What to Look for in the Right Person
Are you overwhelmed by trying to find the right person to marry? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could easily shop for all of the qualities you want and manufacture them into your ideal spouse? We tend to have lots of qualities we wish we could find all in one person. Yet, of course, we know real people are not perfect. It is, therefore, totally normal to struggle on dates to identify which qualities are essential to you and which undesirable personality traits you should be prepared to tolerate. What can you do to make your decisions to find the right person to marry easier?
Based on my over twenty years of experience relationship coaching and scientific research, I have found that people who are most happily married attribute their relationship success to three main qualities. Keep these three qualities in mind as you date to help you find and develop a relationship with the right person for you to marry.
To Find the Right Person, Be the Right Person
First of all, strive to embody these qualities yourself on your dates. You will find it easier to connect with the people you date and develop your relationship. One thirty-something year old shared these secrets with her roommate and they committed to using this approach to dating. They both got married within a year and are building beautiful families with their amazing husbands. These 3 qualities will help you “BE the right person” for your ideal partner.
Three Criteria to Look for on a Date
Secondly, in order to find “the right person” for you, use these three qualities as a litmus test to determine if it is worth investing in your relationship over the long term. When you wonder if you should continue dating your partner, ask yourself if your partner has these qualities. If your partner excels in them or has the potential to demonstrate them, then it is worthwhile to develop your relationship. On the other hand, if you see a significant lack of these qualities, save your emotional energy and move on to a better relationship with someone else.
Quality #1 – Appreciative
Someone who has this personality trait is able to focus on your strengths and appreciate you for who you are. A person who is appreciative is able to accept your weaknesses and shortcomings, while criticizing you sparingly to help support your personal growth. You will know that you are dating an appreciative person when you feel good about yourself after spending time together.
Ask yourself, ”Does he take an interest in my interests?” “Does she acknowledge the positive things I do on our dates?” “Does he enjoy hearing what I have to say?”“Does she compliment me about my personality?”
You may find that, sometimes, you or your dating partner is not sure about wanting to continue dating or to get engaged. Yet, even if you are your partner is unsure about your future together, if you are both appreciative, you will feel comfortable being together and feel good about investing in your relationship. Whether or not your relationship works out, you will feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to get to know one another. Look for this quality first and foremost when dating.
Quality #2 – Emotionally receptive
You may choose to express your feelings about the weather, politics, your family, or your day at work. Your connection and closeness will grow if your partner listens to your feelings and conveys that he can understand how you feel. Keep in mind that your partner does not necessarily have to agree with your perspective or opinion. Sometimes your partner will have the opposite point of view. As long as you are able to listen to one another and respectfully consider each other’s feelings, you will deepen your emotional connection.
Inevitably, at some point you will feel the need to express something that is bothering you about your relationship with your partner. If your partner is emotionally receptive, he will be able to carefully listen to your feedback and be open to discovering ways to improve your relationship. She will avoid countering your concerns by attacking you.
Since emotional receptivity is so important, you should explore on your dates if your partner as this essential skill. Ask yourself, “Does he acknowledge my feelings that I express?” “Is she able to understand my feelings?” “Is he open to working on himself to act differently based on the feedback I have shared? “Does she take an interest in my feedback about her behavior?”
You may find that the person you are dating is not naturally emotionally receptive. It is sometimes challenging for a person to know how to react when you share your emotions. Fortunately, emotional receptivity is not a personality characteristic that you need to be born with. Anybody can learn how to be more emotionally receptive. It’s a skill that you can teach to your partner as well.
You can coach your dating partner to become more emotionally receptive by asking follow up questions after you express how you feel about something. Try asking questions like these: “What do you think I felt about … ?” “What does it sound like I feel based on what I said?” “What was one main feeling that stuck in your mind about what I said just now?”
Quality #3 – Supports your values
Life is about the choices you make each day and your choices are determined based on your values. How you use your time. How you spend your money. Where you live. Who you choose to associate with. How you would like to raise children. The more your partner supports your values, the easier it is to make decisions as a couple. It is even easier to make joint decisions if you share the same values. But when your partner does not agree with your values, he can still support your values because they matter to you. This is how couples who come from different family backgrounds or cultures are able to develop harmonious relationships.
Sometimes you might assume that your dating partner has certain values based on the schools, family, community he comes from or based on her style of dress. It is not safe to make any assumptions about your partner’s values. While you are dating, be sure to discuss specific values that matter to you. Describe your impressions of some of your role models in life – people you feel close to or admire. Share some of your goals and dreams about what kind of home you would like to create, what you would like to accomplish, where you would like to live and why. It often takes time to gradually share your values with your dating partner. As you find your partner respects or shares your values, you may want to share progressively deeper and more personal ideals.
Ask yourself, “To what extent do we share the same values? Is our appreciation and respect for one another’s values enough to allow me to be myself? To what extent will I be able to fulfill my goals and dreams in this relationship?”
Be Surprised to Find Your Ideal Partner
You might be surprised where this dating strategy leads you. I have seen many couples who would not have imagined themselves married to one another, but are now happily married because they focused on these top three essential qualities – both in how they approached their relationship and how they determined who to continue dating. Let me know where these strategies take you in your relationship. Feel free to share your comments below.
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