It’s one thing to decide all the things you want in a partner:
A man who is confident in his purpose, takes care of his body, knows how to turn you on, actually washes his bed sheets more than twice a year…
But there’s also a lot to be said for simply avoiding the wrong relationships. Tim Ferriss likes to talk about the “Not-To-Do List”. Charlie Munger talks about how a great deal of his investing success is built not on being a genius, but avoiding stupid mistakes.
I believe the same can apply to love. You don’t have to be unbelievably lucky or smart to find a great relationship. But you absolutely must avoid the pitfalls that waste years, or decades of people’s lives. And the biggest mistake is choosing people who you know deep down are wrong for you.
It might be their toxic behaviours: petty jealousy and one-upmanship, aloof selfishness, sneaky lying and an untrustworthy character, unhealthy neediness.
It might be your differences in lifestyle: you both want to live in totally different places, you can’t stand the way they spend their time, you have little in common.
It might be your different values: one of you cares more about family, one of you is way more materialistic and hopeless with money, one of you is deeply empathetic while the other is cold and unfeeling.
If you can spot these things early, make a firm pact with yourself: no matter how good the sex is or how much they make me laugh, I won’t get into a relationship if I have BIG doubts about the fundamentals.
Take your Not-To-Do List seriously, and you’ll find you stop making all your relationship decisions merely based on “having great chemistry”, but instead, “finding a truly great teammate”. Passion is of course important, but a great teammate is someone who will benefit your life for decades beyond the initial spark that attracted you to them.
This isn’t the only thing you need to do. But if you get this right, you’ll be amazed at how you make so much more room for the right person when you’re not wasting time in the wrong relationship.