What is an Ideal Dating Relationship?
Those of us in the realm of single have to actually think about this every time we go on a blind date or login into our dating site. I believe when we are looking for a relationship, we are not consciously aware of this question, but it is hanging out there like a bat in a cave, waiting for the dark. I took this question to survey single friends and family, including a few married ones. The answer is really quite simple. The ideal Dating relationship is different for everyone. Many of the answers were the same. Companionship, stability, and family topped the survey answers. These were all great, safe and traditional answers; however, they left the bat hanging in the cave. Then how does the dating game fit into our quest?
Life's a reality show
Life is a series of relationships; good and bad, long and short. Some meaningful and others are completely trivial. For those who are married or in a relationship, that first meeting may have been as inconsequential as plugging dimes into a parking meter. Still, the bat remains hanging. All of us tend to overthink and overwork most decisions in our life. We are stress-monsters, feeding on our own psyche. We model ourselves and our ideal relationships on our family, friends, reality shows and the media. This isn't a bad thing, but sometimes it clogs up the works and muddles our understanding of the dating game.
I am not getting into some transcendental meditation on the subject, but the idea is important. Who do we want, and what do we want out of our relationships? Particularly, in this case, the dating game? Humans are social beasts and I believe that not only is the search for a partner part of our primal instinct, but it has evolved into something more. It is as important as our basic need, like food and shelter. We crave companionship and love. Sharing our hearts and the poetry of our souls is embedded in our DNA. If you are single, and if you're reading this article you probably are, close your eyes. Come on. It is ok. No one is watching. Closed? Ok. If there is someone else in the room with you right now, they are probably quietly making fun of you. If you are alone, I would like you to think about your ideal partner. Visualize the physical person only, not their personality.
Ideal Dating Relationships
If you are visualizing Tom Cruise, you are doing it wrong! This is more than a silly exercise; it is something we all do every day minus the focus. All of us are attracted to different physical attributes, and that is a good thing when it comes to dating relationships. If the person you are visualizing looks like your favorite celebrity, that is ok. Visualize your ideal partner smiling at you. This sounds silly, but it really isn't. Part of this visualization exercise has to do with our self-esteem. Someone smiling in our direction makes us feel good, doesn't it? Frustration is part and parcel of our long struggle in the dating game. Our quest for love often causes us to feel hopeless and become negative. This has a noted effect on our self-esteem and transfers to our reality. Making our search more difficult than it has to be. Do you have the visualization of your perfect partner? Good.
We learn by doing. In dating, we all know there can be a learning curve, and this is nothing to be afraid of. Knowledge is power. We can't have our perfect visualization of a partner hanging out there; all looks, and no personality. Some of us might find this ideal. I would like you to make a list now. I know you did not start reading this article envisioning it would end up with you doing manual labor, but love and relationships are work. Make a list of all the character, emotional and lifestyle attributes you want in a partner. Give your visualization a personality. I suggest 7-10 items. Keep it simple. Focus on the most important traits. Good sense of humor and wants children, etc. The longer the list, the harder it will be to remember. All of these traits are the ones that are most important to you. There are no wrong or right answers here, just be honest and realistic.
How did you do? This isn't a permanent list, after all, it is for you. In fact, it will probably be changed from time to time, but the biggies will probably remain static. Still, have the visualization of your perfect partner? Close your eyes again. Add your personality traits to your partner. This isn't a fantasy exercise. This is something everyone does when they dream. We know what we want, but sometimes we get lost when we cannot see it. Are you picturing Tom Cruise, with a personality and a college degree, who wants 3 kids? Good.
Using your visualization
The next time you go to your online dating site, bring out this list and spend a few minutes with your eyes closed, visualizing your perfect partner and relationship. I do not claim that there is magic here. It doesn't mean the next time you do a search you will find your soulmate; however, it is an important reminder of your goals. Love is a goal after all. An important part of this exercise is being consistent.
Do it every time
If love and strong dating relationships are goals of the dating game, take them seriously. One more small exercise. You have visualized your perfect partner and relationship, but you also must visualize yourself and your own goals. Make another list of your own personality, character traits, and important goals. Match them up with the list you made for your ideal partner and visualize how this relationship would work in the future. The next time you go to your online dating profile, remember your visualizations and bring out those lists. You will go through your profile to make changes and see more realistic goals. This exercise will help you to adapt your profile to your visualization.
Love and dating relationships are hard work they deserve the effort, so give it to them.