The ultimate partner. We all have our lists of how Mr. or Ms. Right would look, talk, and act and it’s good to know what traits you like in a partner, but often times this can actually get in the way of meeting someone who’s truly great for you. Who wouldn’t want to be with the hottest, smartest, most successful, most perfect human being imaginable? I mean, really! The problem is we often get caught up on wanting the MOST attractive or TALLest (read: 6’+ even if you’re a 5’ tall woman) person out there without taking the whole package into consideration. With all the search functions online dating affords us, it seems only logical to pare down your potential matches with all the filters provided for you. Height? Astrological sign? Interests? I’ve seen all sorts of things, but unfortunately, most of these filters just further pigeonhole you and make meeting the right person even more difficult. But not to worry, there is plenty you can do to set yourself up to be open to someone who is truly a great match for you (and not just on paper).
1) Remember we are all human beings. No person out there will be perfect for you 100% of the time. There will be times you fight, times you might wish they would put their dishes away, and times they say or do things your most ideal partner would never say or do. But REMEMBER: we’re all human. If you hold your potential mate to every ideal on your wish list, you’ll likely find yourself alone. A good relationship is about compromise and that starts with finding a good mate. Hanging onto superficial ideals like height, age, or hair color usually means ending up with a match who might not actually be the best for you or you may end up without any match at all! Instead, look for someone who embodies most of what you want (with emphasis on the truly important things). Actually, for starters…
2) Prioritize that list. Knowing your dealbreakers is very important. With chemistry and all else being equal, what traits or behaviors would you absolutely not stand for in a relationship? Cheating? Abuse? These are obvious ones, but dig into your past relationships and consider communication styles, lifestyle, and values. If you’re looking for a long term relationship, these are key. I find it helpful to ask, “If I were attracted to someone who was X, would I still pursue a relationship?” This helps you take the issue of attraction off the table and focus on deeper traits. Plus, attraction is one of the easiest parts of dating. It’s either there or it’s not. It’s nothing to analyze, you will just know it when you feel it. Do this repeatedly until you really boil it down to know what you would actually be willing to explore and what you wouldn’t.
3) Keep an open mind. Do you have a type? Consider stepping out of that box. Sometimes our “types” are exactly what don’t work for us but we’re attracted to them and repeat that pattern nonetheless. Maybe you usually go for life of the party types because you’re social, but it may be better for you to be with someone who can hold their own in social settings, but is more of an introvert naturally. That’s the tricky thing about love, but consider breaking your pattern. You’ll be glad you did.
I’ve been a Matchmaker for quite a while now and even I am continually amazed to see who people really connect with when you compare their ideal list to their actual mate. I’ve worked with people who have dated nothing but supermodels in the past only to meet a sweet girl next door and go gaga for her because they are able to connect on a whole new level. Ultimately, what I have learned over the years is a lasting match develops from a deeper connection you develop with someone. Being ridiculously attractive never hurts, but that’s not the stuff that is really going to make a difference long term. Be open to that special someone coming in a package that might look a little different than you initially imagined. You never know what you’ll find!