Finding your perfect match
Most people have an idea of their 'type' when it comes to meeting someone new tall, dark and handsome; slim, blonde and athletic; cuddly, friendly and reliable. These are all characteristics of the kind of person we are looking for, and usually take into account physical attributes, personality type and emotional traits.
But what about the 'type' of relationship we are looking for? This could range from short-term commitment, to someone to grow old and dribbly with, and yet for most people, the importance of a match in this department is not fully considered until things are well established, relationship-wise.
We've all heard stories of the seemingly perfect couple who, to everyone's surprise, go their separate ways after years of being together, because one wants kids and the other doesn't. Ever.
Or the couple that splits because he wants more quality time with her, and she wants to spread her wings? Classic relationship mis-matching.
Finding someone who'll make you happy and contribute to creating the kind of relationship you want requires some thought and effort on your part. Wafting through life without giving our relationship criteria some consideration might work for a lucky few, but for most of us, it ends in disappointment.
To get the most out of your relationships, be they long or short term, it pays to assess what you want at the start. Some key questions that you should answer when entering into a new relationship are:
The marriage question
Have you been fantasising about your wedding day since you were a child? Or would you be just as happy having some other sort of commitment such as a mortgage with your partner?
The future question
Do you have visions of growing old and grey with your partner? Or are you more of a serial monogamist, who's happy to have a few good years with someone before moving on to the next relationship?
The kids question
Is the tick from your biological clock deafening you? Or does the thought of snotty little brats fill you with dread? What do you think about a relationship involving children from a previous marriage or relationship?
The best friend question
Do you want your partner to be your best friend, or is there someone else in your life that your partner will never compete with when it comes to being a best friend?
The details question
Is it necessary for you to hear about every little incident and thought your partner has day in, day out? Or do you prefer to have some emotional space, preferring to hear only the Reader's Digest version of what your partner’s been up to?
The (in)dependence question
Are you looking for someone to do absolutely everything with, from your home life to your hobbies? Or are you happy with spending time being independent as well as together?
The sex question
Are you prepared to be in a relationship where the sex is so-so if every other aspect of the relationship is excellent? Perhaps sex is the most crucial aspect of your relationship? Identifying this up-front can help you choose more suitable partners.
Taking stock of what's important to you when it comes to a long-term relationship is a great start to finding the right person to share your life with. Keep in mind that your relationship criteria may change over time, and will also be influenced by other areas of your life such as work, family and friends. When looking for love, it pays to have an understanding of your perfect relationship, not just your dream guy or girl. Keep your relationship checklist up-to-date and refer to it when looking for someone new and who knows? You just might find your perfect match.
A perfect ending
"I am deliriously happy. Being what some refer to as middle-aged, I was tentative about Internet dating. I had concluded that it was only for twenty-somethings after seeing the TV ads! I decided I had nothing to lose though and went ahead anyway. Within a week I was contacted by the wonderful man who has become the love of my life! We agreed to meet for coffee. We just walked, talked, dined and gazed into each others' eyes all along Melbourne's Southbank. Now, eight months later, we are planning to spend the rest of our lives together. I still cannot believe how quick it was to find that special someone." Heather, Geelong, VA.