Getting to Know Me
Self-Awareness for Lasting Relationship Success
Posted Jun 01, 2020
Online dating has changed the courtship landscape quite a bit. While sites/apps are certainly wonderful for connecting people who otherwise would not meet, many daters spend countless hours mindlessly swiping through pictures and often wind up with dating fatigue. (See my previous article on the pros and cons of online dating.) Often, tired of having long-term pen pals, people try to schedule as many dates as possible to weed through their options with the hope of finding their match. While this strategy is not necessarily problematic, it is best to pause, reflect, and really think about what you want. Prior to pursuing a match, it’s important to develop a strong level of self-awareness. Before sharing our lives with others, we must understand ourselves.
By taking time to reflect on what you want, both out of life and relationships, you may be surprised to learn something new. Below are some important questions designed to increase your level of self-awareness.
1. Who am I?
- How do I view myself?
- What type of person am I?
This is a difficult question to start out with, but it is also a very important one. Remember that there are no wrong answers, as this exercise is meant for self-exploration. You may choose to describe the roles you play (ex. friend, sibling, teacher, etc.) or personality characteristics/attributes (ex. caring, honest, outgoing, etc.)
2. What is most important to me?
- What do I value?
- What do I believe in?
This question allows you to tap into what you prioritize in your life. Answers may range from tangible items (ex. my iPhone) to relationships with others (ex. my close friends). You might also begin to explore your belief systems and contemplate the rules by which you live your life, as well as any potential religious/spiritual influences.
3. What are my goals for the future?
- What are my personal and career goals?
- Where do I see myself in 5 years? 10 years?
This question allows you to think about your goals and begin to formulate an action plan by which they can be achieved. In doing this, you may realize that living in a certain geographical area is imperative for your career or that your primary goal is to focus on having a family of your own.
4. What attributes are important to me in a mate?
- Who am I attracted to?
- What are my non-negotiables?
Be careful as you answer this question. When I mention attractiveness, this isn’t meant for you to focus on the physical (though that’s okay to consider too). Instead, think about interpersonal attraction, or the pull for you to want to get to know another person (either romantically or platonically). Also, exercise caution as you consider your non-negotiables. You should prioritize the traits that are important for your partner to have, but not discount a person because of something that down the road may not be that significant of a roadblock to forming a happy and healthy relationship.
These questions are just a start in the process of self-discovery. Take your time when answering them. While it may prove to be a more challenging task than you originally anticipated, you will hopefully gain a lot of insight along the way. Having this knowledge will not only help you achieve a deeper understanding of yourself but enable you to learn about the types of relationships that you want to be in.
Wishing you lots of clarity and success!!