The Partnership Frame of MindOctober 4, 2013
One of the most significant chapters in the journey of life is the quest for a romantic partner. Some of us are lucky and fell in love young and never fell out of it. For many of us, though, it's a longer and more arduous journey. While finding the right partner can enrich your life in ways you'd only dream, the stress of finding one can be unbearable at times. Without a doubt, many things about finding a partner are invariably out of our control. But there are also aspects that aren't, and it's important that we make the most of these. Like searching for anything in the world, there are ways to do it wisely and ways to do it foolishly. So how can we be smart when hoping to find a partner?
It's important to be in the right frame of mind to find your partner. This is one of the most common and basic mistakes we have a tendency to make in this search; so many of us are searching in all of the wrong ways. Are you a person who has ever said, “I don't want to lower my standards?” Perhaps you've uttered to a friend, “He (or she) isn't good enough for me.” If so, you may be your own worst enemy right now. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Always remember what it is you're searching for. A great relationship is formed when two people enrich their journeys by choosing to combine them for a greater, more fulfilling endeavor. Why do so many of us choose to ignore this when looking for a partner? Are you preoccupied with the impression your potential partner will make about you to others? This is frequently the case, especially when we are younger. We want a partner whose appearance, status or wealth will suggest things about our own qualities to those who see us with him or her. Some of us don't grow out of this. But a great relationship doesn't take place in the opinions of others. It takes place between two human beings.
A good place to start is to look at your friends. If you've chosen your friends wisely, they will possess qualities that complement your own very well. Examine your strongest friendships and evaluate what it is that allows these relationships to thrive. What do they bring out in you? What vulnerabilities in you do they tend to? This is great starting point because you're taking stock of things you already know work in your sturdier relationships. A great partner should also be a great friend. If you know what you're looking for in another to find a great friend, you've already got a very important piece of the puzzle figured out. Why fight against the knowledge you already have?
Examine your past romantic relationships as well. A lot of times we run away from our failed attempts at finding a partner and never really take useful stock. Once we've shed the raw emotion of the experience, oftentimes we never look back at these experiences again. But this can be very valuable when you're trying to get into the right mind frame for finding a new partner. There are so many useful questions we can ask ourselves about our previous relationships. What was it that caused them to end when they did? What was it that allowed them to last as long as they lasted? What did you find missing in each one? What did you take for granted while you were involved with each one and found yourself missing in the aftermath? Many of us make the same mistakes over and over when trying and failing to find a suitable partner. We can prevent this by calmly and rationally examining what it is we can learn from our past.
Once you've taken stock of the people in your life, you'll have a better idea of the things that are important in complementing who you are. Now embrace these qualities. Some people have a tendency to want to lie to themselves about what a great partner needs to bring to the table because they think it speaks to a shortcoming of their own. We are all people with different strengths and abilities. By pretending we're not, we only hurt our own long term happiness. If you can't be comfortable with who you are, how can your potential partner be? For as many things as you've learned from examining the people in your life, you should have learned just as many about yourself. Use this new found self-awareness to your benefit. When you are honest and in touch with yourself about who you are, you can be honest with yourself about what your soul longs for in another.
Never forget in your search for a partner that you're not looking for the best person. You're looking for the right person. This isn't a competition. Once you internalize all of these ideas, you will find yourself in a much better place to find yourself a great partner and enrich both of your journeys through this world. Finding a partner will never seem easy, but you don't have to feel like you're wandering aimlessly in your search. Let your past and your present help provide you with a map for your future!