As you search for Mr. or Mrs. Right, we all have a mental picture of the ideal: tall, ‘movie-star’ good looks, charming, Harvard graduate or whatever alternative fulfills your flawless model.

Visualizing your dream match is helpful, but seeking your ideal fantasy can leave you feeling disheartened, dispirited and deflated. It puts unnecessary pressure on yourself and your date to fit inside a preconceived notion you may have. When looking for love, it’s important to relax, have fun and know the boundary between a dream and reality.

Here are some simple tips for turning unrealistic expectations into guidelines for finding a meaningful relationship.

1. Exact requirements regarding height, weight and appearance that are non-negotiable under any circumstances.
Not being flexible on conditions of appearance is unreasonable. While physical attraction is important, that initial ‘spark’ can come from an emotional or mental connection. If your match is stimulating on other levels, the rest can fall into place. In the short term, physical chemistry is key. But, if you are looking for a long-lasting relationship, they are built on personality traits, emotional capabilities and qualities that are similar to yours.

2. Must have identical views on the world, same interests/hobbies, etc.
Boring, boring, boring. What’s the fun in agreeing on everything? You without a doubt want someone whose views are similar to yours, but definitely not identical. A little friendly debate always keeps the conversation interesting and the energy up, plus you will be forever learning new things if your partner has a slightly different take on the world. Also, introduce your mate to new activities as they introduce you to new hobbies. How would you know you don’t like kayaking or chess if you’ve never tried it?

3. Out of the question if they live further than a quick drive away.
We’re not talking long-distance relationships here, and we understand the convenience of living right down the street. But quality relationships that last are not made because they are convenient. If all signs point to yes with someone you’re seeing but you live an hour apart, make it work! What’s an hour drive if this person has the qualities and goals you’re seeking?

4. Need complete trust and openness immediately.
Starting out, there is no need to lay everything on the table. You don’t know this person, and you aren’t sure what can possibly develop. Trust is something you earn. As your relationship grows, you will learn more and more about each other, and the trust will be gained. In the beginning, it is best to keep things light, breezy and fun!

Organizing Your Dating Expectations
Not sure what your expectations are, or they all fall into the forbidden zone? Brainstorm! Take a few minutes, close your eyes and visualize your perfect partner – qualities, talents, traits, experiences, characteristics, etc. Think about the positive aspects of your previous relationships to get started. Write down everything that comes to mind! Don’t censor yourself; let your mind go where it wants to go.

“Next, write a number one next to all items” that “you feel are” necessary “to your happiness” in a quality relationship, “and a two next to all that would be nice, but not” essential – i.e. 6’1, Clooney look-alike.

Now, with all of the items labeled with a number one, place them in your order of importance on a different piece of paper. This will be hard, and you will go through many drafts before you find the right recipe. Your top five are the non-negotiable expectations which should not be compromised on. If you meet someone that you are exceptionally attracted to but doesn’t meet the top five, move on.

With each new relationship, breakup and general life experience, your expectations will change and evolve as you do the same. Review your list, and don’t be afraid to repeat this exercise to prepare yourself to meet someone new, or if you feel your relationship needs have changed.

Its great to have an idea of what you are looking for in a potential partner, but don’t be surprised if things turn out different from what you expected. You don’t plan for love it just happens …on its own terms.

Author's Bio: 

Single Atlanta is Atlanta’s most trusted matchmaker.  Our process is safe, fun, and easy.  We make personal hand-selected matches with people who share common interests, core values and life goals.  If you are ready to start your adventure, give us a call at (404) 250-9292 or visit the Twice the Advice blog from Leisha and Lisa blog for dating tips.  We’d like to meet you!