Let’s face it — dating is challenging, especially if you do it online. People's profiles can be deceptive; only when you meet them in person do you find out they’re not a good match.

An ideal match is a two-way street: Not only do you have to reflect the person you truly want to be, but you need to carefully look for important qualities in your potential match that signal they are long term material.

Finding the ideal partner takes effort and time. Here are seven ways you can get your dating effort going in a productive direction.

1. List 30 traits your ideal mate should have

Include a few deal breakers as well, which are things that could potentially be problematic such as dating a smoker or someone who doesn’t want to have children in the future. Some characteristics might include selfless, funny, charming, handsome, smart, etc. Once you’ve created your list, put a copy on your mirror or somewhere where you’ll see it daily.

2. Create a vision board

Using the list you created as a guide, you should create a visual of your ideal mate, including what they look like, how they dress, what hobbies they have, and what your relationship looks like. Be as detailed as possible. Once your vision board is complete, take a few minutes per day to visualize it.

3. Change who you are for the better

This means becoming the type of person you’ve always wanted to be. For example, if you want to get healthier, then begin eating healthy and exercising. If you want to quit drinking or smoking, then do that. If you want to be more financially responsible, then create a budget. It’s your turn to work on what you’ll bring to the table in a relationship. This is the time to explore your gifts and talents, which will allow you to grow. Remember only you can change your life for the better.

4. Remain positive

Lots of people mistakenly think that once they’ve found a romantic partner, they’ll automatically become happy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only you are responsible for your happiness. Plus, if you learn to be happy, that’s an attractive quality that will help to attract the right people into your life. No one likes hanging out with a Debbie Downer.

5. Have an attitude of gratitude

Gratitude can help you become happier. You should seek to find the silver lining in every situation – make a list of everything you’re grateful for in your life, and then a separate list of things you deem as mistakes, but what you learned from those experiences that have enabled you to grow as a person. Reflect on these lists on a regular basis. When you learn to become more grateful, you attract positivity into your life.

6. Learn to love your body

Many women are self-conscious about their appearance, especially when mainstream society dictates we should all look like supermodels. Bring out your best self by pampering yourself – go for a massage, or get a facial. Try exercising and eating healthy regularly to truly nourish and love your body. Finally, you should dress to impress. When you look good, you’ll feel even better. The goal is to boost your self-esteem so that you’re more receptive to meeting new people.

7. Try things you’ve never done before

if you’re not out and about, then it’ll be harder meeting your ideal mate. Some ideas to broaden your horizons include going to a conference, hanging out at coffee shops, trying a new restaurant, or going to a theater. This will increase your chances of meeting someone new.

Qualities matter

Once you’ve landed a potential prospect, it’s important to assess for certain qualities that indicate this person is long term relationship material. Many of these characteristics won’t be readily evident – they’ll only become apparent as you get to know someone. You should look for the following as you’re going on dates and meeting new people:

• Creating a spirit of openness

The ideal partner should be vulnerable and open. They should be receptive to feedback and approachable. When a potential mate is open-minded, this signals they are more willing to express their feelings, thoughts, and dreams. Plus open-minded people are more receptive to discussing what’s working and not working in a relationship.

• Establishing independence

Ideal mates value and respect independence. They recognize that it’s okay to have separate interests and friends outside the relationship. The ideal partner doesn’t try to control you and they respect your boundaries and feelings. Most importantly, you’re ideal match shouldn’t try to change who you are.

• Maturing

Maturity is incredibly important when searching for the perfect partner. What does being mature mean? It means possessing the ability to recognize and resolve negative past influences and requires one to reflect on their history – specifically, how events in the past have shaped their current behaviors and beliefs. When someone is emotionally mature, they are less likely to project past negative experiences onto their current relationships. A mature person is more emotionally available and dedicated to a partner.

• Cultivating honesty

All ideal partners should be honest – if they’re dishonest, then this breaks all potential trust, and relationships fundamentally thrive on trust. Nothing can shatter a relationship more than when someone is downright dishonest and deceptive. Being open and honest in a relationship means being forthright in our intentions.

• Growing in affection

The ideal partner should be affectionate on multiple levels, including physically, emotionally, and verbally. They should outwardly display feelings of warmth and tenderness. In terms of sex, the ideal partner should enjoy sexual intercourse and take part in both the giving and receiving of pleasure.

• Developing empathy

The perfect partner should understand you on an intellectual and emotional level. They should be able to empathize with you and your feelings. Empathy enables two people in a relationship to recognize the commonalities they share as well as understand and accept differences. It’s important to develop our ability to be empathetic.

• Maintaining a sense of humor

This goes without saying, but the ideal match should be humorous. The ability to laugh at your mistakes and the absurdity of life allows you to maintain a healthy outlook on life, especially when dealing with delicate issues within a relationship. Couples who are playful with one another tend to stay together longer – plus it’s so much fun to laughter together with someone you love!

Additional traits to look for

In addition to looking for the above traits in a potential mate, you should possess the following personality traits and behaviors to boost your appeal:

• A way of signaling that you’re interested in someone who is interested in you

You walk a fine line here. It’s important that you maintain an air of unattainability. Yet too much of this risks discouraging suitors. If you happen to be interested in someone, you should drop subtle hints of your interest as you continue to play hard to get.

• Interesting things to talk about

You connect with someone primarily through conversation. Important and intimate subjects tend to promote bonding, often in an accelerated way.

• A great personality

Like a sense of humor, a great personality can offset any flaws you think you have in your appearance. Great romantic success hinges on two traits in particular. They are affability and conscientiousness.

• A firm belief in love at first sight

It is often the case that instant attraction can be trusted. In fact, it can pave the way to deep intimacy in a short amount of time. Science doesn’t have too much to say on this, however, because all of the intangibles in play. Sometimes, then, it’s simply a matter of trusting a feeling and going with it.

Don't get played in the dating game

Remember that finding love takes dedication, time, and hard work! If you project the person you want to be and put yourself out there, then you’re bound to find your soulmate.

References

  1. "3 Tips For Finding the Perfect Mate," HuffPost, June 30, 2016.
  2. "Stop Obsessing Over Finding The Perfect Partner," Time, April 23, 2014.
  3. "The Secret to Finding Your 'Perfect' Mate," Psychology Today, June 22, 2011.
  4. "The Scientific Way to Find a Perfect Partner," BBC, October 27, 2013.

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