Finding love — true love — is such a simple thing, right? At least it seemed so, given what you saw in the movies and all the fairy tales you grew up with. But do you really know how to find love or if dating will really work for you?
The problem is that when it comes to finding your soulmate in real life, things aren’t nearly so simple. In fact, they can be totally confusing and frustrating.
However, looking for love doesn’t have to be a continuously painful endeavor. It doesn’t have to be a fruitless search. It also doesn’t mean you have to settle for “Mr./Ms. Right Now,” instead of “Mr./Ms. Right Forever.”
If you know what questions to ask yourself before you start dating, you can get clear on your goals and priorities from the start, which can help make your search for true love with your soulmate successful.
Here are 7 deep questions to ask yourself — before you start dating — if you want to find true love with your soulmate.
1. Why am I searching for true love now?
Everyone has a different reason for wanting to meet their soulmate and find love. And some people have more than one.
Maybe you hear your biological clock ticking, and you want to have kids. Maybe you want to show your ex that you are lovable, despite what he said.
Maybe you’re simply ready to have that one, special companion to share life experiences and Sunday morning coffee and conversation. Maybe you want to share your life with someone who shares your passions and interests.
Whatever your reason is, it’s important to know why you’re searching for love now. It can help you gauge how important it is that you find your ideal mate at this particular time in your life. Also, you may want to see how your reasons line up with the people you’re dating, too, to understand their motivations for wanting to find true love.
2. What is my timeline for finding true love?
Now. it’s time to think about your time frame for meeting your Mr./Ms. Right. Do you want to be in a relationship within three months, six months, one year, or five years? Setting your timeline will help you establish realistic expectations about what comes next.
For example, if you want to find true love in three months, then you’ll need to start meeting tons of potential dates and going on lots of dates ASAP!
Also, think about sharing your timing expectations with any potential partners. Again, it’s important to see if you are both on the same timeline or not.
3. What’s my budget?
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman. Dating requires spending some money.
And the easiest way to figure out what your budget needs to be is to look at your timeline.
If you’re going to meet the one for you within the timeline you’ve set, how many dates will you need to go on each month?
Now, think about how much you’ll need to spend, not only on the means of meeting people for dating but also for each of those dates. (Ladies, consider if you may need to get your hair done or want to buy a new dress!)
How will you meet the people you’re going to date? Online dating is one possibility. Some of these sites are free and others have a fee. For men and women who are seriously searching, I recommend a paid site.
Are you going to invest in a dating service or go to singles events? What about a matchmaker or relationship coach? I know I paid for both when I turned forty and was looking to get married and have a family. I had no time to waste!
It’s by asking yourself questions like this (or working with someone who knows the right questions to ask) that you can set a realistic budget for your how-to-find-true-love plan.
4. Who am I searching for?
Believe it or not, most people start searching for their true love without having any idea of what they think is important in a soulmate. And that’s a huge mistake. These people waste a lot of time dating people who are just not right for them or don’t share the same goals they have in life.
However, since you’re serious about finding love now, it’s important to put in the effort to know who you’re searching for — before you seriously start your search for the one.
So, think about what you must have in a relationship. This should include your values and life goals because your true love will have complimentary ones.
What are the deal-breakers that would cause you to walk away from a relationship or just swipe left?
Deal-breakers can be large or small. And they don’t have to make sense to anyone else. Your deal breakers are yours. Only you know what you need to be happy in a relationship.
By getting clear about your must-haves and deal breakers you’ll be able to more quickly evaluate your potential mates and either move on or invest in the relationship. And that will save you lots of time — and potentially heartbreak — in the long run. And you won’t feel bad about moving on.
5. What priority will my search for true love take?
Finding love will take effort and time on your part, so you need to get real about how important it is to you.
Is it more important than your job or business? Is it more important than sitting at home and watching every sporting event or chick flick on TV this weekend? Many times, one needs to get past their inertia!
Finding true love needs to be one of your top three priorities or it won’t work. Plus, most men want to know you have time for them when you start dating. They are looking for a relationship, not a pen pal!
So you need to decide how you’ll fit searching for true love into your already full life.
6. Who can I count on for support and accountability?
As with any goal, having the right people to support your efforts is priceless. And the right people are the ones who will cheer you on and help hold you accountable for what you say you’ll do to find true love.
So, of course, they’ll need to be positive and truly want the best for you. Raving fans only need to apply!
Unfortunately, the right people aren’t always your friends and family. It’s not because they don’t love you. It’s because they don’t want their relationship with you to change.
Sometimes, friends and family can feel threatened when they realize you’re spending a lot of time with someone else. Then, without even realizing it, they won’t be as supportive as you truly need.
So, you’ll want to find positive and affirming people who can truly support you in your search, especially those who don’t have any skin in the game.
7. How will you keep your vision alive?
No matter what goal you’re tackling, it’s always good to plan for the unexpected. And your how-to-find-true-love plan needs to include dealing with the unexpected, too.
Sometimes, searching for true love can be deceiving and not turn out how you’d hope. Imagine that, at some point, you think you’ve found the one for you and start falling in love. Then, you later discover they have a habit (or found out something that’s one of your deal-breakers) that prompts you to have to end the relationship.
If this happened, it would be easy to get stuck in the disappointment and put your search off or stop looking altogether.
However, when you think about things like this before they happen, you can revisit your plans for how to keep your vision of your ideal mate alive and continue your search, despite the disappointment.
Dating requires you to be very resilient. Many times, there are lessons to learn from your dating experiences that help you refine your approach to finding true love and choosing better next time.
Once you ask yourself these seven deep questions, you’ll have your first draft of your how-to-find-true-love plan. Yes, it’s only your first draft. And that’s because, as you begin your search, you’ll discover things about yourself and things about other people that may change your plan.
As you keep refining your search for true love and adapting your plan accordingly, you’ll discover it’ll be easier and easier to move on from dating the wrong people — and start dating more of the right people.
Then, before you know it, you’ll have met that special person, and there’ll be a recognition that you’ve finally found true love with your soulmate.
Amy Schoen is a national expert in dating and relationship coaching who is passionate about helping marriage-minded singles find their true love and create fulfilling, life-long relationships. For more information on how she can help you find and create a blissful relationship with your soulmate, visit her website.