“Is this the right person for me?”
How many times have you heard your friends ask this question when they’re dating someone?
Or maybe you’ve asked it yourself.
The answer is….(insert drumroll here): It’s the wrong question!
The right question is “Am I the right person in this—or any—relationship?” Turn that magnifying glass on yourself and look at whether you’re a warm, loving, responsible person of good character—the same important qualities you’d presumably look for in a partner.
What’s important in a relationship?
While the external attributes may seem the most important when you start therapy, by the time you’ve done some work on yourself with a good therapist, you’ve hopefully realized that window-dressing, in the form of beauty, accomplishments, money, etc., can’t hide or make up for a lack of character.
The truth of the matter is that any reasonably mentally-healthy person who is warm, loving, and responsible can have a satisfying relationship with virtually anyone else who fits that description and has compatible—not identical—goals.
So the next time you’re thinking about your relationship and wondering about that all-important Is-this-the-right-person-for-me question, flip it around and ask if you’re the right person.
That’s my take. Read more about relationships here and tell me what you think! If you’d like to work on yourself, give me a call at 212-353-0296 or send me an email, and we’ll get started. I look forward to speaking with you.
Diane Spear, LCSW-R, owns a private practice in the Union Square/East Village area of Manhattan (New York City). She specializes in anxiety, depression, couples, and parenting treatment, and has been helping people find the joy in everyday life since 1995. She is accepting new patients. To learn more about Diane’s approach to treatment, click here.