At a dinner party the other night, a guy I've met a few times was talking about why things hadn't worked out with a woman he'd dated years before.

"Why not?" we all wanted to know — or, at least, I did.

"I realized there were three qualities I felt anyone I was dating should possess," he said. "And she didn't have them."

We pressed him to explain what he meant. (Or, I pressed him.) But it took a bit of badgering from before he confessed his prerequisites: He wants to be with someone who is versatile (by which he meant able to deal with all sorts of situations, from attending his office's holiday party to going on a road trip), humble, and intellectually curious.

"We'd be perfect together, you and I!" I shouted. "I'm so incredibly modest!"

Kidding about that last part — just kidding, folks.

But I loved his answer, particularly because those are three of the characteristics that stand out most in him, and help make him so appealing.

After that, the night turned into a parlor game: The rest of us tried to pick the three qualities — and only three — that we feel a mate absolutely must have. It's harder than you think!

So … what are your three?

I'm tempted to mimic the guy's answer … but … I think I'll ponder it a little longer first.

What Do You Think?