Choice Partnering

If you’re an individual that’s tired of ending up in the wrong relationship, or you are a couple and you want to look at the compatibility of your relationship, then give this experiment a go.

Imagine you have one chance (and only one chance) to choose a partner for the rest of your life. Are you going to just take what comes your way, or “fall into a relationship,” and wake up one day and wonder how you ended up with someone who doesn’t match you? Or are you going to choose with clarity?

If you don’t want things to turn out randomly, then make a list of the 5 things you must have (or must not have) in a partner and a 30 item optional list that looks something like this.

5 must haves:

  1. No substance abuse
  2. Romantic
  3. Spiritually connected
  4. Financially stable
  5. Wants a family

30 item optional list:

  1. Likes volleyball
  2. Likes romantic movies
  3. Enjoys horses, etc…

Now, don’t date someone unless they have the required 5 and at least 10 of your 30.

Yes, I wrote don’t even date them. Don’t even date them. Don’t even date them.

If they don’t pass the “must have” 5 list, then you have to cross them off the list of possible partners before you get in over your head. Many people fall in love with someone’s “potential” or with a 40 item perfect, match on the optional list and only 4 of 5 from the “must have” list.

Yeah, that’s 49 out of 50 perfectly matching items; unfortunately, the “must have” is a “make or break” the relationship issue.

What if, after a few years you “suddenly” discover that your partner actually doesn’t want children?

Be cautious.


Addendum: February 2009

After a lot of pondering on this article, I now see how there is an even deeper way of looking at this. Under the “must haves” is what I would now call “true compatibility.” In order to have a truly compatible and long-lasting relationship, you essentially need an alignment in your core:

  1. Values
  2. Beliefs
  3. Commitments

For example, could a police officer be married to a known thief and illegal drug abuser?

Love yourself enough to make sure you get what you want and need and deserve.


Copyright © 2002 Russell Wilkie, MFT

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