In coaching thousands of people over the years, I’ve learned that most don’t think about what they really want in their relationships. They just go with who they’re attracted to, and then eventually fall into dynamics that can be unhealthy or short-lived.
As a result, these individuals often then get buried in an avalanche of discouragement, overwhelmed by the feeling that there’s no one out there. Or they start to internalize their doubt, and start to believe there’s something wrong with them for not finding "the one."
Well, one thing is for sure: this a cycle that needs to stop, or else looking for love will feel like hell on earth. And the good news is that you can stop this cycle.
The first step is to know what to look for in a relationship, not just what you gravitate toward at the initial stages. Because let's face it: sometimes what we gravitate toward can be an unhealthy dynamic, based on our story and patterns.
Of course we have to be attracted to the person. But that’s obvious, and it's also not enough if you’re interested in building something lasting. Now, for the fun part: how do we know what to look for?
Everyone has preferences. But that’s not what I’m talking about. The deeper question here is this: what are you willing (and not willing) to negotiate?
Preferences are like options or settings on a car, not the engine itself — the thing that allows the machine to function. Thinking about what you're willing and not willing to negotiate in relationships is hard, often uncomfortable work.
But working with these questions is what will empower you to sketch out the mechanics that will exist under the hood in your relationship. This is what will allow the relationship to keep on moving, functionally, when sh*t gets sticky.
So ... how do you know what your non-negotiables are?