I had screwed up in my marriage and was intent on selecting the right person the next time around.
There were so many differences between us that ultimately led to our separation and divorce. After our marriage ended, I was intent on finding someone who was more compatible with me.
I thought I would do much better in selecting someone the next time around. I would find someone who could go with the flow and be open to what life brought. I would find someone who was committed to inner peace and contentment. I would find someone who was self-aware and understood themselves better and could process their emotions well. I wanted someone with compassion, kindness, and wisdom.
I was intent on searching for this kind of perfect partner and would not settle for anyone less than them.
I was going to go find the perfect partner.
Noticing the same patterns showing up.
When I started dating again, I began to notice some of the same patterns that I had noticed from my previous relationship.
Some of the things they said triggered a response within me. Some of their behavior made me feel small and not valued. Some of their insensitive comments triggered the pain and insecurities within.
What was wrong with all of these people that I was meeting? So many of them exhibited the same kinds of qualities as my ex. Why did I keep meeting the same people over and over? Why couldn’t I meet the partner that I wanted, I asked myself. Why couldn’t I meet the perfect partner?
It was around this time that I found myself in a counselor’s office. Let me go in there and get some support and validation about the struggles that I was having with dating, I thought to myself. I want someone else to hear how there are no good people out there and why dating in today’s world is so hard.
I thought I was going to go into the counselor’s office and complain about the dating life. I was going to let him know there were no good partners out there and almost everyone I met had their own set of issues.
Unfortunately, the conversation began to turn away from the dates that I was having and started focusing on me. All of a sudden, I began to discover many of the emotional wounds from my childhood and upbringing. I noticed how growing up in a strict and disciplined environment where words were used harshly also made me speak harshly.
I reflected on the past and realized that I would often shut down rather than communicate what I was feeling and thinking. Maybe I knew how to process my emotions but it took me a long time and I wouldn’t communicate that I was doing just that. Instead, I would withdraw and give my partner silent treatment.
I would leave my partners in the dark about what was going. I became distant. I ran away from the conversation and hid. I completely shut down any chance to talk about what happened whenever conflict came up. I wouldn’t resolve the conflict or take responsibility, opting for silence over resolving the issue we had.
You are the one you’ve been waiting for.
Although I had a list of requirements about finding someone who wasn’t like my ex, I didn’t realize that my own actions were unhealthy. Not speaking can be just as harsh as speaking harshly. Not engaging in conversation can be just as harsh as escalating one.
Through therapy and counseling, I began to reflect on my behaviors and communication style. I began to notice what I was doing in relationships and the kind of person I was. I began to wonder if this had nothing to do with the people that I was meeting and more to do with myself.
What I’ve since come to realize that in my search for the perfect person with the perfect qualities is that I don’t have the ability to locate this person or find these qualities easily. I have little power to attract the kind of person that I want that has the qualities that I’m looking for.
Well, maybe, no such perfect partners exist. There are no partners out there without emotional wounds and hurts. There are no partners that will fit every item on the checklist.
What we do have control over is working on these qualities within ourselves.
I’ve discovered that we can’t easily find the perfect partner but we can become the perfect partner that we are looking for.
Your ability to become all the things that you want in a partner is easier and more in your control. You have the power to become the perfect person you’re looking for. You can develop the very qualities that you desire in someone else.
What to do instead of searching for the perfect partner.
To find someone who meets all the qualities and characteristics you’re looking for can be a challenge.
Some people may most of the qualities but not all of them. The qualities they lack may be the most important qualities of all.
Having an unattainable list of qualities that you seek in a partner is a sure-fire way not to find people who don’t measure up. Demanding perfection in your partner means that you’re likely to be disappointed in the people that you date. You will never find someone without baggage from the past, emotional wounds, and flaws.
Even if a perfect partner exists, you will be hard-pressed to find them. You need circumstances and luck to work in your favor. What is in your control is becoming the perfect partner, becoming the partner that you want to be.
You can do the inner work on your own and in counseling.
You can reflect on the past and make changes to your behavior and characteristics.
You can adopt new mindsets, beliefs, patterns of thinking and being
You can do the work of healing your past and forgiving those who hurt you
You can become vulnerable, resilient, and open
Yes, you can become that perfect partner you’re always looking for. Instead of looking for a perfect catch around you, start first by doing the work within you.
Becoming the perfect partner might take a little more work on your part but will bring you that relationship you’ve always wanted.
Instead of searching out for the perfect partner, become the perfect partner.
Are you looking for the perfect partner? Share your thoughts and comments below.