How to Choose Between Two Potential Partners

Sometimes you have to take a timeout and decide who works for you.Sometimes you have to take a timeout and decide who works for you.

When it comes to relationships, finding one potential mate can be quite the challenge. In fact, many people spend plenty of time searching for that special someone. That's why when you have two potential partners that make your heart flutter, it's especially hard to think of letting one go. How do you make the best decision possible? No one said it would be easy, but at the end of the day, only you can make the best assessment for yourself.

Weigh Out All the Baggage

Sometimes, when it comes to deciding between two different potential partners, you may want to choose the option with less "baggage." What skeletons are you willing to cope with when it comes to a potential partner? Dr. Karin Anderson, a psychology professor and author, says that couples who are conscientious and committed can get through the tough stuff. “First, figure out which person you prefer — and then the two of you can figure out what to do with the carry-on," she says. With this in mind, take another look at your two potential partners and assess who you are willing to accept as a full package, inclusive of the good stuff and the not so great.

Think About Your Future

It's true that you may feel a special spark with more than one person. However, slow down for a moment to think about the long term. If this is someone you would like to have a future with, then think long and hard about who factors into your life in the next five, 10 or even 20 years. Huffington Post blogger Tim Urban highlights how overwhelmingly important it is to pick the right life partner, stating that "when you choose a life partner, you're choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you'll hear about 18,000 times." Those are a lot of big life milestones that merit a lot of thought.

Shared Experiences Are the Key

When you're smitten with two different people, it may be so easy to get caught up in all the things that make them great. So much so that we could overlook other important factors. Instead, focus on shared traits and learning from the other person, an idea that Gary W. Lewandowski, professor at Monmouth University and relationship researcher, highlights when discussing findings from past studies. “People have a fundamental motivation to improve the self and add to who they are as a person,” Dr. Lewandowski said. “If your partner is helping you become a better person, you become happier and more satisfied in the relationship.”

Assess How You Feel With Each Partner

On's Happen Magazine, psychiatrist and author Dr. Ish Major suggests taking note of how each partner makes you feel about yourself. Are there moments with one that really make you feel extra special? Do you feel more natural and comfortable with one potential partner over the other one? Ultimately, you want someone who makes you feel like the best version of yourself when it comes to choosing a mate, so pay close attention to the feelings that may be stirring deep inside and telling you all you need to know.

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About the Author

Grace Calderon, a writer and communications professional, holds a master's degree in sociology. She currently focuses on relationships and celebrities and has conducted TV and radio interviews on these topics. Her work has also appeared in outlets such as YourTango and Starpulse.

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