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Who Do You Really Want To Date?

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by Sonia Sutton
on March 12, 2023

Too much choice can be overwhelming

Online dating has made it easier than ever before to meet potential romantic partners.  But, with so many options available, we run the risk of settling for someone less than ideal, and missing out on the one who would have been perfect for us.

Collage of many profile photos

Some women spend years in a relationship thinking, "My boyfriend is great, but I really wish he was taller." Similarly, some men in a long-term relationship spend years looking at women with larger breasts because that is what they really wanted.  In each case, they could have avoided these regrets by identifying what is essential to them, and sticking with it.

Defining your ideal partner is crucial to finding a successful match on a dating site with thousands (or millions) of members.  Below are some tips to help you figure out what you're really looking for.

1) Identify your values and priorities

An important first step is to identify your core beliefs and life goals.  What are the most important things in your life, and how do you want a partner to fit in with that?

Do you value honesty, loyalty, and trust above all else?  Are you looking for someone who shares your interests and hobbies?  Or are you simply looking for someone who is sexually attractive, and flexible about the rest?

By taking some time to think about what's most important to you, you can get a clearer idea of what you're looking for in a partner.  Be honest with yourself!

2) Prioritize your priorities

That might sound funny, but having too many specific requirements for a partner will lead to few or no matches.

If you are looking for a short, rich, 34-year-old bisexual vegetarian living in Iowa who has 3+ kids, is vaccinated against COVID, smokes, and attends MAGA rallies... then most dating sites will come up blank.  Prioritizing that list and selecting only the top four will vastly improve your chances of finding someone.

3) Consider your deal-breakers

Old photo of two scantily dressed women, one with a large bosom and one with a small waist

Just as important as knowing what you want in a partner is knowing what you don't want.  Consider your deal-breakers – those things that would make it impossible for you to be with someone.  Examples include differences in values, lifestyle choices, personality traits, or bodily features.

Bear in mind that some 'deal breakers' are negotiable and your partner may be willing to change out of love for you.  For example, a meat-eater can become vegetarian, a smoker can stop, and an Iowan can move.  Do not put these items at the top of your list but focus instead on those that cannot be changed, such as age, height, and number of children.

By being clear about your deal-breakers, you can save yourself a lot of time and heartache in the long run.

4) Think about your past relationships

Your past relationships can provide valuable insights into what you're looking for in a partner.  Think about the relationships that have worked well for you in the past, as well as those that haven't.

What qualities did your successful partners possess, and what qualities did your unsuccessful partners lack?  What did you wish for in your last relationship, but could never have?

Looking back at your past relationships, you can better understand what you're looking for in a future partner.

5) Consider your long-term goals

If you are serious about dating, it's important to think 5, 10 and 20 years ahead.  What do you want for your future, and how would your partner fit into that?  Are you looking for someone to settle down with and start a family, or are you more interested in a casual relationship?

Woman next to thought bubble on blackboard showing a house and children

By thinking ahead you can make sure that you're looking for a partner who shares your vision for the future.

6) Don't be afraid of new experiences

While it's important to have a clear idea of what you're looking for in a partner, it's also important to be flexible.  Don't limit yourself too much – you might miss out on meeting someone who doesn't fit your idea of a perfect partner but is a great match for you.  Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone and explore new avenues.

7) Take your time

Defining your ideal partner is a process, and it's important to take your time.  Don't rush into anything – take the time to really get to know yourself and what you're looking for.  This will help you avoid getting into relationships that end up wasting months or years of your life, leaving heartbreak and perhaps a broken family in their wake.  It will also make it easier to recognize when you've found someone who is a good match.

8) Don't settle

Finally, it's important to remember that you shouldn't settle for someone who doesn't meet your criteria for an ideal partner.  It can be tempting to lower your standards in order to find someone quickly but, in the long run, this will only lead to disappointment and frustration.  Stick to your values and priorities, and keep looking until you find someone who truly satisfies your main criteria.

The bottom line

Defining your ideal partner is an important part of finding a successful match on a dating site.  By identifying your values and priorities, considering your deal-breakers, thinking about your past relationships, considering your long-term goals, being open to new experiences, taking your time, and not settling, you increase your chances of finding someone who is truly a good match for you.

Barely Dating can help you do just that!

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