I recently ran into this blog, which is sad, hilarious, and incendiary.
And in response I offer some of my own advice when searching for a partner, of any gender. Not necessarily what to look for, because that is for the most part a matter of taste, and for that you can use your own judgement and good sense. But this is my insight on certain behaviors and what they mean for you.
1. Previous relationship experience.
I don't know about you, but when talking to someone significantly younger than myself, I find this fact floats around the forefront of my mind. There exists some sort of bias there, because I feel like I should inherently know more than them, though this isn't necessarily true. Age, experience, maturity and wisdom are all separate things, and do not always go hand in hand.
There is a reason we study history, and that is because history repeats itself. People are bound to make the same mistakes time and time again before they really learn from them. So pay attention. Did your prospective mate have that one really big heartbreak? How many times did they try again with their ex before they moved on? How recent was it? You may very well be the rebound, and they may very well not be over that one love. That first is a bitch to get over.
How much experience has your prospective mate had in general? How many serious relationships, short term relationships, sexual partners? Do you guys agree on what qualifies "a lot" of sexual partners? How many people have they dated? How many times have they been in love? If you two are significantly unmatched in any of these areas, a red flag should go up. There is an appeal to going after someone with less experience: they seem more pure, less callous, less likely to break your heart. But in truth, these folk are very unstable and more likely to do so, because they don't yet have enough experience to know what they want out of a partner or a relationship.
2. "You should _____."
You should pay your bills on time. You should try eating sea urchin. You should grow a goatee. I don't care what the blank is, big or small, good or bad; someone you are interested in for a serious relationship should never tell you that you should do something. This is a sign of someone trying to change you, and that is never acceptable. Asking someone to try something new? Sure. Encouraging someone who wants to change something about themself? Great. But you the word "should" is one to be wary of, along with all other unsolicited advice.
Be aware of the influences that face you, and try to maintain your logic and reasoning. Be aware that when you do feel a connection with someone, it may be for reasons other than compatibility. Keep your head on straight and make sure you share the most important things, like aspirations, philosophies, and values. Do you both believe in god? How do you deem something morally wrong? What do you want to accomplish in your lifetime? Can you agree to disagree? Do you plan to circumcise your kids? Someone can give you warm fuzzies fucking galore, but that wears off after awhile, no matter who they are. When the passion fades, will the intimacy and companionship hold together? Will you even be the same person by then?
Everything else is... really just a matter of taste. I personally try to stay away from anybody that likes Glenn Beck or Papa Roach. You can nitpick a million little things, but it's all small beans. You have to know what you want, realize what you have, and recognize the other party's stance regarding these.