How to know if they're "the one"
From Disney to Hollywood, we’ve been force fed the romantic narrative of one true love. With just a dash of mathematical skepticism (I mean what are the statistical odds of finding “the one”?) and a quick trip down memory lane, I suspect you will quickly conclude that at different periods of our lives there have been different “ones”. We say I do, and then one day we don’t. Divorce stats are certainly indicative that many of us end up changing our minds. This is totally normal. We are ever growing and evolving humans, and to swear our continuity of thought, behaviour, affection and emotion is almost impossible. In saying that, should we forego love? Of course not! Where’s the fun in that? In knowing that change is the only constant, perhaps the more appropriate question is…how do I know if it’s a good one? Stop looking for a figment of Hollywood’s imagination. How about dating a real person?
Here are my top tips for discerning whether someone is going to be a great life partner.
· Core Values. What are the 5 most important values to them? You definitely want to look for some of these: trust, respect, honesty, loyalty, integrity and communication. If they aren’t up there, keep swiping. Without these, you can guarantee drama and dilemmas. Also, don’t take someone’s word for it. Often people are keen to project a heightened self image to impress a potential mate. Be sure to ask how that person actually lives their values.
· References. What do other people think of them? This one is a bit tricky because often people have some personal bias, but it is important someone is vetted and trusted by others close to them. Ask friends, community members and ex partners. (I always thought Tinder would be so much better if profiles required references. It would save us all a massive headache!)
· Self-awareness. Ask them about the worst parts of their personality. Ask them about their relationship to their parents. How do they behave when they get angry? What stress management mechanisms do they use? There must be some level of knowing oneself, otherwise you will end up like those bitter married couples who bicker and fight constantly over the same issues. A willingness to work towards a better self and relationship cannot be understated.
· Down to earth. Not a requirement but such a breath of fresh air. You will fart, burp, exhale and exchange all kinds of gases, smells and fluids with this person. Get over it. Have a laugh about it. We’re all on a non-stop train to getting old and wrinkly. Having someone to laugh with along the way makes the ride all the more enjoyable.
· Man in the mirror. Write a list of all the desired characteristics you want in a partner. Look at that list. Go become that list. Make sure you have a lot to offer and are not just looking to take. Be such a high caliber of human that anyone would be lucky to be with you.
Just one last word of advice: people are not products. They cannot be individually customized and there is no amount of money you can pay Jeff Bezos to drop off your dream partner in 48 hours with free delivery (at least not yet!).