What do you look for and need in a partner? Why?
I’m assuming, btw, that you choose for yourself, as opposed to having one of your father’s employees find you a wife, as in this week’s story.
In our part of the world arranged marriages are rare. But we often meet potential mates through friends, internet dating, or dumb luck. Anytime you’re single, it helps to know what you’re looking for. That means learning from your history as well as hoping for your future.
What brings Rebecca to the foreground is her compassion. Her concern for strangers and their thirsty animals. Not her beautiful face, possible dowry, or anything else on the material plane.
So what gets folks interested in one another? And what keeps relationships vital and growing? Combustible lift-offs are fun, but rarely a solid basis for a life-long partnership. On the other hand, relationships without intimacy lose a magical and healing connection.
If you’re single, do you have a list of “must haves” and deal breakers? If your best friends wrote the list, how would it be different? What matters to you: Spirituality? Sensuality? Lifestyle? Finances? Communications? Social/political values? My personal summary: I want someone who loves my best qualities and tolerates my worst ones with patience and humor. Yours may be different; but get clear what it is.
Relationships respond to the energy people invest in them. Good partners can make life much better; bad ones make it feel a lot worse. Most of us have histories that would be instructive, if we’d examine them honestly.
Have you learned the lessons of your emotional past? If not, how often will you repeat them before getting things better or right? This is a great week to take notes on what you do well and poorly. On what you want and need. On how to make your current or next relationship better for you and your honey.
Here’s some questions to get things flowing: (Good tip: working in “I” sentences isn’t selfish; it’ll push you to be more honest.)
- What makes you happy?
- What do you offer a partner? What do you need to be satisfied?
- How do you invite people closer? Push them away?
- When do you really show up? What makes you more elusive or run for the door?
- Are you co-dependent, a narcissist, too much either a giver or a taker? How and why?
- When are you a drama queen? When too reluctant to speak your heart?
- Do you risk true vulnerability? How do you protect yourself?
- What do you show others? What do you hide?
- Do you love yourself? Do you feel you deserve to be loved?
If you work to create relationships that nurture others, you’ll also get better at nurturing yourself. If enough of us live this way, we’ll all enjoy being around one another more.