What truly matters when you’re evaluating whether your current squeeze is in it to win it… or destined to come up short?
In other words, what can you ask yourself to definitely answer if they are THE ONE?
Short answer: Nothing.
Long, realistic, and nuanced answer: If you’re looking for a magic bullet on this topic, it simply doesn’t exist.
Very rarely will you ever come across that singular “A-HA!” moment that’s going to decide the rest of your life for you. You can feel free to chase that feeling, but sooner or later you might just realize that those feelings only exist in the worst of rom-coms. And come on, us men never watch rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days…
So what matters then?
Well, I can tell you what won’t matter to you in 10 years, and thus shouldn’t be a deciding factor in evaluating your mate: their alma mater, what car they drive, how they dress, how musical they are, how much they hike, how much they earn (to an extent), and what their favorite movies are. And so on. You’re making a 60 year decision here! How’s that for perspective?
The moment you start wanting these things in your mate is the moment that you place expectations on them and how you envision your future unfolding. As I’ve learned time and time again, expectations can be one of the most damaging blows to any relationship… because they simply don’t reflect reality.
There’s a reason that dealbreakers often aren’t dealbreakers once you’re in a relationship with someone. If your day to day chemistry is there, you’re simply going to make the rest work for you.
Now that we’re operating in the same context, we can revisit the original question I posed before – what questions can you ask yourself to make that important decision about your main squeeze?
Through my years of coaching, cutting through the BS, and observing what makes a successful partnership (because that’s what a relationship really is), I’ve come up with the only 3 questions you need to ask yourself to evaluate your partner.
Do they challenge you?
A relationship shouldn’t be static, and if you find yourself talking about and doing the same things with your partner year after year, it’s a sign that you might be stagnating both individually and within the relationship. You should motivate, inspire, and encourage each other to new heights both individually and for the relationship. If the most important relationship in your life doesn’t do this, it doesn’t bode well for you individually.
Do you respect them?
I’m of the opinion that no one deserves respect unconditionally. As a result, people have to earn it, and the level of respect we have for people gradually increases or decreases according to various factors. Therefore, do you respect your partner’s morals, values, goals, habits, and choices? Do you look down upon them, or realize that you don’t always have to agree with their choices to respect them?
Sometimes I’m a bit crestfallen when I realize how often this question needs to be emphasized because it is such a vicious animal that pervades otherwise healthy relationships so often. Here’s a question to demonstrate that it’s probably snuck into your relationship from time to time as well – do you occasionally treat your co-workers better and with more respect than you treat your partner?
Are they, or can they potentially be your best friend?
I alluded to this earlier – relationships are actually mish-mashes of partnerships, friendships, companions, and lovers. And once the intoxicating lover sparks inevitably burn out, your relationship is all about the friendship you have with them. They should be your favorite person in the world to spend time with – independent of any sexual relationship. You should be each other’s main emotional support system, and know and love both their strengths and flaws because that’s what makes them them.
So next time you meet someone and start to disqualify them because they might not meet some the requirements of your arbitrary checklist… think twice about whether that is just a preference, or a true dealbreaker. It’s probably not the latter.
About Coffee Meets Bagel (CMB): CMB is a free dating service that helps members make meaningful connections. It’s designed for busy singles who want to find something real with little or no effort.