I use the word soul mate carefully as I don’t believe we only have one partner for us in this lifetime. Instead, I believe we have many “right partners” for us aligned with who we really are. So, for those that feel they had their once in a lifetime love affair, your incredible love journey is not over. The bigger concern is discerning who the right one is to take the journey with. In the initial attraction stage, chemistry takes control of our thoughts and behaviour, making us get caught up in the fantasy, painting the whole love story in our heads before it has all played out and we are sure reality actually matches up. Alternatively, we give up too soon, as past experience and limiting beliefs trigger something that may not even exist. Finding the right partner is so critical for our future happiness yet very few people do the work required to determine what they really need in a partner and evaluate suitability based on that. Let’s start making conscious decisions, here are some of the key top-level ways you can start evaluating your union:
1. Do their core values conflict with yours?
Our core values drive our behaviour. Do you know what yours are? Problems occur when we do not identify these values and how they impact our relationships with others. For instance, if one of my top values is generosity, it will be important that my partner not only does things for me but also for others. I would want to see indicators of an overall generous personality. If not properly identified, we might not be able to pinpoint where the issues lie and how important they are as a whole. They won’t just disappear if ignored. The resentment will just become greater. It’s natural to focus on all the things we have in common in the beginning and avoid glaring differences, but before making a commitment it’s time to look at all angles. Ask yourself, if I were to put physical attraction aside as well as my strong desire to find a partner, what is underneath? Do I love all the personality traits I see? Can I picture living with this person for the rest of my life or am I already starting to feel like some things would drive me crazy? If he/she were dating my best friend would I give him/her a thumbs up of approval?
2. Do your visions for the future align?
Of course, it’s great to focus on the present and enjoy every moment happening now, but when it comes to long-term relationships, it’s important to determine early on whether you share a similar vision for the future. Certainly not saying you have to have everything in common, that would be boring! You should have separate goals and interests to keep things exciting, but your life visions should not conflict. This happens often with the desire to have children and/or where to live. If two parties have opposite plans, there will be a big problem down the road if neither party changes their desire. Yet, most believe “love conquers all” and that it will sort itself out over time. This is rarely the case with non-negotiable desires, it often leads to heartbreak. These important visions should be discussed and taken into consideration at the beginning.
3. Can your true colours shine?
Do you trust enough in the security of the relationship to be yourself? Do you keep a part hidden as you feel this person might frown on certain aspects? If adapting your personality to what the other person wants, you will never feel secure in the relationship. Subconsciously you will always wonder if they will still love you once they discover the real you. The only true way to know is to be truly authentic – let the person fall in love with all of you the good and the less good. No one is perfect, so if you are in a crappy mood and angry about something tell them. If you disagree with something they are saying, explain your own position. Ensure you feel relaxed and confident around this person. If not, you may be worrying too much about what they think.
The same can be said about your potential partner, do you notice yourself trying to change this person to fit in with what you want instead of acceptingthem as they are? You can try all you want but you cannot change someone and things you thought you could live with often come back to haunt you.
4. Does it feel right?
Seems too simple but the easiest tool for determining the truth and often the most accurate is tuning into your instincts. What are they telling you? Are there any warning bells going off? Do things just seem to flow naturally? Trust what your gut is trying to tell you, it is rarely wrong. We just don’t always want to admit the truth to ourselves. Think back to how many times you have wished you had listened to your own inner voice. Could you be talking yourself into this relationship?
5. Have you gathered enough information to make such a decision?
If you are still unsure about the suitability of this person as your life-mate, take a purely analytical approach. Much like a researcher, take your heart out of it. Have you spent enough time together observing behaviour traits and asking the right questions to see if a future together would work well? Or are you rushing things based on potential? I personally find writing things down helps. In one column list all the things you feel you need in a relationship and in your future. In the other column list whether you feel this partner can meet these requirements. If there appears to be question marks – you know you need more time to gather the facts. If you have them all – what are they telling you?
If you honestly answered yes to all the questions above, then CONGRATULATIONS! You have done your due diligence and it appears you have found a great match! If you are still unsure, that may be a sign you want to pay attention to in itself. For a more in-depth look, download my Dating Red Flags Checklist at www.path2love.com or book a free discovery call at www.path2love.com/consultation