How to Choose a Partner by Susan Quilliam (Part 1)

Understanding. Finding a partner can be a difficult task. It can seem like an adventure. It is also a self-development journey. Nowadays, there is a practical aspect to romance too, such as the need for financial stability etc. In the past, romance was not necessarily linked with commitment. Women are more educated, sensible and independent. Love has been a lot more emotional than ever before. Modern romance has a lot of pressures on singles. With the ability to divorce, we can choose to walk away from a relationship. We can even choose to get into another relationship with someone else if our spouse has died. Modern people have higher expectations. In addition, working hours are longer than before. Meeting a mate is indeed very challenging. We see our partner as ‘God’, someone who is perfect. The fact is that this isn’t possible and it’s implausible. In the past, due to lower expectations, there was a greater chance for couples to be happier. We have more dating windows than ever before. One can use speed dating, dating agencies and matchmakers nowadays. Technology has certainly given us more options. More couples have met via technology. The author has worked with couples via her work. The book draws on experiences to guide one in finding the right partner. You have the potential to change your future forever. Seize it.

We once sought meaning in the divine, now that we can no longer find such meaning, we seek it elsewhere. Partnership is the source which is now expected to deliver all the hope and happiness that we originally expected to get from the deity. – Susan Quiliam

Now we fear that if we choose wrong, we will end up not only alone but condemned – even damned – for our failure to make love work. – Susan Quiliam

Being Ready. It’s tempting to rush into it. Is this the right time to be looking?  There are times for being single. If you have other things to tend to, finding a partner shouldn’t be your priority. List down the things your loved ones have given you. Are all your needs met already through your current relationships? Being single allows you to pursue your real vocation. Do not simply do what ‘society’ wants or ‘everyone’ does. You can choose to marry the whole world. Do you have room to hold down a committed relationship? Map out your schedule and determine which of them have to make room for a relationship. You have to be chosen by your partner too. Often, there is a fear of rejection and of making the wrong choice. Learn to overcome the fear. Learn to be vulnerable and reveal your fear. One also needs to be emotionally available. You need to let go of emotional baggage. During post break-up is a terrible time to be a relationship. However, some people do it because of rebound effect. This is not a good idea. One needs time to heal. Are you mature enough to pick a partner in the first place? You will need to know what is worth loving, what you need and how to let go of needs when necessary. You will need to know how to love your partner. If they are not ready, give them the time and space they need.

It’s said that the best thing in life is to be happily partnered and the next best thing is to be happily single – but for some people the hierarchy’s reversed. Some of us are entirely whole without additions, flourish better without distractions, are simply happier alone. – Susan Quiliam

The ideal of singledom is highly valued in many spiritual traditions less because of puritanism than because it frees us to follow our real vocation. – Susan Quiliam

The extra sting in the tale is that the more successful we’ve been in life up to now, the more we’ve developed our career, expanded our social life and gained a rewarding lifestyle, the less room we have for partnership. – Susan Quiliam

Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you have to dive for it. – Chinese Proverb

Does your potential partner have time and room in their life for love? Are they over their past relationship or actually still yearning? Are they reaching out to us through genuine attraction or to fill a life gap? – Susan Quiliam

Looking Back. Look back at your past relationships and learn from them. Your decision is influenced by many factors. Are you influenced by your parents? Who has been your biggest influencer? You should know what your influences are. One develops love maps when young. You will know when a person feels right. This is known as transference. Your partner might not be able to live up to your parent’s expectations etc. You are drawn to a partner who resembles the figures you loved in the past. We know that we have to survive. Sometimes, you secretly want your partner to heal you when there is too much pain. There are many tragic events which can wound us. Similarly, your partner’s past will affect her behavior and personality now. You should just retain the useful bits of the past into your present relationship. You can cull events from your memory bank. If there are events which had you to make misguided decisions, please see a professional.

Very often, the person feels right because they remind us of someone who felt right earlier in life or because we believe that with them we can reclaim the ‘right’ life events. – Susan Quiliam

Not Choosing. There are people who believe that by not choosing, things might work out. However, this is in contrary to popular belief. Not choosing means ceding control of your life. Use a coin toss. Chance is an efficient way to decide. If you believe in fate, chances are you will not put much effort into a relationship because it was so called predetermined. Those who believe in fate are likely to react badly when things go wrong. Growth-love is more sustainable, but involves more effort. Arranged marriages and letting someone else choose for you seems like a bad idea. Matchmakers need to be competent for this arrangement to work. However, if the arranger is well informed and know the guy and girl well, things might work. Online dating seems to present a multitude of options. However, this might be an illusion because dating apps have algorithms which try to match people. They are usually superficial in nature too. Some of their apps are unproven too. Although choice is a good idea, serendipity has its joyful moments too. Enroll and ask advice from friends for guidance, consolation and celebration. Remember to take risks in the process.

It’s not just that love is one of the few areas in modern society where we may still cling to romantic notions of fate determining our future. But also, by handing over control to others, we might avoid repeating past mistakes or making new and future ones. – Susan Quiliam

Offline, be open to the occasional blind date, opportunity dinner from a colleague or fortuitous encounter at the supermarket checkout. Randomness certainly can open a different, less blinkered and therefore sometimes better door. – Susan Quiliam

If done well, “arranged marriages” can triumph, delivering the objectivity of chance, the reassurance of destiny, the pragmatism of growth. – Susan Quiliam

Focusing. More options can be good when there are a lack of alternatives. This is good if you have a small social circle. Avoid stagnant pools but learn to find slow rivers. You could take up a new hobby, dating events etc. You could sign up for a dating site too. Join a variety of sites and be open-minded. Too much choice causes people to make slow decisions. It is easy to be the victim of the shopping mentality. It might be a disaster in disguise. Hence, we need to reach a balance. Elimination is the key. Cut the field to choose only those events where you want to mingle with those in the room. Filter them to either of the categories ‘serious’, ‘fling’, ‘affair’. Use the funnel of love. Those who can’t meet our criteria will be eliminated. The problem is that we might be wary to use the funnel or reject people too quickly. If you are focusing, learn to visualize. Have the mental experience of wanting that partner, feeling entitled to want them. You need to specify your criteria. Learn to write specified lists. It will help to keep you in track. You must know what kind you want to attract. Write down all the elements of an ideal mate: gender, age, appearance, cultural background, religious belief, lifestyle, career, earnings, leisure patterns, hobbies, interests, location (also learn to identify your top 5). Write down your deal-breakers. There are 4 main ones: different sexual leanings; mismatched relationship aims; conflict in deep values; incompatibility of interests. Visualize what a ‘normal, happy day’ would seem. The person has to create the daily life that you want forever.

Don’t get trapped in a social life where you see the same people over and over again. Instead, put your energy into groups which offer a steady and regular through-flow of different individuals, in situations where there’s opportunity to mingle, meet, chat and bond. – Susan Quiliam

Quantity is less crucial than quality in partner choice, but also because the human brain treads a fine line between having a wide range of options and having too many for sanity. – Susan Quiliam

To combat the increasing confusion from emotional paralysis from having too much choice, we try to simplify. Which in turn leads to our over-considering irrelevant criteria, rejecting without real consideration, and craving the ‘next good thing’ rather than focusing on the current one. – Susan Quiliam

I’m not a believer in “The One”, but unless we start saying no to those who aren’t right for us, we won’t get anywhere near those who are. – Susan Quiliam

Partner choice is a quest, and as with all quests it’s good to have a bit of feisty courage – courage to believe in yourself, courage to believe there are partners out there you can choose, courage to believe that there are partners out there who will choose you. – Susan Quiliam

When we create a partner specification, we will often mysteriously find ourselves exploring much wider issues, not just about surface criteria but also about what we need from a partner on a deeper level, and how to instinctively recognize that when it arrives. – Susan Quiliam



One thought on “How to Choose a Partner by Susan Quilliam (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: How to Choose a Partner by Susan Quilliam (Part 2) | Book & Quote Monster

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