Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Finding "The One" The Second Time Around: A Conscious Way of Choosing Your Life Partner

This is one of the most profound and synchronistic articles I have ever seen on the subject of relationships. I just had to share it with you, please enjoy.

yours positively

Finding "The One" The Second Time Around: A Conscious Way of Choosing Your Life PartnerFinding "The One" The Second Time Around: A Conscious Way of Choosing Your Life Partner

A few years ago I met a woman that I was sure was "The One." We had incredible chemistry! This was especially exciting because when I met her, my marriage of nineteen years was falling apart and I was worried that I would never experience passionate, committed love again. But about a year and a half into being with "The One", and being engaged to her, I began to see that, although we had chemistry, she wasn't right for me either! I was devastated at the break up of yet another intimate relationship. Would I ever find someone truly right for me?

After that break up I dated dozens of women, meeting most of them on the internet. But now I was wiser. I knew that chemistry, though essential, wasn't enough. Romance can survive on chemistry, a relationship can't. So one day I sat down at my computer and I got clear on what I wanted, beyond chemistry, in a woman and in the relationship I had with her. I embarked on what I call a conscious way of choosing my life partner. Instead of dating dozens of women hoping to find someone by the sheer law of averages, I stopped dating and got crystal clear on what I wanted. With in a month I met her, and one year later we became engaged!

I'm not promising that if you get clear on who and what you want, that you'll meet "The One" in such a short period of time. Then again, if you go into a restaurant and just sit there, merely looking at the menu, and never communicate to your server what you want, I can promise you that you'll go hungry!

So that day I decided that I could find "The One" the second (or almost third!) time around if I took a conscious approach. I wrote five questions to help me determine if a woman was "The One" for me. These questions became a safeguard against the danger of making a commitment based merely on chemistry.

Question #1:
Am I compromising any significant desire, dream or direction in my life to be with her? Years ago I remember reading something author Sam Keen wrote in his book, Fire In The Belly. It was written to men, but I think it applies to anyone. He said, "There are two questions every man must ask himself. First, 'where am I going?' And secondly, 'who do I want to go with me?' And don't ever get them reversed!" For a time, I did.

When I was engaged with the woman I thought was "The One," I was compromising two key purposes of my life. The first was fatherhood. She lived over one thousand miles away from my son and was unwilling to move. I wanted to live near my son, but I talked myself out of that and moved in with her anyway. Secondly, I was holding myself back from fully following my deepest spiritual path, because to have done so, would have taken us in very different directions. My path was not right, hers was not wrong. They were just significantly different. But because I was in love and we had all that chemistry, I was compromising on another significant purpose to be with her.

Are you giving up anything really important to you—a life long dream, a core purpose, in order to be with this person? Maybe they don't want children and you do. But you're madly in love, the chemistry is off the charts!, and so you're trying to convince yourself that having kids isn't that important to you. Or maybe you always wanted to go back to school or start a business or move to the beach, but you're hesitating because following those dreams might be trouble for your relationship.

One of the ways you know that he or she is "The One," is that there is nothing of importance that you are giving up in exchange for being in the relationship. Healthy relationships support the pursuit of dreams. They don't ask, "what's best for the relationship," but rather, "what brings the greatest aliveness to the individuals in the relationship." Many people believe that compromise is a good thing in a relationship. That's a total lie. Compromise is a red flag. You don't have to abandon your dreams to be with someone. If you do, it's a sign you're with the wrong person!

Question #2:
Does she have all, absolutely all of my "deal makers" and none of my "deal breakers"? This question comes from my favorite relationship authors, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks. That day at my computer, I got clear on a couple of basics I had to have and would not stand for in a partner. The Hendrick's call them their "Absolute Yes-es" and "Absolute No-s". I think of them as "deal makers" and "deal breakers."

For instance, my primary "deal maker" is having a woman who is completely devoted to her spiritual growth, above all else. Her aliveness is more important than me, her kids, her job—everything. Secondly, I want a woman who takes 100% responsibility for her experiences, problems and emotions. I'm not interested in relating intimately with a blamer or a victim. Thirdly, I want an open woman, one who reveals her thoughts, fears, wants and feelings. And lastly, I want someone committed to a healthy lifestyle. Those were my "deal makers.

"My "deal breakers" were easy to identify. One of the benefits of having an ex or two is that you get really clear on what you don't want! My "deal breakers" were women who smoked, even occasionally; women that were sexually disinterested, workaholics, and lastly, women with children under the age of ten. I have no judgment about those issues, they're just not what I want in my life. Again, if any of those things were true, I would end the relationship immediately. That was my new commitment.

With my ex-fiancée, I was fudging on a couple of them. Why? Well, as I've said, there was chemistry. But also, beneath the surface I had a scarcity mindset. Like many people, I thought there was a shortage of women perfectly suited for me. And if you hold that belief, you'll likely overlook something significant, especially if the physical attraction is high. The truth is that there are many men and women that embody what you are looking for. And the universe will bring them to you if you truly want to find "The One" and refuse to settle. It's happened for me. My fiancée meets all, absolutely all of my "deal makers," and none of my "deal breakers."

So, here's the challenging part of this question. You can't fudge on any of your "deal makers" or "deal breakers." Not even one. These are the basics and they are non-negotiable. If he's George Clooney, but snores, if that's a "deal breaker" for you, you have got to cut him loose. If she's Faith Hill and smokes, again, if that's a "deal breaker," end it immediately.

Question #3:
Does the physical intimacy between us have a spiritual quality unlike anything I have ever experienced before? This is a tricky question and it's very easy to misunderstand. I'm not talking about his or her looks or love-making techniques. This question is about what happens in of each of you—spiritually, when you're with the other. I believe that one of the ways you know someone is "The One" is that your intimate moments feel spiritual not merely physical. Of course sex with your partner may be ravishing or erotic or playful or tenderly romantic. But even in a variety of moods, you sense something spiritual is happening. Your experience is deeper than your body, it touches your core, your essence. Your intimacy opens a kind of spiritual presence in you, a place of openness, oneness and love.

David Deida writes beautifully of the spiritual potential of our sexuality. "As your loving penetrates your partner's depth, and his or her resistances melt, your love meets your partner's. Your openness merges with his or her openness. Together, your loving becomes one. In moments like this, love is beholding love through the eyes of you and your partner. There is no difference, just one love, expressed through two bodies. This is enlightened sex."

All of us are at different points on our spiritual journeys'. So our ability to experience what Deida writes about, the very presence of God through sexual union, will vary depending on our intentions and life-long practices. Yet, sex with "The One," no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, will be unlike anything you have encountered in your life. Maybe your love making doesn't yet take you to the ends of the universe where you're able to feel oneness with God, but you know that something special is happening between the two of you, something bigger than you, something wonderfully and spiritually unexplainable. If so, he or she is "The One."

Question #4:
Does this person, and the relationship I have with them, inspire me to be a better man? Remember the scene in the movie, As Good As It Gets where Helen Hunt is asking Jack Nicholson for a compliment? Jack plays a character who is an obsessive compulsive moron and he can't seem to come up with anything positive to say about her. She gets frustrated and is about to walk out of the restaurant, when he suddenly blurts out, "You make me want to be a better man." She was breathless, dumbfounded and floored by what he said. Being in a relationship was having an incredible impact on him. If there was ever a phrase that screams, "You're the one for me!" it is this one: "You make me want to be a better man"—or woman.

Since I used to be a professional golfer, I call this the "Tiger Woods" effect. I imagine that if I was to play golf with Tiger (I've played in tournaments with him, but never in the same group), I would really want to be at my best. I would really want to "show up." He would make me want to be a better golfer.

Does being in a relationship with your partner have the "Tiger Woods" effect on you? Is the relationship good for your overall development as a person and as a spiritual being? Are you growing, not as a result of the relationship, but in the midst of it? Your relationship is a kind of "soil" in which both of you are planted. Is the "soil" of your relationship producing growth and life? I notice that since being with my fiancée, I have made some incredible shifts in my life and career. I'm committed to my spiritual path like never before. My purpose is clear. I'm taking risks in my life that are challenging me and bringing incredible aliveness to my spirit. The bottom line is that good things are happening in me while I'm around her.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying that it's our partner's job to bring about our personal evolution. That's your job and it's my job. I'm not advocating co-dependence. My point is that being around my fiancée makes me want to be my best, she makes me want to be a better man. Since you've been dating, do you notice yourself dreaming, growing, expanding and becoming the person you know you can be?

Question #5:
Would I be completely happy, if from this moment on, nothing about her or our relationship would ever change? I've saved the most critical question for last. What if nothing ever changes about your partner? What if, in say, five years, he or she is exactly the same? What if he never gets better at communicating his feelings? What if she never loses weight? What if his work habits never change? What if he never makes more money? What if she never becomes more disciplined with credit cards? What if he never drinks less? Just for a moment, ask yourself, what if he or she never changes? Is your current reality something you authentically celebrate?

If you are in love with someone's potential, you have got problems. First of all, to think that they should be different is arrogant on your part. They are perfect the way they are. They may not be perfect for you, but they're perfect nonetheless. Second, people never change because others want them to. You can't be in love with fantasy. You must be in love with reality, the person they are now.

The primary reason I know my fiancée is "The One," is that for the first time in my relational life, I am not in love with who I hope my woman will become. I'm in love with her, now. I love who she is and everything about her, right now. (This may be because I'm finally in love with myself and not my own potential, but that's a different article!) It's not easy to admit this, but in all my previous relationships, I loved conditionally. I was always hoping or wanting something to change about them. In past relationships, I was hoping the woman in my life would become more interested in sex, or lose weight or take an interest in spiritual things. I didn't really love them. I loved who I thought they should be.

Are you in love with your partner or their potential? Do you celebrate at the thought of nothing changing? Let go of hoping your partner will get thinner, smarter, richer, sexier, happier, or cheaper than they are right now. Assume they won't. Assume nothing will change. Are they still "The One?"

Conclusion I hear a voice inside me that says it shouldn't be this hard to identify "The One." Shouldn't we just know? Don't you just know when you've found the right person? Well, the high number of divorces that take place within the first three years of marriage says "NO." And in my personal experience, the answer is absolutely "NO!" Chemistry can cloud your thinking and it is not a solid foundation for a long term relationship. But if you get past passion, personality and pheromones and commit to a conscious approach to finding your life partner, by asking yourself these five questions, you'll not only end up with an incredible relationship, but you'll also save yourself a lot of heartbreak and misery.

Author's Bio: Roy Biancalana is a personal coach living in Orlando, Florida. You can reach him at 407-687-3387 or at www.coachingwithroy.com.