If you’re single, like me and you are looking to find a love, it’s time to get purposeful about what you are looking for from a partner. This work will give you the best chance of finding what you’re looking for, because you won’t settle for anything less. 

I want you to think about what it is that you’re looking for from your person. Think about the relationships that you know and admire and how you would like your relationship to be similar, think about what values you would like your partner to have, what kind of job they would have, what sort of life situation they would be in. Write it down and then honestly review your list to ensure that what you’re asking for doesn’t come from a place of lack –  of looking for someone to fill a gap in your life, i.e. someone who will look after you financially, clean your house for you, be a trophy partner and so on. Get really honest with yourself and if there is anything there that doesn’t come from your highest sense of self, rewrite your list until you are 100% happy with it. I’ve included my list below as an example.

Caring, aware, financially stable, financially independent (I don’t mean doesn’t need a job by this, I mean not financially enmeshed with another person), owns house, doesn’t drink regularly, emotionally available, ready to commit, ambitious, health conscious, loves food, confident, charming, honest, open, authentic, loves their job, loves travel, loves the outdoors and nature, similar value system to me, consistent, committed, good with children, psychologically healthy, good relationship with their family (but not too close please), loves cats and goes to the gym and is committed to becoming the best possible version of themselves. We also have the most amazing sexual chemistry.

Once you have your list and you’re happy with it, think about the people that you may have in your life who are taking up space who do not meet this list.  It might be a guy that you are dating on and off that won’t commit, it might be your backburner bro/girl/other, it may be your ex… once you’ve identified these people I want you to end your relationship(s) with them. You don’t have to be rude about it, or even have a conversation with them about it if it’s not appropriate to (it could be as simple as deleting them from your phone) but just be clear with them and yourself that the engagement doesn’t serve you anymore and you’re moving into a new phase of your single life.

Now that you have created space in your life, think about what you can offer this person. List everything that you bring to the table. Are you the kind of person that the person that your list is about is going to want to be with? If not, what areas do you need to develop?

Now you’re ready to date. While you’re dating, keep your list front and centre of your mind. Notice any red flags that your dates throw up that show them to be out of alignment with your list. Notice if you start to bargain with yourself to deprioritise things that you know are important to you. For example, if honesty is high on my values list and someone tells a lie and find out, I don’t want to be rationalising that to myself; I want to identify it as what it is – an example that this person does not align with my value system. The Universe will send you tests that ask you to stand in your worth. Each time you say no to someone who doesn’t meet your list, you pass the test and get closer to your perfect partner.

The only other advice I’d give is to be mindful of your energy. It’s easy to approach partnership with a defeated or desperate mentality, especially if you have had failed relationships or have internalised messages from society about where you should be or what you should be doing in your life by now. This energy shows.  Remember, everyone is different and there is no one way to live life or one timeline to follow. Approach dating from a place of ‘what can I bring to this interaction?’ or ‘what can I learn from this person?’ and you will have much more fun on your journey to find love. Good luck!

Originally published on Freedom Life Coach