It’s easy to get caught up thinking about how we’d like our current partner to change or what the perfect partner would be like.
The truth is, what we long for in relationship is a clue to what we need to cultivate in ourselves in order to get what we want. Let me explain. And in a moment, I’m going to give you an exercise that can help you with this.
Hang in here with me because although it may seem backwards, believe it or not, if you do this it helps you attract what you need and want (with your current partner or a new one).
What we really want when we think of the qualities we want in someone else is how these things make us feel.
For example, if you were seen walking into a restaurant with a famous, wealthy or very attractive person on your arm, it might make you feel proud or important. How would you feel if an A-list gorgeous movie star wanted you sexually? Would you feel more desirable and sexy yourself? Or when you’re with someone who totally admires you and is non-judgmental, you might feel more spontaneous and self-expressive, right?
The cool thing is we can generate these feelings within ourselves, so we don’t actually need the other person in order to feel wonderful.
Of course, it’s wonderful to share these feelings with another person. And ironically, if we can conjure up and embody these feelings within ourselves, we are likely to behave in ways (and convey energy in subtle ways) that attract exactly what we want in another person or engender those traits in our current partner.
We’ve all seen people who aren’t particularly physically attractive, but are surrounded by suitors because they are so charming and confident in their appeal that they magnetize potential lovers to them.
We can also learn from the example of a beautiful woman, a friend of mine, whom I’ll call Anna. Anna was widowed when her son, Jason, was an infant and had raised him alone for years. When Jason was a teenager, Anna fell in love and married Mark, a younger man who didn’t have any children.
Anna really wanted her husband to fill the void of the father in her son’s life, but didn’t fully trust that he was up to it. When her repeated attempts to orchestrate things between Mark and Jason failed, she finally just gave up and forced herself to take a “hands off” approach and trust that he would do the best he could.
Much to her amazement and delight, when she stopped trying and simply trusted, he rose to the challenge and became a wonderful role model who developed a close relationship with Jason and significantly contributed to his development into manhood.
Bottom line: Anna trusted Mark, and in turn, he became trustworthy.
Step 1: Write down three qualities you wish your current partner had or you want in a partner. These might be trustworthiness, more desire for you, responsiveness, emotional openness and vulnerability, sensuousness, financial responsibility or whatever applies to you.
Step 2: Then, for each quality, close your eyes and imagine how you would feel if you experienced these qualities in a partner. For example, if your partner desired you, you might feel attractive and sexy. If your partner was trustworthy, you might feel relaxed, trusting and have less need to control. An emotionally open partner might make you feel more emotionally connected and inspire you to be more open and vulnerable yourself.
Step 3: Once you have a clear idea of the feelings you would have in response to the qualities you want in a partner, close your eyes again. Take those feelings one at a time and allow yourself to imagine you are experiencing them right now.
For example, allow yourself to bask in feeling totally beautiful and desirable, physically and otherwise. Maybe put on some music and dance in a sensual fashion. Love your body and your inner self, warts and all.
You might imagine feeling totally secure and trusting your partner, even if you don’t ordinarily feel that way. Notice that you won’t have to intervene to make sure things go the way you want. Allow yourself to feel the relaxation that accompanies these feelings.
Or imagine feeling open and willing to be emotionally vulnerable, or spontaneous or charming or whatever is indicated by what you want in a partner. Do this every night before you go to sleep for a while, and let me know what happens!
The worst that can happen is this doesn’t work. But even then, instead of being stuck in the same old patterns, you’ve experienced the feelings you wanted to feel, right? And you just might be surprised how the universe delivers up what you really want and need in totally unexpected ways!
“Love is not something that comes into us from someone else; it is an extension of our own minds, reverberating back to us in what seems to be another person’s smile.”
– Marianne Williamson