I recently came across a kind of love map - a "map of attraction" that was put together by dating site e-Harmony. It showed what we like and want in a partner, based on where we live in the country. Londoners, for example, want someone opinionated, athletic, sexy and stylish, whereas people in West Glamorgan don't care about style, and being athletic isn't a big deal in Nottingham and Dorset. Up in Scotland's Selkirkshire, people love walking their dogs, and on the Isle of Man, they're not fans of romantic films.
But is it always useful to know what someone wants in a partner? Or do we run the risk of trying to fit that mould, instead of being ourselves?
A client of mine called Lucy once fell for a guy who was into fishing - in her words, he was fit! So Lucy pretended she liked fishing too, and came unstuck when he surprised her by booking them a fishing trip to the Stretton Lakes. It was a beautiful place, with its own fishing lodge on a big farm - but it was Lucy's worst nightmare! Lucy loved the luxury of five star hotels, and being pampered in the spa. She liked a glamorous restaurant to showcase her Louboutin's, and she wanted her whims catered to by handsome bar staff with seductive accents.
What Lucy did not want, was sitting in the cold, surrounded by maggots, touching stinking carp! She had a wake-up call that (long) weekend, and realised the relationship wasn't going to work. When Lucy came to me, to help her find that special someone, I knew fishing and the outdoor life was not for her. She's now in a happy relationship, with a guy she's been dating for over a year - and she hasn't seen a maggot since!
Pretending to like things you actually loathe, is only going to make you miserable. It's not a good basis for a relationship, and neither is pretending to be someone you're not! Kerry, a client I had many years ago, pretended she was a big boss at Walker's Crisps. I thought this was bizarre - couldn't she think of anything more glamourous? She told me it was the first thing that popped into her head.
Anyway, the lying was a big mistake, as it meant she had to keep bringing crisps home. Every week she'd go shopping for these crisps, and think, "what the bloody hell am I doing?" Kerry couldn't keep up the lie, and as she'd found herself laughing about it, she decided to tell her boyfriend, hoping he'd see the funny side.
Unfortunately, he didn't. He said he could live without the free Frazzles, and the "Deep Ridged Taste" he'd become attached to, but he'd never trust her again. Kerry said it taught her a lesson - trying to impress him was a stupid thing to do. She's moved on now, and she's happily attached to a man with healthier eating habits, whose fingers don't smell of Cheese & Onion.
When you know what someone's looking for in a partner, it can be tempting to try and pretend that's what you're like - but it's not a good idea. As a professional matchmaker I hear far too many stories of failure. You can only pretend for so long, and it will never work out in the end.
So just be yourself. There's no point in pretending to be someone you're not, or you'll never meet someone who loves you for you! And that means for all the good, the bad and the ugly bits about you! If they don't, then they're not right for you. If you're yourself, then you'll meet the right person - and if you need any help, just give me a shout!