There is no "right" way to find or maintain a relationship, but like anything we do in life, it helps to have teachers and role models helping us along the way. When it comes to romantic love, identifying and learning from a role model—from someone who loves how you want to love—can be extremely helpful. But how to find and learn from a relationship role model? That's what YourTango Experts are here for; read on as they tell us how to choose a role model and how to apply his or her precious wisdom to your own romantic life.
Where to begin?
The first step in identifying role models is to identify what your VALUES are. Yes, many of us fantasize about being a rich, famous and beautiful couple like Brad and Angelina or some other "power couple," but do they share the VALUES that you want to express in your life?
Take some time to write down what is important to you. Is it integrity? Deep love and intimacy? Prosperity? Security? Commitment? Freedom? Write it all down and once you have your list, prioritize it. What is most important to you? What is least important? Do any of the values conflict? 10 Dating Deal Breakers That Really Aren't
Now you can look to the world around you and identify role models. It might be a couple (or a single) that you've never met, but read about in a newspaper or on the Internet that really inspires you or touches you. It might be a close friend or someone in your peer group. It might be someone in your local community. If it IS someone more available, you can reach out to them directly or perhaps be introduced through a common third party.
If it's someone less accessible, learn more about them from observation and from reading. Perhaps it isn't even someone alive, like a historical figure. Or it might be someone who was NEVER alive, perhaps a great figure in literature. You can begin to attend to how they integrate the qualities you admire in their lives and then do the same.
Remember, it's a process and be patient with yourself. Allow yourself to grow! As you grow and mature further in these qualities, how you want to express them may shift and your role models may change. Be open and willing for this to happen. And enjoy the process.
--Dr. Adam Sheck, Psychologist
How to make a role model work for you
Who makes for a good role model? A role model is easily identified as person who brings out the best in the people they interact with. When you see a person who treats their significant other with respect, it's a good idea to model that. Likewise, people who treat others well have many choices in dates. We all like to be listened to. Good role models, you'll find, make it more about the other person than they do themselves.
How can we learn from them? The best way to learn is to watch. Watch how others look at someone you want to be more like. Listen to what others say about them when they aren't around.