In the dating world, it seems that everyone expects the love of their life to fall from a tree and knock them dizzy with bliss. The facts of the matter are hardly as hit-and-miss as our secret desires would like them to be. When someone has a spell of good luck, it’s rarely because of some undeserved, haphazard gift bestowed upon them. If you look back to the period prior to any favorable happenings, you’ll discover a lot of hard work and planning were most likely involved. There is truth in the belief that the effort you put into something will be equal to the result you receive. Where people usually go wrong with this formula is extending the wrong type of effort. The same is true for finding a life mate.If you don’t discern what you want or expect from your life, you’re never going to get it. You wouldn’t expect a business person to start a new business without researching the field and discovering if it’s a suitable fit. Yet, people consistently dive into the dating pool without first making sure of what they want. The fact that someone shows a bit of interest does not mean they are a suitable match for you. In the end, it isn’t just strong affection or love that makes a relationship work. It’s how compatible you are and how you deal with the little day-to-day things that count. The only way to truly discover what you need from a relationship is to actually plan and research exactly what you want.
When you are ready to seriously begin your quest for finding your life mate, use the following steps to help you get started.
Step 1: Do Your Research
No great plan or endeavor can really get off the ground without research. Applying this to your love life may seem strange, but it really only takes a new perspective to get things going. First, analyze your past relationships. What traits or qualities did you really like about your previous partners? Write them down. Then take a look at what aspects of their personalities or your relationship that you disliked. Write those down as well.
You’ll probably get a fairly clear idea of your ideal mate at this point. However, don’t just stop with looking into the past. You’ll get an even more complete picture if you take a look at the people around you who have influenced your overall concept of the ideal relationship. Your parents or other family members’ relationships will affect your opinions greatly. Do the same comparison of likes and dislikes for them. If there are other friends or role models, be sure to analyze those as well.
Step 2: Understand Your Desires
Truly knowing yourself allows you to understand all of your strengths and weaknesses. Once you’re comfortable with what those are, you can find ways to make them work for you. For instance, if you’d rather eat dirt than clean, you know you’ll always need a housekeeper. You also have some more insight on what traits your perfect partner needs to have, in this case a high tolerance for sloppiness. For some of you, the weakness may be an insecurity issue. In this case, while eventually you may get over it, you probably don’t want to get involved with a social butterfly. You’re going to be a lot happier with someone who is a little more reserved in public. Some traits or qualities wouldn’t be considered deal breakers, while others are must haves. Each person is different, so these qualifiers will be unique to each individual. Your job is to figure out the must-have characteristics of your ideal partner.
First, define what you want and need. You did most of this in step one. Now it’s time to expand on your discoveries and get a complete picture of your ideal relationship. Make sure to include small snippets of things you’ve always envisioned doing. For instance, do you imagine someone who enjoys cuddling on the couch while watching scary movies with the snow falling outside? Whatever it is, make sure to write it down so you can refer back to it and make changes as necessary.
Next, you need to determine what certain terminology actually means to you. You won’t be able to express what you expect from a partner if you don’t even know what it is yourself. Take a while and really figure out what exactly does love mean to you. What is your idea of “romance”? What are your views regarding sex? What does marriage mean to you? What about commitment?
Now it’s time to look at what specific requirements you’d like your potential life partner to have. How important is education? What about their level of independence or financial stability? What stage in their career should they be at? What about religious beliefs? Is having a different romantic style a deal breaker?
By knowing ahead of time exactly what it is you’re looking for, you’ll be able to tell early in a relationship if the person you are with matches your criteria. This will allow you to end bad relationships before anything progresses too far. In addition, you’ll be able to move ahead with more confidence when you do find that particular someone who meets your expectations.
Step 3: Put Your Discoveries into Practice
So, you now know what you want, but how do you go about actually getting it? Since there are shelves of books dedicated to this pursuit, I’m just going to give you a few pointers to steer you in the right direction.
The first tip should be fairly obvious, but it’s amazing how often it’s over-looked. You’ve just dedicated all this time to figuring out what makes you tick, so it’s time to use it to your advantage. If you’re looking for someone to date, don’t go to a place you’re not likely to meet anyone with those qualifications. Try to find the best possible places where the odds of meeting someone with your particular interests are higher. If you love to cook, join some cooking classes. If you love to read, join a book club. If you love dancing, take some dance lessons. A little research into what your city offers could pay off quite nicely. When you talk with someone you are interested in, try bringing up the hobbies and interests you enjoy. Get a gauge early on as to whether you actually have things in common. This is also a great conversational segue to asking for an actual date.
When you go on your dates, do things that reflect how you want your marriage or long-term relationship to be. For instance, if you enjoy shopping, take your date on a few trips to the mall. If you love the outdoors, let your dates reflect that. Not only will you be finding out if you both enjoy the same things, you’ll also be giving your potential partner a better glimpse at who you really are. Even if things don’t work out romantically, if you discover you share common interests, you’ve at least gained a friendship.