In order to find a love for life, you’ll need to know what your strongest interest is. What really interests you? What do you love to talk about, read about, do, have, play with? If you don’t know the answer to those questions, or if the answers are a bunch of minor interests rather than one major interest, forget about finding a mate until you know what your “passion” is. But once you know that, finding a mate is easy: Pursue your interest and see who shows up.
Let’s say you love sailing. If you want to find someone you’ll love to talk to, you’ll need to find someone as interested in sailing as you are. Otherwise, although the two of you may have a functional relationship, you’ll be living in different worlds. Our deepest purposes and interests are at the heart of who we are.
So join a sailing club, go to sailing classes and races. Pursue your interest. The people you meet in a sailing club are much more likely to be interested in sailing than the people you’d meet in a bar, for example.
The rush of hormones at the beginning of a relationship wears off. Sorry to say it, but it’s true. No matter how attractive someone may be, that initial intense rush eventually dies down. But that’s okay, because there’s a deeper, more satisfying kind of love and attraction: the respect and affection between two people who share a common purpose or interest.
Raising children ends up being the common purpose between many married couples. But if child-raising doesn’t intensely interest both of you, it isn’t a good enough purpose to create and maintain the longtime happiness of a lifemate.
Two things need to be said. First, you’ll never find the “perfect” mate. She or he may seem perfect for a while, but no one can meet every one of your ideals. In fact, some of your ideals are probably mutually exclusive, so meeting all of them is literally impossible. You’ll eventually find faults in anyone because everyone has faults. When you find faults with your mate, remind yourself of that. Quit imagining that there is a perfect person out there somewhere. There isn’t.
Second, even when you’ve found your lifemate, you’ll sometimes be attracted to others. It’s human. It doesn’t mean anything except that you are a biological machine, built to breed. The human species (and every other species on the planet) has a built-in urge to multiply. Stick with your mate and don’t let it be important that others attract you. Your response to yourself can simply be “So what if I’m attracted to someone? It doesn’t mean anything.” Stay true to your mate even when an occasional attraction inclines you temporarily to do otherwise. You’ll be happier and healthier as a result. You want to find a lifemate? Take up your strongest interest with enthusiasm and see who shows up. After you find the person you’re looking for and the rush of hormones has worn off, accept the fact that your mate isn’t perfect, that nobody is perfect, and remind yourself that it isn’t important that you are occasionally attracted to others. Do this and you can live (pretty darn) happily ever after.
Adam Khan is the author of Principles For Personal Growth, Slotralogy, Antivirus For Your Mind, and co-author with Klassy Evans of How to Change the Way You Look at Things (in Plain English). Follow his podcast, The Adam Bomb.