Today I wanted to talk to you about how to find the right person for you. We’re all looking for different things in a partner, or our romantic searches, but how we go about finding what we’re looking for can be the same. Whether you’re looking for someone for now, or the rest of your life, I believe that these tips will help.
Here’s what you can expect in this episode:
- How knowing who you are can help you on your search for the right person for you
- Why it’s important to be honest about what you’re looking for in a partner
- Where to search for a person who’d be the right fit for you
Good Luck Out There.
Intro song: Synthetic Feels by Sro
The first step is figuring out who you are. Knowledge of self is critical in finding someone else. You can’t go on a search for someone else and succeed if you’re still searching for yourself. Knowing who you are can help you find a person for you. It’s harder to look for someone else and figure out what you’re looking for, if you’re still trying to figure out what you are.
Start small. Describe yourself. Figure out what defines you. It’s important to now how you view yourself. Look in the mirror, literally and figuratively, and think of how you perceive yourself. This isn’t one of the exercises where I say to describe yourself, but make you exclude things like religion, or your career. Think about the sum of all the things that make up your identity. Your career doesn’t have to be part of how you view yourself, but for some people it might. If you’re a teacher, your identity, how you view yourself, might be tied to your career. If you’re middle-management at a company that handles logistics, it’s possible that your career has very little to do with your own identity. Or maybe that career does define you, those are just examples, and not any sort of judgement about what should or should not define you.
There might be certain characteristics that you need to succeed in your career that you think define you, and that’s fine. I don’t think my career defines me, but I do think that the skills I have define me.
If, at the end of this exercise your description of yourself is Christian, funny, witty, empathetic, law-enthusiast, that is okay. If it’s more or less than that, that’s fine too. This isn’t an exercise where volume matters. It’s an exercise in figuring out who you think you are, so be honest with yourself. If it takes you a couple of days to figure things out, that’s okay. Write your characteristics down as they come to you, or sit down for a set amount of time and just brainstorm.
Next, and this is where honesty with yourself is going to be crucial, define for yourself what you’re looking for. Again, honesty here is key. I don’t care what you tell the people you meet what you’re looking for. You need to be honest with yourself and candid about what you’re actually searching for. If you’ve been single for 10 years, and you keep telling people who you’re looking for a commitment, but you purposefully avoid commitments, are you sure that you’re actually looking for a commitment? Can you honestly say that what you say you’re looking for matches up your behavior and intentions in dating. As long as your honest with yourself about what you’re looking for, that’s all that matters. It’s okay if what you’re looking for isn’t what people think you should be looking for at your current stage of life. If you never want to have a monogamous relationship, that’s okay. If you never want to settle down and get married and have kids, that’s okay too. If you’re 23 years old and know in your heart that in the next 5 years you want to settle down and raise a family, that’s okay too. The only thing I can’t abide is dishonesty. To yourself and to others.
Again, be honest with yourself, and don’t be afraid to get more specific than what I mentioned above. If your romantic goal is something like long-term, non-monogamous pairing with a primary partner who is committed to you, believe me when I say it’s attainable. It might be harder to find than say, casual sex with whoever gives you the time of day, but it isn’t impossible. Whatever you’re looking for is out there, and the best way to get it is by being honest. With yourself, and with others. It’s entirely possible that what you’re looking for isn’t a specific type of relationship, but a feeling. That’s perfectly fine too. If all you’re looking for romantic is someone who makes you happy, and all the other things we tend to think about when it comes to relationships, like monogamy, aren’t that important, that’s perfectly fine. Remember, it’s about defining what you are looking for, in an honest and candid way. Not what society wants you to look for, or your peers, what you are looking for.
Next, take some time to think about what sort of partner you’re looking for. Hopefully, spending time figuring out who you are, and what you’re looking for, will make the exercise of figuring out what sort of partner you’re looking for all that easier. Think back on all the ways you would describe yourself? Consider those things, and consider whether you want a partner who has qualities that are complimentary to your qualities, or qualities that are supplementary to your qualities. Let’s say that you know that you have zero chill. You’re one of those people who is incredibly intense and passionate. Would you want a partner who enhances those qualities, someone who compliments your lack of chill, or would you want some whose personality is a bit more relaxed, someone who can round out your edges? You can think of it in broad sense, i.e., I’m intense, I need someone who is equally intense OR I’m intense, so I need someone who is chill. You can also look at things on a case by case basis for each individual characteristic. If you’re bad with confrontation, maybe you need a partner who is good with confrontation. If you’re pretty zen about the mundanity of every day life, maybe you need a partner who is equally chill.
I feel like I’m beating the same drum here, but it bears repeating. Whatever sort of partner you’re looking for is okay, and people’s opinions shouldn’t have much bearing on that. Just keep in mind that what you’re looking for in a partner will directly impact the ease with which you can find them. Now, personally, I don’t think it’s wise to look for a partner who is not your equal, but for many people, that is exactly what they’re looking for. If you’re looking for a woman who is willing to conform to antiquated gender roles, I don’t agree with that line of thinking per se, but what you’re looking for is your own prerogative. You’re the one who has to pursue your romantic relationships, so while I and many others may not agree with the wisdom in whatever you’re looking for, there is no point in lying about what you actually want. Want a stereotypically macho guy? That’s on you. Want to date a quote unquote ALPHA WOMAN? Cool! Want to find the sort of partner who will insist that you become a stay-at-home parent? Your body, your choice. My opinion, and the opinions of your friends, family, and peers shouldn’t play a factor in what sort of partner you’re looking for.
One exception. If what you’re looking for is extremely likely to cause you physical or mental harm, in which case, please consider people’s opinions. I’m saying all these things under the assumption that if you’re smart enough to download a podcast, you’d be smart enough to know that you shouldn’t seek out a partner who will abuse you in ANY WAY. As much as I’m saying that other’s opinions of what you’re looking for shouldn’t have any bearing on your romantic search, if what you’re looking for is the sort of partner who will hurt you if they feel slighted in some way, this is one of those cases where actually, yes, people’s opinions should come into play there. I don’t think it’s likely to be something you’re seeking out, but you never know.
Moving on, now you should have a picture of who you are, what you’re looking for, and what sort of partner you’re looking for. This is the foundation of finding the right person for you. Everything else you do from here should be built on that foundation. How you try to find what you’re looking for will be directly driven by those three things.
When it comes to finding the right person for you, knowing who you are, what you want, and the sort of person you think would match well with you should drive that. Let’s say that you’re a progressive Christian man who is active in the church, who wants a monogamous relationship that will eventually lead to marriage, with a partner who is also progressive, Christian, and wants a marriage that is an equal partnership. All those things should inform how you search for a partner. While I’m sure there are a wealth of lovely Christian women on dating apps, and I guess Christian Mingle, you might be better served by looking within your existing social circles. If you’re someone like me, someone who is secular, someone who wants a partner who is independent, kind, and likely to want to raise a family in New York City, you might check with your social circle, but you’d probably have a lot more luck using online dating because you’re more likely to find success there. Where you look for the right person for you matters, and you have to be smart about that search. That said, you don’t need to confine yourself to one specific search method. It’s possible that what you’re looking for can be found in a club, a bar, a networking event, through friends and family, a matchmaker, or you can make your own luck with online dating. Just be conscious of the likelihood of finding what you’re looking for in whatever method you’re using. If what you’re looking for isn’t likely to be found in a club, don’t focus on going to clubs as your primary or only method for finding the right person for you. Same goes for matchmakers, or dating apps.
Once you find someone with potential, figuring out if they’re the right person for you will come down to a mix of time spent getting to know them, and time spent with them. Some things you can figure out before a first date, like whether you’re a good fit on social issues, politics, and so on. If you’d never date someone who is a Phillies fan because you’re a die-hard Mets fan, you can figure that out well before a first date.
If the right person for you is the sort of person who doesn’t shy away from confrontation, that’s something you’ll figure out once you start seeing them of course. If you think the right person for you would have a certain amount of sexual chemistry with you, or someone who would keep up a certain level of physical health, or (as superficial as it might be) someone who will not go bald, again, these are the sort of things that really can only be determined by using the one resource we all have, time. Time spent getting to know them, and time spent with them.
Before I close, I want to say that I believe the “right person” for you isn’t predetermined, or that they have to be a 100% match for what is right for you, rather that they are the “most” right for you. If you meet someone who is mostly right for you, but is a little shorter than you’d prefer, they might be the right person for you. Perfect exists as a romantic ideal, and while someone can be perfect for you, don’t wait around for 100%, absolute, person of your dreams. That handsome 6’2” guy who can cook, has a good job, is creative, and smart, and funny, and good with random trivia can exist. But, if you meet a guy who sounds like that, but can’t cook, consider budging a little. If he’s 5’9”, give him a shot. If you think the perfect person for you is a leggy blonde, and you meet a leggy brunette who is perfect in every way except her hair, budge a little.
The right person for you is out there, but keep in mind that you’ll need to search to find them. Search within yourself to truly understand who you are, what you want, and what sort of person you’re looking for, and you’re bound to find them eventually.
Good Luck Out There.
Also published on Medium.