I want someone tall, fit, good looking, dark hair, maybe light hair. They have to be smart, have a good job, likes art, someone my parents will like, someone my friends will like. They should be able to make me laugh, be ambitious, they should share my beliefs, be age-appropriate and really attractive. They should like the same food as I like, they should love animals, especially cats. They should be thoughtful and give me foot massages when I need them. They should be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!
A friend of mine had put together a list of things she wanted in a mate. I found it strange, but of course, I was supportive. I considered it for a while. I did have my own mental checklist of things I wanted in a mate, but I decided to let it go. I found that I wanted to let someone surprise me. I wasn’t looking for anyone for a long time and when I found someone I simply went with the connection. Once there was a connection and with it love and respect it blossomed into something more. Once it blossomed we both made the conscious decision to move forward together. There was no checklist just connection.
I tend to avoid the word success as I feel it’s become nebulous and defining it has become more of a personal exercise, but earlier in my career, I fell into the money equals happiness fallacy. I used to go over the list of what I sadly thought of as accomplishments. I would think to myself “I have a nice house, a fancy car, brand name clothes, the beautiful wife, the gadgets, I can travel, I’m in shape… Why am I still so unhappy?” It wasn’t until I let go and put little to no value in these things that I found happiness. I found happiness in the moments and day to day life. I try to avoid predicting what will make me happy. One thing we do know is that we, as humans, are terrible at predicting what makes us happy according to Daniel Gilbert in his book Stumbling on Happiness. We imagine ourselves driving around in that fancy car and how we will be perceived, but when it actually happens it has nothing to do with happiness. Turns out we are no different with those material things and we will never meet anyone that ticks all the boxes in our mate checklist. Life is much more fluid than that.
This post was previously published on Medium.com.
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