This week’s question comes from Jody:
“Dear Orna and Matthew,
What should I look for in a true soul partner?
I’ve been around the block a few times, still single over 50 and never married. I’ve been engaged and I tried to make that work out but it didn’t and when/if I ever do get married I want to do that only once.
I do want to share my life with someone and I think I know what I want, but maybe my focus is on the wrong things. You two are a shining example of what I desire. The love between you two is so strong and palpable. When I see how you look at one another I want that… I want someone to look at me like that even after a decade together. So please let me know what should I look for in a true soul partner?”
Thank you for reaching out to ask us about what to look for in a true soul partner. The great myth of accidental love is that you’ll find someone that you never disagree with or have conflict with. That is not the case and it’s an unrealistic expectation.
You will have some things that drive you batty about any human being you spend your life with. Your true soul partner is there to support you to grow toward your highest and best self (and that goes both ways).
With that being said what should you look for in a true soul partner? How do you know that you’ve found this person?
Here Are 5 Things To Look For In A True Soul Partner
He’s Interested In Discovering What Will Make You Happy
A man who is interested in a relationship with you will be interested in discovering what makes you tick. He’ll ask questions about you, and be curious about your interests and what is important to you.
He wants to know how to make you happy.
Recently one of our clients (a woman nearing 60 and never married) shared the news of her engagement with us. It wasn’t a surprise as the guy she’s going to marry was one of the first men she met online dating during our coaching package together. Early on, he remembered that she had mentioned a particular band she liked and he purchased tickets to take her to their concert a few months out. He was paying attention.
A true soul partner wants to win your heart.
When your friends and family say, “Just be yourself,” on a date, what they really mean is to be authentic. Be open about what you like and dislike so you can connect with an ideal match. The bumps that may come out of you being authentic are going to show up one way or another, so you might as well find out early on if he is your true soul partner or not.
He Makes An Effort To Honor Your Requests
The guy that is your true soul partner will not come with mind-reading powers. He won’t magically know that you prefer a seafood restaurant instead of a steak house. That ought to be an easy request for you to make.
Speaking how you feel and making requests allows you to see if a man will make an effort to please you. Is he capable of making an adjustment based on your feedback? Or is does he judge your requests and try to convince you that you don’t want what you want?
Making requests isn’t a magical tool to get a man to behave the way you want him to. Sharing your likes and dislikes, and making requests offers you the opportunity to see his response and get great feedback on his ability to be flexible.
However, you can’t change who he is, so if you don’t like his personality traits then you don’t like him – so move along to someone who’s company you enjoy and you find attractive.
One of our clients was surprised that when she made requests of a guy she met at an event he eventually said, “Oh you want me to be the man!” They both laughed. He then offered to send an Uber to pick her up for date number two saying that he wanted her to feel like royalty.
Your true soul partner will make an effort to deliver on what you want and that is worth gold! Stick with a man who is making an effort – and let him know that his effort counts. Positive feedback from you is essential because the fuel a man runs on in relationship is acknowledgment and appreciation. Apply these liberally with the man who puts in energy to meet your needs and you have the makings of a lasting connection.
He’s Willing To Navigate Through Conflict Together
The second stage of relationship is The Power Struggle Stage so conflict is inevitable in all relationships. You can’t avoid it and it doesn’t mean that your relationship is going to end, or that he is not right for you. It is the natural evolution of a relationship so the two people can individuate from each other.
With your true soul partner, conflict is a doorway to a much deeper connection.
Look for the man who takes responsibility for his actions and can offer you an apology for mistakes he’s made. There is no such thing as a perfect person, but the man who is perfect for you will stick with you to work through strife together.
Rather than overlook the little things in the beginning, deal with them head-on. Life will always have challenges. You don’t have to manufacture issues to be upset over. If you are authentic and speak how you feel instead of sweeping things under the rug, then you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see if you can navigate conflict together.
One of the biggest mistakes people make while dating is to downplay disagreements early on, only to discover there are bigger issues down the road. Don’t put on rose-colored glasses and give a stranger the benefit of the doubt. Instead, date with your eyes open and observe his behavior.
Your true soul partner will always want to work things out with you no matter how challenging they get. That doesn’t mean that you (or he) won’t ever get triggered. Learning the skillset for lasting love includes knowing how to re-establish connection after a clash.
Matthew often jokes that if he lived with the Dali Lama he would still have behaviors that would be annoying. The same is true of your true soul partner. You will bump heads with each other over something. The key is that the two of you will exercise new dance steps with one another when needed to find your way back to each other.
It is essential that you know how to navigate through conflict together as there will always be challenges and curveballs thrown your way as you journey through life together.
He Shares Your Values
When you and your partner value the same things it’s easy to find your way back to each other after a disagreement. It’s much easier to build a life together when you have shared values.
The tricky part about values is that you cannot have an intellectual conversation about what someone values. Well, you can have the conversation and talk all you want but it’s all hypothetical and it won’t actually give you the information you’re looking for.
Ultimately you discover what someone values by spending time getting to know him. There is no shortcut here, you simply have to put the time in and pay attention. A person values what he spends his effort and resources on.
We had a client who was already dating someone when she became our client. She is very close with her family and he told her that family was very important to him. What was odd was he didn’t spend much time with his family, and she was never introduced to them.
As she stepped into the inner work with us, she realized that she was not a match with this guy. They were never a values match. She just didn’t see it because she didn’t know how to evaluate him accurately.
Your true soul partner and you will be a majority match when it comes to what drives each of you in relationship. This is what creates longevity with your true soul partner.
He Loves And Accepts You Exactly As You Are
Your true soul partner will accept you as you are as if he found you at the AS-IS section of Ikea. The man who claims you like you’re his lucky charm is worth holding on to.
The guy who thinks you are the best thing since sliced bread will try to impress you and will also be impressed by you. He will not want you to remake your life, he will look for ways to make your life easier, better, and to do things for you.
A man who needs you to change who you are doesn’t like you, he likes the idea of you. He is interested in a hypothetical relationship, not a real one with a real person.
You won’t impress a man by being perfect and never needing anything from him. He wants you to need him. He wants to be able to help you and make you happy.
He will love you for your flaws. He may even see them as the reason you are so lovable.
Tired of dating Mr. Wrong and not sure where to meet your Mr. Right? Or maybe you don’t know when to hold ‘em or when to fold ‘em and you hang on for too long? If you’re worried that time is running out and a true soul partnership is your ultimate goal book your complimentary private session with us now.