How to Choose a Partner for a Relationship that will Last

couple happy faces looking smiling in field while man carrying partner
by Vance Larson

If love isn’t left after the lust, you’ll be lost. This is important, so let me say it again. If love isn’t left after the lust, you’ll be lost. I call this outside in. Many of us learn this as we get older. Some of us never learn it at all. 

When we are young and start dating, so many of us are attracted to a type. Be it a hair color, body type or a body part, we are drawn to it. For that reason, we tend to see a lot of our relationships play out in the same way, meaning they don’t work. They can, but without a deeper connection, it doesn’t matter how attractive they are, or how good the sex is, you eventually move on to the next. While being physically attracted to someone is not a bad thing, it should not be the only thing. 

The truth is you will probably always be attracted to other people. You can be in a long-term relationship and still be attracted to other people. I see this in my practice all the time. A couple will come in because someone “liked” a picture of a beautiful woman or man on social media, and all of the sudden there is a problem in the relationship. Seems ridiculous to me, but it happens all the time. Just because you’re attracted to someone, doesn’t mean you’re going to sleep with them, nor does it mean you want to. 

Outside in will get you a date, Inside out will get you a life partner. In other words, you will probably be attracted to many people in your life. But you will only truly connect with a few. There is a great line from a movie that I saw year ago that said “You don’t marry the person you can be with. You marry the person that you can’t be without.” I personally have dated a lot of beautiful women. Even lived with a handful of them. I married however, the woman that I cannot live without. Not only is she gorgeous, but her beauty pales in comparison to her intellect and energy. Prior to my wife, the longest relationship I was in was just shy of 5 years. Because I went inside out, I’ve been with my wife going on 20 years.

There is nothing wrong with having a type. And there is nothing wrong with being attracted to other people. But you’ll never find your soul mate if you are entertaining your playmate. Outside in. Because you’re ready for a lifelong commitment. 

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