How to Choose a Partner by Susan Quilliam (Part 2)

For Part 1, click here

Connecting. You should aim to understand your partner. One needs to start trawling the deeper waters. We need to literally feel our partner. Face-to-face contact gives us essential knowledge in which to base judgement. The problem with online dating is that the real person might be different in real life. People tend to be more open in distance dating, which can be a good thing. You can ask serious questions on the app too. Physical contact makes everything more emotional. Proximity matters. Getting together with someone near you is very common. What is chemistry exactly? Is it over-rated? How do you form conclusions about the person? Is your decision making sound? You have to use a wider range of checks and balances. What you talk on your first date matters a lot. We need more than simply passion and opportunity. Learn to examine her values, life goals, and personality traits. Ask yourself these 3 big questions. What three values made your life most worthwhile (example: safety, happiness?). Which three goals have you achieved in your life you are most satisfied with and proud of? (career, success, adventure). What 3 personality traits do you most want other people to praise you for when you have gone? (honesty, generosity etc). Answer the 9 above and you will get a sense of what you value the most. Learn what her love languages are. They are 1) words of affirmation; 2) quality time; 3) receiving gifts; 4) acts of service; 5) physical touch. You must also know what you like so that you can explain it to your partner. Humans like sameness and the feeling is reciprocal. Many dating apps pair people based on sameness. For personality, it is possible for opposites to attract. The trick is to choose a mate with similar values and goals, but with a different personality. We shouldn’t blame women and gender difference if we break up. You need to remove the ‘veils’ during dating. You could bring up serious topics of discussion. However, do not use them too early. You have to be yourself on the date. You have to be factual and truthful. Usually, big events will reveal the other party’s personality. Emotional responsiveness is one of the most important in a relationship. This is your partner’s ability to pay loving attention to your emotional needs. Always aim to soothe and then solve. You need to be able to notice, pay attention, reflect on your partner’s emotions. Being emotionally stable is very important. Emotional responsiveness is a relationship deal-breaker. Men are not taught how to manage their emotions. Men are capable of stepping up to the relationship challenge. One’s ability for empathy is important. How you treat others is really important when you are on a date. Can I be there for you? Can you be there for me? If you are not willing to be there for her, the signs is that the relationship might be ending. You should never stop being aware of each other’s feelings, giving attention to each other’s needs and opening up to one another. We will at some point in our relationship feel insecure and unloved. How do you deal with that? People think that being secure is good all the time. But there are pros to being ‘anxious’, ‘avoidant’, ‘attacking’ too. To what extent do you want to stay calm and serene? Sex allows the relationship to be more open. It helps to secure the relationship. Synchrony sex is the best because it is a balance between physical pleasure and emotional bonding. Understand your partner’s attachment tendencies. Be wary of those off-the-scale anxious, avoidant and attacking personality. Secure is good. However, once in a while, conflicts are normal.

We may find that, after crashing the internet with reciprocally enthusiastic emails for several weeks when we finally get close to our online crush it’s loathing at first sight. – Susan Quiliam

Once there’s a basic attraction, the more time we spend close to someone, the more they will seem appealing, lovable, simply better. And the longer, more frequently, more regularly we spend time with them, the deeper the impact. – Susan Quiliam

Studies suggest that goals will become obvious first, values next, with personality revealed last of all. – Susan Quiliam

Although being authentic may feel scary, the more authentic we can be – about what we believe, what we want, who we are – the more chance we’ll have of eventually meeting a suitable prince or princess, even if that also means that en route we drive off a lot of incompatible frogs. – Susan Quiliam

Being emotionally engaged means staying rock-solid even when our partner is firing negative emotions, with us as the target – as they will do from time to time in even the most loving relationship. Easy? Not at all. – Susan Quiliam

When partners aren’t emotionally concerned about each other during courtship, then even if they decide to wed they’ll probably part in the end. – Susan Quiliam

A huge element of successful decision-making is finding out whether each partner is both able and motivated to actually learn what the other person needs and what the relationship may demand. – Susan Quiliam

Being in Love. I am a huge believer in the possibility of love. Everyone should be love-struck at least once in their life. Isn’t love just a rush of emotions? Can it be confused for lust? Love can seem like an obsessive compulsion. However, it cannot guarantee long term compatibility. There is no strong link between short-term attraction and long-term compatibility. There is a correlation between love and anxiety. When scared, our body is a nervous wreck and we tend to seek love more. Hence, anxiety leads to bonding. Love is date-stamped. We also need to know ‘what is left over’, meaning when there is no love. If you still can accept the person, most likely the relationship can last. Choose a partner which can complement you, so that you can lead a complete life. Love doesn’t make people happy all the time. When you are unhappy, you start to question whether the person is the right one. In a relationship, you have to overcome problems that our partner and partnership have. You also have to be more loving towards yourself. Even if we pick the right person, there will be challenges. Humans like those who help them to grow. If someone needs something from you and you are able to deliver, you will be drawn to that person. Accept that partner and their vulnerabilities. What would you know if you have chosen well? Be more emotionally truthful and authentic. You should be really drawn into someone at the start. You want things from your partner and they also demand things of you. Therefore, it is good to have passion and romance at the start.

Happiness will not necessarily be what marks progress; sometimes there will be pain. – Susan Quiliam

We will always be required to master the essential human balancing act of trying to answer our own needs while meeting those of our beloved, of loving ourselves while loving another, and of growing through that process. – Susan Quiliam

The lesson is that the best love is a three-art process, with the initial delights driving us on to ride out the medium-term challenges for the sake of long-term rewards. – Susan Quiliam

Knowing. The main question to ask is ‘How and when will I know enough to choose this person, or to not choose them, or to decide that the moment of choice is past?’ There are no clear answers to the above. Gut feeling is one way of telling. However, this is contrary to the elimination principle. Therefore, if the girl checks all boxes, but your gut feeling isn’t right, you can ask for another date. The problem with passion is that you are wearing rose-coloured glasses. Take your time. Sometimes, delay is good. Are you the type who goes too fast? Or do you wait too long? If you are too fast, you might make the wrong judgement. This is tricky, but it is worth altering your approach if things are not working. One approach is to be fully committed for 90 days. You shouldn’t fear rejection and other full emotional responsiveness and trust that everything will go well. If after 90 days, and you do not hesitate, that is the correct girl. If after 90 days and you hesitate, then it is a no. There are other reasons to say no, for instance, differing goals, personalities etc. Sometimes, it might not be yes or no, but change. You can tell the partner to change and if they agree, there is still chance for the relationship. Hence, if you hope that your partner will improve in time, you must have the conversation with her. If you don’t talk about such issues, the relationship is doomed. If your heart is not into someone, just leave. You are doing the person a favour by leaving. Sometimes, what if the other person doesn’t choose you? You will not get everything you want in life. You must move through the rejection and sometimes, it is not wise to try harder. Do not sacrifice everything you have for the girl. It is pointless to cling on to hope sometimes. If you are being pursued, please be aware of the danger signals. Most people will succeed in their journey to find someone. Once you know both parties are fully committed, things will work. Through the Wall of Life and tribulations, we will get through the course of our relationship. Nevertheless it is still good to specify what you want from your partner. Are you growing? Is your partner growing? Will you all continue to grow in the future?

Where possible, dig deeper, search wider, allow both logic and emotion, head and hear to synchronize. – Susan Quiliam

But it’s also best not to be too slow and too considered, for there are dangers in hesitation; we may lose not only momentum but also faith. – Susan Quiliam

As rough guidelines, 2 months of regular dating is long enough to know whether both sides want to declare themselves partners, 2 years long enough to know whether lifetime commitment is possible. – Susan Quiliam

It is fine to turn someone down. In fact, it’s actually best to turn them down if you come to the conclusion that they aren’t for you. Because by walking away you’re not just freeing yourself to find someone you can love. You are also freeing your no-longer-potential partner to find someone who can love them. Don’t feel guilty. If we know our heart is not in a relationship we do right by everyone if we leave. – Susan Quiliam

If after a while we are still not loved, then however much we mourn, it’s been a lucky escape. In the same way as it’s best to free up a partner we don’t want, it is also best to be freed from a partner who doesn’t want us. We deserve more than that. – Susan Quiliam

Every relationship suffers disequilibrium. Even for just a few moments, one person wonders while the other is certain; one person doubts while the other has faith. – Susan Quiliam

Through the Wall of Life – trials of illness, accident, job change, ageing, bereavement, and with the passing of time, we will learn more about our partner and they will learn more about us. – Susan Quiliam

That’s the hope. That if both of us keep evolving, keep learning, keep growing, then at some point in the future, we will be able to create a wonderful partnership, to relate to each other as never before, to love each other “best”. – Susan Quiliam

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