How Do We Choose a Partner? A Guide to Personal Relationships

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When you see a couple, the relationship is usually one of two kinds – it either seems like a perfect match (and you bet this is a partnership for life), or you wonder what the heck could possibility keep those two people together (and you bet they won’t last long). Interestingly enough, a split is equally likely and usual in both cases. Another interesting observation is that in both cases it often seems like opposites attract. So then, why do we judge some couples a perfect match and others a total mismatch? And what does that tell us about the relationship itself on the inside?

In a nutshell, in a seeming “perfect match” the partners work around a common goal whereas in a seeming “total mismatch” the two have different deep-seated goals. Importantly, in both cases the partners use each other to achieve their goal and that’s precisely what brings them together (for however long it might be).

Let’s look at a couple that works around the same goal – reaching perfection, for instance. The partners will be using each other to achieve their common goal, and they may often employ different methods. Thus, one of them could be an extrovert and conflict-seeking (so justice can prevail and perfection be achieved), whereas the other one could be an introvert and conflict-avoiding (so peace can prevail and perfection be achieved). Indeed, opposites attract (and they serve each other and teach each other) but underneath it all, this couple is moved by the same underlying motivation – perfection. And their common deep-seated goal is precisely what will harmonize the couple’s energy fields in a way that has most people look at them and think they are a perfect match.

Now, let’s look at a couple that is perceived as less than harmonious by the naked eye. This will be a couple where the partners are driven by two very different sets of underlying motivation. For instance, we may have a humble, highly educated, non-assuming CEO of a big company, married to a loud, extravagant, “money-can-buy-it-all” housewife of lower education. Her motivation is power (and she has it fulfilled through her husband’s money); his motivation is serving others (and he has it fulfilled by serving his company and his wife). Here again opposites attract, but this time the underlying motivation that drives the two partners is very different. As a result, the energy fields they radiate are more likely to be in dissonance and that’s precisely what has you think they are a total mismatch.

A logical question that arises at this point is whether a perfect match is more likely to stay together longer than a total mismatch? In reality, both types of relationship could end at any time with equal likelihood. However, the separation of a seemingly perfect match is more likely to be friendly, supportive and forgiving. In contrast, the separation of a seeming mismatch is more likely to be accompanied by bitterness, vengeance, fights or depression (that of course is also dependent on the extent of personal growth work that has been done in any particular case).

So, what type of relationship are you in? What moves you and your partner? Are you two driven by the same underlying motivation or do you have different motives? Here are some examples of deep-seated goals that drive us in general: survival, power, competition (winning), acceptance, love (union), perfection… Whatever drives you, you will do well to become aware of it instead of getting caught up in surface appearances. This will help the relationship grow in the right direction. And remember that all relationships are a teacher, so there are no good ones and bad ones as long as they all serve our learning curve and develop our wisdom.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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