You feel ready for a new relationship. You love yourself. You have dealt with the issues from your childhood and from past relationships. You are clear about the reasons why you want a relationship. You are willing and able to put in the work that creating a committed, loving relationship requires. (If you cannot answer yes to all of the above statements, I suggest you read my article, “Before You Seek Mr. or Ms. Right”).
Once you truly feel that you are ready, how do you find a partner who is the right person for a committed, loving relationship? How do you know he or she is, indeed, the one for you?
If you are, indeed, ready for a relationship, you should ask yourself the following questions when you meet someone:
“Are you (my potential partner) ready for a committed relationship?”…
“Are you the one for me?”… Perhaps, more importantly, “Are you not the one for me?”Considering the divorce statistics, it seems that the ultimate decision of one or both partners in over 50% of marriages is: “You are not the one for me.”Hopefully, by making a careful choice up front, you will not become a statistic later on.
In evaluating the questions –“Are you the one for me?”or”Are you not the one for me?”– it is important to be honest, not only with yourself, but also with your potential partner. You and your partner need to know what each of you want out of life. Discuss with each other your dreams, goals, lifestyles, hobbies, finances, religious and political beliefs, and desires about having or not having children. Many relationships end today because partners allowed the relationship to advance prior to discussing these very topics.
Truth and honesty are of the utmost importance in relationships today. Lies, or even subtle deception, cannot provide a solid foundation for a committed loving relationship. How do we go about deciding whether someone is right or wrong for us? There is no set formula to make this decision easier. Over the years, I have seen countless quizzes and compatibility tests in books and magazines that try to help us with this question.
There is nothing terribly wrong with using these types of tools. However, there are people who take this to the extreme: the very first time they go out with someone new, they are putting their date through some quiz or compatibility evaluation that they saw in some book or magazine. I think that, as individuals, we are all unique and different. We need to come up with our own formula for the type of person with whom we would like to share our lives in a committed, loving relationship. There is no way you can decide from a quiz whether someone is right for you after the first date, even if his or her score is high. You can, though, decide if someone is wrong for you: that comes from gut instinct and intuition.
Remember, a date is a bit like a job interview.
Some people do extremely well on the first interview, whereas others do not do so well. If you are unsure, I feel it is worth the time to have that second or third date, because it could turn out that this person is, indeed, the one for you. There is no rule to say that the sparks must fly on a first encounter, as much as we would like this to be true. Sure, this does happen: I am sure we all have friends that met, and after one date, the love volcano erupted. They knew that they were right for each other, and now, 20 years later, their relationship continues to flourish. I am not a pessimist. On the contrary, I am a big time romantic. Let us face facts, though, and be honest: for most of us, this does not happen. It is trial and error of meeting people and dating many until we do find the right person for us.