1. Have strength.

Don’t talk about how strong you are. Just be strong. Endure hardships, solve problems, press on. Don’t be the dog that barks, be the dog that bites.

2. Be you.

Have friends, even if he doesn’t like them. Have opinions, even if they’re different than his. Especially if they’re different.

3. Be independent.

This applies to men just as much as women, but there’s nothing sexier than someone that can take care of themselves. A relationship should be a partnership, not raising a child-like dependent.

4. Bring something to the table, and demand he do the same.

You’re valuable. Understand your value, and know what you bring into a relationship. Don’t tolerate someone looking to lounge in your life.

5. Compromise.

Be opinionated and strong-willed. Don’t be a push-over, but understand the line between sticking to your guns and resolving issues. Walk that line.

6. Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Dr. Seuss had the right of it. Don’t dance around issues or placate. Don’t drop hints or be assuming. Be forthright and demand the same in return.

7. Don’t get jealous.

Relationships are about trust. You either trust him or you don’t. If you don’t, that’s an issue. Move on. If you do, that should be the end of it. Know that you’re worth the commitment, and anyone looking elsewhere isn’t worth your time.

8. Don’t tolerate disrespect.

You need someone that will fight for you, not with you. Be respectful in return and show him how it’s done.

9. Be reliable.

If you say you’re going to do something, do it, or have a damn fine reason why you couldn’t. Expect the same of him.

10. Have hobbies.

Be a woman with interests and do them. Include him if you can, but if not, don’t stop doing what you love.

11. Have goals.

And pursue them. Be a woman with the ambition to achieve. You don’t have to move mountains, but don’t let yourself get stuck in a rut, either.

12. See the strength in him.

Part of being strong is recognizing the strength in others. Let him know what you like about him.

13. Motivate.

Be honest, but supportive. Encourage him. You just may be the first person to do so.

14. Stick up for yourself.

If you respect yourself, he will too

15. Accept help when you need it.

There is strength in knowing when you can’t do something on your own and asking for help, instead of constantly hitting your head against a wall.

16. when you make a schedule, keep to it.

If you have a class you’re taking or plans with a friend, don’t give those up to spend time with him. He’ll respect your loyalty and commitment. Fit him into your life, don’t rearrange your life around him.

17. Be beautiful.

You are beautiful, so act like it; and never let anyone convince you that you are anything less.

This article was first published on Thought Catalog and is republished here with permission.