Going through a break up can be one of the hardest things you will experience in life.
We spend months or years investing our time and heart into another person, only to wake up one day and come to grips with the reality that it’s all over.
And we do our best to avoid the pain of the post-relationship heartache by jumping onto the next decent person who spares us a glance.
But we often make the mistake of looking too quickly—we try to find someone who is exactly like us, because that’s what makes the most sense.
But a soulmate shouldn’t be exactly like you. Rather, like yin and yang, your soulmate should fill in the parts of you that you lack, to help fill your life in ways that you can’t.
Here are 6 crucial tips towards finding that special someone:
1) Let Everything Happen Naturally
We understand—you meet someone who might be an eligible partner, and you immediately start wondering what your first date might be like, or when you can start planning your wedding.
You put an endless amount of stress on a relationship when you act too quickly, and you risk shaping it in the image that you think it should be, rather than letting it shape in the image that it should be.
So cut the games, the secret techniques, the expectations. You don’t need to have your first kiss on your first date, your first out-of-town vacation by your tenth date, or find yourself with an engagement ring within two years.
Every relationship is different, so stop comparing yours with whatever you might think is perfect. Because if it works for you, then why do you need anything more perfect than it already is?
2) Stop Searching For the Qualities You Love: Develop Them In Yourself
Here’s the hard truth: we’re all broken, we’re all incomplete. Because of our lives, our families, our environments, the experiences we’ve had and those we haven’t had, we developed a certain way, and developed a certain set of characteristics.
Maybe you’ve got a great sense of humor, but you lack a sense of responsibility; maybe you love outside adventures, but you’ve never taken the time to learn to enjoy a book.
Deep inside, we know which areas lack development, whether we are conscious of it or not. But instead of trying to develop those characteristics within us, we try for the easier path: filling those characteristics in our lives by finding a partner who has them.
This puts stress and expectation on your partner, and it makes you dependent on them to fill your own personality.
So the next time you find yourself looking for a soulmate, ask yourself: Do you actually like or love them, or are you just attached to them because they provide what you don’t have?
3) Make Your Own Choices
We spend too much of our life making choices because we think that’s what other people want of us.
Our family, our friends, or even our potential partners—we choose to be this person and make these decisions because we want to impress, one way or another.
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But you need to accept that sometimes you will make choices that will disappoint those around you, and these choices reflect who you are.
Fighting against them will only make it more difficult to fulfill the “you” that you’re supposed to be. Make choices based on who you are, not who you want your partner to be.
4) Say Yes
These days, it’s so easy to download a dating app, swipe right, and hook up with the first person who agrees to it. We’ve turned dating into its simplest and most carnal form, and we wonder where all the love and meaning has gone.
But it’s time to put on your pants, brush your hair, and start engaging with life directly. Get off your phone and say yes the next time someone invites you to a party, a play, or even a boring conference.
Life is outside, and people are outside, too. You might be able to find an easy one night stand on your phone, but the experiences that define the foundation of a good relationship only manifest through organic means.
Stop looking for a relationship. Just live life, and one will come to you.
5) Stop Trying To Attract Your Imaginary Perfect Partner
We all have that imaginary perfect partner in our head, someone who’s been haunting us since the first time we saw their resemblance in a movie or on TV.
This person has grown with us, evolved with us, changed with our tastes, and fills us in all the ways we need to be filled. If we could only find this person, we’d never have to date again.
But the problem? This person doesn’t exist.
This person was shaped to please you completely, easing all of your old scars and melting away your insecurities and painful memories.
No one can be that person, and by shaping yourself to please that perfect person, you will always find yourself disappointed when you find out that even a great date doesn’t have that one or two quirks that your imaginary partner does.
And the harder truth? An imaginary perfect partner won’t push you the way a real person.
Sticking to your imagination will keep you trapped in your childhood fantasy your entire life; a real person will push you to become so much bigger.
6) Fix Yourself
After any tough break up, you will want to find the next person who makes you smile almost immediately. But what you need is yourself more than anyone else.
The ability to turn inward and find happiness in your solitude, to heal your wounds and to find new parts of yourself that you never gave yourself the time to see.
Fix yourself, heal yourself, and love yourself. Only then will the right person come along, because you’ve become someone else’s right person.