Choosing your life partner the person you want to spend the rest of your days with — is one of the most important decisions you'll make in your life. Living most of your life with the person you love can be a joyous, mutually-fulfilling experience, but finding and choosing the right person can be a monumental task. Luckily, it's something that most people go through, so you're not alone: in the U.S., people who have never been married and never want to be married amount to only 5% of the total population. By having a realistic idea of the kind of person that is right for you, making a strong effort to find this person, and committing to your relationship, you too can share the rest of your life with someone you love.
Determining Your Ideal Partner
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Have an accurate view of yourself. The journey to finding a life partner starts with you! To know who will be best for you, you've got to know exactly who you are. Know what you like, what you don't like, what you're good at, and what you're bad at. Know what you want out of life and what you want from your partner. Be realistic and honest with yourself. If you're having a hard time examining yourself, try asking your closest friends to help you.
Most important of all, love yourself, flaws and all. You can't expect someone to love you if you can't love yourself. If you try to have a lifelong relationship when you have a negative self-image, you're likely to self-sabotage and hurt the people closest to you, so sort this important first step out before you continue.
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Define your life's goals. Two people who are spending their lives with each other need to be on the same page for almost all of life's major decisions (if not every single one). Having a disagreement about a major, non-negotiable aspect of your life can stop a relationship in its tracks even when two people get along perfectly otherwise. Be open and honest about these goals — trying to lie to yourself can lead to long-term resentment and isn't fair to your partner. For more discussion on this topic, see the "Priorities" section below. Below are just a few very important questions that you'll want to know the answers to before you choose your life partner:
Do I want to have children?
Where do I want to live?
Do I want to work or manage the home or both?)
Do I want my relationship to be an exclusive one?
What do I want to accomplish before I die?
What kind of lifestyle do I want to have?
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Draw on your experiences from past relationships. If you're having trouble determining what you want in a partner or what you want out of life, think back to relationships you've already been in. The choices you make in your relationships, conscious or unconscious, can help clue you in to the sorts of things you're looking for in a partner and even the sorts of things that you may need to work on to make a long-term partnership work. Below are just a few of the types of questions you may want to consider for your past relationships:
What did you like about your partner?
What did you enjoy doing the most with your partner?
What did you disagree with your partner about?
What did you criticize your partner for?
What did your partner criticize you for?
Why did the relationship end?
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Ask lots of questions in the early phases of a relationship. As you meet and begin to date a new person, talk to them about themselves. Ask them about what they like in a partner, what their life goals are, and what their long-term plans are. Your partner's ethics, interests, spiritual outlook, and even diet may be important to your long-term compatibility, so don't be afraid to ask about any of it!
You'll need to consider questions in all areas of lifestyle choices. For instance, do they smoke, drink, or do drugs? Do they have any personal demons? Will they be a supportive and understanding person if you wish to change or advance your career?
To be clear, these types of questions aren't necessarily things you should ask at your first date. Asking very personal questions early on can be a major turn-off that can sabotage your efforts to start a relationship with someone. However, these types of major lifestyle questions are probably things that you'll want to know the answer to within, say, the first six months of your relationship.
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Part 1 Quiz
Before you can look for a life partner, you must:
Look at the relationships around you.
Go on a dating spree and find out what you like and don't like.
Love yourself first.
Think about past relationships.
Setting Your Priorities