A: How to find yourself a partner:
This will sound corny, but I believe it’s truth for both men and women…
The most important thing is to love *yourself*. Look at yourself objectively but with love, like you’d look at a friend you like. Forgive yourself for your failings and silliness, make an inventory of things you’re good at. EVERYBODY is good at something – maybe it’s something as simple as making the best cornmeal bread, or knowing everything about Star Wars (hey, I can’t do either). Maybe it’s as complex as understanding quantum theory. Whoever you are, you’re ok. Learn to live with that idea. Unless you’re a serial killer.
Then, go find yourself a circle of people with similar passions and interests, who will appreciate what you’re proud of in yourself. But, this is hard if you don’t learn to appreciate yourself first – if you don’t like yourself, you’ll likely not see the value of and reject the people you’re the most similar to, ones that would make the best partners, for the same reason you’re rejecting yourself.
Grow and cultivate what you’re best at. Grow and cultivate your circle of friends – if you only have a few like I do, make an effort to get out of the house and find places and events where *your* tribe’s at. Not the tribe of the person you wish you were – your own.
Understanding that you’re just fine the way you are is one of the hardest things in life to learn. It’s even harder than growing new abilities and changing things you don’t like about yourself. And those things are not mutually exclusive – It’s much easier to improve when you’re pretty pleased with the overall picture, just thinking of adding a bit here or there. Ask any artist frozen in front of the blank canvas… it’s easier to finish the painting than to start it.
Once you got this down (including forgiving yourself for all the times along the way when you failed to do so), it’ll be much easier to find a partner. People who like themselves find others liking them more too, and their partner selection tends to be healthier. People who forgive themselves tend to forgive others their funny little ways too. Both things together make your heart more open, and this lets people in.
A case study -
I’m far from a “standard” ideal partner, and always have been. Yeah, I’ve got big boobs and a reasonably pretty face, and being a woman is easier in the dating world (ducking flying objects on this one).
But I’m also a busy workaholic, 42 1/2 and comfortably padded, opinionated, my hair is a mess, ants are the only creatures happy with my housekeeping skills, I couldn’t cook worth a damn (I’m much better now), and I buy clothes I like in bulk, wear construction boots, and am kinky and polyamorous. (Buddy, if you think it’s hard finding a compatible partner, try it while saying up front that you’re not only going to sleep with other people, you’re not interested in hiding it at all, and it’s likely that some of those other partners are going to be very important to you. And wait till they come over to your place and see all the cuffs and ropes :-)…)
But you know, I’m ok.
My four main strengths are brains, listening skills (I really *do* care), immense interest in and love of sex, and the fact that I really don’t give a damn to be like everyone else. Not necessarily your standard issue ammunition in a girl’s dating arsenal. Still, I do ok (hey, honey#1 & honey#2, my amazing ex-husband of 11 years… and my special, dear, friends and crushes).
I’m a geek, so I hang out with other geeks. I like to listen, so I hang out with people who want me to get to know them and have interesting things to say. I like sex, so I end up with my legs in the air on most first dates (what a great way to really get to know someone!), and mostly with people who don’t judge me for it. I’m unconventional, so I hang out with other people who are unconventional too. None of this is done in order to find me a mate or a one night stand – those things just happen because I’m being places that fit me and doing things that I enjoy.
Like yourself. Like others. Learn to enjoy life as it is, yourself as you are, and it only gets better.