I’m looking for a partner who will be perfect (well, alright – very, very good) for me. Here’s a list of the qualities I’m looking for.
Okay, now that I’ve got your attention (I really already have a great partner) let’s think about that list. If you were to make a list of the qualities that are important to you and that you want in your love, what would they be? Here are some suggestions; I’m sure you will have your own.
My partner will be someone who:
Brings out the best in me; yet doesn’t expect me to be perfect
Always works on being their best
Celebrates my successes
Supports me when I’m feeling defeated or insecure
Takes the time to really listen and know what’s important to me
Wants to spend time with me, and just enjoys being together
Is good company, interesting and fun to be with.
Speaks well of me, even when I’m not present
Gives me the benefit of the doubt
Is kind and loving with me.
Is never disrespectful or puts me down
Remembers my birthday and other special occasions
Listens without judging or trying to fix me.
Take a look at your list; at what’s important to you in a partner, what kind of person you want to be with. Now turn the list around and ask yourself - am I this kind of partner? If these are the things I think are important in a relationship, how do I score? Would I want to be in a relationship with me? If you’re doing pretty well, congratulations! If you see areas where you could do better, you now know what you can work on to be the kind of person your partner (or potential partner) deserves and wants to be with.
One of my favorite cartoons is a “Frank and Ernie” from years ago. I have it on my office door, which sports a collection of my favorite cartoons. Frank and Ernie are in the bookstore, and there is a full section of self help books. Adjacent to “Self Help” is a section labeled “Spouse Help”, and it is completely sold out, down to the bare shelves.
It’s so much easier to think about how your spouse could improve, make you happier, and create a better relationship! But, as much as we may resist it, all change has to start with us. If we are the person we want in a partner, we will attract a person like that if we’re single. If we already have a partner, by bringing those qualities to the relationship, we encourage and inspire them in our partner, too. We win either way.
Dr. Catherine Aisner is a Psychologist in South Lake Tahoe, helping individuals and couples improve the quality of their lives. She can be reached at 530-416-6696 or online at www.TahoeMarriageCounseling.com