Date all of the wrong people. That way you learn what you want and don't want in a significant other.
Being in a relationship is pointless if you don't see yourself with that person for the rest of your life. You're just wasting your time.
Things to look for / consider in a mate:
- do you have the same socioeconomic background?
- do you have the same amount of education? (ie. both college graduates, etc.)
- do you have compatible life goals?
- do you have the same / compatible personal views and beliefs? (ie. view on abortion, political views, etc.)
- do you have the same / compatible religious views and beliefs?
- do you have the same views about how you want to raise "future" children?
Any differences you may have in the above list, could be grounds for future disagreements. The things listed above are not "required" but would definitely help make a relationship a little easier.