Most of us want a fulfilling lifelong partnership with someone to love and be loved by. We want to be happy in a healthy, committed relationship, yet we don’t seem to know how. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. said it best in his Life’s Little Instruction Book, “Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come ninety percent of your happiness or misery.” So, how do we go about choosing our Life Partner? When you’re single, you can do a lot more than you realize to prepare for a successful and lasting relationship.
1. Know who you are and what you want. Understand your values, life purpose, temperament, strengths and weaknesses. Sharpen your clarity about your life vision, relationship requirements, needs, and wants. Use this information to scout out, sort through, and screen potential partners. Like an iceberg, we are typically aware only of the tip, while our success and happiness depends upon what lies below the surface.
2. Learn how to get what you want. Assess the information, tools, and skills you will need and acquire them. Become conscious of your attitudes and choose them effectively. Develop creative strategies and action plans. Remember, “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”
3. Be the one to choose. Take initiative and responsibility for your outcomes, instead of simply reacting to people who choose you. Initiate contact and seek to create what you want in your life without limiting yourself to what you can see in front of you.
4. Balance your heart with your head. Make your relationship choices consciously, with your vision, values, goals, and requirements in mind, as well as chemistry and attraction. Take the time that you need to determine if a potential partner can meet your “non-negotiables”.
5. Be ready and available for commitment. Live your life and bring your dating strategy into alignment with how ready you really are. If you are not quite ready for commitment, stay single, focus on your life, and date non-exclusively for fun. If you are ready for and seeking a committed relationship, stay available. Continue to scout out, and evaluate potential partners.
6. Understand the “Law of Attraction.” Assume that “what’s inside shows up on the outside.” Attract the partner that you want by developing yourself and living the life that you want. “Build it and they will come.”
7. Gain relationship knowledge and skills. Prepare for the love of your life by learning about relationships, improving your relationship skills, and deepening your relationships with your family, friends, and colleagues. Date for fun and practice. Take more emotional risks. Read about relationships. Get relationship coaching help. Take relationship classes and workshops.
8. Create a support community. Isolated singles become lonely in their relationships when they focus on a partner to meet all their social and emotional needs. Fill your life with the love and connection that you need, with friends of both genders, and be open to their support. Develop a network that will support you in finding your life partner and beyond.
9. Practice assertiveness. To get what you really want, develop the ability to say “No” to what you don’t want. Take care of yourself in your relationships by learning to ask for what you want and need, and to identify and enforce your boundaries.
10. Be a “Successful Single”. Live your life vision and purpose while you are single, without putting your life on hold waiting for a relationship to happen. The best way to find your life partner is to be a happy, successful single person living the life that you really want. Pursue your goal of a relationship while living life fully, in the present, and letting go of your attachment to future outcomes.