Riddle me this: How is it that so many smart, attractive, successful singles can’t find mates in this town, and yet I regularly see men and women coupled up with partners who don’t seem at all their equal in looks, talent, or personality? How do completely average people snag stellar mates, while other seemingly desirable singles cannot?
He Said: Many attractive and successful singles have a surprising shortcoming. Because others are naturally drawn to them, they haven’t been forced to practice the deeper art of being an interested partner. This is a life skill that many clever but otherwise average types have had to hone: Determine what’s missing or wanted in a potential mate’s life and offer to provide it.
Here’s the drill: First, get clear and specific on the kind of partner you are seriously interested in. Your exes may share qualities that you are consistently drawn to. If you can’t identify them, ask your friends. Next, what do those type of people want that you are willing and able to provide? Maybe they’re looking for fun, excitement, passion. Maybe they want to excel at a sport, dance more, or travel. Or maybe they’re looking for an empathetic and patient partner with whom they can raise a child.
Armed with this information, the next time you find yourself attracted to someone, you’ll be better able to focus on providing them with what they are looking for—or at least joining them in a shared pursuit. This can be much more effective than just laying out your interests and accomplishments and expecting a potential partner to latch on to you.
She Said: Because it’s not just looks, talent, and personality that make a person desirable. Obviously, the lesser partners you’re referring to have some hidden strength that’s crystal clear to their other halves, if not to you. A few examples of unpublic but very seductive qualities include: sexual skills or lack of inhibition, a lot of savings or the ability to manage money well, or a killer sense of humor and playfulness that only emerge in private.
Last but not least, there is emotional and spiritual resilience. We all know attractive, talented, highly successful people who seem to lack the basic strengths needed to overcome the inevitable issues that arise in long-term relationships: clear communication, compromise, kindness, and forgiveness being foremost. No matter how good you look on paper or at a cocktail party, without those, you’re eventually dead in the water.
* Published in the February 2011 issue of 7x7. Subscribe to 7x7 magazine here.