Written for EliteMate.com

Dating Tips – On Finding The Perfect Partner

I asked an acquaintance of mine why he had never taken a lover. The gentleman replied, “Well, I guess I just never met the right gal; I guess I’ve been looking for the perfect one.” “Oh, come on now, ” I said, “Surely you’ve dated at least one woman who was a real keeper.” “Well, yes, there was a lady – once. I guess she was a true winner; the only perfect woman I really ever met. She was just the right…everything, a perfect 10. I mean, she was unquestionably the absolute one for me.”

“Well, why didn’t you marry her?” I queried. Begrudgingly he replied, “Unfortunately, she was looking for the perfect man!”

Dating 101, Lesson 1: Nobody is perfect. If you are putting your love life on hold while you search for Ms. or Mr. Perfect you are setting yourself up for membership emeritus in the Lonely Hearts Club. No matter how long the list of redeeming qualities may be, each of us has flaws.

One of the first steps in attracting a healthy, long-term relationship is being clear about which flaws you can live with in a partner and which you cannot. Get clear on your relationship “non-negotiables” and the flow of desirable dating partners may seem to magically open to you.

In reality, there is nothing magical about this phenomenon. Great sketch artists know that the secret to drawing accurately is not about focusing on the shape of the object itself, but rather on the space that surrounds the object. Drawing that shape assists the artist in maintaining accurate perspective. Hmmm!

When we encounter someone with characteristics that “hook” us emotionally (“He’s sooo perfect for me!”), we tend to lose our perspective. Under this spell of infatuation the tendency is to exaggerate all of Mr. Wonderful’s positive characteristics and to ignore or grossly discount the not-so-flattering ones (“Oh, he’s just being cute!”). You know the drill: initial euphoria soon gives way to disillusionment and hurt. This not to say that we should steer away from a potential partner who puts stars in our eyes. On the contrary, this experience is to be relished and enjoyed – in perspective. Just be honest with yourself about the qualities and characteristics you prefer in a romantic partner vs. the ones that are non-negotiable. Then, make a conscious decision to not compromise on the later before you invest your heart.