Feb 042012

This post was originally posted at the Improving the World blog, however I decided to merge the two blogs so it can now be found here as well.

The other day I was talking with a friend about setting goals. One of the goals that came up was “getting a long term relationship”. My friend felt that this would not be a good goal, as you cannot direct love. I agree with that, but I do feel it is possible to very strongly increase the chances to it. Success is never guaranteed, so why couldn’t this be a goal just like any other?

Believing very strongly in putting my money where my mouth is, I decided to start writing a post on “how to get a long term relationship”; helping people find love would definitely improve the world! Very quickly however it became obvious that a lot can be written about the subject, so I decided to break it up in a number posts.

This post gives a very general overview, skipping over almost all of the details, which will be handled in the following posts. The next post will be a general introduction into achieving goals. Subsequent posts will go into details of how to get a long term relationship. In these posts I will try going into a lot of detail on the different difficulties that people might encounter and ways of resolving them. The last post in this series will contain a “project plan” type of time-frame (the original plan was to make an actual project plan for finding a long term partner).

A words of warning

Finding love is not easy. Reading these posts is not a magic bullet! It will require a lot of hard work and sacrifice. Just like anything else that is worthwhile. It means working on yourself, facing your fears and going beyond your comfort zone. Enjoy it though!

How to get a long term relationship

The steps to getting a long term relationship are:

  • Finding out what you find attractive
  • Being attractive
  • Meeting attractive people
  • Talking to attractive people
  • Spending time together
  • Escalation of intimacy
  • Enjoying your new relationship

These steps are explained somewhat below but will be covered in more detail in subsequent posts.

Finding out what you find attractive

It is good to have a “wish list” of what you look for in a partner. This should however never become a “must have” list. Love is subconscious and intuitive and should not be guided overly much by your consciousness. When making a wish list, focus on personality traits and not the packaging. Beauty fades but a bad character is there to stay…

Being attractive

Physically, make sure that you don’t scare off. This means good personal hygiene, a reasonable level of fitness, ok clothes, a good haircut. However, it is more important to spend your time on forming attractive character traits. Here you should focus on exactly the same traits you find attractive yourself; we tend to be attracted to people who are similar to ourselves, so this will also hold for your Mr. / Mrs. right.

Meeting attractive people

Go out and meet people! This is a numbers game, so meet as many people as possible. Go to places where you can meet people who have the traits you find attractive. Think about where this might be. Using or improving the traits that you find attractive will put you in the vicinity of people who also value these traits.

Talking to attractive people

Talk to the people you meet! For many people this will be difficult. Practice! This is a skill and just like any other skill you can improve it. Set it as a goal and refer to the “How to achieve a goal” post (currently yet to be writing) for more pointers. The most important thing is to do it! Practice! Everywhere! Start with with your friends and expand to include people who are further and further away from you. Continuously increase your range of topics and the people you are comfortable talking to.

Spending time together

So you are talking to someone that you find interesting. The next step is to allow for the (mutual) attraction to grow. This means spending more time together. And that means exchanging contact information and getting in touch again. “Asking for the phone number” is also something many people fear. It is however again a skill that can be improved. Do it! Ask! Practice!

When spending time together choose activities that show of your attractive traits and that allow your prince(s) on the white horse to show off his / hers.

Escalation of intimacy

You are spending time together with someone for whom your attraction is growing. The next phase is an escalation of intimacy. This means going from talking to touching to kissing to sex. Each of these steps is scale-able, meaning that you can go from doing very little of it to a whole lot. From a single touch on the arm you can progress to holding someone close for minutes on end. From a peck on the cheek you can move to a full make-out session. Take little steps at a time, but continue making them!

One word of warning, if you escalate the level of intimacy very quickly (say within a single day) chances are it will stay with just that day. As the goal is a long term relationship I would suggest stretching out the process over a number of days, weeks or months. Paradoxically, falling in love happens in the time you are not together, thinking about him / her.

Enjoying your new relationship

So you found someone, talked to him / her, spent time together, became physical. The only thing left is to acknowledge to each other and the world that you have a long term relationship. Enjoy!