Our top tips on how to choose the right partner
11th February 2019
How to know if you’ve finally met Mr or Mrs Right
If you’re not coupled up at the moment, the chances are, you might be hoping your path crosses that special someone – and that perhaps, romance might once again bloom in your life to find a partner. However, unless this is your first relationship, you would also know just how tough relationships can be – and that to make them last requires patience, dedication and commitment through tough times.
In this article, we’re going explore what to look for in a relationship and give you tips on how to prepare yourself too, so that your next relationship awakens renewed feelings of lasting love and joy.
Working out core values
Relationships are a lot easier when you have a core set of values in common. If you’re young and haven’t had children yet, this would include knowing if both of you would like to have children, and if so, how would you want to raise them, in terms of religious beliefs, education, parenting styles etc.
What about goals, and lifestyle – these too should ideally match in some way. That you both want the same things out of life is also important and means each person can easily help the other partner go after their goals.
According to Dr Gwedolyn Seidman, Associate Professor of Psychlogy at Albright College, there are 5 key essential qualities to look out for in a potential partner:
- Kindness, loyalty and understanding – research has found looks, status and wealth simply don’t correlate with long-term satisfaction in relationships. A person who is genuinely kind, loyal and understanding will have no problem in attracting long term partners and keeping them.
- Things in common – research shows that couples who share similar tastes, interests and expectations of life will generally have fewer conflicts over time.
- Being polite and reliable – in addition to both of these, being practical, following social conventions and being organised are equally as important in long-term relationships.
- Emotional stability – if you’re emotionally stable, you’ll be able to weather changes in people around you and you won’t be so reactive, which is key to maintaining long-term relationships.
- An understanding that relationships require effort – if you and your partner know and believe that relationships require effort, you’ll be able to navigate the tough times together with a combined spirit of teamwork.
Spend time cultivating self-awareness
If you’ve had a series of relationships that were similar in some way but didn’t work, or left you heartbroken every time, then it’s likely that you’re repeating patterns that need to be overcome.
While you’re single, it’s great to use the time you have productively, by reflecting on past relationships and seeing if you can spot how your own behaviour contributed to a relationship that broke down. For example, if you were with a person who took too much of your time or energy, what stopped you from putting up adequate boundaries or communicating your needs to your partner? Whenever something negative happens in our lives, we must also search ourselves to see how we allowed it to happen in the first place. Perhaps we need to change our behaviour and become more assertive, speak up more, create boundaries and make sure our needs are met equally in relationships.
Ask yourself, have I truly let go of old partners?
This is so important to do before beginning any new relationship. Know that this takes time, in fact, it can take years to get over a failed relationship and you could say heartbreak can be like grieving the loss of someone special. You can feel cheated by life itself and if you’re not over it, those feelings could sabotage a new relationship.
Allow yourself to fully mourn the loss of a previous partner who didn’t work out. No matter how brief, or how long. Moving through these feelings could even put you in touch with other losses from other relationships. For example, it might be worth considering what you didn’t get in childhood that you felt you needed and deserved. If you can become aware of this, and give yourself what you would have liked to receive as a child, then you are cultivating true self-love and will be ready for new people to enter your life.
Healing from attachment trauma
Sometimes we’re unable to create healthy attachments in our adult years, because we never experienced how healthy attachment felt during early childhood. Perhaps one of your parents was always threatening to leave the other. Perhaps deep down one parent didn’t believe they’d met ‘the one’ for them.
Well before we learn how to speak, we feel everything, and as a baby or child, it’s easy to absorb the feelings of insecure attachment patterns – which can be classed as avoidant, ambivalent or disorganised. Those of us who experienced any type of attachment issue, will grow up to recreate it and repeat it, with others who grew up with the same thing. The good news is, it’s definitely possible to develop the basis of secure attachment in our psyches as adults, and create healthy relationships through therapy.
We’ve helped countless individuals develop secure and healthy romantic relationships. If you would like to discuss how we can help, then please do contact us for a confidential chat.