When we are looking to build a good relationship, we try to do our best not to have a repeat of our last bad relationship. If someone cheated, we want someone who won’t cheat. If someone lied to us often, we want someone who doesn’t lie. If the ex was lazy, we want someone with drive. If there was a lack of communication, we want someone expressive. The challenge with those thought patterns is that we focus on the negative of the prior situation. Therefore, we often attract people who are exactly what we say we didn’t want. Let’s try something new.
Look for What You Do Want in a Spouse
You and I both know what you don’t want: A lying, cheating, trifling, lackadaisical companion. Okay, that stated, now think about what you really want. You may want someone who is good with kids. You might want a person who can cook. You might want someone who is assertive. When you look for positive qualities, you don’t miss the boat by overreacting to a negative.
No one is perfect, so if you look for something bad, you will find it. Try looking for the good in someone. And when you do eventually find turn-offs, those good qualities (which you put such a high emphasis on in the first place), may more than likely overshadow the bad. Don’t get me wrong, I want you to spot red flags—but they are normally as big stop signs if you’re paying attention. The better qualities can be harder to spot, unless you look for them.
Look for the Positive in Others as It Helps Your Attitude
Dating can be daunting. Everyone has their own set of experiences, and some of them are bad. Sometimes, this can make us jaded. Being jaded is not going to help your dating experience. If you go into a situation with a negative attitude and looking for the negative in people, you are already placing yourself in a negative space. If you spend the entire date fishing for dislikes, you will not only find them but you’re less likely to acknowledge the likes. And that attitude will come across clearly on your date.
Humans are sometimes predisposed to want to find the worst in people; their experiences make them even more pessimistic, and they can’t find the good in anyone. Control your emotion and your perception. If you look at everyone in a positive light, you start new relationships being optimistic, instead of bitter or overly cautious. This gives you a chance to learn about a new person with a fresh perspective and more congenial attitude.
Look to God to Let “All Things Work Together for Good”
Yes, this is a phrase from scripture, Romans chapter 8, verse 28. But it applies to relationships more than you might have considered. Have you ever considered that everything you learned in your past relationships helped you grow to who you are now? Whether you were hurt or whether you were treated like gold, all of it worked together to prepare you for the right relationship at the right time.
In the moment, we get caught up in the pain and anger of a bad relationship. If you take the time to think about the relationship, you can find what was good, what was bad and what you should continue doing in other relationships. In that context, that relationship worked in harmony with every relationship you ever had and contributed to your good. The takeaway is to go into new relationships, realizing no matter the outcome, it will work toward your good, so think positively from the beginning.
I know divorced couples; and I know, with some of them, the divorce happened because those couples essentially focused solely on the negative of their relationships. But that doesn’t have to happen. Focus on the positive in your relationship and in the people you meet. This attitude will serve you well as you grow the relationship to its next level.