong, doesn't add shameing to her expressing disaproval. The only thng on the table is the specific behavior that doesn't lead to a better relationship. This results in a safe, trusting environment that leads to me wanting to change (or nt do that thing again). [Note: none of my errors include dishonesty, violence, infidelity or other like actions, and she also isn't a push-over.]

She uses a simpe formula that works like this: "When you do x, I feel y. It would help me if you did z." She knows I don't "make her feel" and that she is in full control of how she chooses to respond to my errors. As such.... she is a patient, strong, loving, and loyal friend and wife.
posted by SurvivorsEdge at 7:26 AM on November 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

When I was married, my husband was all about the grand gesture. He'd say "I would die for you!" with a straight face but could go days without speaking to me at all, especially if he was angry with me. Words are my love language so a gesture like this one, with a list of 100 things he appreciated about me, would have been right up his alley. The problem being that the grand gesture never changed the day-to-day communication; something like this could even exacerbate the problem, as he would refer me to the list if I tried to connect with him afterward.

In contrast, chief among the many things I value about my current partner is the way he makes a sustained, quiet, drama-free effort every day to connect with me, commit to me, hear and understand me, make me feel loved and valued, and appreciate my efforts to do the same for him. No grand gestures from this guy, and it is far from perfect, but I know he's got my back every single day.
posted by headnsouth at 7:30 AM on November 28, 2017 [7 favorites]

Makes me laugh all the time.
Really good at making up ridiculous songs to the tune of real songs.
Has nice eyelashes.
Loves animals and is so kind to them.
Is quick to support if we have guests and I hit my limit on social interaction (takes them to dinner, lets me have alone time.)
Is accepting of my work and the knowledge that I will never make a ton of money but that I'm really happy with what I do.
Has a good butt.
Has opened my eyes to the delight of watching terrible action movies.
Will recite "I lik the bred" for me at random times to bring me a moment of happiness.
Is a good listener and remembers things that I say that I don't always even remember.
Makes gentle allowance for my ADHD and doesn't take it personally.
Has the perfect strength for hand-holding.
Is an excellent person.
posted by fairlynearlyready at 9:52 AM on November 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I made it to 100! 100 lovely things about the lovely person I am lucky to have as a partner. Your examples and suggestions helped tremendously. Thanks!
posted by sock puppy at 7:55 PM on November 28, 2017 [4 favorites]

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