The healthiest way to be in relationship is to look inside yourself first.

Begin by asking yourself some valuable questions. What makes me a great partner, either for dating or for the goal of a long term relationship? Write out a list of your strengths, what you value about you and what others have valued about you. What have past partners said about you that are strengths?  Look at all the parts of you. It might be helpful to look at your parts by the following divisions. I have asked a question or two to prime the pump of your exploration:

Physical Self – how healthy are you? What health habits do you have that add to your strengths? Where in the priorities of the day do you place your nutrition and your exercise and rest?

Psychological Self – Do you know the strengths of your personality type? What makes you resilient in the face of challenges? Are you able to look outside of yourself when things get bad? Do you mostly see the positive side of situations? Are you able to resolve issues between you and another? Do you mostly have positive transactions with others in your day? Are you good at balancing your life?

Social Self – How many relationships do you have that are healthy and up to date? What do you add to your social circle? What behaviours do you exhibit that affirm and support others? What role do you play in your social circle -do you want to keep that role or expand that role or change it to something else at this time in your life? How do you build and sustain your friendships? Are you good at having fun?

Spiritual Self –  Are you in touch with a higher power in your life? Do you experience gratitude each and everyday?

Don’t skip the writing part of this information. You find others and relate to others in relation to the health of your self esteem and knowing your strengths is part of a healthy self esteem.

Looking at myselfYou might notice that while you are writing out your strengths, your challenges start to get in the way. You can put those down in a separate list, using the same parts. As well as what you know about yourself, use information from others who are intimate with you such as family members as well as former partners. When you have your challenges list – be honest with yourself. Some of these issues may have been with you for a long time and a part of many failures in relationships. You may have been telling yourself that this is just a part of who I am. Usually, this is not the truth. Most things are not genetic, but rather learned from our family of origin or through our life experience. If these challenges are not working for you – it is NOT too late to change. Are you ready to do something about these issues now? Start with one or two that you know would make a big difference if you were to make a great partner. Evaluate where you are with those challenges now so that you know when things are changing. Write a sticky note and place it in a prominent place for those issues you intend to begin working on now.

Have fun while doing this exploration!

© Lynda Chalmers 2010

Disclaimer: The information presented here is intended for educational purposes only, not for diagnosis and treatment and is not intended to be a substitute for consultation with a qualified mental health professional that is familiar with your particular situation. There is also no guarantee being made as a result of information provided or the counseling services offered.