12 things to look for when choosing a mate

Notes from a lecture by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, provided by Deborah Hardee. 

1. Choose someone as though you are blind. Close your eyes and see what you can FEEL of that person-of their kindness, their loyalty, their insight, their devotion, their ability to be concerned with you, their ability to care for themselves as an independent being. 

2. Choose someone who has the ability to learn. 

3. Choose someone who is willing to be like you- both strong & sensitive. Strength like a tree-flexible yet substantial against the wind. Sensitive as in the ability to see, to be alert to things around oneself. 

4. Choose someone who, when you hurt them, FEELS pain and is willing to show it. Choose someone who, when they hurt you, sees your pain and FEELS sorry. 

5. Choose someone who has an inner life-- someone who's on their own journey and who sees you as a partner, a fellow traveler, on that journey. The ability to be merged with one another, yet entirely separate from one another is very important. 

6. Choose someone who has similar passions in life to your own. A relationship is for making memories together-- they are the glue of the relationship in good times and bad. If there is nothing that you really enjoy together, there will be nothing to make this glue from. 

7. Choose someone who has similar values--about having children, about family members, about child-bearing, about roots and roles for women and men and kinds of marriage and money and religion and so forth. 

8. Choose someone who is compassionate-- who's willing and able to listen, who gives equal time. 

9. Choose someone who can laugh at themselves--someone who can stop an argument on a dime with a joke that's not cruel but that laughs at themselves and the position they find themselves in with their mate. Or, failing that, someone has learned how to stop an argument in mid-sentence by a non-joking method.

10. Know what you can live with--don't be seduced by thinking that something that would be annoying to most other people is charming because the he or she that is doing it is your lover. Anything that takes the person from their true soul life-- alcoholism, gambling or criminal activity. 

11. Choose someone with whom you can be friends, NOT just lovers. Are you willing to do for your partner what you would do for a good friend?

12. Choose someone who makes your life BIGGER rather than smaller--this will tell you all you need to know.