When seeking a new soulmate, or a great date, honesty is your main step. It is essential to know yourself in order to know what you want to match it. What about the things regarding yourself which would be non-negotiable – the bits that are an intrinsic part of you? Make a clear list of what they are and do not compromise them. The person for you will be the person who accepts fully these key characteristics. The minute someone new starts to tell you how you should dress, for example, it is a short step from dictating your life in other ways, making you over into their ideal, not accepting you as you are. That is dangerous to any kind of equal partnership.
I am an extrovert, a non-smoker and non-drinker, who loves music, loves to dance, loves bright colours, with a vibrant, confident personality. That might unnerve some less-confident men. Shy, retiring types (or ones too similar to me) would certainly not appreciate my distinct aura. I have to ensure that whomever I find does not feel intimidated, or suppress my natural personality either, otherwise the match will merely jar and become worse as it progresses. Irritations do not improve with relationships. They get worse because of the closeness and familiarity.
You have to be true to yourself at all times, otherwise, you will always be living a lie and that will not get you much happiness or respect. In fact, it will give you nothing but stress. For example, if you have a high sex drive and like a lot of sex, say at least once a day, it is no good getting hitched to someone who doesn't really care for it and only wants it once a fortnight! That's fine for a temporary arrangement but not for anything permanent, and would be a disaster in the making. Or if you want someone who is a modern man to help in the house and then team up with Mr Dinosaur who lives back in the dark age thinking of housework being 'a woman's job', that would also be nightmare time!
You can compromise on other personality dimensions which are secondary, but not on your primary ones which make up your identity and dictate your values. Lots of clues to people's approach to life are picked up at this early stage, even at the heady heights of love. Do not ignore those signals. They are usually quite clear. Correcting them after marriage doesn't work. The best approach is: If in doubt, stay out!
Separate fantasy from reality. Many people live a Walter Mitty existence of pretence, especially on the Internet, where they can remain anonymous and impress others with non-existent claims until they have to provide proof. Unhappy with the true picture of themselves, they invent one that they wish it to be, one which is often at odds with the actual persona. But, having little foundation in truth, this image always comes unstuck under greater scrutiny by potential partners.
Sometimes, we even tell a made-up story so often we tend to believe it ourselves – and that's the danger. People soon notice the gap between our truth and the reality they see and will take great delight in watching us fall into it! For example, we can wish to be a millionaire by 35 years old, but if we are dossing around and doing nothing about the dream when we are 30, we will remain well short of the goal when the fine years are up: a case of merely spouting words and ideas to impress without any supporting plan. Thoughts, intentions and actions always have to be in alignment if we are going to achieve our goals and find that elusive mate. Any discrepancy, and we'll be sunk, or simply attracting other dishonest people too.