This was one of Lifestyle's top stories in 2018

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Many people have sat down in their optimistic early 20s and written a list of all the amazing qualities their perfect partner will have when they finally cross paths.

But over time, things get crossed off the list or forgotten, because who needs a guy with a full set of "his own teeth" anyway?

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Instead of going out there looking for a list of physical traits, or special skills only learnt with a masters degree, here's a list of eight of the most important things that, as a Kiwi girl, you actually should look for in a potential lifelong partner.

A basic understanding of DIY

We Kiwis love a trip to Bunnings, even if just for the sausage sizzle, because we're a nation big on DIY and home renovations. When you started dating this guy, you may have found it endearing that his "toolbox" only contained a butter knife, a wheel of string and a couple of rusty nails.

But when you eventually own a home together and want to put up some shelves, or art, or maybe even do some demolition, you will save a lot of money and stress if he has some DIY skills under his belt.

Of course that's not to say you aren't completely capable of acquiring these skills yourself, but it's a real bonus if he, too, knows his Phillips from his flat head.

A killer sense of humour

Some might argue us Kiwis have a particularly warped sense of humour: Case in point, is there a New Zealander that doesn't find Tom Sainsbury's Paula Bennett with a bowl latte impression hilarious?

Being able to have a good laugh is important, and if you can find someone that can really crack you up, you're onto a winner.

It's important to note, I'm not talking about the guy who stands in the middle of a crowded room laughing at his own "hilarious" fishing story at such volume the person in the bathroom can hear. That dude is a douche and you should avoid him at all costs.

I'm talking about the guy who has a wit on par with your own and makes you feel like the funniest girl in all the land. When your cat dies, this guy will be there to remind you of the time your beloved feline pooped in your lunch box.

He will make you cry tears of laughter, never sadness. That's the kind of guy you should be keeping an eye out for.

Knows the importance of being on time

Being punctual is an important quality, because it signals he has respect for you and your time.

If he's constantly home super late from work, or rolls in after dinner because he's been out for beers with the boys, or he's late to your birthday celebrations because he was getting his car valeted, chances are he cares more about those things than you.

You do not want to marry a guy who loves his 2008 Holden Commodore in "racy red" more than he loves you.

A general understanding of the kitchen and food storage

This is another one that doesn't seem like a big deal at the start. You know, when you think it's totally fine that he put a $13 block of Mainland back in the fridge unwrapped with a large chunk bitten out of it.

Or that he made a salad on the same chopping board he just cut raw chicken on and you spent the night on the toilet calling dinosaurs.

He doesn't need to be a hunter-gatherer of Al Brown proportions, but finding a guy with a general idea of kitchen hygiene and food preparation will make your life easier in the long run.

If he can whip up a mean mushroom risotto, properly store it in the right size Sistema for lunch and wipe the bench down when he's done, marry that man right now.

He's kind to animals

If a guy is mean to animals, you don't want to know them, let alone marry them. Period.

Generally speaking, we are a nation of pet lovers. In fact, 64 per cent of New Zealand households have at least one pet at home. So if he isn't a pet fan, he might want to consider relocating.

Animals, for the most part, can't help themselves, and just want to be loved and cared for - much like babies do.

If he is kind to animals, it's a good sign he'll be kind to your nieces and nephews, your children, and your parents when they grow old and move into your basement.

If he stops while you two are strolling Takapuna beach to talk to a dog, he's on the way to being husband material. Bonus points if he uses a fun dog voice and calls them a "good boy".

He exhibits patience

This is a tough one, and an area Kiwi men really struggle in, due mainly to the many other things they would rather be doing than picking paint samples with you at Dulux, or giving their opinion on which black skinny jeans you should buy.

If you can find a guy who exhibits patience, even when you ask him if he wants you to try on all seven pairs of jeans again and rank each out of 10 in order to make the right decision, you've found a real gem.

But be sure not to walk all over him, because he needs to wear his own pants too.

He has basic directional skills

It's not just in movies that people have catastrophic rows over directions and getting lost. In a country that seems to have a love affair with one-way streets, roadside squabbles probably happen here more than most places.

You don't want to find yourself doing U-turn after U-turn in the back blocks of Kaukapakapa on the way to a friend's wedding, or heading the wrong way up the Shelley Beach onramp on the way to the hospital to give birth - or ever.

Not being good at finding places is totally fine as long as he is okay with using GPS on his phone or asking for directions where needed. But if he refuses to ask for help or use technology, take it as a sign that this guy is super stubborn and you are going to have issues in the long run.

He's a good guy

This seems obvious, but you would be surprised how many women date horrible men. You know, the guy they believe they can change and are still confused by when he hits on their mum and sleeps with their friend Brittany.

You will marry the nice guy, if not the first time, then maybe the second.

Contrary to many a claim, nice Kiwi guys aren't boring. In fact they give you the kind of joy a rude, hot guy never could when you learn your mum, your best friend and your grandma are all singing his praises, even when you're not around.

Just watch out for your grandma, the old girl can get a little handsy after a few sherries.