The 5 Best Things Exes Taught Me

Being 21 years old, I've had at my fair share of the dating game--the jerks, the weirdos and the just-plain-disappointing! Throughout my experiences, as we all do, I began to compile a list of the most important things I needed in a partner. I gathered some important insights along the way.

1. Honesty is the only policy. Cheating has been a constant issue. Even when I've been betrayed, the honest souls who explain and apologize have received much more of my respect in the long run than those who attempt to keep up their lies even after they've been caught.

It's similar to: "Oh, I lied to make you feel better because I thought you'd be mad." Most males use this excuse when their females call them out for lying about where they were, what they were doing or who they were with. News flash, guys: if you have to lie, you're doing something wrong! An adult relationship is about mutual trust and respect. If you're ashamed of your actions, you shouldn't be doing them.

2. Never trust a mama's boy. Not to say that men who love their mothers are trouble, but those who blindly defend regardless if she is being unreasonable are the tricky ones. Same goes for their entire family, not just their mama. My current boyfriend respects and admires those close to him, but stands up for himself when he's feeling pushed around. Boys aren't always able to put their foot down. It's worth waiting for the one who can.

3. Study me, surprise me. The partners that have always upheld the most profound respect in my eyes are those who planned out fun dates, took the time to surprise me (even with a simple letter or note to cheer up my day) and made sure I knew how much they cared for me. They took note of what I appreciated and surprised me with it consistently. A person who isn't willing to treat you as though they are blessed to be with you isn't worth settling for. I am a surpriser at heart and I do what I can in my power (even if I'm broke) to treat my significant other.

4. Laughter is the best medicine. I've never dated someone who lacked a sense of humor. I mean, I've certainly dated people who had more serious or uptight personality traits, but never a lack of laughter. All of my exes made me smile and laugh uncontrollably. This is the number one ingredient that I demand in order to a cultivate a happy relationship.

5. We all deserve love. Most importantly, disregarding all the negative experiences I had with my ex partners, all my relationships have highlighted the importance of each of us reminding ourselves to feel love, as well as believing that we deserve it. No matter who we are destined to end up with at the end of our road (which, frankly we will not know for sure until we've reached our last days), it will be for the best, and we deserve equal happiness.

What are some no-brainers that you look for in a partner?