5 of the Best Traits in YA Love Interests


We all know the feeling of dreaming of that perfect partner, specifically that one from the book we just read. You’re completely in love! … with someone who doesn’t exist. The disappointment is unbearable, I know. Maybe it’s time you start looking for a real person. Here are some great traits to look for in a walking, talking, breathing partner based on common traits in YA love interests!

1. Mysterious

You know the type. There’s a dark and mysterious person, so you absolutely must know more about them. In books, it’s because something tragic happened, but seeing as how this is real life, we’re not wishing a tragic backstory on anybody. However, it’s exciting learning about a new and attractive character because there’s always something to surprise you. Mind you, this does not mean someone entirely closed-off. While I hope it’s obvious, you also want your partner to be honest with you in order to keep a healthy relationship.

Mysterious Love Interest Book Recommendation: The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea by Axie Oh

2. Funny

No, not funny-looking (though appearance isn’t everything, which is why good-looking is not on my list). You want someone who will make you laugh. There are some characters who can make you literally LOL via words on a page. Those are everyone’s favorite characters. When the main character is feeling down or just having an off-day, a great love interest will contribute a good joke that, even in the midst of impending doom, the main character will laugh at. Admittedly, being funny doesn’t usually go along with being mysterious in books, but there are different kinds of great characters, and there are different kinds of great people to meet.

Funny Love Interest Book Recommendation: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert

3. Passionate

There are the characters who will plan a super romantic date. They’ll amaze you with their attention to detail. They’re the ones who will express their own interests in ways that will catch the main character’s attention, even if it’s a topic the main character usually couldn’t care less about. They’re the characters who give everything they’ve got to their sport, art, or other hobby and then to their relationship because of how meaningful it is to them.

Passionate Love Interest Book Recommendation: Secret of the Moon Conch by Guadalupe Garcia McCall and David Bowles

4. Charming

There’s a reason we’re all looking for our version of Prince Charming, but your partner doesn’t have to be a real prince. Let’s talk a bit about what it means to be charming. You should look for someone who is agreeable. Charming people are friendly, they give compliments when they see something (or someone) deserving. They will pick you up at the bottom of the staircase with a smile, even if you’re the main character who somehow just tripped on air. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s what they’re smiling at…

Charming Love Interest Book Recommendation: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

5. Vulnerable

Back on the subject of honesty, you have to be able to talk to your partner about how you feel, and they have to be able to talk to you in turn. While you also have to earn their trust, you want someone who is open to trusting you with their feelings in the first place. It shows a strength in a person when they can open up to someone else, and you can feel proud when you are the one they feel they can talk to. Furthermore, if they are open with you, you will likely be more willing to share with them as well. At the end of the day/story, what is the point in a partner if you can’t express who you are with them?

Vulnerable Love Interest Book Recommendation: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

There are many traits you can look for in a partner. Remember that real people are not perfect and therefore probably won’t have every trait on your list, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a great person worth starting a relationship with. Here’s to you on your adventure to find the right person! (And in the meantime, here’s a song you might relate to because honestly, the struggle is real.

Abby Ballas, Pine Reads Review Writer & Editor