Do you wonder why it’s so difficult to meet the right person?
- Maybe you’re tired of the casual dating culture.
- Maybe you’ve had a few long-term relationships that didn’t work out.
- Or maybe you’ve gone through a phase of self-discovery and you’re looking for a partner who wants to enjoy life with you.
Most of us do start wanting a longer-term relationship at some point. Something about knowing you have a partner to count on or come home to is fulfilling and exciting.
Consider these ideas as you look for lasting love:
- Know what you’re looking for. Write down what you want in a long-term match. What are your non-negotiables? What qualities are you looking for?
- Look for compatibility, not chemistry. While chemistry is what you initially find attractive about someone, compatibility evaluates the way someone else’s lifestyle choices and values align with your own.
- Compatibility doesn’t mean that you deal with everything the same way. It just looks at how well you complement each other in the long run.
- How does the person you’re dating handle anger, stress, and sadness?
- What values guide this person’s life (such as marriage, children, religion, and politics)? Do those values align with your own? If not, do you accept that?
- What goals do you have in life? Does the person you’re dating have goals that complement yours?
- Be open and honest about your expectations. If you’re looking for a long-term relationship, be forthcoming about your expectations.
- Do you want to date exclusively, or do you want to date multiple people at once?
- Do you have any expectations around communication?
- How much alone time or recharge time do you need?
- At what point will you expect a label or commitment?
- Build a genuine emotional connection. Create a space where you and the person that you’re dating feel safe, secure, and supported. Building this connection is important because it will be the glue that helps you both get through difficult times, learn from each other, and grow.
- Show appreciation for each other! Give specific compliments or be specific when you say thank you.
- Validate each other’s feelings. Listen openly and encourage sharing.
- Be curious. Ask open-ended questions and be willing to open yourself up as well.
- Look for dating green flags. Most of the time we hear about “red flags,” but what about green flags? Think about the green flags you’re looking for in a long-term partner. Here are some examples of dating green flags:
- Choose someone who is passionate about life, wants to grow, and looks forward to new experiences.
- Choose someone who communicates their feelings, fears, needs.
- Can this person take responsibility for the role they play in different situations (such as a previous relationship)? Does this person take care of themselves and their own needs?
- Open arms. Choose someone who chooses you and commits to you.
- Studies have found that couples who celebrate good news have happier relationships. Does the person you’re dating celebrate your accomplishments?
- Honor what is best for you! It’s okay to think about what is best for you. Feel free to give yourself space to step back and think, “Is this relationship serving what I want and need?” Honoring yourself first will help you choose a fulfilling, healthy long-term partnership.
Keeping these tips in mind helps build the relationship with your internal guide. You know what you’re looking for, so when someone doesn’t meet your non-negotiables, you feel confident as you move onto the next potential match.
Above all, remember to enjoy the experience! Dating should be fun, not stressful! Taking the stress away from the experience gives you room to enjoy the present moment.