Looking for the Perfect Partner and Real Relationships – Present Partners
Present Partners advises new daters to take a different approach to online dating than they may have done in the past. That’s why we offer friendship as well as dating on the site. It really is much healthier to begin a new relationship slowly, so start by looking for someone you think you might like to spend some time with and take it from there.
Pia Melody author, writes:
Qualifications of the New Friend
For you to benefit most from this process, this new person must not be seriously involved with anyone else, and must be available to have an appropriate noncompetitive relationship with you. Also it is helpful to be attracted to the person both personally and sexually. If no such person is immediately obvious, it is helpful for your recovery to find someone; and it is perfectly acceptable to be actively looking, involving yourself in social experiences so you can find a person to whom to relate.
Finding the ‘Perfect’ Person
In our society we are urged to begin by finding someone to whom we are physically attracted, to start a sexually intimate relationship, and then to try to work through all the conflicts in the intellectual and emotional areas of intimacy. I believe we need to learn how to do the reverse. Learn to enjoy someone as an individual human being before moving into a sexually intimate relationship. But many of us think we need to find someone who fits an ideal physical image that we feel sexually attracted to before we’re willing to invest anything in forming a relationship. Often it seems that there aren’t many people available who qualify, and the few who do qualify don’t seem to be attracted to us, especially if our own physical appearance is less than perfect.
If we can begin a friendship with someone who is pleasant or enjoyable but who may not seem physically attractive, often the less-than-perfect physical details of his or her body that first put us off become less objectionable or less important for sexual attraction. In many instances the healthy sexual attraction develops after other areas of friendship have begun.
So if, after a while, you find no one to whom you are attracted, it might be wise to check whether you are doing something in your thinking process that makes it impossible for anyone to measure up. Some people can avoid relationships by getting out a microscope and examining every potential partner in minute detail so that almost no one can qualify. If you realise you are in this position, it might be wise to get help from a sponsor or counselor so that you can find a way to break through your inhibiting thinking process.
When you have found a person-even one to whom you are physically attracted and the potential for a sexual relationship exists-I recommend that this new relationship stay non sexual for a while, except perhaps for affectionate kissing. When I say this in a lecture many people laugh; but I believe it is ill advised to involve sexual drive in this process first. You are approaching relationships from an unfamiliar and probably difficult perspective. You have learned what not to do in a relationship, but that is exactly what is most familiar to you. You are inexperienced at being in a relationship in a healthy way. You need all of your faculties to be alert to help you evaluate what is going on between you and the other person.
When a sexual relationship is activated, it becomes more difficult to think clearly. The drive to get closer blocks out more subtle aspects of relating and one tends to overlook vital clues about the partner’s behavior. This makes it harder to track what happens in the other areas, such as intellectual, emotional, and other forms of physical and behavioral compatibility. Of course there is usually a certain level of sexual energy between the two of you, but it needs to be restrained while you begin exploring the other kinds of intimacy first.
Exploring other forms of Intimacy
You can practice asking for intimacy and support intellectually, emotionaly and physically and practice responding to requests from this person. It may be that the friendship does not work out because you notice this person can’t or won’t respond to your requests or you find his or her requests difficult or inappropriate. If so, leave it and initiate another relationship. It may be difficult for a recovering addict to make such a decision, but it can be a great step forward in recovery and feelings of self worth.
Being attracted to and attractive to functional people
Believe it or not, there are many functional people in our society. We haven’t seen them because while we were busy in our co-addicted relationships, they didn’t want to relate to us. They viewed us and all the chaos and intensity we created as difficult to be with. One of the painful aspects of recovery is becoming aware of this.
Another reason we may not have noticed many functional people is because when we were operating out of the characteristics of either an (love)addict or love avoidant, we had eyes only for others like ourselves. Functional people just did not seem attractive.
Another part of recovery, then, is to change your criteria for what you find attractive. Many of the criteria will have already changed because of the maturity gained through codependence recovery.
Also, as our recovery progresses, we may become aware that the friends we have had are rather sick themselves. It’s important to try to avoid judging them, and to understand that not too long ago we were a lot like they are. Also, the fact these people are sick is none of our business. Our job is to determine the cost to us and our recovery of being around them, and to perhaps minimize contact if they will jeopardise our recovery.
These are some of the losses we may face as we become more functional. Today I notice I have great difficulty being around certain people who have this disease when it is at an intense level.
(Printed with permission by Harperone)
Present Partners understands that having to leave behind old partners and friends can be incredibly painful, but we hope to help finding new healthier people much easier for you by bringing like minded people together here on the site. Enjoy the journey and remember to always try to be as present as possible when listening and learning about the new people you are spending time with.