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How To Choose A Partner Who Is Right For You

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July 26, 2013

Many people are confused about how to find a loving relationship. What's the best way to choose a partner, and once you've chosen, how do you know if he or she is the right one for you? Well, I have a few opinions about the matter that I'm happy to share with you today.

For me, one crucial lesson about love is that it's not logical. Meaning, our minds don't choose who we love; our hearts do!

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You can like someone because of certain qualities they have; because of their intelligence, kindness or sense of adventure. But if your heart doesn't feel it — if there isn't a strong attractive pull to be with this person — then it's not likely that the relationship is going to transform into love.

What sets love apart from other relationships is that heart-connected feeling. It can't be faked, and it can't be dictated by the mind.

While you may be physically attracted to many different people every day, what I'm talking about here is the desire for emotional closeness with another person. You know, that feeling of falling in love.

You can't get enough. You can't help yourself. You want more.

There's a lot of wisdom in this type of attraction, and if we would just listen to it, we'll know who our romantic matches are. I know what you're going to say: What about relationships that are highly chaotic? I say: The lesson is to connect to a deep sense of love within yourself so it's no longer acceptable to be treated so poorly. This is a self-love issue.

These highly attractive relationships are often intense. They're complicated. They provoke a lot of emotion. Because of the complexity of these relationships, many of us resort to choosing partners with our logical minds out of fear.

But when you choose a partner with your mind, it's only because you've blocked your heart. It's an attempt to protect yourself. Unfortunately, this creates a couple problems for us in love.

1. Choosing a partner when your heart is shut-down will lead to a lack of heart-connection with that person. 

And that's not what you want in a romantic relationship. Although the partners we choose with our minds might be nice and easier, if your heart isn't in it, then it's not going to feel like love. It's basically friendship.

And we want love.

2. You can't outsmart your unconscious mind. 

You think you can. But you can't.

Trust me, I'm a therapist. I've been in therapy for 10 years. I know my psyche quite well, but there's still so much I don't know — that's the beauty of it.

Unfortunately, knowing what my patterns are isn't enough for me to stop repeating them! Yes, it's helpful to know why I feel the things I feel, but simply knowing will not make them go away.

3. Making an effort to change will make my issues in relationships go away.

This can only be done when they get played out with someone who brings them to the surface (the highly attractive relationship).

Your unconscious is programed to lead you to people who will provoke old patterns, experiences, and fears that started long ago. The point is not to outsmart this process by finding someone who's different; the point is to evolve beyond the fears that come to the surface.

In my humble opinion, the "right" partner is the one who will help you evolve. Trust this process! Listen to your heart, let it guide you, and be willing to work through whatever surfaces with the people you really love.

Please leave a comment below about your experience in heart-connected relationships. I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

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Shelly Bullard, MFT
Shelly Bullard, MFT

Shelly Bullard, MFT, is a marriage and family therapist with a holistic and spiritual approach to relationships. She has worked with thousands of clients on improving their relationships with others and themselves, and she's also the instructor of the popular mindbodygreen courses How To Become The Most Attractive Version Of Yourself and How To Attract A Partner.

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