What to look for in a relationship

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To start with, I don’t think you should look for a relationship.

Also, I slightly disagree with the concept of ‘a relationship’, in the sense of it being a socially-recognised pair bond that begins with dating, mating, committing, and ending with home buying, marriage, kids and an old-age pension plan.

If that’s the kind of relationship you’re thinking of, then I don’t have any clue what you should look for. Someone with money and the potential to make even more, probably.

If you’re thinking of an authentic connection with another human being that is rewarding, enriching and helps you grow, is more happy than sad, brings interesting experiences and makes lasting memories, then I have a few ideas.

  1. Stop looking outside yourself for this person and start building an authentic relationship with yourself. Translated, this means thinking really hard about your values and priorities and combining this with doing what is fun and spiritually rewarding. Being conscious of the way you live your life, the person who *you* are in the outside world will come to reflect your inner world, and you will start to attract the right people as a result.
  2. Get rid of everything in your life that drains your energy and makes you unhappy. If you can’t get rid of something, then at least try to find ways to deal with it positively so it has the least impact on your life.
  3. Make sure you think about your past relationships. Reflect on where they went wrong and why, because otherwise you will keep making the same mistakes again, attracting the same sorts of people until you learn your lesson.
  4. Take steps to deal with all of your emotional issues to make sure they don’t keep coming up in your relationships. Remember, every relationship is a chance to grow and develop in a deeper way than perhaps you might be able to on your own, so try to see problems as potential learning points. If your partner doesn’t want to learn as well, it might be time to get rid of them.
  5. Make an amazing, beautiful and inspiring life plan so have a clear idea of what your goals and ambitions are. This way, you can see if current or prospective partners fit in with your goals, and perhaps could even help expand them in a way you wouldn’t have thought of by yourself.
  6. Be the type of person who you want to hang out with, and also be as happy as you think you’ll be once you find someone. That means you don’t need to wait to have fun and have the best experiences, because going on holiday with friends is amazing, and volunteering at exciting events is a great way to meet people. There is something invigorating  about having all your spare time to yourself, since you can get a lot done and won’t have time to think about relationships.
  7. Make sure there is space in your life for a person to come into it or it will never happen. Make sure your social calendar is not so full you don’t have time to meet anyone new. Make sure you’re not hanging on to photos of your ex that will make someone run a mile when they see them. Check if your social media profile is up to date.
  8. Forget everything you ever learned about not being good enough – you don’t need to be prettier, smarter, more intelligent or richer, you just need to have fun being yourself and then your spirit will be infectious. You don’t need to surround yourself with anyone who makes you feel like you have to make a transaction for them to spend time with you. No one else is perfect and neither should you be.
  9. Stop seeing people you want to be romantic with as fundamentally different from you. You want to look for someone who appeals to you as a human being, and who is drawn to you as another fellow human being, rather than feeling like you have to impress them with your feminine or masculine charms. You’re awesome and the right person will see that.
  10. Remember that ‘being in a relationship’ – whatever that means – is not the default setting. Everyone is born with the potential to be a complete human being by themselves, while you have to actively *choose* to form a bond with someone, so anyone who remains ‘single’ is in a perfectly good default setting.
  11. Remember that people don’t exist for you to make use of them in a dating game. Everyone is a unique human being with flaws and feelings just like you, so just have fun getting to know different people rather than searching for the ‘end goal’ of a relationship. People aren’t goals.

CatherineCatherine Julianne is a writer and digital communications professional obsessed with the field of personality systems theory. She also likes visual art, Eastern practices, adventures and being in nature. 

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