Find yourself before you find love

“He’s a pretty good guy and I would say our date went pretty well. However, that’s it.”

This isn’t the first time the matchmaking team at 2RedBeans has heard stories like this after our clients’ dates. It usually happens to those who don’t have as much dating experience.

In part, this results from a misunderstanding between two people. Mostly, it stems from a lack of understanding of oneself.

Before we go out and search for that special someone, we need to ask ourselves, “Who am I really?”

Only after truly understanding yourself can you know who you’re looking for

Renowned psychologist Erik Erikson said that a person’s identity development happens throughout his lifetime. This development can be broken down into eight different stages. During the time of a young adult (20-30), we come face to face with the stage known as intimacy and solidarity versus isolation. This stage is closely related to the development of a person’s Identity achievement which happens right before the young adult stage when a person is still an adolescent. At this point, development depends primarily upon what a person does. An adolescent must struggle to discover and find his or her own identity while negotiating social interactions,  “fitting in”, and developing a sense of morality.

Relationships are almost like the fusion of two Identities. When one’s Identity clashes with the other, there must be a sacrifice of one or the other to make the relationship work. For those without a clear understanding of their own Identities, they often avoid having intimate relationships, or sometimes, dive into complicated ones. This leads to self-doubt and even loneliness.

Like writer Zhang Defen wrote in her book Meet The Unknown Self if you can understand yourself, scrutinize your own actions, take note of your inner self, you will then be able to turn your intimate relationship into a better and healthier one.

As such, if we can make the effort to understand ourselves and know what our true Identity is, and get rid of the external factors such as societal pressure, we can find our happiness.  

The steps required by you to help you find that true love

Based on our statistics, more than 90% of the people our clients started a relationship with is entirely different from what they started out looking for. Even though our clients didn’t manage to get together with the person they had in mind, they are still happy together. As such, here are some recommendations that the matchmaking team would like to share.

First: you have to adopt an open mindset. Before you truly understand yourself, it isn’t fair for you to have unrealistic standards for your dating partner. The most interesting fact that we have based on data we collected was the height requirements that most female clients have for their ideal partners. There had been cases where our clients eventually married men who were just 5’5’’ contrary to their initial requirement of 6’0’’. The so-called height requirements that such clients have is a manifestation of what they are actually looking out for in their partners: a sense of security and protection. When we set high expectations and tough requirements for others, we often overlook what we are really looking for.

By setting lesser requirements and adopting an open mindset, you expose yourself to many different types of people. Understanding what kind of person is suitable for you is an ongoing process. Not only do you need to put in the effort, you need feedback from others. For example, men are always looking for women they’re physically attracted to. But how much does that really matter?

Take Mr. S for example. Like most men, Mr. S thinks appearance is important to him, but he’s not sure if he can be with someone of average looks even if their background is similar to his. After dating 2 different women, one he’s physically attracted to with a dissimilar background and another he wasn’t attracted to with a similar background, he confirmed his decision. Looks matters a lot to him. There’s nothing wrong asking for something most people want, but you have to ask yourself if that’s really what you are looking for.

At the same time, we encourage people to interact with their dates more instead of making assumptions about their dates. Most of the time, the feedback from men and women after their dates are very different. A common one was the fact that men often thought the date went well, but the feedback from women was entirely different. “I’ve been home for nearly two hours. Why hasn’t he texted me?” “Why didn’t he take the initiative to ask me out to dinner after our first date at the cafe?” Most men often tell us that they “enjoyed their time and even drove her home”. Some even said “I want to text her tomorrow morning. What should I tell her?”

We often make a lot of assumptions during the dating process, which results in disappointment when the other party doesn’t seem to perform to the standards we set. When this happens, we should be patient and take the opportunity to get to know the other person a little more.

Lastly, we need to get out of our parents’ shadows. Sometimes, we see our parents as role models and say “I want to find someone who is like my dad or mom.” Of course, this would be a good start if your parents get along well!

Understand yourself so you can figure out who you’re really looking for. Then make an effort to interact with others to get to know yourself even more.

Click here for a free 10-minute consultation with our matchmakers, or feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions about relationships.

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