If human beings as a whole had figured out the secret key ingredient to falling, being, and staying in love, we’d have stopped writing about.
Alas, we haven’t. And probably won’t. Ever.
But what we have done is spent our entire collective sentient experience since the dawn of conscious personhood studying love and attraction, trying to crack the code.
And honestly? We’ve learned a lot.
From stockpiling communication tools to making your marriage last longer…
To applying certain scents to attract a mate…
And even developing a commonly accepted list of “red flags” proven to unmask fake love and make room for the real thing.
Not to mention that in 2020, we’re hunting for different qualities than our rom-com ancestors. Young women aren’t necessarily looking for hardy family-providers anymore, and young men aren’t necessarily limited to seeking coquettish waifs with a famous tuna casserole recipe.
As cultural mores have evolved, needs have changed…
And we’ve increasingly been encouraged to make decisions based not on survival but on personal preference.
Tomes have been written, songs composed, and film characters tortured trying to attract the right mate and avoid the mistakes of their peers.
The Law of Attraction and its descendant philosophies remain the most powerful format for designing the kind of partner you want.
The Law of Attraction
Esther and Jerry Hicks published their opus about 15 years ago, illustrating the power of our own personal energy. Their theory, and the theory of many others like them, is that the spiritual energy we send into the universe is the same energy we receive.
So the idea, of course, is that to attract the partner you want to attract, you need to be that kind of partner.
“We do not attract what we want; we attract what we are,” according to Wayne Dyer, self-help guru and author.
This movement is widely followed, and not without reason.
But in order to do that, you need to be crystal clear on what qualities are essential to you. In other words, what will be compatible with your personality.
The Compatibility Question
There are a million different ways to determine what you need in a partner, and what’s negotiable.
Try breaking your inner search down to two categories: love languages and time spent.
Love languages, if you aren’t familiar, are ranked forms of communicating and receiving love identified by Gary Chapman in his 1992 book, The Five Love Languages.
- Words of affirmation (You did a great job with dinner tonight!)
- Acts of service (You made dinner, so I’ll set the table and clean the dishes.)
- Receiving gifts (I brought you this bottle of wine to complement the dinner you made.)
- Quality time (Let’s turn the TV off and put our phones away so we can enjoy this dinner together.)
- Physical touch (I’ll give you a neck rub while you’re stirring the risotto.)
It’s equally important to rank those five languages for both giving and receiving.
For example, you may prefer to express your love through physical touch, but experience love from your partner through words of affirmation.
Being able to tell the difference and communicate those distinctions is vital to finding a partner able to meet your needs. After all, if you don’t know what you want, you can’t ask for it — and perhaps more importantly, you won’t know why you’re unhappy if you’re unhappy.
This metric is harder to qualify, but is equally as important as the love languages.
Think about time spent as not only the actual details of the way that a prospective partner fills their hours, but a reflection of their values.
It’s a different approach to evaluating a partner’s potential compatibility with your own…And it’s a very valuable exercise to examine yourself from this light while you’re at it.
Do you spend most of your time on activities that will foster your career? With your family? Taking classes? Watching TV?
The way you fill up your waking hours is essentially voting with your time. You’re investing in a future you with your current efforts.
You want an ideal partner to spend their time in ways that are compatible with the way you spend yours, and it will certainly aid in mutual attraction.
It’s also why online dating sites compatibility algorithms are often skewed — it turns out we don’t all know ourselves as well as we think we do.
For example, a person may note that physical fitness is very important to them. But lots of people think that about themselves and still eat fast food, don’t exercise, and avoid nature. The proof of someone’s values is in action. Meeting a partner who shares physical fitness as a value would be more likely on a hike in the woods than by sifting through a list of people who agree they care about it.
Be the Partner You want to See in the World
Cultivate in yourself the same skills, values, and preferences you’re dying for in a partner.
List those attributes. Determine where you’re lacking yourself. And then build them up.
That’s why the law of attraction is a powerful tool — it’s introspective, intentional, and proactive.