Your Best Partners

To begin a new relationship on the healthiest footing, there are three simple aspects to consider.

First, give some thought to prediction. What sort of relationship would predictably yield a positive outcome for you and the other person?

Some partners will be predictably poor choices, while others will be amazing choices. If the prediction is weak from the get-go, it’s wise to hold out for a better match.

Suppose you meet someone who tells you about her past relationships, and each one of them was a trainwreck that ended with hurt and resentment. Would you want to get involved with such a person, knowing that you’ll be next? If you’re in the mood for some drama, then go for it. Otherwise you may want to look for a more sensible partner who begins and ends relationships honestly and compassionately and who has a track record of choosing decent partners who’ve treated her well.

Some people won’t date anyone without a stable income since they know from experience where that leads. Some people won’t date anyone who eats fast food every day since the long-term health problems are predictable. Some people won’t date anyone with an overly clingy family since the boundary issues and privacy violations are predictable.

It’s wise to base your predictions on a person’s past behavior and circumstances, not on what they say they’ll do. Be careful about being overly influenced by someone’s words. Pay more attention to their long-term pattern of actions.

If you like to travel, and you meet someone who’s been traveling regularly, it’s predictable that you may travel together if you get involved. If you’re a long-term vegan, and you meet a fellow long-term vegan, it’s predictable that you’d reinforce your vegan lifestyle together. If you like to drink a lot, and you meet someone similar, it’s predictable that you could be alcoholics together.

Predictions aren’t always accurate of course, but do pay attention to them. We make predictions automatically, but we don’t always listen to them, much to our detriment.

Second, think about which desires you’d like to explore with a new partner.

To filter for your best matches, share your most important desires as early as possible. Don’t be afraid of turning people off. If someone isn’t compatible, then sharing your desires will indeed turn them off, and that’s a good thing. It shows respect for everyone’s time. Don’t jerk people around by encouraging them to invest in you if you’re unlikely to be a good match for them.

When you share your desires with someone who isn’t compatible, you’ll usually get a cold or indifferent response. But when you do this with someone who is compatible, you may find yourself talking for hours and not even noticing the time pass because you’re both so in tune with each other. Don’t deny yourself this delightful situation by wasting time hiding your desires or projecting false desires.

Invite the other person to share their desires with you. Do those desires align well with what you’d like to explore? If not, move on, so each of you can find more compatible matches. Otherwise you can talk about what you’d like to explore together, and if it’s possible to do so, dive into one of those explorations right away. There’s nothing quite so thrilling as finding a good match and running with it as you explore together.

Third, look for mutual empowerment.

Just as you wouldn’t want someone draining your energy, you wouldn’t want to be a drain on someone else either. One of the simplest ways to prevent that is with daily exercise. It’s a mood booster and is one of the best depression cures ever discovered. If that isn’t enough, then clean up your diet, and do some serious detoxing, so you’ll have extra energy to give and so you won’t be vamping off other people.

When you make yourself strong as an individual, you’ll add strength to your relationships, and you’ll be worthy of strong partners who can make you stronger in return. You’ll also be less likely to succumb to a draining relationship because you won’t tolerate such imbalance and unfairness in your life.

It’s wonderful to have a partner’s love. It’s also wonderful to have a partner that helps you grow, which is love in action.