There are over 6 billion people of people on the planet and it doesn't matter how old you are, the cards are always shuffling and there is someone out there for each of us no matter what our age.
But how do we choose someone who is potentially a good fit and what qualities do we look for? There is such a high rate of divorce, unhappy marriages and infidelity that it seems many of us we are not choosing someone for the qualities that can make a relationship last a life time.
In fact, many of us find ourselves marrying for the wrong reasons, perhaps we are scared to be alone, so settle for someone who is nearly, but not quite right for us. Or perhaps their money makes us feel safe or that they are so attractive that they will look great on our arm. But none of these qualities will sustain us for a lifetime.
I remember going to a talk by Ravi Shankar about ten years ago and he said when there is a big flame when you meet someone there is almost no place to go with it, but when the flame is smaller, it has somewhere to grow. For some reason that analogy always stuck in my mind and my interpretation is that the flame isn't less, because it's smaller, in fact, it's usually stronger and sturdier.
Here are 5 Tips to discover if a partner is 'right' for you.
TIP 1: Think about what qualities and values are important to you. Is it important that they are warm, trustworthy, sweet natured and emotionally stable, or that they are loving, passionate, deep feeling, generous and spirited? Obviously you are going to think you want all of those and you might be lucky enough to get that or have got that, but I am asking you to look at your top 5, that you just can't do without. I once had a boyfriend who was not very passionate about anything at all and during that experience realized that passion was really up there as a necessity for me in a partner. I didn't care what they were passionate about, they could have been passionate about selling cars, so long as the quality was obviously there, rather than hidden.
TIP 2: Learn what worked and what didn't. It's not so easy to own up to where you went wrong in the last relationship, But if your goal is to have a relationship that works, that means you have to look at yourself, as painful as it is, and take responsibility for the mistakes that you made in each of your past dalliances and do it different next time. Otherwise you will keep falling for the same type of person and it will keep not working.
TIP 3: Choose someone who is open to growing and developing as a person, rather than someone who is resistant to change. A really healthy relationship is based on a mutual desire to ensure each other has the space to become older and wiser and, as a result, you will have the honor of watching them transform in this lifetime, as they will have the honor of watching you. Signs of someone being open are that they can easily say sorry, they listen to what you have to say when in a heated discussion, they are not stuck on being 'right' all the time and of course there are many more.
TIP 4: Don't fall in love with potential; it will never work. What you see is what you get. You can not make anyone change in the way YOU want them to, if they want to grow, they will do it in their own time, in the direction that is right for them, not the direction that is right for you. I actually know people who have been sticking it out with their partner for years and are still holding up the flame for them to grow, rather than the partner holding up their own flame for them to grow.
TIP 5: Keep your senses open. There is something about meeting your life partner that feels different from all the other relationships. The feeling is hard to describe, but there is a sense of a kind of stability, something really comfortable and easy that might not have been with anyone before. It's not usually like something out of a romance novel, it's a knowing only often in hindsight that it's different.
If we look at the actual linguistics of 'falling' in love, it actually isn't a very positive analogy. Many people who 'fall' end up being separated, divorced or in therapy. Forget meeting someone and falling in love, how about meeting someone and 'growing' in love.
That's it for this week and if you have any questions or want to make contact I would love to hear from you, so e-mail me at email@example.com.
Follow Sophie Keller on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Sophie_Keller