Do you know what you want?
When it comes to finding your other half, your life partner, or even just a short fling, do you ever think about what you’re looking for?
It’s surprising how many people don’t.
A lot of us actually leave it purely up to chance, waiting for that love-at-first-sight kind of fairy tale we’ve all dreamt about.
Now I’m not saying love at first sight isn’t great – of course it is! We’ve all longed to get whisked up in an amazing romance with that stranger whose glance we catch from across the room at some point in our lives. But when it comes to deciding who you want to spend a significant amount of your time with, I feel like there should maybe be a bit more thought going into it.
I find it strange sometimes, how often I see people staying in relationships where they don’t really know what each other wants from a partner. I have to admit, I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but over time I quickly learnt what I was willing to put up with, what I was willing to compromise on, and what my non-negotiables were in my ideal other-half.
I mean, if you’re going to share your life with someone, shouldn’t it be someone who makes your life better than if you were alone?
I read once “a relationship should only be pursued if it makes both partners’ lives better than if they weren’t together”, and I believe this to be true.
So when it comes to looking for love, why do we leave a lot of it to chance?
We meet someone we like the look of, we get to know them and eventually decide we want to make it “official” (some quicker than others). And along the journey we figure out what we like and what we don’t about this person. We weigh up the pros and cons and then decide to either continue or not.
But have you ever stopped to think about what you really want?
Before you get involved with someone, wouldn’t it be a good idea to have some awareness of what you’re looking for? And even though it might change slightly over time, wouldn’t it be great to at least have a starting point of who you want to attract into your life?
And this could also apply to more than just our relationships… but that’s a whole other story.
Something that has always stuck with me is this – “Most people spend their lives unsure of what they want.”
And when I first heard that, instantly I thought, “how crazy!?” But then I started to wonder… What do I actually want?
Have I ever even written it down?
Said it out loud?
What I have done though, is talk a lot about what I ‘don’t want’.
“That guy’s a prick, I don’t want to see him again.”
“I never want to be cheated on again, that was horrible!”
“My mum doesn’t like him, I hate that he doesn’t make more of an effort with her.”
The thing is, we don’t even realise that this negative behaviour of focusing on what we ‘don’t want’ has a flow-on effect in our lives.
According to Walter Chen, “The unfortunate superpower of the negative is that it has a stronger impact than the positive.
In fact the negative impact of setbacks is three times as powerful in affecting motivation as positive progress. It’s just easier to remember the bad stuff that has happened to you during the day than the good. So why is it, that our brains have such a negativity bias? The reason is quite simple: They’re actually wired to pay more attention to negative experiences. It’s a self-protective characteristic. We are scanning for threats from when we used to be hunters and gatherers. But such vigilance for negative information can cause a narrowing, downward spiral and a negative feedback loop that doesn’t reflect reality.”
Basically, the idea of focusing more on the negative aspects of a partner (or anything for that matter) may be easier than celebrating the positive, but it turns out this practice is doing us more harm than good.
Each time you think about what you ‘don’t want’, you’re actually focusing your attention on these negative thoughts. It’s the whole power-of-attraction mentality – the more you think about something, focus your thoughts on it, the more likely it is to come to fruition.
So wouldn’t it make more sense to spend your valuable time thinking positively about what you ‘do want’? What you would like to attract into your life? Your ideal partner?
And lucky for us, we aren’t doomed by our natural tendency towards negativity.
What’s amazing is that we have the ability to break out of that negative feedback loop and we can actually rewire our brains to think positively.
So how can you do that?
First ask yourself the question – “what do I want?”
Start to ponder the ideal traits you would like to find in your partner.
- Do they have a good sense of humour?
- What would they look like?
- Where would they want to live?
- Do they enjoy travelling or prefer to stay near home?
- Do they like animals?
- Are they tidy?
- Are they kind?
- Are they motivated or more relaxed?
And I’d highly recommend writing this down. Actually write a list, a few paragraphs, or just a couple of words around what your ideal partner would be like.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, and there might be a few changes along the way, but it’s a starting point, right?
You might even like to prioritise some of your points. Like, perhaps you could compromise on where they might want to live, but you can’t be with someone who doesn’t want children in the long run.
Now why am I recommending this?
Why should you take a few minutes out of your day to do this?
Because knowing what you want, or at least getting an idea of what you really want is going to help you get closer to actually getting it.
It’s like trying to find a place to eat for lunch.
If you don’t know what you feel like or what you’re looking for, you might wander around and happen to stumble across something wonderful – and that’s great! But it’s also a bit of a risk… you could pay a lot of money for something only to find you’re not even enjoying it.
But how rewarding is it when you know exactly what you feel like eating, you go looking for it, you find it, and it’s delicious? You might get let down every now and again, but you’re far more likely to find what you’re looking for if you know what you’re actually looking for in the first place…
Now don’t get me wrong here, you don’t always have to go on what you already know, I’m all for trying new things because that’s how you determine what you like or not, right?
But once you’ve tried something, if you like it, add it to your list of what you want.
Knowing what you want should be a fluid but deliberate process of discovery and attainment throughout your life.
Whatever you do, just don’t spend your life being unsure of what you want and then complaining when life’s not going ‘right’. Because until you determine what ‘right’ looks like for you, how can you even begin to complain if you get it or not?
If you’d like to know more about finding what you want in a partner, come along to our next event and start getting what you really want in life.