It is my firm belief that if you are seeking a life partner, you need
to be clear about what it is you are looking for—what is important to
If you’ve had more than a few failed
relationships, then that’s actually a good thing because it will help
you narrow your focus. You probably have developed a list of what you
don’t want and from that list, you can turn the “don’t wants” into
qualities and characteristics that you do want.
My 21 year-old son is currently finding himself yearning for a
significant relationship but he keeps attracting girls into his life
who have a lot of insecurities and low self-esteem. When I asked him
what he was looking for, the only quality he was concerned with was
body size, shape and attractiveness. He really hadn’t considered the
other attributes that attracted him. Consequently, he has been
attracting many beautiful young women into his life, but no one has had
the staying power because he is not clear about what he wants.
I suggested he make a list and put it out there to the Universe and
then trust that the Universe will deliver the right person at precisely
the right time. I suggest you be flexible in your list but not willing
to become so compromising that you don’t even recognize the qualities
you are seeking anymore.
I already wrote about need strength compatibility in a previous post.
Those are things to consider that will determine how well your
personalities are suited to each other. Even if you have some
incompatible areas to your need strength profile, doesn’t mean that you
won’t be able to find a way to work it out
but you can’t ignore the differences and hope they will go away. You
must make a plan to negotiate the areas of conflict.
Another thing to consider is how much do you have in common. What
things do you like to do together? Are there things you love to do
that you want to share with your partner? How does your partner feel
about doing them? Conversely, are there things your partner loves to do
and wants you to love them too but you don’t? And then you must
consider if there are things you love to do without your partner and
can your partner understand and accept that?
I also think that a discussion of values is critical to the success of
a relationship. Your enumerated lists do not have to match completely
but if one of you is a vegan and the other a farmer raising beef
cattle, you may have a value conflict.
Arguments around money are often the cause of conflict in
relationships. How does each of you feel about spending and saving?
What are you building your future toward? Where do you want to live?
What kind of cars do you want to drive?
If your relationship is to include a family, then you need to discuss
your thoughts about family, more than simply how many children each of you
wants. What are your thoughts about discipline? What are the values
that you want to instill in your children? How do you feel about
religious instruction of your children? How important is education and
Talking about the distribution of housework is also an area to discuss
ahead of time. How much time will be spent together and how much time
will be spent apart? Do you like each other’s friends? Do you have
couples with whom both are happy to spend time? How does each of you
feel about your partner’s family?
One thing I know for sure. Marrying or committing to someone will not
change him or her. Whatever you see now, will most likely be there
later and possibly will be there even stronger. The thing I like to ask
is what if he or she never changes, will you still want to spend the
rest of your life with this person?
I am a firm believer that some people come into our lives for a moment,
some for a season and some for a lifetime. The mistake that is often
made is we try to make a moment or a season person fit into a lifetime
person. This will never work.
I believe strongly that each person who crosses our path in an intimate
way is someone from whom we have a lesson to learn. Value the lesson
and when the time is right, allow that person to exit your life. Stop
trying to hold on to someone who is ready to move down the road.
Attempting to hold on to someone who is already gone, mentally or
physically, only provides suffering and heartache for both of you.
Always remember that an ending is always a beginning. You simply have
to reframe your relationship. When relationships end, don’t look for
where to place the blame. Understand that it has run its course, you
have been shown the important lessons and now this person must leave
your life to allow for the next phase to begin. Embrace it. Learn from
Go to our free stuff page and take the Assessments on the basic needs, love & belonging, power, freedom, fun and survival. Then have your partner take too and compare your answers. It will help determine your Need Strength Compatibility.