While writing my morning pages today, I began with the questions ‘What do I want? What do I think?’—prompts I’ve been using frequently lately. I’ll delve into the reasons for that on another day. However, today, without much thought, my focus shifted to what my ideal partner would be. Something i dont often think about because my relationship history is not great so i dont really know what i want. Yet, today, I found myself writing things like ‘I want a partner who accepts me, someone I can laugh with but who also brings me calmness, etc., etc., etc.’ Half a page later, I had crafted an extensive list detailing what my perfect partner would do, think, and most importantly, how they would make me feel.

Then something unexpected occurred. I found myself describing these qualities as if they were my own. I didn’t really do it on purpose, but rather a spontaneous continuing of the story. Though I had undertaken a similar exercise years ago, this time it was different—more genuine and driven by true feelings. In the past, this exercise had left me slightly irritated with myself for seeking something from someone else that I could provide for myself, making me feel tricked. I ended up punishing myself for not embodying the qualities I desired. However, this time, as I penned this description, a beautiful insight emerged: these were qualities I could genuinely possess myself. I can really accept myself and cheer myself on, enjoy my own company, and cultivate the calm feelings I long for. It was a great realization.

If you’ve never attempted this exercise, I strongly encourage you to give it a try. The outcomes are fascinating. It doesn’t matter if you know the exercise’s intended result; in fact, it might be better not to, as it avoids any attempt to convince you of being foolish for seeking qualities in a partner that you should embrace within yourself. The goal is to genuinely try to think about the dreampartner you would like, and be honest, it doesn’t matter if they are very different from your past or current partner. Write half a page or even a full page. Squeeze every wish out of yourself. When you feel like it could not be more complete, replicate the same text, replacing ‘my partner is’ with ‘I am,’ or a similar variation. Witness the shift in perspective. Can you recognize that you can provide all of this for yourself?

This doesn’t imply that you must end your current relationship or remain single indefinitely. It just means that you know what to strive for in yourself. If you can become your own biggest supporter, friend, and lover, you’ll likely experience more peace and tranquility in your life. At least, I imagine it will. After all, who is truly perfect? No one, right? But I am certain of one thing—it’s undoubtedly better to love yourself than to hate yourself. The more you love yourself, the more love you have to offer, potentially making you a much better partner for your significant other.

So to answer the title of this post, what does my ideal partner looks like? I have no fricking clue. But I do know this; I would like to be my own partner before looking for a ‘perfect’ other.

When you set a goal for yourself or figure out what your dream is, you might feel energized to go to work. You know you can do it; there’s no doubt about it. You only see possibilities. Oh, wait… Until you look closer. Because what happens when you follow that dream? How will you be making your money? How will you keep yourself motivated? How will your partner/friends/family fit into this new life you are going to live? Aaaand you’re blocked. Shit, this is going to be hard. And you lost the confident feeling you started with.

Stop. Stop thinking. Stop planning. Just DO it. Go and do it. Give yourself a few hours a day or a few days a week to just live that dream. The rest of your life can be the same and give you the stability you need to be able to make this switch in your mind. But those days you took for yourself to chase that dream, use them in the way you know you’ll love. Fuck about. Try to find what you enjoy most. Then, when you’ve done this for a couple of weeks, you’ll see that the things you didn’t know how to do are not that important. They’ll follow your good example. Opportunities will present themselves to fix what was unthinkable before.

If you feel like you can’t stop thinking about all those things you have to ‘keep in mind’, write them down. Somewhere, you know you’ll find them. Maybe even put them on your calendar, so you know you’ll bump into all those questions you had in the near future. This way, you can trust yourself to let go of all the ruminations and just do your thing. And try to have fun along the way.

A lot of writers have already struggled with these things and written amazing books about it. For example, check out ‘The Artist’s Way’, ‘Miracle Morning’, ‘The War of Art’, ‘Master Your Mindset’ etc etc. Dive in and go for it. For now, just let go of the how, focus on the what.

In school, you often hear students say, “Why do I need to learn this? I’m never gonna use this!”

During coaching sessions with students, this statement sometimes came up. After nearly every coaching session, I assign homework. Sometimes, these assignments are quite intensive, requiring daily effort, while at other times, I asked them to do nothing. The purpose of an assignment isn’t always immediately clear to the coachee, and they may find it too demanding or time-consuming.

The value of an assignment can be crystal clear at times, while at other times, it leaves them baffled. After some explanation, they embark on a two-week journey with the task. During the next session, they’ve witnessed and felt the impact of the assignment, contrary to their expectations. However, this leads to the question, “Do I have to do this all the time to feel good? Should I do this exercise every week? That’s too much!” Fortunately, I can reassure them. Just like a student learning math in school doesn’t necessarily aspire to become a mathematician, these assignments are specific skills you cultivate. Students learn math because they acquire problem-solving methods that can be applied in various life situations. Sometimes, it’s about solving a math problem, but other times, it’s simply knowing that the problem-solving method exists to understand something. Do you follow me? Another example is learning to drive a car. During the driving lessons you learn a specific method – mirror, signal, maneuver, clutch, shift. However, you tend to forget it all once you have your driver’s license. The thing is, you don’t for get it, you learn to automatically do the necessary actions when needed.

Coaching works in a similar way. In addition to the conversations we have, I provide you with a toolbox of specific methods. Your brain needs time to comprehend that practicing a particular exercise for a few weeks can assist you in specific situations. Once you start feeling better, you can set aside the method until you need it again.

The beauty of it all is that, at some point, the method that works for you becomes second nature. You won’t even consciously reach for the toolbox; it’s always open and you employ the methods subconsciously to get out of a low point faster, ideally preventing future dips. But let’s be honest, life comes with its ups and downs. Without the lows, there are no highs. In my view, the ultimate goal is to develop the confidence that things will improve even when you’re in the midst of a low point.