By: Laurel House, Professional Dating Coach
Does the looks-based — “tall, dark and handsome”/“hot, fun, and spontaneous” — do it for you?
If you create a perfect look in your head, then you just go after that look. You end up blinding yourself from the masses of men and women who truly could be your ideal match.
You’re not dating a face, you’re dating a guy.
I know it’s easier said than done, but you’ve got to look past looks. Looks fade. And really, so many things are so much sexier than looks. And I’m not even talking about a hot body!
How about chemistry?
Chemistry is a funny thing. You can’t even really explain where it comes from or why you have it with certain few people. With some it can be so strong that it’s almost like a drug…like you’re two magnets that are so totally and uncontrollably drawn to each other.
How deep is your love… really? Because just skin deep is pretty shallow.
That’s not to say that you can’t find real, deep, guttural, I-want-to-be-with-you-always love with a physically hot guy/girl. If you find a hot guy/girl who also fulfills your true relationship needs…great! Just don’t limit yourself to looks or you could be settling for someone who really isn’t right for you just because you want something pretty to look at. That is called arm candy. And you know what happens with JUST arm candy? You get bored, you crave something that’s a little more meaningful and deep, and then you end it.
Maybe you’re not Into looks, but…
“I want someone who is smart, funny, spontaneous, hot, fun, sexy, interesting, well-traveled, athletic, a foodie (even better if s/he can cook), has strong hands and loves giving massages, understands me, puts me on a pedestal, is good to my mom, loves my dog, has money (and is generous with it) . . .” And every time a relationship ends, you add to the “wants” in order to protect yourself from what your ex lacked. It’s endless, really. And while I appreciate that you have all of these desires that, combined, create a fantasy in your mind, I’m sticking a needle into that bubble because it’s fluff. It’s fake. And, this might be surprising to you: it’s unfulfilling.
Paper perfect isn’t perfect in person.
Just “paper perfect” sometimes doesn’t touch the heart. The fact is that you’re not looking for a walking list. You’re looking for a feeling. Sometimes, you didn’t realize the things that really matter to you because you were never exposed to them in the past.
You will never be satisfied if you continue to get only what you want.
What do you actually “need” in a relationship? Once you shift from “want” to “need,” you will find that within your needs, you can also get what you want. But you have to change your focus first. Think about it this way—you might “want” to live on red velvet cupcakes. I mean, they are divine, right? But after a while you start to feel sick and you crave carrot cupcakes (or maybe a salad). What you realize is that, while you love red velvet cupcakes and feel like you could live off of them, the fact is that you can’t. They are amazing in small doses. But what do you actually “need” to survive?
Ask yourself these questions:
-Can you sit alone in a dark room and talk with him for hours?
-Do you love who he is at his core?
-Could you spend 2 weeks stranded with him on an island? Cut out the sex stuff that is in your head… the reality is that after 2 weeks on an island without showers… not so sexy. Do you like to be with him as a person?
-Does he make you feel good about yourself?
-Does he inspire you to be a better person?
-Do you look up to him and respect him? Or are you just in awe of his Adonis body and cut-to-perfect face?
-How do you want to feel?
-What do you truly need?
Define your “needs” in a relationship. These are the things that your relationship needs to survive long-term. If it doesn’t have these things, it is unsustainable and will die. Here are a few examples:
-They make you feel sexy
-They see you for who you are – flawed, quirky, and real – and still love you
-They make you feel safe (emotionally and physically, you know that you’re safe with them)
-Shared core values
Now, that is sexy! And more than that, it’s relationship-sustaining. So stop being so picky. Instead, start being honest with yourself about your true relationship and partner needs.