When you’re ready to meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you really need to sit down and figure out what’s important to you in a relationship as well as the qualities you desire in another person if you haven’t already done so.
The following is a list of questions that can help you hone in on your needs and someone that will be compatible with those needs. You’ll want to grab a notepad!
Write down every characteristic you want in a partner, from essential personality traits to the eccentric and superficial traits. Ask yourself questions such as:
- How much do looks matter, really? Is there any physical trait I just can’t live without?
- What are my most important values?
- Where do I want to be in 5 years?
- When I’m 80, what kind of memories do I want to look back on?
- Do I want children – how many?
- Is it ok if my partner has children?
- What is my role in the relationship? What is theirs?
- What needs of mine do I want this person / relationship to meet?
- Do I have any unrealistic relationship or partner expectations?
- In what ways I am willing to compromise or be disappointed?
- How introverted or extroverted am I?
- Should my partner have a similar social style, or be quieter or more outgoing?
- How important is social class, education, and family cohesiveness?
- What about religious beliefs and political views?
- What do I want to come home to at the end of the day?
- Where do I want to live?
- How much physical contact do I need? How often do I want to have sex? Should my partner have a similar sex drive?
- How much does athleticism or adventurousness matter?
- What kind of food do I like? Music? Fashion? Art? Sports? Cars?
- What are my favorite passions and hobbies?
- What are activities I want to share with a partner?
- What kind of sense of humor do I have / want in a partner?
- What do I do when nobody’s looking?
- What is my love language?
Now make a similar list of every trait you don’t want in a partner. If you want, revisit these lists several days or weeks later to add onto them.
When you are content with your lists, choose your top 5 must-haves and your top 5 deal-breakers. No more, no less. If you’ve got similar traits like “warm” and “friendly” pick one of them, or find a better word to describe what’s most important to you. Keep the longer lists if you’d like, but I’d recommend throwing them out so they aren’t a distraction. Put the top 5 must-haves and top 5 deal-breakers in a place that you look at often.
Ask yourself what you are most afraid of happening in a relationship. Do you fear being replaced? Left behind? A negative pattern or experience being repeated? Someone having an affair on you? Communication going down the drain? Divorce? Being resentful? Being bored? Get to the root of whatever might be holding you back and Stop It! Seriously, life’s too short to be held back by something you can overcome. Talk to friends or get professional help if you have any deep seated issues you don’t think you can move past on your own.
Optional extra exercises
- Read The Erotic Mind and get a firm grasp of your core erotic theme or themes; if you’re got any sexual fantasies that are not compatible with a long-term relationship you need to decide whether they are something you want to act on and if so, get them out of your system. If there are fantasies you would want to incorporate into a long-term relationship, think about how you could bring up your ideas to that special someone. Click here to read Lady Jane’s thoughts on embracing a partner’s kink and here to read Keeley’s post on asking for what you want in relationships.
- Do the morning pages while reading The Erotic Mind. In her book, The Artist’s Way, writer and filmmaker Julia Cameron recommends the morning pages, an “apparently pointless” process of writing three pages of whatever comes to mind every morning as a way to access your inner power. There’s really no wrong way to do it — the only requirement is that you do it every day, and do your best not to censor yourself. The morning pages will help you be less judgmental of yourself; after a while you will become more honest with yourself, discovering not only who you are but also who you want to become, which makes it easier to see clearly the person who will compliment you. With this knowledge, you become motivated to go from where you are to where you want to be, which puts you in a better place to attract the person that fits your top 5 must-haves. If you don’t “do” journals, try Penzu, a site that lets you store your thoughts online.
- Make a plan to put yourself out there to specifically meet other relationship-ready people. Whether it’s speed dating, taking yourself out to dinner, online dating, going to concerts, events, lectures, or traveling, put your energy out towards other people in a genuine way and be sure to pay attention to what they’re verbally and non-verbally communicating back. Ask questions that relate to what’s most important to you. Once you have a clear idea in your head of your top 5 must-haves and deal-breakers it becomes a lot easier to see if someone wants the same things you want. Be clear about what you’re looking for so there is no confusion around intentions.
Lastly, be patient… be patient about moving into the bedroom especially. It’s easier said than done but the reward is worth it! You get out of a relationship what you put into it. If you go into it with a whirlwind of desire and emotion with little foundation, it leaves you at a loss for building a relationship; jumping the gun on sex can blur the mind and heart connection. For more on that, check out relationship coach and matchmaker April Beyer’s posts on when to say yes to sex and following your instincts.