Have you ever woken up in the middle of a relationship and wondered how you got there? Do you tend to date the same type of person over and over but never really seem to reach that level of happiness that you deserve? When you are unsure of what you want, and this goes for anything (career, life purpose, relationships etc.), you’re probably not going to get it. Isn’t it strange that we spend more time writing things on our grocery list than listing the things that could give our lives more meaning? Some may say making lists is clinical, but there’s a lot to be said for putting your ideas down on paper. By changing the thoughts and emotions that go around in your head into concrete words on paper, you can really begin to focus on what it is you want and need out of life.
We talked to a former client recently who is now engaged. Before meeting her fiance, she wrote down a list of all the characteristics her ideal mate would have. After the engagement, she found the piece of paper again, and guess what? Her fiance fit the bill. She knew what she was looking for, which helped her attract the right man, and recognize him when he walked into her life.
What Do You Want Out of a Relationship?
Start by writing down in complete detail, what your ultimate love relationship would look like. Don’t be afraid to write whatever comes to mind, even if it seems idyllic or impossible.
Keep in mind that knowing what you want and recognizing whether you have it or not should not be confused with trying to mold other people into what you want only. Relationships are
of course about compromise, so write down what is REALLY important to you on a fundamental level, in terms of what will make you a better person and help you bring joy to someone else’s life as well.
Some key areas to consider might be:
1. Communication: How do you want you and your partner to communicate? How important is it that you share your feelings and they share theirs on a consistent basis?
2. Trust: How do you envision the trust between the two of you; in your perfect relationship is there any room for jealousy or trust issues?
3. Family: What are your values when it comes to family? Do you want to have children? Do you need someone who welcomes your children if you already have them? Is spending
time with yours and your potential partner’s family important?
4. Lifestyle: How do you see your life? Do you want a partner who likes to travel, or do you want a partner who is a homebody? What are your favourite things to do that you’d like to share with someone?
5. Career/Financial: How important is your career to you? Do you need someone who supports and shares your ambition? Is it important for your partner to earn a certain amount of money?
6. Intimacy/Affection: How much affection and what level of intimacy do you want your relationship to have?
We often don’t set enough boundaries for ourselves when it comes to relationships. Sometimes we are just so happy not to be alone, that we put up with or go along with things that don’t make us feel good. Think about your last serious relationship. How far from your perfect relationship list was it? Were there things you wish you had not gone along with in hindsight? The key is to know yourself, and to know what you want. It’s not selfish to ask for these things, in fact it’s a lot more irresponsible to enter into a relationship without having any idea what you want from it.