Are you Looking for a Life or a Lifestyle?

So often, individuals who are seeking partners develop a list of criteria that includes such non-negotiables as:

* must earn a certain level of income

* must love international travel

* must enjoy fine dining experiences

* etc., etc., etc.

While it is understandable that you are on the lookout for that special someone who can meet your expectations, and who possesses certain qualities you deem important, it is just as critical to be clear and honest with yourself about your true aspirations. Are you on the hunt for a partner who can provide you with that certain grand lifestyle you have longed for, or believe you deserve? Or are you truly seeking a partner with whom you can share your already contented and active life? If you answer yes to the second question, you’ll want use a telescope with magic powers to zero in on that person with whom you share mutual core values, and a few interests and passions in common.

I’ve observed too many situations, including experiencing one myself, where the allure of a particular lifestyle became the deciding factor when it came to choosing a long-term mate. I was in the early stages of adulthood, somewhat like a” floating cloud in the sky,” with no set direction and no strategy to get to any destination. I believed the status my potential partner offered at the time, along with the material assets that came with the whole package, would decide my life course and bring me happiness. Eventually, that decision turned out to be a big, unwelcome trade-off. I traded his decision about what lifestyle we would lead for the freedom to be ME -- to create, choose and have personal control over my own destiny.

So the next time someone says to you, “Wow! Looks like you’ve found a great catch,” ask yourself, Is that person a great catch because he/she or their family will provide me with a lifestyle of their choosing that I will have to go along with, without comment or complaint, or is he/she a great catch because they are willing to dance alongside me as I traverse life’s sometimes unexpectedly rocky road?