A healthy, loving relationship can enhance many aspects of your life, from your emotional and mental well-being to your physical health and overall happiness. For many of us, though, finding someone we want to share our lives with can seem like an impossible task.
But don’t despair, even if you have a history of relationships that don’t last or if you feel burned out by traditional and online dating, you can still learn how to find lasting love.
The first step to finding a suitable partner is to distinguish between what you want and what you need in a partner. Wants are negotiable, needs are not. Wants include the things you think you’d like in a partner, including occupation, intellect, and physical attributes such as height, weight, and hair color. Even if certain traits may appear to be crucially important to you at first, over time you’ll often find that you’ve been needlessly limiting your choices. For example, it may be more important, or at least as important, to find someone who is:
- Curious rather than extremely intelligent. Curious people tend to grow smarter over time, while those who are bright may languish intellectually if they lack curiosity.
- Sensual rather than sexy.
- Caring rather than beautiful or handsome.
- A little mysterious rather than glamorous.
- Humorous rather than wealthy.
- From a family with similar values to yours, rather than someone from a specific ethnic or social background.
Don’t make your search for a relationship the center of your life. Concentrate on activities you enjoy, your career, health, and relationships with family and friends. When you focus on keeping yourself happy, it will keep your life balanced and make you a more interesting person when you do meet someone special.
Remember that first impressions aren’t always reliable. Especially when it comes to Internet dating, people don’t always accurately portray themselves. Regardless of where or how you meet someone, though, it always takes time to really get to know that person. You have to experience being with someone in a variety of situations, some good and some not so good, before you really know him or her. For example, how well does this person hold up under pressure when things don’t go well or when they’re tired, frustrated, or hungry?
Be honest about your own flaws and shortcomings. Everyone has a flaw—or several—and, for a relationship to last, you want someone to love you for the person you are, not the person you’d like to be, or the person he or she thinks you have the potential to become. In many cases, what you consider a flaw may actually be something another person finds quirky and appealing. By being honest and shedding all pretense you’ll encourage the other person to do the same, which can lead to a fulfilling relationship.
Invest in a vertical relationship before you invest in a horizontal relationship. Don’t be too quick to make a relationship sexual as it often becomes harder to develop a good vertical relationship afterwards. Even though it can be difficult in this day and age, try to take your time to get to know someone first. It will only lead to a more satisfying sexual relationship down the road.
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