Let go of that laundry list of dos and don’ts this Valentine’s Day. Finding a meaningful partner is about opening your heart and dropping the superficial standards. Physical appearances usually spark interest, but they shouldn’t be the dominant force when seeking love. If you’re really looking for an epic romance, you must focus on the values most compatible with your lifestyle. Here’s how:
Don’t Focus on Looks
People are naturally drawn to certain physical traits: eye or hair color, age, height, etc. While you may refer to these preferences as your “type,” don’t limit yourself when searching for love. Physical traits fade, but personality doesn’t. Imagine sitting on a porch swing with your great love when you’re old: Will you be more interested in his looks or what he has to say? True love will feed creativity, quench desires, and elevate moods in the darkest of hours — abilities that are not tied to any body type.
Identify Your Morals
People tend to focus on physical traits with the hope of finding a partner who also possesses their desired values. For instance, you might say you want a mate who spends a lot of time in the gym. The thought here is to find someone who cares about his or her physical health — but you don’t necessarily need to limit your prospects to someone who possesses a gym membership.
Understanding your own value system will help in identifying those wanted in a future mate. Think about your life priorities, goals, and accomplishments. What makes you truly happy? Look for those same tendencies in a mate.
Find Fulfillment Outside the Senses
Like any good set of lyrics, using your poetic vision, touch, smell, taste buds, and sound will bring you to the core of the human experience. For example, one does not have to embrace or caress someone to touch him at a deep level — just like someone does not need sight to have vision.
When I lost my sight in 2007 as a result of a brutal assault, I thought many doors had closed. One of the doors I was most saddened about was the possibility of love. As I learned to do things without sight, I noticed I subconsciously began to connect with others in my own creative ways. Expand your understanding of how you can relate to others, and soon you will do just that.
Let Yourself Be Moved From Within
Through the support of family and friends, I gathered the courage to date after losing my vision. I realized that I could still compliment appearance without seeing colors or shapes. To bring love back into my life, I became aware of my values, I removed all doubts, and I allowed my true personality to break through the shell of social norms. I do not believe love is blind; I just think love happens outside of sight.
This Valentine’s Day, give yourself a gift: the ability to see beyond physical appearances in your quest for love. By looking past the superficial, your own love life is much more likely to match the vision of love in your mind.
Who is Belo Cipriani?
Belo Cipriani is the Writer-in-Residence at Holy Names University, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the author of Blind: A Memoir. You are invited to connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube.