Diane went on so many one-daters that she started calling herself “One-Date D.” She just never seemed to end up with the guys who had what she was looking for in a relationship. Ken wanted to find that special lady whom he was not only attracted to but also “had it going on” in the important areas. For some reason, his dates turned out to be too needy or just didn’t match what he wanted. Would you date yourself? Many of us, like Diane and Ken, get frustrated with dead-end dates and never finding the soul mate we want. We fuss and fret and often get so caught up in our loneliness that we forget one of the real secrets to successful dating: Before you can find a soul mate, you have to be your own soul mate. Would you date yourself? Now that’s a startling question for singles like us to ask ourselves, isn’t it? It’s a question that, hopefully, will stop us dead in our dating tracks and make us take a close look in the mirror.
“For years,” says Linda, one of my single friends, “I thought the person I was dating must have a problem or maybe I just wasn’t in the right place at the right time. Finally, my light bulb went on: I realized that I really needed to work on myself first. I had to deal with my inner baggage.”
What do you want in a soul mate?
To date successfully and manage your relationships effectively, you must have a clear vision of yourself and others. One popular method to define that vision is to create a list of the qualities you want in a soul mate — a list that gives you a perfect guideline to use for your own self-inventory.
1. Values. You want someone you can believe in, someone you can trust. Can you count on him to do what he says? Can you trust her to do what’s right and always be there? What about you? These shared values form the basis of a lasting relationship.
2. Emotional health and maturity. To have a lasting relationship, it’s important for both people to be emotionally healthy and mature. Does he have a positive attitude? Does she like herself? What about you? When you and your mate are at peace with yourselves, you won’t need others to make you happy.
3. Financial responsibility. No, money can’t buy love, but you’d be amazed how much trouble financial irresponsibility can cause. Does his career provide a lifestyle you’re comfortable with? Does she handle her money wisely? What about you? Think about this one carefully.
4. Physical appearance and fitness. We all want someone to whom we’re physically attracted, and we want someone to be physically attracted in return. Does she take time to care for her appearance? Does he eat and exercise to stay fit? What about you? Remember that first impressions count!
5. Communication skills. Lasting partnerships depend on open communication that allows both people to share their thoughts, concerns and dreams. Is she assertive in communicating her thoughts? Does he shrink from confrontation? What about you? You want someone who’s willing to develop good listening and communication skills.
6. Confidence. Confident people radiate a glow that inevitably attracts us. Does he have strong self-esteem? Has she taken responsibility for her own life? Even the most tender of partners should bring strength to a relationship.
One of the quickest and surest ways to find your match is to become your own best friend and soul mate. Mirror, mirror on the wall… When the image clears, shouldn’t the reflection be yours?
Dee Anne Merriman is a freelance writer and contributor to Happen magazine