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A friend of mine at church approached me recently and told me that she had found the perfect girl for me. She was described as attractive, energetic, Christian, and I was told we would get along great. She’s a teacher who has recently moved to Australia after growing up in the USA and had lived in a Sweden for a while. This person does sound like a great match! However, as I’m moving away from Melbourne I’m not really in the place to start a relationship. I said thanks to my friend for thinking of me, but now wasn’t the right time.

But this got me thinking, what is the perfect girl for me? Now, I don’t believe that there is only one person out there for me, and it’s even more unlikely that a perfect match exists, but it’s still good to know what (you think!) a perfect match would be. This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve had these thoughts; as a single person, you can end up spending a lot of time thinking about what you want in a partner. It’s easy to say that I want a girl who shares my sense of humour, is sporty, has travelled, is smart and blah blah blah all that stuff but I’ve met and dated people who check all the boxes and we just never clicked. Similarly, I’ve met people who check almost none of the boxes and it was other factors (timing, etc) that meant we didn’t work.

Because of this, I’ve started to try and change my approach when thinking of a partner. Instead of trying to make a puzzle with a bunch of random pieces (personality traits, hobbies, interests, experience) I’m trying to figure out what the completed puzzle looks like first in the form of a “life approach”. (Obviously, the puzzle metaphor can only go so far as I’m not looking for a partner who looks like a 1860s lighthouse on a remote Scandanavian hill.) This  life approach described in a word or short phrase and is more identified by big things like the motivation behind major decisions in someone’s life (jobs, travel, moving, etc) and the approach to smaller things such as planning a night out. Some examples include “Fearless”, “Minimalist”, or “Stability”. Someone who’s life approach is stability is unlikely to quit their job before finding a new one, will tend towards rational decision making, and embraces the ideas of plans.

While this is still a fairly recent paradigm shift for me, a conversation with a friend led me to believe that I’m looking for someone who is “adventurous”. An adventurous person, to me, is someone who actively seeks out new challenges, believes she can succeed, and is comfortable with uncertainty, but not in a careless or reckless way.

It may be that “adventurous” will be the wrong word; that I’m actually looking for something else completely different or a slight twist on adventurous. For me, for now though, it’s all about shifting the paradigm in terms of thinking of what I’m looking for. In that sense, I am not too bothered if I’m searching for the wrong thing at this stage.

What are you  looking for? What “life approach” makes your current partner the right one? Are they an “achiever”? A “carer”? A “steady grower”? Discuss in the comments below…

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