Hey, Good Men Project readers! Did you know our partner MeetMindful is a dating site for conscious men and women? They are breaking stereotypes too!
Looking for Mr or Mrs Right? if you have been looking for awhile with no luck, you may be going about it the wrong way. Here are some ideas to check your thinking as you search for nirvana.
Ditch “The List.”
Have you ever heard someone say ‘they had everything I was looking for; they looked good on paper”? The modern version of this statement may be more like “they looked good online in their profile.” I have always bristled at this phrase, especially because it seems so impersonal, so inhumane, as if people are the sum total of their resume parts. We are told to think about the kind of person we want to be with and sometimes this looks more like an exhaustive grocery list than a general sense of finding someone with similar values, goals and ideals.
I say, ditch the list. That way, we will be less likely to overlook suitable mates just because they are missing some items on our lists. Don’t cheat yourself out of the chance for romantic bliss and discount potential mates as people you may be interested in dating, because they are short list items 4 and 7. It can help to open your mind to people you may not be expecting.
Ditch the list, again.
Even if we are lucky enough to create this infamous list and then have somebody that fits the bill, people change. You may be looking for a lawyer with a six figure income, continued financial prospects of success and professional status, but what if that partner burns out, gets fired or decides she want to became an artist instead after living the high life?
You will have to deal with your surprise and possibly disappointment as life throws the inevitable curve balls towards your relationship. Again, that list will have failed you in the long term.
Don’t ditch the list completely.
All this said, you don’t need to let go of all of your requirements for a partner just yet. if you have traits like “kindness” and “loyalty” on your list, no need to give that up. We don’t want you to become so open that you let go of the things that are truly important to you in a life and in a partner.
There is probably a standard that you do not want to go below, just be forewarned that the way things show up in a person may be very different than what you expected. You may find that the yogi you saw in the juice bar who seems so spiritual and peace oriented is actually a narcissistic introvert who hides within the mindful community looking to take advantage of others. And maybe the bike mechanic down the street who acts gruff when you come into the store is the most loyal and kind man you may ever meet. Take your time and use your judgement to get to know whether the people you meet are the ones you want to keep close.
Be the right person.
So much of the time we look outside of ourselves for someone to fill us up and complete us, without even noticing that we may be empty or in need of completion. The next time you ask yourself what you are looking for in another person, ask yourself why you are looking. There are, of course, things in life we may legitimately need other people for, but often times we look for things in people that we want for ourselves. That is part of why it can be so disappointing when our partners don’t measure up in those ways.
Try to be the right person for yourself. Fill yourself up with the things you need in life.Support yourself—financially, emotionally and physically. Go for the things you want. Work hard at getting them. Involve yourself with interests, passions, hobbies, meaningful work, and important relationship connections. That way, when someone comes around to share your life with, that is exactly what it will be, sharing your life with another person. Instead of relying on your partner to be something or fulfil some kind of lost part of yourself.
The “right person” is made, not born.
The idea that you are going to meet the “right person” and just know, and from then on, things are happily ever after, like in a fairy tale, is just that, a fairy tale. What is more true is that you choose someone and work on things together to make the connection you have become the “right relationship.” People are not static beings that remain the same over time and from person to person. Every partner we have brings out different aspects of ourselves.
Over time, we learn about each other and what we need or don’t want, our triggers and our pleasure points. The right person is really going to be the person with whom you are able to grow, have the capacity to create intimacy with over time and someone with whom as you deepen a connection, your quality of life increases.
Single and ready to meet The One? Check out our partner, MeetMindful. Thousands of conscious men and women who may be looking for someone like you.
About the author
Leslie Malchy is a Relationship psychotherapist working in private practice, Soft Landing Therapy, in Downtown Vancouver, BC, Canada. She is an experiential therapist working from a bio-psycho-social-spiritual and strengths based framework of change. She holds a Master of Science degree in Psychiatry from McGill University and a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Antioch University Seattle. When Leslie is not working, she is busy writing creative and literary fiction, tending to and growing kale in her community garden plot or jogging along Vancouver’s gorgeous Stanley Park seawall.
“What You Need to Give up to Be with the Right Person” was originally published with MeetMindful; republished with permission. Click here to check out MeetMindful for yourself with a free two-day trial.
Photo credit: Getty Photos