Are you falling for the wrong people? Being misled by chemistry and hormones? Are you expecting someone to come along and fulfil needs you never knew you had? Not anymore… In step 3 of our 4 steps to love, we turn your partner selection process upside down – First, you work out your non-negotiable requirements in a relationship and use this as your gateway criteria to select potential matches. Then, work out your emotional and practical needs and how to get them fulfilled. And finally, you are invited to let go of your ‘list’ and be curious about what unique connection can be discovered with each unique being.
Here we go:
What are your fundamental, non-negotiable requirements in a relationship?
These are absolute musts. Usually value-, goal- or believe-based factors, without which there is no relationship for you. If you have started thinking of characteristics about your ideal partner, like – ”they have to be tall”, “they have to be communicative”, “they have to be conscious”, “they must want a family”… STOP. It’s not about them, it’s about you.
For example, you say you want someone who is communicative… what’s under that? “Connection, mutual understanding, stimulation, depth.” What would you experience when this is fulfilled? “I am in a partnership where both take the time to share and explore each other’s world, so that whether it’s joy or pain, we can meet and hold each other there”.
- Write down all the non-negotiables that comes to mind
- Do not write qualities about the other person
- Do write what you experience when this factor is fulfilled
- Hints – think of your fixed long-term goals, consider the core values and believes that are hugely important to you, consider your absolute must haves…
- Test – if everything else was there except this factor, I would not stay in this relationship.
- Finalise up to 5 non-negotiables
e.g. Big Family – the feeling of a little unit, closely connected to our friends and extendedly family in the nest of a community.
e.g. Equality – where both partners and those around us are valued for our contribution and presence.
e.g. Exploration – there is safety, curiosity and openness to explore, learn, play, grow and develop.
Your five non-negotiables are now your gateway criteria. If a potential partner can fulfil these criterion, lean in and explore the connection.
What are your emotional and/or practical needs in a relationship?
These are the things that help you feel well in a relationship. Factors that make you feel safe, secure, at ease, loved, free to be all you and free to be all in.
- Take the love languages quiz to explore how you like to give and receive love.
- Reflect on previous relationships and write down the emotional and practical needs that were fulfilled and unfulfilled (What gave you that feeling of wellness? – What need was fulfilled? What factors made you feel uneasy, activated or distressed? – What need was unfulfilled?).
- What needs did you have in childhood that your parents struggled to fulfil?
Considering all of the above, list your top 3 – 5 needs.
e.g. I need to be held physically to be soothed.
e.g. I need an environment of non-judgment in order for me to let go
e.g. I need to hear gratitude and appreciation to feel my contribution is valued.
You are now responsible and accountable for fulfilling these needs. It is not your partner’s responsibility to meet them. The best way to ensure that you will meet someone who can fulfil your needs, is to first know what they are and then how to communicate them. You want to know that your partner has the capacity to meet your needs and that they are willing to give you the gift of meeting your needs. If you have similar needs this might be easy. If you have different needs, you have to learn to dance.
What are the factors that bring excitement, energy, passion, joy, or simply would be nice to have?
These desirables may be interests, attraction factors or qualities that you appreciate – the chemistry factors you have experienced in the past or which you long for in future. You need chemistry, passion and commonality in order to catalyse your relationship into a shared future.
- List all the desirables that come to mind on a piece of paper.
- Then let them go by tearing the paper up into tiny pieces or burning it (safely).
You are usually selecting people based on these factors, but no more… This is how a lot of people are either searching for the wrong thing or being mislead by chemistry. Instead of being focused on these factors (and expecting that you will have connection when you have these factors), use your curiosity to explore what excitement, energy, passion or commonality you experience/ can create with each unique being in front of you.
Select potential partners based on your non-negotiable requirements, know your needs and take responsibility for getting them fulfilled, let go of what you expect for chemistry and discover what unique connection you can have with each individual.