Your conclusion is spot on! It’s okay if you came to this later in life: there are people who NEVER end up understanding this concept. This is the exact reason why so many people are struggling with relationships. I’ve encountered a lot of folks who even end up marrying and starting a family, but then soon break up. Because if you were looking for someone based on a superficial checklist. Even if you make it to the altar and get the house keys together — it doesn’t change the negative qualities the person has. Such as being self-centered or self-absorbent.
I’m always surprised when my female friends start describing the perfect guy: tall, brown hair, dark eyes… EXCUSE ME? Aren’t you supposed to start with character qualities and look for someone who’s kind, decent, funny, family-oriented, confident and simply nice? This is my checklist. I’d like to think it protected me from many mistakes.