Picking the Right Partner
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Picking the right partner
To answer this question, we need to separate out 1) is this a person you are capable of having a great relationship with from 2) are you currently in a great relationship with someone. Don’t mix up 1 and 2! For example, you might currently be feeling a lower level of emotional attraction to your partner. This might be due to a lack of compatibility, but it might also be because you both haven’t been communicating well.
Questions to test: Am I in an awesome relationship? (This is not the same as asking “Do my partner and I have the potential to have an awesome relationship?”)
[ ] Do I feel fully respected by my partner?
[ ] Does my partner feel fully respected by me?
[ ] Do I feel deeply attracted to my partner?
[ ] Does my partner feel deeply attracted to me?
[ ] Am I fully satisfied with the way we approach conflict? (e.g. full transparency can be okay, and sweeping things under the rug can be okay, as long as both parties are fully content with the dominant strategy)
[ ] Is my partner fully satisfied with the way we approach conflict?
[ ] Do I feel a strong positive sentiment towards my partner in general over the past 12 months?
[ ] Do I feel a strong positive sentiment towards my partner over the past week?
[ ] Does my partner feel a strong positive sentiment towards me over the past 12 months, and the past week?
[ ] Do I feel that my deepest aspirations are strongly supported by my partner?
[ ] Does my partner feel that I strongly support their deepest aspirations?
[ ] Do I feel very optimistic about our ability to have a happy relationship over the long term?
[ ] Does my partner feel very optimistic about our ability to have a happy relationship over the long term?
If you answered yes to all of these, awesome. Otherwise, you have room for improvement.
Having room for improvement is a great thing. It means there are levels of satisfaction that are around the corner for you! And improvement is very doable, even if only one of the two partners is initially committed to improvement.
Questions to test: Am I with a great person for me?
[ ] Do we have “a decent number of common interests, activities, and people-preferences?”
[ ] Do we have a strong degree of alignment in our principles and values?
That’s pretty much it. Much of the rest comes down to a desire to be great at the skill of relationships.
Here are some good first reads to reframe your search:
- Play coupleconvos
- If you’re feeling pessimistic, and worried that things won’t work out: Buy and read the entirety of The 5 Love Languages. We don’t recommend a summary, because the narrative itself is what you need if you’re worried that things won’t work out.