How to Find a Life Partner in 3 Easy Steps

July 8, 2011

in Relationships

There are a plethora of dating sites, local singles clubs, matchmaker services, and self-help books on how to choose the right man (or woman). Sites claim to have success in matching partners based upon various personality or psychological questionnaires.

Does any of this actually work in finding the perfect partner? If so, why is the divorce rate still so high?

Here’s a depressing statistic:

According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, 50% percent of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.

This is much more comforting, at least for a 42-year-old:

Age at marriage for those who divorce in America

Age Women Men
Under 20 years old 27.6% 11.7%
20 to 24 years old 36.6% 38.8%
25 to 29 years old 16.4% 22.3%
30 to 34 years old 8.5% 11.6%
35 to 39 years old 5.1% 6.5%

I have written a list of qualities I am looking for; shared stories of friends in successful relationships; opined on remarrying; and how hopeless I feel about dating and relationships. It all seems so complicated the second time around.

But does it have to be so complicated? Do we, as a society, tend to overcomplicate things and businesses simply feed us what we want (questionnaires, profiles, and the like)?

A few days ago I was talking to a friend who had recently attended a wedding. The bride and groom met on a matrimonial site and lived over 4,000 miles apart.

Here’s how dating worked for them:

1) They were matched on the site.

2) The couple spent a few long weekends getting to know each other in person.

3) They decided to marry.

How crazy is that?

Or is it?

Maybe their marriage will be long and fulfilling simply because it started with common interests, an attraction, and a respect for one another. Maybe everything else develops over time. Possibly the key to a successful marriage is placing more emphasis on keeping the relationship healthy and each other feeling fulfilled than anything else.

Clearly I have more questions than answers on this topic.

While I might not have solid answers for readers or myself, I do have the perfect song to share today. I laughed this morning, listening to the lyrics in a Norah Jones song; “Man of the Hour ” had to be the Song of the Week. It is perfect, considering I have been ruminating over the details my friend shared with me.

Here’s what made me laugh:

“I can’t choose between a vegan and a pothead.

So I chose you because you are sweet, and you give me lots of loving, and you eat meat.”

Maybe choosing a partner can be this simple.

What do you think?

Happy Friday!



Wupppy July 8, 2011 at 5:46 pm

I have seen people break up after 9 and even after as long as 16 years. My husband and I married after 11 months and I bet no one thought it was going to last. Well, we’re past 9 years, let’s see where we are at 16…
Choosing a partner may be simple, the relationship itself is a lot of work and you both need to think it is worth the effort.

Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

I completely agree; the effort you put into the relationship once you are married plays a huge part in the success of the marriage. And, knowing the person you are marrying will work just as hard is essential.

Oilfield Trash July 8, 2011 at 6:02 pm

After reading those stats I think I am just going to be single for life.

And Norah Jones is very talented and sexy all wrapped up in one. I wonder if a lady like her would go for a meat eating oil patch worker? lmao
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Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:47 am

Read the second set of stats…the older you get, the less likely your marriage will end in divorce. That’s the one I am focusing on.

Angie July 8, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I had been married twice, divorced twice. My current husband and I were together for 7 years, had 2 children, 2 dogs and house before we got married (on Friday the 13th of all days!). He’s the first person that I actually see myself growing old with, love him even more everyday, and still think his blue eyes are beautiful. For me, third time’s a charm!

Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:46 am


What a great story! If you survived 2 kids, 2 dogs, and buying a house together BEFORE getting married, you are definitely in the right relationship.

julie moore July 8, 2011 at 9:05 pm

I have 2 friends who seem to have found their guys as easily as 1-2-3. They met through online dating services, hit it off and were married within a few months. They figured why waste the rest of our lives if we know we want to be together, so they did it.

Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:43 am

I hope it works well for them!

Jen July 8, 2011 at 11:43 pm

If you asked me to give you a list of qualities when I was younger of what I wanted in a man I could have rattled off a good enough list. But frankly lists are crap in the long run it’s all about feelings and chemistry- just go with it.
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Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:41 am

Thanks Jen for the simplified approach. Right now I am actually trying that…going with the chemistry and how much I enjoy being with Mr. Thunderbolt. I am not over-thinking anything, just being present in the moment.

jen July 9, 2011 at 10:49 am

Worked for me; going on 31 years now!
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Alma July 9, 2011 at 1:14 am

I’m almost 32 and have yet to marry anyone. As a kid, I was all about going to college; getting a great job; buying a house with a fence; and taking care of my Mama. All I really knew about relationships was that people leave.

When I was in my mid-20s, a good friend of mine killed himself. That event changed everything for me because I realized how much I’d kept myself from everyone. So, I put myself out there…and a few months later found myself in a whirlwind romance. We were engaged two months in. It pretty much disintegrated because we could get married, and then Mama died. It was the worst year of my life.

Since then, I’m really proud to be the person I am–and I’m clear about what I want about life. I want a career that’s rich and full. I want to get married. I want kids. I’m working on the career stuff, but the guy stuff is harder. I find people I like, but then I find that I evaluate them on long-term potential because I’m almost 33. It’s hard to just be silly and let it happen. Every relationship I’ve been in has ended with the guy cheating, so I’m gun-shy to jump in…and I probably have been choosing the safe guys lately…instead of the cocky assholes who always did it for me once upon a time.

I, too, have a list: I’m trying really hard to just be in the moment and love while I can love. Not picking it apart. Just doing what feels right. I have no idea if it’s the right thing, but–for now–it’s okay. It’s not perfect, but I know I might need this imperfect something. And I know I’ll be happy regardless.
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Naked Girl in a Dress July 9, 2011 at 8:35 am


I followed your link to your site to read your list. I left a comment for you there.

Thank you for sharing your history. What has happened in our past greatly affects how we view the world and others in it. Have faith and be open. I know the perfect match for you is out there.

You ended with a great comment:

I’m trying really hard to just be in the moment and love while I can love. Not picking it apart. Just doing what feels right. I have no idea if it’s the right thing, but–for now–it’s okay. It’s not perfect, but I know I might need this imperfect something. And I know I’ll be happy regardless.

That’s a great place to be. I am also trying hard to just be in the moment with Mr. Thunderbolt and not think about anything other than fun experiences with him and getting to know him more with each date. It is working. Happy to have finally landed here.

Tammy Vitale July 9, 2011 at 2:10 pm

The first half of my life I married the same guy twice. The 2nd marriage was worse than the first and ended with a broken eye and bruised ribs. So I guess I’m in my third marraige to a guy I met my first night out after my eye healed who was 13 years my jurnior and just legal (21). We have been together for 28 years. Every day is new and fresh. He adopted and raised my two kids with me. But it wasn’t 3 easy steps. It was two years at the end of my 2nd marriage of sitting every day in a park writing what *I* wanted for me – not anyone else – so that I knew and was very clear about what I did and didn’t want, could articulate it in conversation, and recognize it when it showed up. He’s a cutie pie AND a sweetie pie and that hasn’t changed. We’ve hit bumps and worked them through because we chose to do so and both wanted that third thing – the marriage – that we create between us. When I met him I was convinced that I would be alone for the rest of my life and that was okay too. Luck of the draw? Law of attraction? I dunno. The thing about this relationship that is different than the last is that I am happy to stay in the moment with it – no past dragups and no future projections. Just be where we are, wherever that is (and letting the other know where that is!)
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Love Babz July 9, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I think everything is true. I think finding someone is that simple if you are ready for it. I think we are too much for the fairy tales, and yet so many of us have forgotten the beauty of fairy tales. I think love alone is not enough, but it is the foundation. Love requires respect, kindness, non-judgements, etc. It requires 1Corinthians 13:4-7

Finding love again is a choice. You have to decide if you are able and willing and ready to live with abandon. Love and fear can’t exist. There are no conditions in love. It just IS. Like God. You either believe or you don’t.
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Random Girl July 11, 2011 at 9:55 am

It’s the moments…. right? Being present and in each moment instead of trying to plan or control the next one is where things really happen. Great post!
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Crazy guy in my 50's July 20, 2011 at 6:27 am


So this friend of yours who attended the (my) wedding and I were at dinner last night and he told me about your blog entry…..intrigued, I’ve just read it……and some of your other entries as well……you’ve just enrolled another fan.

My story,,,,,,I was married for 28 years of which the last 20 or more were us just going through the motions for the children, societal mores and inertia…..after all it Is so much easier to be with someone than consider the alternative…..we were both responsible in our relationship coming apart,,,,,my 20 year old daughter said it best – you’re both good people, just not good for each other. So we separated about five years ago and got divorced a year or so ago…

During those five years, I wrote lists as well, fantasises about finding my perfect love and went throughout two different relationships through and rekindling an old friendship before realising that I needed to work on me first……

So this friend of mine is on a matrimonial site (I’m from India, the
land of arranged marriages so they outnumber dating sites) and he decides to put my profile up despite my weak protestations,, I was not ready for another failure…..4000 miles away my now sister in law decides that her unmarried sister’s profile should be posted ass well. Lo and behold, we get matched, exchange emails, SMS, phone calls etc. for a couple of months and find out that we are indeed compatible, looking for the same things in life, marriage and relationships and despite our differences, we begin to enjoy our long distance relationship. 3 months in, I flew to India from the UK on business and took a few days to meet her – we ended up liking each other more in person. Upon returning, we both realise we have something going here, we genuinely enjoy each others company, make each other laugh and are comfortable in our silences so a couple months later I went back to India to meet her family (with a ring, the optimist that I am) and end up proposing to her. A couple of really close friends prevail on me and convince me that if I’m sure about it, I should not wait long so on June 25th we got married…..

With all the taboo on divorce in my community, I was by the support I got from my family, friends and relatives, my extended family and the warmth with which they welcomed my wife into our fold and the genuine love they showered on me……

And so we will live happily ever after,,,,I know. At 52 I know what mistakes I’ve made, I know what and who I am (on most days) and I know all I need to do is to live and love today, right now, and everything else will fall into place.

So now you know the REST OF THE STORY!

Karen @ Time Crafted July 30, 2011 at 2:48 am

My goodness, Norah Jones can put just about any words to her fingers tapping the keys with notes just sliding through her vocal chords and out her mouth. Hadn’t heard that one yet.

I’m married, but met my husband at work. But, we didn’t date until months after I no longer worked there. A friend from elementary days met her husband online, but not a dating service and they’re still together coming up on about fifteen years now. And a good friend (won’t say more for her privacy) is single and looking and trying the different options in this ‘modern technologically happy’ world. And that has meant a couple of dating services, to no avail. Another has tried a dating service and been hooked up with someone in their eighties….thirty years her senior. Not saying someone in their eighties can’t find love, but she was looking for a year or two younger than herself, not thirty years her senior.

I think it’s kind of amazing how people meet. Sometimes through connections and introductions, sometimes through a dating service, sometimes through the social scene, sometimes through social media, and sometimes through the most random chance meeting. The only commonality to all of these is that there’s usually something more undefinable that attracts them to each other, that illusive piece of the puzzle with the scientific name: chemistry.

Came your way tonight through TRDC! :>
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Kristy July 30, 2011 at 11:53 am

Everyone has their own story of how they met/fell in love/took the plunge, etc. What I believe it comes down to is really committing to be each other’s PARTNER in life and to expect ups and downs and know it won’t always be perfect. I think people sometimes think that marriage is supposed to always feel good. Once they don’t feel that spark, they think it is time to move on. But, if you push through it and continue to communicate and connect, you can experience the rest of your life with your best friend and lover. (as long as no bad or abusive stuff is going on) This is my opinion, that is all. I heard someone say recently (he has been married for over 30 years and has what looks like a wonderful marriage) – he said – Marriage can be forever and is a choice that you make, a commitment to each other and there are ups and downs, but in the beginning of the relationship – it should be perfect. It should feel perfect. I feel like that is how I’ve experienced my relationship with my husband. It just made sense to me.
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KindredAdventures July 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm

I have no idea what makes some marriages work and others not. What makes some people marry each other and others don’t?? Life / relationships are complicated aren’t they! I do love what you said when you wrote: “Possibly the key to a successful marriage is placing more emphasis on keeping the relationship healthy and each other feeling fulfilled than anything else.” Marriage is hard work, but fun too! I do know that I am happiest when we are both fulfilled! -Laverne

Tina July 30, 2011 at 6:37 pm

If you go into a marriage with no illusions about what marriage is ‘supposed’ to be, then I think that you have a better shot at a lasting relationship. We have been brainwashed into thinking that marriage is a fairy tale, where everyone lives happily ever after, when the reality is much, much more than that. Marriage, like any long-term relationship, requires effort from both partner. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something!
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Melissa July 30, 2011 at 9:12 pm

I’m so with you on this. I have no idea how “soul mates” find each other, if you even believe in that sort of thing. Everyone likes to say “oh, it’ll happen when you’re not looking” or “you’re trying too hard.” And others say, “you’re just not trying hard enough” and “you’re too picky.” Thanks, everyone. :) I met my second husband in grad school and was SO NOT looking for anyone. But here we are, four years later, married and parents to a beautiful baby boy. So I know it can happen a second time around. I just have no idea HOW it happens. Sorry I can’t be more helpful.
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Motpg August 4, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Reading this I was thinking that my husband and I are an anomaly, having married 25 years ago in the 20-24 age range. But when I read those lyrics I completely cracked up because yes, that’s pretty close ; )
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Brook L. Dame July 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

It gives me hope!
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Naked Girl in a Dress July 16, 2012 at 10:39 am


Angie July 15, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Third time has been a charm for me! We waited until we had a house and kids and 8 years before we got married, but now I couldn’t picture myself with anyone else.

Naked Girl in a Dress July 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

I am glad it worked the 3rd time for you Angie! Thanks for commenting.

BRENDA TIMBAL SAJONIA May 15, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Love relationships, partnerships, marriage.

Process of putting, pouring love into each other with God as your guide.

Pray that love will last as God as your foundation.

God bless us all.

Alice Koko May 15, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Oh My!!!!
Girl we need a bottle of chilled wine between us to get this DATING/RELATIONSHIP/MARRIAGE subject straight! :D
Anyhow, lets be content with sandwich and pineapple juice for now.
How it all starts- Dating for them, hanging out for me. As a friendly person I say YES to everybody who is nice (easy target- stupid), next thing I know they are twirling around what they want instead knowing each other better (something like I`ll do it later) Next thing you know you are in rollercoaster to tiptoe other person, with whom you just hang out. Domino effect.
Marriage- should get married for love but take your brain with you (I forgot mine who knows where)
Relationships should be BUILT not established by few dates, sex or stalking.
Personally I don`t trust anymore dating sites ( I used to in a way) but after trying it for the first and probably last time,It dawned on me THAT MEN WILL say whatever they want me to hear. For a hopeless romantic and philosopher at heart – intelligence, compassion and life`s wisdom is a turn on & guess where it looks the best! On black and white, in your inbox. So I flush down the idea to dive in dating site.
On the other hand would be awesome if somebody would get my number in old-school way, walking by, bookstore etc Back to basics. First real impression, not electronized and photoshoped preview.
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