Do you find that you’re always dating the same kind of person? Many of us have been led to believe that we have a certain “type,” and that’s the only kind of person that we could be attracted to. The more-likely scenario is that you are stuck in a pattern of choosing the same type of partner that might not be ideal for you.
Maybe you’re seeking out the exciting, unattainable partner. Maybe you’re seeking out the elusive, aloof and mysterious partner. Whatever it is that gets you going, it hasn’t been working for you thus far and you’re interested in breaking out of the habit of choosing the wrong type.
Luckily there is a way that you can work on breaking your habit. Check out the following four-step plan:
1. Reflect on your past relationships.
This can provide a lot of insight into your dating patterns. Do many of your exes have similar (undesirable) qualities? What kinds of qualities are you generally attracted to? Make a list of the good and bad things that usually draw you in. Be honest! Then take a good, hard look. What are the characteristics that could be leading to your pattern of dating the wrong person?
2. Make a new list.
Now it’s time to refresh that list and create a new, more open “type” to look out for. What are things you always wish your partner would do or say? These kinds of things are going to go far beyond the superficial, they should be about what kind of human being this ideal partner is, not about their interests, job, or income.
If the latter is also important to you, you can make a secondary list that refers to other qualities that you would like your partner to have, but aren’t requirements. Now make yet another list with all the qualities that you don’t want in a future partner. This will serve as a good reminder of all the things you need to avoid the next time you put yourself out there.
3. Make sure you’re sending the right message.
Don’t be afraid to be clear about your values and what you’re looking for in a partner. If you have an online dating profile, review it and make sure it reflects what you’re looking for. This is will help to attract like-minded people and discourage those that don’t meet your criteria from reaching out in the first place.
4. Stay true to your ideals.
In the frenzy of trying to find love, people often make compromises in their relationships. Being flexible about your ideal mate is perfectly okay, and you will be much happier if you keep an open mind, instead of rigidly ticking things off your ideal partner list.
Remember that there probably won’t be someone out there that meets all the requirements, but you’ll know you’ve met a good partner when their imperfections don’t seem to bother you as much. On the other hand, you have to make sure you’re not compromising the most important qualities on your list and making allowances for bad behavior because you really want to find that someone special. Pay attention to any red flags. Get to know your date for who he/she is, not what you have fantasized about them being. Are they honest and reliable? Do you feel like you can trust them? That is a good basis on which to build a long lasting connection.