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Here is a question most people are scared to answer.

Would you date yourself?

This can be one of the most revealing questions when you’re floundering in a relationship rut or when you are getting ready to begin dating after a heartbreak.

When you’ve been stuck, it’s easy to get caught in the fantasy of what your partner “could be” or “should be”. When you really ask yourself this question you are taking that fictional view of relationships and comparing it side by side with reality.

You’re bringing your late-night fantasy of love and looking at it in the clear daylight. Scary right?

While there are tons of people who probably don’t want to torture themselves with uncomfortable self-growth, you think this kind of thing is fun and fuck it- you’ll try anything once.

Just because you landed at a blog like this makes that true. Because you know that asking yourself the tough questions is the only way to break bad dating habits and find a relationship that makes you feel whole. If you are constantly dating the wrong guys, if you can’t seem to find someone who wants the same things you do or you keep having relationships that are “the right person but the wrong time.”  this question could absolutely reveal what’s really going on behind the scenes of your heart and mind. When you can see what’s really going on – you can heal and move forward in a way that will make it easier to connect to better people.

So… would you date yourself?

What’s your gut instinct telling you?

In order to really answer this question you need to get out your list of must-haves for your future partner. You probably have one tucked away in an old journal or in the back of your mind. If you need to take a few minutes and write some of those things down, do it. Seriously, I’ll wait.

Take a minute to really set your standards for what you expect from a relationship: what do you want from a the perfect partner?

  • caring
  • compassionate
  • responsive
  • thoughtful
  • honest
  • authentic
  • shares your worldview
  • makes you laugh
  • is respectful towards your weirdo family
  • your friends like them and love seeing you together.
  • sexually open and curious
  • active in the community
  • generous
  • adventurous

Even more important than listing their nice qualities is to ask yourself how they’d react in tough situations. This is where people show their true selves.  Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How do I want my partner to act in when I’m in a bad mood?
  • Are they easily angered when things go wrong?
  • Are they a pushover when you have arguments?
  • How do they manage communication not just on a date, but during an argument?
  • How do they act towards strangers?
  • Are they passive aggressive?
  • Do they have explosive road rage?

We always set our standards based on the first few months of a relationship. It’s easy to find a handsome, kind man when things are new and romantic. But your list of standards should also include how you want your partner to react when things are not so easy or new.

Do you want someone who becomes obnoxious and crass when they’re drunk? or someone who just gets sassy and knows when to go home? We should set our standards for our partners based on how they react during the best (and more importantly) the toughest times.

By the time you’ve finished writing your list you’ve likely created a dreamboat of a partner.

But here is the real challenge: Take a second look at your list.

How many of those must-haves and standards do you live up to?

Are you always caring and compassionate? Do you always text people right back? Are you thoughtful of your SO’s feelings even when you’ve been boozing? Are you honest and authentic even when it doesn’t benefit you? Are you willing to listen and change your mind when someone has a different perspective on religion or politics? Do you make people laugh or do you wait for others to entertain you? Are you super nice to your partners strange friends? Are you sexually open and curious?

I hope you are! That’s the sort of community that I want to bring together with Red Lipstick Project.

While a lot of people wait to learn these lessons the hard way through trial and error and error and error in relationships, you can learn them by a little bit of self work.

Even though it’s super uncomfortable to be honest about your faults and shortcomings, when you do it brings you clarity, humility, a strong sense of self-worth, curiosity and courage. Those are the things that make you a fucking badass partner.

Humility

When I did this exercise myself it was incredibly humbling. Over time my expectations have creeped up to barely realistic. Sometimes I forget that this is a list of expectations that I’m creating for a human being. Humans are flawed- I am flawed. The most amazing partners are still inevitably flawed. So I want you to go back to the top of the list and add one very important thing. “Easily forgives mistakes within reason”. You need to know that your partner will love you despite slip-ups and the things said when you’re stressed. And now you have to be that flexible and understanding too!

A great partner sees beyond the momentary human mistakes and sees you for who you are working to become. We need to find the very delicate balance between keeping standards for a partner high – and being realistic about a person’s ability to live up to all of these, all of the time. Awareness and curiosity are more important than anything else. And forgiveness.

Clarity

When you read this list back to yourself it becomes literally a blueprint for what makes a great partner, you know… great. That kind of clarity is so helpful. You just created a step-by-step list of the characteristics you want. More than any other question I get asked “How do I find an incredible partner” – my answer is always the same – “Be an incredible partner.” Thank god you have this to-do list of where to start!

A partner who IS compassionate – attracts a partner who is compassionate. A woman who is strong in her sexuality, attracts a man who is bold and passionate. A woman who makes her health a priority will inevitably attract a fit and strong man.

Ease

For Type A people, just knowing that you are taking action takes a lot of the pressure off of waiting for the “One” to find you. Even if the concept of the “One” weren’t complete bullshit (which it is), he isn’t searching for you. He’s probably waiting for you to get your shit together. And now that you know what that really looks like – you can. Personally, that self awareness and knowing that I’m on the right path just feels so relieving to me.

Self worth

Assume that the things that are attractive to you in a relationship are also attractive to your future partner. When you start to do the work on becoming the things on your list: funny, caring, responsive, easy to talk to, sensual; you will naturally become incredibly connected to your sense of self-worth.

Just by writing those things on a physical piece of paper and checking them off (creativity – got it! sense of humor – got it! doesn’t overreact to stressful situations – nailed it!) can make you feel supah-empowered.

By seeing your best assets written on paper gives those qualities power. They are important – they’re on your fucking list! You start to recognize how valuable you are as a partner. Over the next few months, as you do the self-work to gain new qualities and improve yourself you’ll understand how hard it is to be kind and caring even when you want to be selfish and bitchy. You start to see the kind of time and effort and thoughtfulness that goes into being that awesome.

You’ll attract a partner who values those qualities in you just as much. How amazing would it feel to be with a partner who valued you for being you? So good.

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So I want you to take this blueprint and post it on your fridge. If you are struggling to live up to the super high standard that you set, start is to find people (both men and women) who have one or all of these qualities. Spend more time with them.

You are the sum of the 5 people that you spend the most time with – so surround yourself with high quality people- you will grow. If you don’t know where to start- call me and we will figure out a plan.