When it comes to dating, something that often gets forgotten is what it is that you really want. It’s easy to get caught up in trying to figure out what potential matches are looking for and how we can fit that mold. But in reality, it’s more important to decide what best for you before you go out searching for The One. Here are three areas you should think about long and hard when considering whether someone might be the right match for you.
Think about a time when you were really happy … and I mean really happy; so happy that you wanted to bottle up that moment or experience to revisit again and again. Was it when you were in the middle of a profound conversation? Was it when you were with your family? Was it when you were exploring a new city or going for a hike in the mountains? Was it when you were simply sitting on your couch with a glass of wine and pizza?
Whatever makes you happy, it’s important to acknowledge that feeling when it happens. Know what it is that brings you to a place of sheer and utter happiness. If I were to guess, you probably want a partner who also has an interest in many of those things. Of course, it’s important to be independent, so you don’t have to love all the same things. But knowing what makes you truly happy will help lead you to a person who finds happiness in similar ways.
Now, what makes you feel fulfilled? It can certainly be similar to what makes you happy, but think about the difference. Happiness is the state of feeling pleasure or true contentment, but fulfillment is the achievement of something desired, promised or predicted.
Like I said, the things that bring you happiness very well may also bring you fulfillment, but there also may be some that don’t overlap. Maybe your work brings you fulfillment, or a hobby you’ve taken up that you’re starting to “master.” Or maybe it’s meeting certain goals at the gym. Whatever it is, understand what brings you fulfillment so you can find someone who you can connect with on that level. Ideally, a good partner will be able to relate to and understand the things that make you feel fulfilled.
If you envision your future and the person sharing it with you, what are the qualities that would make you feel loved and connected? Think about your life down the road and picture a spouse there with you. Don’t think of a particular person, but think of the type of person he or she might be. What are the qualities they embody that jive with you and who you are? What do they do that makes you feel closer to them than anyone else in the world? Feeling deeply connected is so important in a long-term relationship, so you want someone who can allow you to feel those things no matter what.
It all comes down to looking deep within yourself to understand who you really are and what makes you tick. If you take the time to really learn about yourself and who would help to enhance your life, dating becomes a lot easier because you’ll know what you’re going after. As Amy Poehler said, “You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” Amen, sister.
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