Challenge Two: Who gets to enroll?

Posted on August 9, 2011


This month, we’ve been taking a look at how increasing your own perception of your self-worth can assist you in making better relationship choices.

I’ve used the analogy of Harvard’s selection process to help you better understand that your selection process is going to have to be conscious one. And in my last post, we examined how to define your non-negotiables so that you can start refining how and who you choose (or choose not) to go out with.

But you can’t just stop there. Defining your non-negotiables doesn’t go quite far enough. With this list, you’re only ruling out the bottom of the barrel-the people you will absolutely not consider whatsoever. This is a good way to get started but it’s only a first step.

You’re going to have to figure out who can enroll in your dating world if you’re going to be successful with this process. And yes, just like the top graduate schools, I want you to be very clear about the kinds of candidates you’re looking for. So in the spirit of this month’s Self-Worth Challenge, I present to you Challenge #2.

Challenge 2: Define your two types of candidates-The Good and The Ideal. 

-Take out a sheet of paper and divide it into two columns. Label one column “The Good” and the other column “The Ideal.”

-Think about who would be your ideal partner. This is the perfect person for you, the man or woman of your dreams. What would they look like? What were their personality be like? What would the two of you do together? Be as specific and detailed with this list as you would like. This list should encompass your fantasy partner-a person who you can imagine sharing never-ending bliss with.

-Now think about who would make a good partner for you. This is not the perfect person you were describing in the last column. This person is not perfect but would still be a good match for you. What are the personality traits of a good partner? What kind of person are they? What hobbies, activities and beliefs would the two of you share? This list should be a little specific but not overly detailed.  Shoot for 5-8 things you believe would make a good partner.

*As you’re dating people, your goal is to use your “Good” list to evaluate people and help you decide if you want to continue dating them.  If you find someone who does fit the traits you’ve listed in your “Good” column and they have a  few traits that you listed in your “Ideal” column as well, you’ve definitely got a keeper!

Some people may wonder why I have you complete three lists if you’re really only going to use one. 

As wonderful and perfect as the person may be in your “Ideal: column, most likely, this person will never appear. That’s because it’s highly unrealistic that you even know who will be a perfect match for you at this point. Your fantasy person is just that-your fantasy.

At the same time, you certainly don’t want to start dating someone only because they don’t offend any of your non-negotiables. Your list of non-negotiables provides a starting point for you, but your expectations need to be much higher than this. 

That’s why I have you complete the “Good” list last. Once you define what you absolutely don’t want, and measure that against your dream partner, you’ll be able to create a solid, realistic list of  who you want to date.  Just like Goldilocks, you’ll want to find someone who is just right.  The “Good” list will help you do that.  

Stay tuned for Challenge #3!