Having an idea of what you’re looking for in a partner is essential but holding on too tightly to that idea can be self-sabotaging.
Often we’ll sit down with new clients who give us their wish list of what they want in a partner. Women tend to focus on height, money, confidence and sense of humor while men focus on looks, age and key personality traits like ‘easygoing’ and ‘laughs easily’.
Usually, the list is pretty long and specific. It always starts with “He should have…” or “She needs to be…” and they go on to explain all of the things they want in their partner.
But is what you want always what you need?
A great question we ask our clients who are a little caught up in their list is this:
What are the five qualities you want in the mother / father of your children?
Suddenly, this brings it all home.
Qualities like kindness, stability, loyalty and compassion start to emerge while superfluous traits start falling to the wayside. It doesn’t seem as important that she has to have skinny ankles or fit into a certain age range. Or that he’s 6’2 with a full head of hair… If you want to create a happy home with someone, they need to be a trustworthy and good person.
Looking at your partner through this lens will help you quickly sift through the Real Deals vs. the Fun-For-Now’s.
The Fun-For-Now’s are exciting when they’re with you but they’re never consistently available and they leave you feeling just a bit insecure. It’s impossible to plan or build a future with them. But the Real Deals make you feel safe. They come over when your dog dies instead of texting you “Hey! Sorry about your dog”. They remember what you said two dates ago and book tickets to that one-woman show you’ve been dying to see. They show up for you. Over and over again.
And if you’re not sure about having a family, just ask yourself what kind of relationship you want to have.
Is it warm, supportive and stable or exciting, adventurous and spontaneous? Or both? Get to know yourself better so you can understand what makes you tick, thrive and feel safe. Pay attention to the person’s character and how they treat you. Someone who shows up for you is way more important than a few extra hair follicles or a couple of inches. Being with someone you trust that will always be there for you during life’s ups and downs is priceless.