Trying to Find the Right Mate?

For those of you who can check the, “I’ve got my mate”, box—congratulations! You did it! Another one of life’s tasks completed. BUT…for those of you who are still searching endlessly for that special someone to eventually get irritated with…I mean love…prospects can be pretty lean. There are millions of Americans who are worried about survival…not love. Many are worried that if they even tried to “branch” out that they wouldn’t have the resources to impress nor the attitude or gusto to live with the emotional ups and downs of dating.


But…you could actually be a part of a time in history that allows for something quite refreshing…”full” disclosure of what you want and don’t want in a mate. And, your age/gender don’t matter…so many of us are in the very same boat…we just don’t know it.


You could be an individual who is sheepishly young or young at heart. You might be newly single from a long long marriage and divorce or you could be a tweener—you know…that person that is relatively young, professional, and finished with week night drinking and partying and actually ready to settle into life.


Regardless of your age and/or experience, searching for that special someone can feel a lot like looking for a job. I recently spoke with a family man who has been in-and-out of work since the recession began. We talked about how you can search so hard for the right job, but so often the best positions come when you are least expecting it. He, like so many in our country, has worked diligently to “re-brand” himself to appeal to today’s marketplace. So it got me thinking…


…how much time and effort do you put into yourself in hopes of “attaining” the mate you desire? Do you think about how to talk, walk, and “chew gum?” Do you systematically look at your expectations and assess whether they are Normal or excessively Abnormal? Do you put your past relationships into context? Do you think about the reasons for previous selections? My guess is that you are a lot like me and the rest of the world when you join the choruses of “No’s.”


Isn’t it straight out of a dark comedy that we will work so diligently to land the perfect job. We will dissect every move, conversation, network, and backroom informant to better position ourselves and our skills…yet we leave love to chance. Sure it sounds romantic. Sure it sounds whimsical. But…does it sound realistic?


I am a romantic at heart and would never imagine a world where romantic suspense and intrigue were things of the past. I would go as far to say that it should remain as is because the experience of love and the rush of emotional rapture remains too good to pass up. What I would say is that we could improve…even if just slightly…at our “work” after the initial celebration.


Shouldn’t we sit back and evaluate why now? Why is it that this person seems so irresistible now, but might smell like dirty socks in the very near future? What is it about our current circumstances that places THESE needs ahead of others that I may have down the line?


I am beginning to wonder that if marriage is going to work that maybe couples need to get together once they have figured out, to the best of their abilities, who they are going to be in this world. The couples I know who are the most successful know who each other is individually and didn’t meet during the throws of college or all you can eat “early career” buffets. No…they met after they had failed/succeeded at a career or two, dusted off the rust and cobwebs of family wishes, and had begun their individual metamorphosis to adulthood. They were no longer living out the playbook of their mothers or fathers. They were finding out what it meant to live for themselves and pursue love and success that met their needs, challenged their insecurities, and built them into powerful beings.


For the rest of Trying to Find the Right Mate


Dr. Rod

Rod Berger, PsyD

The Normal Male



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