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 1
TRANSCRIPT: 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.
First of all, what character traits do you want your partner to have? What are the most important character traits for them to have? Not physical traits, but character traits. For example, you might put honesty, kindness, humor, reliability — those are all character traits. Just make a list of five or six things that you really want your partner to have and then from that list decide which ones are deal breakers if they don’t have it. For example, if they don’t have honesty as a character trait, is that a deal breaker for you?
Now the next slide is what character traits do you NOT want your partner to have? It’s very similar to the first question; it just helps you look at it in a different way. What character traits do you not want your partner to have? You might put dishonesty or laziness — I don’t know things that you do not want your partner to have. Which ones are deal breakers if they do have it? Perhaps you might say, “I don’t want my partner to have the character trait of selfishness and that would be a deal breaker if they have it. Perhaps I want them to have a sense of humor, but lack of a sense of humor would not necessarily be a deal breaker. However, selfishness — that would be a deal breaker for me,” if that’s what you believe.
Looking at their character in depth, let’s dig deeper and determine what kinds of things we would like the partner to have in their character. How would you want your partner to treat their friends? How would you want your partner to treat their family? How would you want your partner to treat their co-workers, their boss, or employees? And very important, how would you want your partner to treat you? These questions are important, because in the initial stages of getting to know someone, people are usually on their best behavior. They’re excited, and it’s not that they’re deliberately trying to be something they’re not, but everything’s brand new, everything’s wonderful; you’re seeing things through rose-colored glasses. A good indication of what their character really is like is to look at how they treat their friends, their family, their co-workers, their boss, their employees. Not necessarily right now (although that’s important), but also in the past. What has that been like? That is probably the best indicator of how they will treat you in the future.
Moving on — how about intelligence or conversation level in a partner? Intelligence is a term that can be viewed in different ways by different people — there are different types of intelligence and there are different ways to measure intelligence. When it comes down to it, it’s about what kind of conversations do you want to be able to have with your partner, what kind of conversation level. So if you’re someone who loves to discuss politics, and all the details of different issues, you might want someone who can do that with you. If you love to talk about the arts — different themes in movies or books or things like that — you might want to be able to talk about that with your partner. Maybe not — maybe being able to talk about those things with friends is okay. What is the minimum intelligence or conversation level you would be okay with your partner having? What is the very least you want to be able to do with your partner? Maybe they don’t have to discuss the ins and outs of politics with you, but you might want them to be able to at least understand what your opinions are on certain subjects and issues.
Their communication style — how well and how often would you want your partner to communicate about their feelings and thoughts? We know this is very important because communication can make or break a relationship. If you want to discuss every little thing about your relationship, and they are constantly putting up a wall and not wanting to talk about it, that might not be a great match. However, not everyone is going to have the exact same communication style as you, so you have to decide what is the minimum level of communication you’re willing to accept. Maybe you are the one that doesn’t want to have to rehash everything in the relationship; maybe you just want to be able to communicate about the most important things, and not beat it to death.
How would you want to handle disagreements with your partner? Everybody has disagreements — it’s how you handle the disagreements that can be an issue in relationships. When you disagree, do you fight? Do you throw things? Do you sulk in your bedroom? Or do you talk about them effectively and calmly and with respect? What would be your ideal way to solve problems together? What would you like to do, what seems reasonable to you? Are any of these things deal breakers?
The next subject is spiritual or life beliefs. What kind of spiritual or life beliefs do you want your partner to have? Do they need to share a certain religion? Do they just need to share a certain life philosophy? Does it matter to you if they don’t share those things? What is the minimum spiritual or life belief level you would be okay with your partner having? Along with that, what kind of political beliefs would you be okay with your partner having? Are any of these deal breakers? These are things that you don’t necessarily need to discuss the first time you meet someone, or the second or the third, but if it appears that you’re on the way to developing a longer term relationship with this person, these are important things to consider.
Hobbies and interests — what kind of hobbies or interests would you like your partner to have? Maybe you like to go mountain climbing, maybe you like to go boating, maybe you like to garden. Does it matter if your life partner shares those same hobbies? Or is it okay as long as you have your time to do your interests and they have their time to do theirs? What hobbies or interests would you not like your partner to have? Maybe you really don’t want your life partner to have high risk sports as a hobby. Maybe you really don’t want them to go mountain climbing or rock climbing or hang gliding or whatever. Is that a deal breaker? Are you okay if you don’t share hobbies as long as you share life goals and communication styles?
Education — what kind of education do you want your partner to have? Does it matter to you if they have a college degree, or they don’t have a college degree? If they have a high school diploma or a GED or not? Maybe you’re a brain surgeon and you want your partner to have a PhD in something, I don’t know. What is the minimum education you would be okay with your partner having?
Age — what age range do you want your partner to be in? Do you want them within five years of your age? Would you be okay if they were 10 years younger than you as long as they were an adult? Would you be okay if they were 20 years older than you? What is the minimum and maximum age you would be okay with your partner being? Is that flexible? Does that matter if you share the same beliefs, and you are really a great match?
Job and income — what kind of job or income do you want your partner to have? Some people make this a priority; they want their life partner to have the same level of income as they do, at least. Or maybe they want their partner to have more than they do, I don’t know. What kind of job or income do you want your partner to have? Is that important to you? What is the minimum job or income you would be okay with your partner having?
One word of caution here: jobs and income nowadays can be very flexible. You may marry someone who’s making two hundred thousand dollars a year in the tech field and then five years from now they could be out of a job. Things happen — with the stock market, real estate, whatever. A word of advice is not to choose a life partner based on things that might be temporary, like jobs or income, or where they live, because those things could change. Even appearance — that’s going to change. What’s not going to change generally are their basic character traits. But that said, let’s move on.
How does your partner handle money? Are they a super saver or are they a spend-thrift? Are they somewhere in the middle? How does that match with your style — are your spending and saving styles compatible? Are any of these things deal breakers?
Family and kids — what kind of family or number of kids do you want to have? Do you already have kids? Are you comfortable raising someone else’s kids? If so, does the age of those kids matter? Maybe you’re middle-aged, and you’re okay if your life partner has some older kids, but you’re not ready to raise babies again. Does that matter? Does it matter if there is an ex in the picture? Does it bother you if there’s someone else involved on a regular basis? Are any of these things deal breakers? These are good conversations to have before you really jump into a life partner type of relationship with somebody. END OF PART 1
For more information, you can contact me at my website claritycoachingservices.com.