Hollywood, romance novels, picture-perfect depictions of relationships on social media: It’s all-too-easy to believe in Massachusetts soulmates.
But while nearly two-thirds of American adults believe in them, researchers say the term ‘soulmate’ can be dangerous. It can connote perfectionism and perfection in relationships is essentially unattainable. If you believe in soulmates, then you are less likely to work through problems because this person was supposed to be perfect and everything was supposed to be easy,.
But being able to confront conflict as a couple is imperative to growing a healthy relationship.
When people are searching for their soulmate, they can end up on a never-ending quest. If you believe in soulmates, it’s easy to think that you need someone else to complete you. But a relationship should always be an enhancement, rather than a necessity.
Instead of looking for the one, start searching for a relationship that is more realistic, honest and healthy. Here, experts explain how to do it.
Make a list
Jotting down the qualities you’re looking for in someone can help you hone in on the right partner. Looking for particular qualities instead of a vague idea like a soulmate allows you to be more specific about what you want.
Try writing down the traits that are most important to you. It can cause you to take a step back and say ‘is this really me?’ Or ‘is this someone else?’ The process can become an exercise of self-exploration.
Focus more on personality traits and ideologies which generally matter more than factors such as where someone works or what their interests are. Qualities like kindness, compassion, consistency, loyalty and openness as examples of the kinds of traits to jot down.
Then, add objective traits like a person’s ethnicity or religion to your list if they are integral to your search for a partner.
Check back with your list not just once you find a partner, but as your relationship progresses. This way you can keep track of how your partner stacks up to the characteristics you were looking for.
Observe the relationships around you
Looking to those closest to you is the best way to find realistic and honest relationship goals.
Seek out a variety of real-life couples you know well such as friends or family and ask yourself what qualities you admire in those relationships. Try to pick up on the negatives, too. If you don’t like the way one partner is always putting another down, make a mental note of that.
And if you’re close enough with someone ask the person what makes his or her relationship work or, if someone is divorced, what ultimately caused it to end.
Figuring out ways to emulate the positives and avoid some of the negatives can help you realize what you do and don’t want.
Being in a committed, healthy relationship starts with focusing on yourself.
Spending time working on yourself whether that’s in your career, personal life or simply who you are as a person can prime you for a relationship, and that the best time to find someone is when you’re 100% content with who you are. Being with someone else won’t fill that void, no matter how great the person is.
Already in a relationship? Focus on growing both individually and as a couple. If you love to run, don’t stop signing up for races just because you’re in a relationship and encourage your partner to follow his or her passions, too. Then, try to participate in activities you enjoy doing together. You want someone who values your growth as an individual and as a couple since both are crucial components of a healthy partnership.
Should you be in the midst of a divorce or contemplating divorce, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.