“Definitely above 6 foot. Nothing shorter. No way.”
“She has got to like comic books.”
“He has got to read the front page of the NY Times everyday.”
“Brunette, shorter, decent chest, nice butt to hold onto.”
“He must workout, know good restaurants, and like the nightlife.”
I teach a seminar where I ask everyone to grab piece of paper and take 20 minutes to make a list describing their ideal partner. I tell them to go into the deepest detail about how they look, act, like, dislike; where they live, work, worship, and what they read, listen to, and watch. I compel them to go into the finest of details so they truly visualize and see in their mind’s eye what their ideal partner looks like. We then all stand up and lift our dream lover’s description high in the air. I say to everyone, “These represent your ideal mate. Your future lover. You can see how they look, act, and what they do. You have placed it down on this paper to manifest them into your life. And now, the only thing left to do is…to…TEAR IT UP!” Usually people are a little shocked, but then I bark again, “TEAR IT UP!” as I begin to tear up the paper in my hands. At first there is much hesitation, but by my final bark of “TEAR IT UP” the class’s hands are full of scraps of their precious lists. We then throw them up in the air and have our idealized lovers shower us with scrappy pieces of pulp.
The point of the exercise is not just to drive the cleaning crew nuts, but to show how futile and meaningless these lists can be in our search for a healthy relationship. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in sticking to your values and ethics and making sure you partner with someone who shares a similar belief system. As much as we want love to save the day, differences in politics, religion, and culture can be so strong that they create more exclusion than inclusion, more differences than similarities, and separation than togetherness. Remember: Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy, not a romance.
Beyond your personal value system though, then you have to let go a bit and be open to the dating gods. Instead of focusing on your ideal mate, how about focusing on your ideal relationship? Instead of visioning their hair color, body build, and them sharing your love for comic books, how about imagining the chemistry, partnership, and care for one another? The advantage of focusing on the ideal relationship as opposed to the ideal partner, is that it causes you to look inward first, before finding that amazing mate. If you close your eyes and truly imagine what your ideal relationship looks like and feels like, then the next question is, “Now what do I need to do to attract that awesome relationship? Am I really ready to be an incredible lover, worthy of a selfless and giving partnership?”
This work always begins with ourselves. We are the only common denominator. Trust me, if you get your home-base set and make sure that YOU are reflecting the traits you see in that healthy relationship, you will attract a different flock of potential mates. So stick to your values, throw away the list, embody the relationship you desire, and be open to what comes through the door…even if they don’t read comic books.