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Is Your Partner Image Outdated? By Alpa Saujani

Last week, I had two interesting conversations with two single men, one aged 46 and the other 47. The first gentleman, whom I shall refer to as Bobby, was forthcoming in telling me that the reason he believed that he had not met his life partner is because up until the last 6 months, his mental image of the woman that he should be with was a 30 year old. He openly admitted it was partly his ego and ignorance that caused him to delay updating his mental 'partner image'. In contrast, the second gentleman, whom I shall refer to as Raj, could not quite fathom why he could not be introduced to a young 30 something year old lady. Despite repeatedly advising him that none of the women in their early 30s, on Tantric Club's Personal Matchmaking Service, wished to be introduced to a man of his age, the penny did not drop but the call certainly did!

This got me thinking, how many single people are missing dating opportunities simply because they have forgotten to update their 'partner image'? Most of us have a mental image of the type of person that we want as a life partner. That image is built up over the years from teen crushes to young adult dating experiences. Technically, that image should evolve as we grow, age and have different life and relationship experiences. Sounds logical and simple enough so why are people still chasing the dream guy, or gal that they conjured up in their minds a number of years ago? I think Bobby hit the nail on the head – ego and ignorance.

The gap between expectation and reality is often an over inflated ego, which diminishes one's ability to be introspective. And with that ignorance, sets in a mentality of 'there's nothing wrong with me, there are no decent men/women out there, this dating site is rubbish etc'. It's always easier to blame someone, or something else, rather than look at oneself when you are not getting your desired results. However, to succeed in the dating game, self-awareness is key, otherwise you end up deluded about your dating pool and chasing a dream partner image that is unlikely to manifest. Kudos to Bobby for recognising that in order to get a different result in his love life, he had to take a honest hard look at himself and his expectations. As we spoke more, he agreed that meeting someone closer to him in age would also allow for increased shared commonality from upbringing, to general life experiences, which all make for a stronger foundation in a relationship.

Perhaps if you've been single for a while, it may well be worth checking in to assess how current and realistic your dream partner image is, based on where you are in your life and what you have to bring to the table. It's worth pointing out that a dating image is not exclusively related to age, it may be related to body types, height, physical attributes, lifestyle etc Nevertheless, having a clear yet realistic vision allows you to search in a viable dating pool, thereby maximising your opportunities of meeting a life partner.

In Raj's case, he wants a young 30 something year old woman, arguably for childbearing reasons. Nevertheless, at the age of 47 he has probably been chasing his ideal partner image for at least the last 10 years, which clearly has not materialised.  In this situation, only one of two things are likely to happen. He can keep chasing his dream partner image, where with each passing year the odds of getting with a young 30 something get slimmer, or he can take a leaf out of Bobby's book and update his dating image to a more realistic age group to increase his chances of getting married before he hits 50. Sure, either way, it's his life, his prerogative...

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