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How to Stop Looking for Someone Perfect and Find Someone to Love by Judith Sills, Ph. D.

Posted by Raul Barral Tamayo en martes, 19 de abril, 2022

Copyright © 1984 by Judith Sills, Ph. D.

A Sophisticated Guide to Choosing the Right Mate.

Witty, warm, down-to-earth advice on life’s most important consumer affair.

  • The three Golden Rules for Choosing a Mate.
  • The Blue Plate Special («If you want the chicken, you get the peas; if you want the roast beef, you get brussels sprouts, No Substitutions!»).
  • The One-Size -Fits-All Fallacy, or why it seems like everyone out there is looking for the same person.
  • The Ten Commandments Syndrome, or how to screen people in, not out. Turn 2 out of 10 potential mates into 8 out of 10!
  • How to Evaluate feelings for someone. Is this really love? Should it be?
  • How to tell if he has what you need, even if it’s not what you expect.
  • How to evaluate a long-term relationship for its marriage potential.
  • What you can change in someone; what you can expect to live with forever.

Dr. Judith Sills promises, «You can find the right mate! All you need is to learn how to look».

And this book.

Judith Sills, Ph. D. a clinical psychologist in private practice, is Director of Philadelphia’s distinguished adult education programs. The Institute of the YM & YWHA. She lives in Philadelphia, and is very happyly married.

Comments extracted from the book, they could be right or wrong, you decide for yourself:

  • A mate is a lifetime partner. No guarantees, naturally, but what you have in mind is someone with whom you will share your decisions, your bed, your money, and your spirit; someone with whom you will have a history. Someone who will know you, in the most genuine sense.
  • It is absolutely necessary relationship for most of us.
  • When the time feels right, ask yourself this question: Would I be happier if I were sharing my life with another person?
  • Take a serious moment, looks inside, and get an answer to the question: Do I want a mate?
  • The timing maybe simply not be right for you. Just because you are single does not mean you are, by definition, seeking a mate.
  • You know you are ready when the answer to your internal question is «yes». It’s as simple as that.
  • The reason most people want a mate is simple: It’s better. The best thing about marriage is, it’s better than being single.
  • It’s better to be single than to be half of a miserable couple. But a happy mating beats being on your own any time.
  • This book is a series of strategies for adding the right other person to your life.
  • There is a stigma placed on those single people who openly acknowledge that they want to mate. Be judicious about where you share your personal truths. The rules for handling social scorn are: Always Give Yourself Good Press. Don’t Confuse the Press With the Truth.
  • Don’t announce on a first date, or even on a third, that you are looking to get married. As a rule of thumb, don’t spend over six months in an intimate relationship without sharing the fact that it is your intention to marry during your lifetime.
  • Don’t bemoan the difficulties you are having finding someone. Don’t repeatedly ask colleagues at work if they have someone for you. It just does not work for you to expose them aloud without discretion. This is an instance where it does not pay to advertise.
  • It is fair all around, and in your own best interests, to be clear about your goals with those closest to you.
  • There is no reason to panic. If you want a mate, and you are clear and realistic about what you want, you’ll get one.
  • People who are independent enough to take care of themselves do make better mates.
  • Nobody wants to see him or herself as «needy». The effect on an emphasis on independence can be a reluctance to tell the truth even to oneself about how much you need to be connected to another. You may be force to look for a mate behind your own back.
  • If you learn as a child, and we all do, that sneaking is a workable way to do what you want and still avoid disapproval, it’s natural to act that way even with yourself.
  • If you cannot acknowledge that you are seeking something, how do you know when you’ve found it?
  • Those individuals who areactively seeking a mate and who have a clear idea about the sort of person who would satisfy them, have a significantly better shot at choosing the right person. Clear thinking, focused attention, and realistic goals are just better bets than crossed fingers and «magic».
  • It is absolutely true that, as filtered through the fantasies and expectations of most women, men are often weak. Conversely, if examined through the unrealistic and uncomprehending eyes of men, women are shallow and hypocritical.
  • Face it: if you heterosexual, you are seeking a mate from a member of an alien tribe. Their folkways are different; their rites and rituals can be silly or appalling.
  • If you cannot get past negative attitudes, you won’t be looking for a mate. You’ll be looking to prove that one one out there is worthy.
  • People who allow themselves to make rapid judgments most often make negative ones because they’re very safe. Positive attitudes and positive judgments are riskier. They open you up to more people, more experiences, and the possibility of disappointment.
  • Your frustration is the result of having a set of expectations that isn’t being met. Perhaps the problem lies with expectations themselves.
  • You carry a mental picture of Mr. or Ms. Perfect and you’re quickly able to evaluate a potential mate according to the list.
  • You know what the wish list really is? It’s a partial inventory of your expectations. Although you understand that your wish list is merely a set of ideal traits, it has a powerful influence on how you look and who you overlook.
  • Expectations are natural, normal, and necessary.
  • Understanding what you need as opposed to what your friends need or what everyone who is interested thinkgs you need is they key to making a wise choice of a mate.
  • Certainly your family is entitled to some distinct opinions about who would be suitable for you. In fact, they know you well and have a chance of being right, but keep in mind that they have at least an equal change of being wrong.
  • Unless you make the time, setting aside a serious period of self-examination, you are likely to rely on the same wish list you used fifteen years ago.
  • Your expectations should not be carved in stone.
  • Here’s the awful truth. Nobody is going to live up to your expectations.
  • Your wish list is only a set of preferences or assumptions about how a partner might be. It’s not written in stone. It’s a simply a comment on what you prefer to anticipate.
  • «Settling» implies defeat and resentment: You lost. In a good compromise, everybody wins.
  • The only way to pick the right mate is to get past your complaints, your rules, and your disappointments. In order to decide which relationships are worth pursuing you need one thing: You need to learn how to look.
  • You get more instruction about how to buy a car or a washing machine than about how to pick a mate.
  • You can learn to look for a mate in the same rational manner. All that is required is that you: clarify for yourself what it is that you are looking for; learn to recognize what someone else has to offer.
  • The single most important feature of a relatiomship that you hope will develop into marriage, is that the candidate be available for marriage. Availability is not as straightforward as it seems. No one is completely closed to redesigning a life around a new person. Not is anyone totally prepared to greet that kind of change with open arms.
  • Developing an intimate relationship takes a considerable investment of time. To be genuinely avilable for such a relationship, one must make available, as a priority, the time required. When time is already substantially invested elsewhere, that is usually an indication that emotions are invested elsewhere too.
  • To some degree, the amount of time people make available will be a measure of how much intimacy they are seeking.
  • Lots of people are involved with someone else, in some fashion, when you meet them. If they have not merged their lives, at least to the point of informally living together, or having an «understanding» or an informal engagement, you can consider them single and available.
  • If they don’t volunteer the information, ask for it. It is in your interest and therefor up for you to assess to the extent that you can.
  • You have a goal in mind and if the other person repeatedly repudiates that goal, you’ve got a problem.
  • It is not necessarily true that the fact that you haven’t found a mate means that you secretly don’t want one. It may be true, however, that you have mixed feelings about finding a mate based on old scars, half understood fears, or familiar angers and disappointments. Sometimes people handle these mixed feelings by sabotaging themselves, by saying they want something but creating obstacles to getting it.
  • How available am I really? Follow it up with the corollary: If I feel I am available, do I act as if I am?
  • Acting available is not the same as acting desperate though they are easy to confuse.
  • Everyone is package deal. If you want a mate, you buy the package. If you want a fantasy, you dream up a prince. It’s a problem.
  • Any candidate will inevitably brin with him or her some real obstacle with which you will have to cope.
  • If you require that someone fulfill your perfect picture, and you are quickest to spot those areas where the person falls short, maybe the person you need to change is you. Otherwise, you’re in for a long-term relationship with your fantasies.
  • If you are able to acknowledge the negative features that someone might bring to a marriage, you are closer to being able to accept them. Certainly you are closer to making a realistic assessment of whether you could live with these characteristics or not. If you let yourself know it, you can test out strategies for working around it. If you ignore the data, you have a time bomb planted in your marriage.
  • Love may be the grease that makes the friction over money or the laundry tolerable, but it will not make these conflicts disappear.
  • Practically everyone is flawed.
  • The older you are, the more likely you are to develop physical limitations.
  • Not only do candidates come with more physical limitations, they come with more history.
  • «In love» is, by definition and strong preference, an irrational state. It is odd that people seek out a period of temporary insanity as the ideal mind-set for making a crucial life decision.
  • When evaluating your emotional response to a potential mate, focus your attention not on how you feel about thim or her or how he/she feels about you, but on how that person makes you feel about yourself. What is important is that you have good feelings about yourself in reaction to how your potential mate sees you.
  • I strongly recommend a shared life in the real world over a grand passion that requires separation, loneliness, and drama to sustain it.
  • Love, in love, passionate love changes. It does not go away necessarily, but it does transmogrify to the point where it’s sometimes hard to recognize.
  • Whatever creates it, you should feel very good about yourself in the context of your relationship with your mate. Of course, you can’t feel this way 100 percent of the time. I am speaking of your sense of yourself overall.
  • Does your prospetive mate’s view of you increase your self-respect? Does his or her attraction to you help you feel attractive? Does that person bring out or enhance the things you consider your strengths? Does he or she soften your failures and shore up your weaknesses? Are you a better version of yourself as you experience it because of your connection?
  • You can tolerate a good deal of disappointment and hard times when you love the experience of yourself as seen by the person who is closest to you.
  • The vast majority of us carry around a mixed, and to some degree, uncertain sense of who we are. A mate can go a long way toward influencing that in one direction or another. Pick the person who pushes your sense of yourself in a positive direction.
  • The biology imperatives of Rich and Sexy still form the basis of our assumptions about desirable mates today.
  • Many people sidestep conflicts by avoiding socially unacepptable partners. You don’t want to risk warming to the wrong kind of person and perforce choosing between personal satisfaction and social status.
  • Humans need intimacy. This means we have a psychological need for someone to be in tune with us emotionally.
  • There is only one relationship in our adult lives that offers us the real possibility of being known over a long-term period. That is our mate.
  • As the biological imperatives have become less important, the psychological needs have become more driving.
  • This lag in your thinking, this overemphasis on old values, is the biggest difficulty people have in choosing the correct mate.
  • A mate who fulfills your emotional needs is more important to you that one who can pay your bills, cook your meals, or be a knockout at your college reunion. Your partner’s purpose is to help you maximize your happiness.
  • Don’t screen people out first because you don’t admire their outside life. Screen them out first because you wouldn’t enjoy your time with them.
  • It’s true that you will share a life-style, which makes the potential candidate’s current life-style of particular interest.
  • Family, ethnic group, race, religion, and age are all determinants for which your social group has relatively strict rules.
  • Many of you feel strongly that you must respect someone as well as love them. It’s true, you must.
  • Social criteria are just too powerful and too clear to ignore.
  • original entry: https://raulbarraltamayo.wordpress.com/2022/04/19/how-to-stop-looking-for-someone-perfect-and-find-someone-to-love-by-judith-sills-ph-d/
  • You are trained to seek a mate accordingly to who he or she is as an individual in the world at large rather than who he or she is to you. Unfortunately, these are often very different.
  • Most of us are more aware of someone else’s shortcomings than we are of our own. We understand ourselves, make excuses for ourselves. We are protective of our own feelings.
  • Yes, there really are ten less-than-wonderful things about you that your mate will have to accept.
  • Reality is that few, if any of us, have a completely desirable package to offer.
  • I really believe strongly that this change of focus from the social to the psychological will let you maximize your chances of picking the right mate.
  • The more uncertain you are of yourself, your power, your worth, the more important it may be for you to pick a mate who will afford you the most status.
  • Ironically, the more elevated your own position, the more you may feel it necessary to choose a mate who is an «equal».
  • Unless you know your screening principles, you won’t have the opportunity to change them. You are not helpless in the face of your own screening techniques.
  • Rich and Sexy are nice extras, but they will not guarantee for you a psychological satisfying bond.
  • There is nothing wrong with having certain visual preferences. We all have aesthetic values. Enjoy your fantasies, but don’t let them get in your way. The problem is that while we all hold the same «high standard», most of us fail to live up to them ourselves. Yet, all of us continue to reject at first glance.
  • You just need a way to review potential candidates and eliminate only those who are really unacceptable to you.
  • You are creating a lot of false negatives. I know that you are because you are complaining that «I never meet anyone» or «There’s nobody out there». That suggests to me that you are screenig out a lot of possibilities.
  • Fifty percent of your marriages end in divorce. That’s a lot of false positives.
  • The unreliability in your screening is often due to a central problem: You are using social criteria to screen out instead of in.
  • What you need is a screening system that will allow you to rule people in. You need a technique that lets in the top eight and eliminates only the bottom two. You need to be able to control your tendency to judge, judge, judge.
  • You’re allowed three screen-out rules. When someone is trying to learn to view the world from a positive attitude, three fixed negative judments is plenty.
  • You can change your list of three over time, if you find your original standard no longer hold true for you. You must, however, limit yourself to three screen-out rules. Actually, I feel I’m being generous. No one I’ve ever met has been such an exquisite package themselves that he or she was entitled to enjoy contempt for more than three characteristic of other human beings.
  • The only peplpe you are permitted to reject, utterly and without a qualm, will be those who appear to you to demonstrate one of the three items on your screen-out list.
  • Your mate is probably hiding under a toupee, or behing glasses, being too nervous, or too loud, or too aggressive, or any of the thousand other things that are so safe to dislike.
  • One of your problems in finding a mate is that you don’t really know that much about yourself.
  • You need to know what makes you bite and what keeps you hooked.
  • Knowing your «type» means knowing what you are a sucker for. Type refers to some relatively obvious, easily discernible characteristics that immediatly arouse your interest.
  • A sexual type may have little or nothing in common with the sort of person who could be satisfying as a mate. Unfortunately, he who warms the genitals does not necessarily warm the heart.
  • Type is not always as conscious as it might be.
  • It’s okay to need companionship, love, financial support, someone to mother you, affection, alughter, shared interests, devotion, status, a family, children, a big house in t he suburbs, travel, one home forever, the city, the country, intelectual stimulation, a playmate, a trouble-shooter, a sugar-daddy, someone to look up to, someone to feel better than, someone to run your home, a friend, a sex object, lust, passion, someone to grow old with, someone to rescue, someone to rescue you … Just as long as you don’t need them all.
  • When you are choosing a mate, you are looking to fulfill needs that may not be all that obvious to you.
  • Review your three relationships with these questions in mind and see if you can pinpoint any areas that: repeatedly create problems for you; are repeatedly sources of satisfaction for you; can offer some explanation about what went on in that particular relationship.
  • There is no right way. There is only understanding your way.
  • Each partner should have the opportunity to be the boss, or the child, or the pursued, or the communicator.
  • A pattern is repetitive behavior that expresses some underlying emotional need.
  • To evaluate another person you need more than simple reliance on your intuition. You need to focus your thinking, to consider realistically the evidence that’s presented.
  • Often people who always find something wrong with a potential partner are people who don’t really want one. They think they should want one, or a part of them wants one, but something holds them back from a genuine willingness to connect.
  • It’s all going to come out eventually. In an intimate relationship, where the couple spend a reasonable amount of time together on a fairly continuous basis, you’ll get a pretty fair picture of the whole person.
  • You are seeking to evaluate to what degree that person is likely to meet your needs. Get a clear picture as early in the relationship as possible.
  • Those relationships that begin more quietly are undervalued. Yet those are the very ones you need to establish in order to allow yourself the time you require to develop a full picture.
  • Relationships that begin with fireworks have just as much chance of working out successfully as those with a slower, saner start. It’s just that the risk of maintaining the wrong ones for longer time periods is greater. If a person seems wrong for you and there was no magical beginning, you will find it easier to let go and move on.
  • I support the idea of couples experiencing a shared home before their final commitment to each other. It’s not for everyone. For people who feel at ease with this status, it can be a situation that provides a good structure for working through a lof of the issues of intimacy: power, sharing, sexual problems, money, social life.
  • Rushing into intimacy with the right person might be great. Rushing in with the wrong person can cost you a lot of time and pain; because, while you can rush in, it isn’t so easy to rush back out.
  • The paradox of timing is that it takes time together really to see someone. But the more you spend together, the more hooked you might get, despite what you see. The solution is to use more care and caution in the beginning of a relationship.
  • One way to handle bothersome information is simply not to hear it.
  • Listening involves paying attention to what is not said as well as what is. It means hearing the gaps in the information as well as the information itself.
  • To know someone fully you must know not only where they are, but how they arrived there. You need a background, a sense of her history.
  • You may eventually realize that there are areas where you don’t have a clear enough picture. This is the time to ask directly. By this time, you should have some sort of connection with the person that makes discussing private issues less threatening.
  • Your goal is to develop a rounded picture of a person so that you can identify strengths and problem areas you might experience as a couple.
  • You’d be amazed at the number of people who just ignore these parameters of another person’s life. They include: age – sex – race – religion; level of education; marital status; number of dependents; place of residence.
  • Often we fall in love less with the person someone is, than with the person someone is planning to be. This is one of the great difficulties of marrying young. They have not experienced the setbacks, failures, or obstacles that tend to occur later in one’s career development.
  • There are many factors like jealously or cliquishness that make it hard to connect with the friends of your new relationship. Time often takes care of these problems.
  • When we appraise someone’s ethics we tend to think of them as rules for behaviors they use to deal with the outside world. They are. But they are also the rules for behavior they will use within your relationship.
  • Interests represent the degree to which someone is connected to the outside world. It is some measure of the life spark, of energy level. The content of interests may shift over time, but the degree to which someone was active in the outside world in the past is telling.
  • As a rule of thum, the degree to which people are active in the outside world is the degree to which they will be able independently to fulfill some of their psychological needs when they have mated. Conversely, people who are not very involved with ongoing projects, hobbies, regular pastimes, are likely to depend on you more to fill the gaps. There are pros and cons to both. Think over which suits you better.
  • What kind of complaints does the candidate have about a former partner? Listen very carefully to these. You are very likely to hear the same complaints about yourself.
  • What was the candidate’s typical role in these relationships. Was it the rescuer/victim; pursuer/pursued; communicator/non-verbal one; grown-up/kid; boss/follower?
  • Understanding someone’s family pattern will give you some insight into what someone might have to offer to your relationship.
  • How does he or she handle anger?
  • When the person is angry with you does he or she punish you by: withholding sex; withholding verbal communication (the silent treatment); withholding physical contact; withholding basic nurturing (cookign your meal, bringing your medicine, mixing your drink); leaving you (withholding everything).
  • If you’ve never experienced the person when he or she is angry or anxious, you don’t know him or her well enough yet.
  • If you are someone who takes yourself very seriously, you will have difficulty laughing at yourself. You’ll probably do best with a likeminded mate. A person with a lively sense fo the ridiculous will be constantly hurting your feelings.
  • You’re not looking for perfect match, you’re looking for a style you can tolerate.
  • Intimacy is not just spending time with someone or working out a relationship with him, it’s really coming to know someone else. Naturally, there will be plenty of gaps. It takes such a long time to really know someone. It’s the reward of a long-term relationship.
  • You can afford to compromise, tolerate, or otherwise adjust to anyone’s negative features, as long as these do not fall into the are of your primary assumptions.
  • Traditionally, the easiest areas to change are matters of taste and life-style. Oddly enough, an extraordinary number of you reject out of hand perfectly nice people whose clothes are a turnoff.
  • You cannot change someone. But you can support someone who is trying to change himself. Your participation can make the difference in whether your partner changes or not.
  • You can help them do what they want to do, but you can’t make them do it.
  • In general, I believe that whenever you have to choose between two beliefs for which you have no factual evidence, choose the belief that works to most improve your experience of life.
  • Positive attiude is not mere wishful thinking. It is not a matter of keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best. Positive attitude is the ability to perceive things in their best light. It is, above all, a willingness to let things be good.
  • The harder you are on yourself, the harder you feel you are entitled to be toward others. The harder you are on others, the more you feel you should tighten up on yourself and so it cycles on.
  • Practice this phrase: «It’s not a problem». This phrase is the byword of the most positive, energetic woman I know. Of course the obstacles are still there. But her attitude reduces them, making others feel they are surmountable. Once people believe that something can be worked out, it’s amazing how creative they can become at generating solutions.
  • When you are burdened with a lot of negative judgements, lots of problems and disappointment arise.
  • One way to discipline yourself in a positive direction is to learn to pick your issues and then really dismiss the others.
  • Do not allow yourself to raise every single adjustment or compromise as an issue.
  • Powerful attitude has nothing to do with power over another person. It means having power over yourself.
  • In choosing a mate, Powerful Attitude is one that says: I can change. I can find a mate who is right for me. I can readjust my criteria to include more people who may be right for me. I can stop prejudging the world and being enjoying it. I am willing to be surprised.
  • Many people confuse their attitudes with the truth. That man seems weak to me, therefore he is weak. She seems dull to me, therefore she is dull. We confuse our reaction to people with truths about people. Your perception of others has more to do with what is true about you than what is true about them, you have the power to alter your attitude to suit you.
  • You’ll know if an attitude or judgment isn’t working for you when it: decreases your changes for experiencing pleasure; limits the range of people you can feel comfortable with; restricts the kind of experiences you are open to.
  • Here, in a nutshell, you have the best strategy for choosing a mate:
    1. Widen your pool of candidates.
    2. Be clear about what you really require.
    3. Only require what you must. Insist on that, relax about the rest.
    4. Take a very hard look at the other person. Let yourself see what’s there.
  • A positive attitude toward others and a powerful attitude toward yourself are the final, necessary elements to correctly choosing a mate. If you develop them, you’ll be one step ahead.
  • A willingness to see others positively, and a willingness to curb your own negativity, are the two best strategies, once you’ve chosen a mate, for making it work.

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