What You Really Want in a Mate
- Monday, November 11, 2002
One of the keys to healthy mate selection is deciding what type of person you want in your life. In order to determine who will mesh with you to create a brilliant, loving and long-term relationship, you have to spend some time examining the various human dimensions.
In his book "Finding The Love of Your Life," Dr. Neil Clark Warren has highlighted 10 dimensions for consideration. There is no "right" answer, but it is extremely important that you dedicate some time to establishing your preferences in these ten areas.
Intelligence -- There are many kinds of intelligence: book smarts, street smarts, intuitive intelligence, mechanical intelligence, etc. You may feel more comfortable with an analytical person than with someone who has a highly developed emotional intelligence.
Few people would want to date someone significantly less intelligent than they are, but people with very high IQ's often have considerable difficulty interacting socially. These are all options that must be considered when determining the type of intelligence you want in your partner.
Personality -- The key to determining the type of personality you want in a mate is "harmony." This person's tendencies should complement your own. If you are a strong decision-maker, you may need to find a person that is easy-going and feels comfortable leaving things up to you. You can start to explore your personality preferences by examining what types of friends you currently enjoy. Do you prefer quiet, introspective people or talkative, gregarious types? Do you prefer people who are intense or laid-back? These answers will steer you in the right direction.
Appearance -- Most people are pretty sure what physical traits they want in a relationship partner. But it is important to make sure that your physical requirements are your own, not just those being pushed by modern media. In addition, try not to make physical requirements "deal breakers." It may be that you prefer blond hair and Scandinavian features, but refusing to date a great person because they lack those traits may be cheating yourself out of a great relationship.
Ambition -- Dr. Warren explains it this way: "It is absolutely vital that two people have about the same amount of ambition if their marriage is to endure." You, no doubt, have opinions about what is workaholism and what is laziness. If your partner doesn't share your definitions of these terms, there almost certainly will be conflicts and frustration. Decide what your level of ambition is, and look for a partner who has a similar level.
Chemistry -- Chemistry is that overpowering, physical urge that draws two people together. Some people value chemistry immensely when making relationship decisions, while some others can create a loving, successful relationship based on a logical decision about compatibility. Spend some time examining how important chemistry is to you.
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