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Imagine you are out with your best girlfriends and miraculously there are plenty of eligible men present. You are inconspicuously browsing the room, but disappointed to realize that none of them seem to be what you are looking for...
Subconsciously, you're referring to the mental (or physical) list you have compiled in your head. You know, traits your ideal mate should possess. While it is good to be aware of what you are looking for, perhaps the list you should be referring to is the one that illustrates the type of partner you need instead.
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Ladies, we have been conditioned to look for the tall, handsome, smart, financially sound and confident man who will make our families happy and friends swoon. Here is what I have found: Instead of focusing only on charming, tall and high IQ men, start looking for “high GHQ” men, my term for men who are high in good husband qualities. It works.
The dream guy list
I figured out the GHQ thing in my early 20s, after I had dated one too many charming, high voltage, heartbreaker types — and really thought about what I needed to be happy. I made a two-column list, which I credit for helping me figure out what I needed versus what I just wanted.
Now, I do this today with all of my clients. In the first meeting, we start off with some fun dreaming (and sometimes a little bit of wine!). I take out a sheet of paper divided into two columns. I say, “Rachel, describe in detail your dream man — no holds barred. Everything.”
She looks at me incredulously, thinking, “Oh, this is awesome!” Then she smiles, sits back, takes a sip and fires off a list so quickly that my pen can barely keep up. I write “Dream Guy List” in the left column:
- Financially secure
Who makes us happiest
For the next column, we switch gears completely. I tell Rachel to think about the people in her life who make her the happiest. These are our “elevator” people, because they bring us up. She sits back, deliberates for a few minutes, and says, “I have five elevator people: my dad, Diana, Sophie, Matthew and Bennett.”
On the right side of the list, I begin jotting down why they make her so happy — and come up with the following themes:
- Support my dreams no matter what
- Always honest with me, good or bad
- Always see the good in me, and get me
- Keep me humble
- Encourage me
I tell Rachel that my goal is to help her to start dating (and ultimately settle down with) someone with one purpose: Someone who makes her HAPPY. To illustrate my point, I write word “WANTS” over the dream guy column, and “NEEDS” over the opposite side.
She wasn’t looking for love in all the wrong places — she was looking at the left column versus the right. It’s happened to all of us at some point. We chase more and more of those wants without considering what really makes us happy. It’s usually not his spontaneity, looks or job that does it. We chase the left side, and are left lacking every time.
As our sessions progressed, we formalized Rachel’s “high GHQ” list — in writing, typed and single spaced. She found her exceptionally high GHQ man and is getting married in November! By chasing the right side, she got everything she needed. Like most happily married people will tell you, our partners came in a different package than we expected — but we couldn’t be happier.