Soulmates: The Quest for Ideal Love in a Dating Relationship
Is your current love interest your soul mate? Twenty, thirty, forty years from now, will both of you still feel passion for each other? Will you still love being with each other? Will the relationship continue to enrich both of you indefinitely? Perhaps!
Two people may be compatible-or incompatible-in many ways. What do you and your dating partner have in common? Do you have significant differences in education, career, money, cultural background, lifestyle, sexual preferences, family, friends, values, beliefs and personality?
Have you found your true love? Two people don’t have to have the same personalities to be compatible. In fact, love flourishes when two people are both similar and different. Any couple can create a close, loving relationship, regardless of their differences. It’s just a lot easier when there’s ample common ground, interesting differences that enrich the dating partnership, and no dramatic differences that threaten conflict.
Personality differences can enrich a dating relationship. Because both people aren’t totally alike, they can bring new kinds of strength and joy to each other. But if differences are dramatic, it may be harder to accept, affirm, love and cherish what’s different about the other person.
Harmony. Personality similarities can benefit a dating relationship because they make harmony so easy. When two people have similar characteristics, they often think, say and do similar things. When this happens, the relationship feels comfortable. The couple feels they truly understand each other-as if they were “soul mates.”
When dating partners have similar comfort zones, the mindframes they share in common will seem familiar to both, and they’ll use them frequently. This commonality can benefit a love relationship because there will be fewer surprises. Communicating with each other will often seem effortless.
Enrichment. When someone says, “he’s good for me” or “when I’m with her, I’m a whole person,” it often means that the dating partners appreciate each other’s differences. In a love relationship, two people don’t always think or act the same way. When dating partners bring different patterns and perspectives to a relationship, the differences don’t have to be frustrating. They can lead to a more interesting dating experience. One person brings something valuable to the relationship that the other person doesn’t. One person is strong in a way that the other isn’t.
When personality differences aren’t too extreme, dating partners will find it fairly easy to reach out with patience and understanding to accept, value, love and affirm what’s unique about the other person. In this way, a couple can be enriched by what might otherwise be a potential area of conflict. Love grows-not in spite of the differences, but because of them. The couple discovers new ways to experience love, fulfillment and happiness.
Conflict. Personality differences come into play every time two people are together. These can benefit a love relationship, if the differences are relatively minor. But when differences are extreme, personalities can clash. Unfamiliar and unexpected behavior can trigger misunderstanding, disappointment, impatience and irritation. Dating partners may avoid conflict by reaching out every day with patience and understanding to accept, value and affirm the other person’s strengths.
Everything depends on the attitudes of the dating partners and whether they’re willing to stretch on a regular basis. This can be difficult if one person uses a particular mindframe a lot, and the other person uses it rarely. The gap may be so wide and occur so often that it’s hard to see the difference as a valuable, beneficial aspect of a love relationship.
Compatibility Forecast. You may have special feelings for the person you’re dating. You’re interested enough to maintain contact, but do you want to invest more of yourself in the relationship? Do you want to take the next step? Do you want to exchange phone numbers? Meet in person? Continue dating and spending time together growing a friendship and exploring love? Become intimate? Move in? Get married?
Taking steps toward a more intimate love relationship means investing time, feelings and personal resources. Is your friend The One? Is this person worth the risk that in the end the relationship may not work out?
You don’t have to invest months or years in the relationship to find out. You can discover the common ground between you right now, up front in the relationship. These insights will help you decide whether you welcome the similarities and whether you believe you will be enriched by the differences.
You can decide now that this person is a potential long-term love interest. Or you can decide that trying to find love in this relationship is too far to go.
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