by David Steele
First published November 2007
In my life I’ve struggled to understand love and relationships, not having a good start growing up, which propelled me into my profession as a Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship Coach. I’m sure you can relate.
While I’m quite competent helping others I’m still on the path of find lasting love for myself. My first marriage was doomed from the start… too young, too different in irreconcilable ways. I needed to learn that love doesn’t conquer all and that not all problems are solvable.
I thought I was more conscious in my second marriage, but being in love caused me to ignore many obvious red flags. Being older didn’t make me wiser, and being a therapist didn’t give me an edge in making that marriage work.
My two divorces taught me that, indeed, like it or not, agree with it or not, we do have non-negotiable requirements that must be met for a relationship to work. I was determined to be conscious in my future relationships and in exploring what that meant I wrote my book Conscious Dating
My next two relationships, one for 5 years, one for 1 year, were both with very good women that I respected, liked, admired, fit most of my requirements, but no chemistry for me. I was trying to be “conscious” and avoid the pitfalls of unconsciousness. That swing of the pendulum didn’t work either.
Having learned the hard way about the necessity of having non-negotiable requirements, here are my top requirements for my next (and hopefully last) relationship-
1. Strong chemistry
I want to desire my partner, be excited by my partner at a chemical,
physical level. I’ve experienced this before and learned that it’s crucial
for a passionate, alive, long-term relationship.
2. I require to be loved, understood, and accepted deeply for
who I am.
My partner needs to “get” me so well that I don’t need to
constantly explain where I’m coming from, what I’m thinking, feeling,
I’ve felt misunderstood for most of my life by the people close to
me that didn’t “get” me. My best friendships and relationships
are with people that are able to practically see inside me and understand
where I’m coming from. My most difficult relationships are with people
that see me through filters so opaque with their own stuff that my good
heart and intentions are unseen.
3. I require a relationship that brings out the best in me as
I bring out the best in my partner.
This might mean challenging each other a bit (I do like a challenge),
but it mostly means loving and supporting each other with positive energy,
believing in each other 100%, “getting” each other so that
the relationship is safe and emotionally free.
4. I require positive, optimistic, joyful thoughts, actions,
attitudes, and energy in my life and relationship.
I grew up with a lot of unhappiness and negativity, but my personality/nature
is positive, optimistic and adventurous about life, and I want a partner
that shares that so we can live in that space together. In this context
“problems” are a challenge to be met with positive energy,
optimism that it’ll work out fine, not as indicators that something
or someone is “wrong.”
5. I require a relationship that has a higher mission than personal
Of course I want to be happy and for my partner to be happy. But I’ve
learned that you can’t find happiness by focusing on yourself and your
needs in a self-centered way. Fulfillment comes from giving, making
a difference in the world, accomplishments that sometimes take sacrifice,
learning, growing, stretching, etc. I don’t want my partner resenting
my work because it interferes with “our time,” I want my partner’s
support for my work and trust that I value and want “our time”
as well, and that we both do our best as adults to balance the needs
of our work, family, relationship, etc.
6. I require a strong spiritual connection
So strong that we feel connected even when apart, or one of us is traveling.
When you are complete and whole, you don’t need your partner to complete
you or do or say anything for you to be OK. When two complete and whole
people love each other, they can be apart and the love and connection
doesn’t diminish, doesn’t go away or sink into emotional deficit.
7. I require a soul mate
My soul mate will match and mirror me in some ways, complement and
challenge me in others, fitting with me like hand in glove which results
in manifesting all of the above. This is no ordinary relationship that
can be achieved with just anyone, especially by settling. While I don’t
believe there is only one specific soul mate for anyone, I do believe
in a connection that goes beyond the present, sensory world and is “meant
The best evidence I have for the existence of “soul mates”
are couples I’ve known that fit together so well they seem to belong
together, it seems like they’ve always been together and you can’t imagine
them not together. I want a relationship like that!
I’m sure there’s more, but this is what I’m aware of that I’m seeking. My commitment to myself is to not settle for less than this as I have before, which means (in my language/paradigm) they are more than wants or needs, they are requirements. I trust that this is possible, that I deserve it, am capable of this kind of relationship, that if I don’t settle
for less I will find my soul mate and experience this kind of relationship.
Having settled for less in the past and having had the alternatives, I’d rather be alone than in a relationship without this. I’m complete as I am and can give myself all these things! However, I value partnership, committed life partnership, and despite all my “failures” have not given up on my romantic dream to be married for life and grow old with my soul mate. Now that I’ve put my requirements out there for you and the world to see I have no doubt the Law of Attraction will bring them to me!
Note to readers: One month after publishing this article I met Darlene, my soul mate!