Evaluating Relationship Choices
There are reasons why you selected your romantic partners, whether you knew it or not. Identifying the reasons — and the reasons why your relationships may have failed — can help you reshape the way you approach relationships. It will also help you identify what is truly important to you so you can have a clear picture of the type of relationship you want in your life.
Leaping Before Looking
You love staying home, reading mystery novels, and watching reruns of Law and Order with your cat. You haven't traveled outside of your state, don't drink, and eat a mostly vegetarian diet. But you find yourself attracted to a swaggering world-traveler who eats anything gourmet, belongs to several wine clubs, and runs three miles every day with his Doberman. Why, you might ask, are you attracted to someone who is so dissimilar to you? Someone whose life experience and beliefs are different from yours can inspire feelings of excitement, exhilaration, and risk. Yet differences in your opinions can become catalysts for heated debate or major departure points for high drama and conflict.
You may believe that you and your partner share an unspoken commitment to monogamy and demand absolute loyalty from each other. You soon discover that he professes his love for you but also believes that it's okay to chat with women he finds on international dating sites. He tells you he's not doing anything wrong because there's no emotional commitment; he's just socializing. You, however, feel totally betrayed. It's possible the two of you are viewing the situation through different lenses.
Lack of trust, anger, and resentment soon replace the love and commitment you thought you both shared. If you had a different cultural upbringing, you may have cultural as well as psychological minefields to navigate. That will require patience, understanding, and special communication skills. But as Mother Teresa once observed, love is a fruit always in season and within everyone's reach. A better understanding of your own core values, beliefs, and attitudes helps you refine ideas about what you desire in an ideal mate.
Figuring Out Your Core Principles
Read the following list, adding principles or values that are important to you and crossing out those that are not important. Narrow the list to the eight core principles that you believe are critical to your life. Eliminate five of the eight. The remaining three are your most important core principles.
Inclusion of Others
To create a mission statement, write a paragraph for each of these three values about what they mean to you when you experience success in them. Finally, merge the three paragraphs together to create a powerful mission statement for your life.
The University of Iowa's Shanhong Luo and Eva C. Klohnen assert that once people are in a committed relationship, their shared personality similarities positively impact marital happiness and satisfaction. In their research, opposites did not appear to attract each other. For the full article, go to
Finding Someone with a Similar Personality
When a couple can both give and receive unconditional love and respect, the relationship thrives. It suffers, however, in an atmosphere of deceit, or with an imbalance of power, unrevealed expectations, or betrayal. Psychologists say that the act of betrayal is often so damaging that roughly one out of every three people who are betrayed become clinically depressed. The key to finding that perfect mate lies in your deliberate work with the Law of Attraction to bring someone whose personality is similar to yours into your life.