Someone once, told me that if something irritates you about someone, imagine it irritating you seven times as much because that is exactly what it will seem like, if you marry the person. This tiny bit of advice put things into perspective for me. The question arises, how do we know, if something about someone we just met will irritate us in the future?
Too often, especially women, but some men, too, do not have a clear sense of self. I mean to say; they have not clearly identified who they are, what their likes and dislikes are, or what their wants and needs are. When we don’t have a clear sense of self we are prone to rush into relationships. Sometimes, any old relationship will do. When this happens, we may take on the interest, hobbies, likes and dislikes of the other party. What happens next is we lose what little sense of self we may have left. We become a non-entity, living vicariously through our partners. This behavior promotes a total emotional dependence, which usually puts a huge strain on the relationship and can results in chasing the other person away. Things have become irritating; does this scenario sound familiar?
Romantic involvement with someone we have little or nothing in common can cause conflicts to arise in relationships. We need to have a clear sense of who we are and where we are in life; otherwise, how can we know, if we have things in common with others.What we want in life and why we want what we want is important, too. Not only are these things important to us, but important to the ones with whom we are involved. The wants in our lives need to be very similar to those of the person we intend to hook-up with, if there is any hope for our relationship to last for the long haul. I think the saying goes, “You can’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you are at.”
The best way for finding the perfect mate, and having a good sense of where that relationship will lead, is through something called a “Dating Plan.” You’re in luck. One of the things that I have firsthand experience in is creating a dating plan; believe me, they work. A dating plan means taking a very specific, personal inventory. The dating plan will help to define who you are and where you are in life. A personal inventory will help you define what it is that you are looking for in others. When creating your plan you must be honest about things that you find give you issue. I cannot stress honesty, enough. Be very specific about your wants, and needs. It is okay, this is your plans and it is the key to your future happiness. Ask yourself the following questions; write your answers, along with any additional questions, you may think of, down in a notebook.
Let’s begin with your political, social and business interests, etc.
Are you politically motivated? Are you a workaholic? Are you a social butterfly? Is it important that your mate supports you in these interests? What are your hobbies? Do you enjoy chess, antiquing, coin collecting, gun collecting, photography, reading, writing, video games, or karaoke? No matter how trivial an interest seems to you, write it down. You may enjoy crossword puzzles, or find this an annoying pastime in others. Is it important that your mate is interested in your same hobbies? Is it important that your mate share these activities with you? What do you expect from a partner regarding these interests? You could write; it would be nice to have someone to do crossword puzzles with. Crossword puzzles are one of my interests.
How physically active are you?
What is your energy level? What sports do you enjoy? Do you enjoy hiking, biking, inline skating, boating, fishing, hunting? Maybe you prefer touch football, baseball, basketball, or racquetball, etcetera. Do you workout, if so, what do you do? Do you prefer Pilates, yoga, jogging, walking, karate, working out in the gym? How often do you work out? Do you want someone who will share these activities with you? Ask yourself, is important to have your mate be as active as you are? How important is physical fitness to your relationship? Write down everything you do, or don’t do; write down how you feel about it.
Consider social aspects, too.
Are you a homebody? How often do you like to go out? Is it acceptable to you, if your partner goes out for a night out with their friends, once a week, every couple of weeks, once a month, or not at all? Is it an issue for you, if your mate does not wish for you to go out socially without them? Do you drink socially, do you want someone who drinks, if so how often? Do you smoke? Do you want someone who smokes? Do you like to dance? Is it an issue for you if your partner does, or doesn’t dance? What kind of music do you like? Is it an issue for you if your mate prefers a different kind of music to yours? Be honest, if you don’t like rap and they do this could cause conflict. Do you want someone who is musically inclined? What about vacations and travel, do you like to travel? Do you want someone who likes to travel?
Consider finances and careers.
Is money important to you? Is it an issue, if money is, or is not important to your mate? How much money do you expect to contribute to the relationship? What kind of an income do you want the person to have? It is important to set an income range for the party you expect to attract into your life. Is it an issue if your mate has to relocate with their job? Certain careers face the probability of relocation. Do you travel for your job? Do you want someone who travels with his or her job, if so, how often? In your plan, include the types of jobs/professions that you think would be ideal for your future mate. Who will handle the finances? Will it be a joint effort? Do you want joint accounts, separate accounts? What exactly do you want, or expect?
Consider the aspects of living together.
Is there an issue where you live, suburbs, country, the city, or the beach? Is moving an issue? What type of house do you want to live in? What type of house would you never live in? What about domestic responsibilities, are you a slob? Will it be an issue if your partner is not the most organized? Are you a neat freak? How important is it, if your partner is a neat freak, or not? Do you expect to help with the household chores? What about cooking, do you cook? Do you expect your mate to cook? Are home cooked meals important to you? What about pets, do you want pets? What if the love of your life has a cat, a dog, a bird, a snake, do you have allergies? Is this a major issue for you or are you willing to take allergy pills for the right person? Are you a morning person, a night person? Is it an issue for you if your mate is not the same?
Consider the future.
Do you want someone who wants children, if so how many children do you want? What if you don’t want children of your own, do you want to be with someone who has children? Will you expect your mate to stay home with the children? Will your make expect you to stay home with the children? Children have a definite impact upon a relationship; try to consider all of your wants in this area when it comes to a mate. Consider in-laws; is spending holidays with family or in-laws an issue for you?
In your plan write down whether it is important to you if your mate attends church. Consider whether it is an issue if your mate is from a different religion. Would it matter to you if your mate was not religious at all? What if your mate was spiritual, but not religious, would it be an issue for you?
Consider Physical Attributes.
Physical attributes means more then weight, height, hair color and eye color, although those are all very important to your dating plan. Really, consider and record your likes and dislikes. For example, are body jewelry and body art an issue for you? Do you like long hair, short hair, no hair? What kind of physical attributes do you find attractive, big arms, broad shoulders, six-pack abs on men, developed derrieres, large or small breast on a woman? Remember to be specific; you know what you like. Remember; no one will see your plan except for you.
Finally, ask your self about sexual preferences. I am not talking about your sexual orientation; I mean what do you prefer? Are you highly sexual, moderately sexual, or do you prefer sex occasionally? When do you prefer sex, morning, evening, both? Consider all of your sexual preferences. How important is it that your partner is on the same level? Be very specific. This area is very important to the success of any relationship.
I think you get the idea. Cover every topic that pertains to your life, your likes, dislikes and expectations. Once, you are finished, think about the things that are absolute deal breakers. Deal breakers are things that we should never negotiate. We will call these deal breakers, flag stops.
To explain flag stops I will use myself for example: I do not want a partner who smokes. I am allergic to smoke and a person who smokes is a total turnoff to me. This is one of my flag stops, and I know if I negotiate this flag stop that it will cause issues in my relationship because it is something I feel very strongly about.
I also like tall men, I would prefer someone over 6′, but if I found someone who met the majority of my qualifications, I could overlook it, if he was only 5’9″ tall, where as, I cannot over look the smoking thing. Height is not a flag stop for me. I do realize that there is probably not an ideal perfect person out there that will match up 100% with anyone. This is where flag stops are tantamount to finding your soul mate, and setting you on the right path to a healthy relationship.
Again, I cannot stress this enough; the key to finding that right person is being honest about what you are looking for in another person. I believe if we put a little more effort into finding the right relationship, it just may prime us into putting a little more effort into making that relationship work. Make a plan, so you can identify the person you are looking for. Once, you find them; take care of them, as if they were a part of you, for actually they are; you chose them to be most like you; remember?
I also found that by making a solid plan, a guide so to speak, helps to draw the energies of the type of person, closer too you. Just wait and see how many people, more your type, start popping up in your life. This is where discernment will come into play. This is where sticking with your absolute flag stops will count.
Know yourself. If you are a neat freak who is into reading late at night, who likes to sleep late in the morning, and you are allergic to cats, you are probably, not best suited to a divorcee with three children under five, who cry all night, are up at the crack of dawn rampaging the house and terrorizing the cat.
A dating plan will help you realize who you really are and what you are really looking for in a mate. A dating plan will increase the odds of having a successful relationship. Good luck, good love and good life.