I was on the phone last week with Laura.

Like most of my clients (and probably, like you), she’s quite a catch. Blonde, great smile, looks amazing for her age, creative and fulfilling career…and still, no guy.

For a long time, love wasn’t a priority, but as she got into her mid-40’s and achieved all the work success that she’d ever sought, she felt a deep yearning.

It’s not that she regretted the opportunities that passed her by in the past – it’s that she made a strong determination in 2010 that she didn’t want to be alone any more.

But she didn’t know where to begin.

She knows herself well – driven by success, fiery, opinionated.

She knows what kind of men she’s been drawn to – more successful, more fiery, more opinionated.

And yet, nothing has stuck. The most attractive men seem to be the worst partners.

Have you ever thought the same thing?

More pointedly, have you ever realized these men aren’t a good fit and STILL gone for the next attractive man who seemed more successful, more fiery, and more opinionated than you?

Of course you have.

You want what you want.

You’re attracted to what you’re attracted to.

But really, what you’re doing is trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. And even three-year-olds realize that this is an impossible (and thankless) task.

You need to try a DIFFERENT method to get a DIFFERENT result.

You may THINK that the only person you can be happily married to is the man who is six feet tall, Ivy-League educated, makes $300,000/yr, and has the same religion and political leanings, but that’s just a restriction that you have imposed.

I don’t blame you – my ideal woman looks a lot like that, too! But you’ve created a definition of your perfect man in your head – and when each new man doesn’t fit into that box – you get rid of him.

To be clear, I don’t mean that your Mr. Right is short, fat, bald, poor and stupid.

I only mean that if the man whom you THINK is Mr. Right never turns out to BE Mr. Right, it’s probably time to alter your image of Mr. Right.

Right?

You need to try a DIFFERENT method to get a DIFFERENT result.

So, if your idea of Mr. Right isn’t really Mr. Right, what you SHOULD be looking for? I’m so glad you asked.

Because the trickiest thing about finding a perfect partner is that your perfect partner is not the perfect PERSON.

In fact, if I were to distill my sentiments about what you should be looking for in a partner, I would probably say this.

“You need a complement, not a clone”.

Yet if you’re in the 90th percentile in looks, intelligence, and income, you likely think that the key to happiness is finding a man who is in the 95th percentile.

Not true. That’s what you’ve been doing your whole life. It hasn’t worked.

You need to try a different approach.

My client Laura finally “got” this during our last call.

Laura’s got a lot of personality. She’s the one who dominates conversation and is the center of attention when she’s at a party. Laura may be DRAWN to men who are more charismatic than she is, but they’re not good fits for her.

Because a charismatic man wants to be the center of attention.
Because he doesn’t want to share the stage.
Because he’s likely to compete with Laura for the last word.

And most of all, because his charisma is probably indicative of a whole bunch of other qualities – his desire to flirt with other women, his bossiness, his stubbornness, his refusal to settle down or compromise…

Yes, Laura’s dated that charismatic guy a dozen times – always with the same result.

Her shift – and yours – is not to swing to the OPPOSITE end of the spectrum. Remember – I’m not trying to pair you up with bland, boring, and lame men.

Just know that if Laura brings 60% of the charisma, her partner should probably bring 40% of the charisma.

If Laura’s bringing in 60% of the income, her partner should probably bring in 40% of the income, and so on.

By having a balanced partnership, you can lean on each other and clearly define your roles without all the ego and conflict.

My wife handles customer service because I have a worse temper.
I handle negotiations because she’s too nice.
My wife handles money because I’m better with words.
I handle paying for vacations; she’s the one who plans them.

Relationships aren’t about two people who like skiing or two people who enjoy live music.

This may seem trivial but this is important. Relationships aren’t about two people who like skiing or two people who enjoy live music. Relationship are about how a couple can negotiate and compromise in every aspect of life.

So when you date the man who is just like you but “better”, you’ll likely end up with a man with the same strengths…and the same weaknesses.

If I married someone with my weaknesses, my wife would be difficult, opinionated, short-tempered.

The reason that we work is because she’s my complement: patient, happy, easygoing.

If it seems like a challenging shift to wean yourself off of men who are just like you, all you have to do is look at the results.

You’re reading my blog for smart, strong, successful single women.

That’s all you need to know.

You don’t need a clone. You need a complement.