A friend of ours told us a wonderful story of how she found her partner. Rita decided she was ready to enter a relationship. She’d had a number of them in her life, but then it seemed for a long time nothing happened and no one came along.
She decided it was time to take the situation into her own hands and become active in creating what she wanted. First she would psych herself up for this life change. She threw all her undergarments away and bought new ones and cleaned and reorganized her bedroom, making space where none had been. She set up a little nest that was welcoming of someone and something new entering.
She decided she would go to events within the community five nights a week – lectures, classes, dancing, yoga, meetups – and give her card to at least one person each night. This served to get her out in the community regularly, which she hadn’t done in some time. She began to look at all the prospects and really see the variety and difference of who she was attracted to. This led to self reflection on what she was reacting to, and also to asking herself what she was really looking for in a partnership.
We will interrupt the story here, but suffice it to say, she learned quite a lot about herself during her experiment, and she’s now been in a blissful relationship with James, a really nice guy, for a decade.
Admittedly, this is a very proactive and highly unusual approach. We do not cite it here to suggest anyone follow her footsteps. There are however several parts to this story we think are quite important once you have decided to allow a relationship into your life.
- Be Open to Change
You know what you do and don’t like: full milk not half and half; walking the dog; lemon-scented detergent; Pilates every Thursday. You’ve arranged a pleasant life for yourself. But clinging too hard to your ordered world doesn’t allow much room for anything else, including a partner. One thing is for sure. When another person enters the equation, the equation changes completely, so let new possibilities in. Let the pleasures of novelty coexist with the comforts of familiarity.
- Don’t Be Limited By Convention
Your ideas about the form a relationship takes may make it difficult to see other possibilities.
Do you have to live together? James and Rita have maintained separate places. It gives them both private space and the buzz of coming together.
How do you feel about marriage? It may represent commitment, social approval or claustrophobia for you. Don’t let other peoples’ expectations dictate your decision.
- Explore What You Want
When Rita set out to meet people, she made a point of looking at men and noticing what attracted her. Gregarious, thoughtful, gray-haired, tall, flirtatious, gracious, physical, dapper, laid-back; whatever they are, knowing what works for you will help, and so will knowing what doesn’t work for you.
- Transcend Your Expectations
Don’t use what attracts you as a filter to reject the whole haystack, of course. It’s a way of becoming more conscious about your choices. People also have qualities that are not apparent on the surface. Make space and time for those to manifest.
- Examine Your Core Values
The final aspect of looking at what you want is to be clear about your core values, your deal-breakers if you will. We’ve written about this elsewhere, so we’ll just say that your partner needs to hold the same values, that it takes time to see if they do, and that when they agree with yours, everything else can be mutually resolved.
Be open to change: let the pleasures of novelty coexist with the comforts of familiarity Click To TweetThere are so many different ways that people can come together to share an intimate relationship. Your ability to be flexible, to practice acceptance of another unique individual while at the same time matching your core values, and your own knowledge of yourself, will all have a large impact on your success in the adventure.
Realize that you are considering a change which will affect your entire life as you live it now, and make sure that is what you are looking for and willing to experiment with. There are great riches to be gained, if you are willing to venture into the unknown. Make changes, be bold, be open, and you may soon be in a relationship better than you ever dreamed of!