Do you know exactly what you’re looking for in a life partner? Ask yourself these questions to focus your search and find the right match. PART 2
TRANSCRIPT: Hi, I’m Carol with Clarity Coaching Services and I’m here to share some tips on how to build your best life. Today I’m going to offer some tips on how to determine what you are looking for in a life partner, to clarify what things you’re looking for and what things you need. I’ve compiled a list of questions based on my own life experience and also the experiences of people I know. Along the lines of kids, if there are kids involved, parenting styles — what is their parenting style? How do they set boundaries or discipline? What routines do they have with their kids, if they have kids already? Maybe you’re young; maybe you don’t have kids. Do they have nieces and nephews? How do they act around kids, if you want to have kids someday or you do have kids. These are good things to know and are any of these things deal breakers?
Geographical location — again this is flexible; people move a lot nowadays, so choosing someone based on their geographical location may not be the wisest idea, but it’s certainly something to consider. Where do you want to live? Would you be willing to move to be with a well-matched partner? Where are you going to look for your partner?
Geographical location might be a consideration — are you willing to look outside your current geographical area to find a true partner? Would you consider a long-distance relationship? Are any of these things deal breakers?
Time with a partner — this is also something to consider, and many people don’t. They assume that because they’re in a new relationship and they’re spending a lot of time together, they love being with each other, that this is the way it’s always going to be. But once that wears off, and real life happens, things change. So how much time would you like to spend with your partner each day? What is the minimum amount of time you would like to spend with your partner each day? Are you the kind of person that wants to see their partner an hour or two a day? Would you like eight hours a day? Do you want to work with your partner? Are you comfortable with your partner traveling half of the month? How (I don’t want to say how needy are you, because that’s not really a fair way to put it), but would you be okay if your partner traveled frequently? And are any of these things deal breakers? Be honest about how much time and attention you would like from your partner. How much time would they like with you? Are you comfortable with how much time they would want with you, or how little time?
Health — are there healthy behaviors that you would require your partner to have? Maybe you are a vegetarian and you just couldn’t stand to live with someone who ate meat. Are there any unhealthy habits that you would not like your partner to have? You know, maybe they only shower once a week, or they don’t floss as often as you would. I’m not judging, I’m just saying do you have any preferences or requirements that would be deal breakers in a partner? Are there any physical or mental health issues that you would not like your partner to have? Are you pretty open and understanding if a partner suffers from occasional anxiety or depression or anything like that? Or are any of those deal breakers? Nowadays, you are going to have a hard time finding someone who doesn’t have any kind of issues but be upfront and honest about what you can handle and what you can’t. How do you feel about a potential partner having a current or past addiction? Maybe you’ve had a past addiction and you would rather not partner up with someone who also has. Maybe you want someone who can be that strong rock to lean on or maybe you would like someone who understands what you’ve gone through and shares that past. So are any of these things deal breakers?
Cleanliness — how clean and neat would you like your partner to be? How clean and neat do you require your house to be? Or your car? Would you be able to compromise on the level of cleanliness or neatness to accommodate your partner? Maybe you’re a neat freak or maybe you’re not. Maybe you don’t think folding your underwear is a big deal and it’s not a requirement, or making the bed every day. Does it matter if your partner wants that and you had to start accommodating and doing that? Or what if you want the dishes to always be done in the sink and your partner doesn’t mind if they sit there for a day — are you going to be able to handle that? Are any of these things deal breakers?
Physical appearance — most people have a pretty good idea of what they want their partner to look like (or at least what they don’t want them to look like). Some people have a type, and some people don’t have a specific type but they know they’re attracted to certain people and not others. So what would your ideal partner look like? Would you be accepting if their appearance changed? I hope that answer is yes, because no one is going to get through this life without their appearance changing at some point. Are any physical traits deal breakers? I don’t know what else to say about this, except that yes, attraction is important and chemistry is important, but be prepared that things like that are not permanent, necessarily.
Health — what level of physical fitness would you like your partner to have? Are you someone who exercises an hour a day? Do you go train for marathons or are you someone that would really rather not get on the treadmill? What kind of physical fitness do you have and what would you like your partner to have? Are there any deal breakers for you in the area of health and physical fitness? How comfortable are you with being at different levels if your partner is not on the same track as you?
Physical relationship — what would your ideal physical relationship look like? What level affection, what level of intimacy? Would you be comfortable with a physical relationship that was not evenly matched? What if you really love hugging and kissing and holding hands in public and your partner just can’t stand any kind of PDA — are you comfortable with that or would that be a deal breaker? What if your desire for intimacy is not on the same level as the other person’s — how far apart can you be with that level of intimacy and still be happy in your relationship? Is there anything that would be a deal breaker? This kind of thing should be discussed before you get into a life partner relationship with somebody.
Commitment level and exclusivity — what kind of commitment level/exclusivity of relationship do you want your partner to have with you? Nowadays you just never know — you may assume that you’re looking at marriage and monogamy and commitment for the rest of your life, but your partner may not be. What is the minimum commitment level and exclusivity of relationship you would be okay with your partner having? If you want to get married, if you want to be together and exclusive and monogamous for the rest of your life, you need to be open about that with your partner and make sure they’re on the same page. Is there anything that is a deal breaker in this area?
Trust — what kind of trust level do you require with your partner? Would you require absolute honesty or would you overlook a white lie? What level of trust could you give to your partner and how would you handle a breach of trust? Is anything a deal breaker in this area? Trust looks like many things to many different people — some people think the occasional white lie is okay if it protects someone’s feelings, Or like, ‘Oh, yes, honey, I took out the trash,” and then you hurry and take it out because you hadn’t taken out the trash. Is that okay? Or from something small like that, all the way up to cheating on someone? How would you handle a breach of trust, little or big? Is anything a deal breaker in this area? Make sure you’re on the same page with your partner about what trust looks like, because that can cause issues if you’re not on the same page.
Equality/division of responsibility — what kind of equality level do you want in your relationship? Do you want to be on equal footing as far as finances and chores and decision making and all those things? Are you comfortable with your partner taking on the majority of the responsibilities in certain areas like finance or household chores or kids or whatever? What are your expectations of your partner regarding financial contributions to the household? What are your expectations regarding child care? Are any of these things deal breakers? Make sure you understand these things before you commit to a long-term relationship with somebody.
Decision making — how does your partner make decisions, what style of decision making do they have? Are they someone who makes a snap decision like “Let’s move to Bermuda tomorrow!” Or are they someone who thinks about something for a couple of months or a couple of years? What is your decision-making style and would your decisions be made together in your relationship? Maybe some decisions would be made together and certain decisions could be made individually. What is that going to look like and in what areas is it okay to make a separate decision? What are you going to do if you can’t agree on something that involves both of you — how are you going to handle that? It’s very important to discuss this.
Investment in the search – meaning, how much time per week are you willing to invest in searching for a well-matched partner? And how much money per week are you willing to invest in searching for a well-matched partner? And how far are you willing to travel to find a well-matched partner? When you think of searching for a job, searching for a house, searching for a car, searching for a new fridge, or whatever, it takes some time to do the research if you want to find something that’s going to work for you long-term.
When it comes to finding a life partner, what are you willing to let go in order to find one? Are you willing to move out of your current location? Are you willing to put some money into traveling to activities, into online dating services, into whatever it is to help you find someone? If you’re willing to spend a certain amount of time to find the right house, the right job, the right car, a good rule of thumb is to spend at least that amount to find the right partner. It’s not really something that can happen just by pure luck. I know most of us have grown up with the idea portrayed in romantic comedies or Disney movies or whatever that the true love will just somehow appear — it’s serendipity, it’s fate or whatever. But the reality is you have to know what you want and you have to go out and look for it.
Where to search — where could you look for a well-matched partner? Now is the time to start coming up with action steps. What events could you attend to look for a well-matched partner? Brainstorm and think of anything you can. What apps could you use to look for a well-matched partner? What clubs or groups could you attend to look for a well-matched partner? And which friends or relatives could you trust to set you up? No one likes blind dates — I get that — but who knows you the best? Your friends and your relatives. They may or may not know the people that they’re trying to set you up with that well, but you could at least assume that they have your best interests at heart and they are trying to find someone that’s a good match. So give them the benefit of the doubt, maybe — what’s one date, right?
Now it’s time to summarize the qualities you’re looking for. So you have your must-have list over here on the left, and then you have your deal breaker list over here on the right — what you’re not willing to accept under any circumstances. That can help you narrow down who to continue a relationship with. A
Action steps for your search – look at those last questions that we discussed, what to do. Write down a list of things that you can do and by when. For instance, some might write down, “‘I will look for three online dating services with good reviews and reputations. I will join three online dating services. I will join three local community clubs. I will attend three community events. I will tell my friends and my relatives that I am looking for a life partner and tell them exactly what I’m looking for.” Things like that. And then write down by when you will do them. It’s very important to hold yourself accountable, or you might just put this off.
That is the last slide and the last step that I have listed here. Of course once you write down what to do and when you’re going to do it by, make sure you follow through and do it. It doesn’t hurt to have a friend or a relative be your mentor and guide during this process. Make sure that as you are dating and looking for a life partner, that you use caution and that you do background checks, and that you are very careful. Just use your best judgment. So good luck! Hope that helps! END OF PART 2
For more information, you can contact me at my website claritycoachingservices.com.