This is part 3 in the perfect partner series. In the first two posts we talked a bit about what is good for you in a partner. This should allow you to pull together a blurry amorphous picture of the perfect guy. It is still a bit cloudy but today I would like to start to pull that image into a little more focus.
In my quest to a have a better life I have discovered that getting clear about what you want is a must. If you don’t know what you want you are like a sailboat with no sails. To find your way you need tools like the sailor needs a compass. One of these powerful tools is understand what you don’t want to step in the direction of what you do. Unfortunately a lot of people think that the negative is a negative thing but there is a valuable lesson in the negative the most people fail to use.
The necessity of mistakes
Whenever we learn a new task we do so by making mistakes. We keep the goal in mind and bounce off of mistake after mistake until we learn. Mistakes are good therefore dating that jerk was an education for you and you must thank him (on the inside) for that. The problem is that many people do not recognize their mistakes and continue to repeat them. This is like burning your fingers on the stove over and over again, never associating flame with pain. (or like my cousin who uses abortion as a form of birth control)
I used to be madly in love/hate with Keiko, when it was good it was great and when it was bad it was a nightmare. When things were bad we would fight and threaten to cut things off (the relationship, not body parts) but very soon we would both look the other way, basking in our wonderful relationship. Sound familiar? This is described as spotlighting by the authors of one of my favorite books Following Through. When you focus on one thing or another you are spotlighting. This is what I was doing with Keiko, I was only looking at the good and ignoring the bad. After our 5th, yes 5th break up I decided that was IT! I was going to get over her no matter what it took. In a fervor I wrote three long lists of why I needed to leave Keiko. I took these lists, recorded them and put them on my iPod. I would listen to these lists once in the morning and every time I started to think about the good times with “sweet” Keiko. “NO!!” I would yell at myself and quickly listen to my iPod, nodding, saying “thats right… I forgot about that.” With the help of my wonderful iPod and the desire for a better relationship I was able to pry myself away from this unhealthy relationship. This was an effective use of “spotlighting” to push away from the negative. Want to hear the recording? I made it about 7 years ago when I lived in Japan might sound a bit strange since I edited-ted-ted… out the names. click here
Have you ever noticed that it is easier to pay rent than it is to save for a vacation? Or… why do people quit smoking? It is usually because of health problems not because they are reaching for greater health. In other words it is easier to move away from pain than it is to move towards pleasure. Some people believe that we should not focus on the negative because we will manifest it! I agree with this partially but just like the hot stove if you remember the pain you will not touch it! You will not manifest more burners to touch instead.
The goal and how we get there
When I was 18 I learned to ride a motorcycle before I learned to drive. I lived in Santa Barbara and my mother in LA. One day about a month after I got my license I decided it would be a good idea to drive the 90 miles to see my mom. Anyone that has been in LA traffic knows this was not one of my brighter ideas but… I had a goal in mind. As I drove to LA lots of things went wrong, the wind was strong and I had to constantly lean to the right so not be blown into traffic. A police car almost turned into me because I was in his blind spot. I thought I was going to die when it started raining and at one point I was forced into the ditch because traffic came to a sudden halt and I was too terrified to use my brakes in the rain! I eventually arrived at my goal but very shaken… I made a ton of mistakes along the way and had fear hammered into my subconscious. I learned, I grew and eventually made it to my goal (I don’t recommend doing it this way). What if… out of fear I decided that I would just ride in the ditch all the way to LA. Worse yet, If I didn’t realize I was in the ditch I would never get there!?
This is the point… I would argue that very few people realize they are in the ditch, instead they keep driving along complaining about how much the ditch/relationships suck. Life is not bumper bowling, we have to actively get burned, understand and learn from our mistakes. If you do not recognize your mistakes and learn from it you will forever be in the ditch.
How to identify exactly what you don’t want
Lists, wow lists… The most incredible tool I know for accessing the self. I cannot over estimate the power of making lists. Do not pass this exercise up if you would like to get more clear about what you truly desire in a partner (or in life).
This is what I would like you to do…
Think of every frustrating, obnoxious, annoying, childish, selfish guy you have ever had the pleasure of dating and get a little pissed off…
“God damn fucking asshole broke up with me on my birthday!”
got it? a bit pissed? Good…
Now we make a list this title at the top:
What kind of guy/girl do I hate to be with!!??
1. a girl that is obsessed with her looks
2. someone with selfish manipulative family
3. a partner that is not generous in bed
4. someone that is racist or sexist
5. a temper
6. a girl/girl that cannot communicate their needs
7. guys with lots of female “friends”
8. someone dishonest
9 – 20
I have found that the magic number is about 20 for any list. If you work towards 20 you will slow down around 15 but the last five will often be beautiful gifts from the subconscious. Jewels that will really help guide you in your quest towards a profound relationship.
I would love to see some of these lists!
Feel free to send me your list and I will get back to you personally. My email is
Mike the master dater at gmail dot com (all one word)
- Negative complaining people are resisting what is and will never grow from their mistakes
- Use the negative to push you towards the positive
- To effect a radical change put negative in the SPOTLIGHT by reviewing daily
- Forgive and thank your exs, they have been your teachers
- I use THE LIST whenever I am frustrated and confused. When I start listing, clarity follows soon after