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Find Your Love Relationship

A guest post by Dr. Beth Erickson

Introduction
The Beatles’ song “Can’t Buy Me Love” highlights the dilemma many single women and men experience when dating.  “If only the person of my dreams would come along,” they lament.  This post will consider the things that are in your control and those that are not, where relationships are concerned. What you can control is yourself.  So this search to find your love relationship needs to start with you.  To help you with this pursuit, here are my five hottest tips gleaned from over three decades of experience as a couples’ therapist.

find_your_love_relationship

Look at relationships in a different way

Has your focus has been on finding the right guy? Turn the kaleidoscope to look at dating in a different way.  Instead, think of it as a journey to finding intimacy.  When that potential partner is found, it’ll help you see his humanness, gauge his capacity for emotional intimacy, and not objectify him.  That, of course, presupposes that you are capable of intimacy yourself.  If you’re not sure, hire a competent relationship therapist to help you remove your parries to intimacy.

Be certain of what you expect from the relationship

Being clear about what you’re looking for enhances the chances of finding it.  I’m not suggesting you evaluate every guy you meet with a critical eye.  In fact, this tip has nothing whatsoever to do with any man.  I want you, first and foremost, to focus on yourself.  Instead of concentrating all of your attention looking outward at whether this guy is cute enough or smart enough or rich enough to date, first roll your eyes inward.  Go down inside, and do some soul-searching.  Then make a list of at least 10 things that you believe you need to have in a mate.  (Needs are not optional - wants are.)   Here’re some examples of typical questions you could consider as you compile your list.  This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, rather to get you thinking.

~Is religion or spiritual practice important to you individually?
~Is sharing the same religion or spiritual practice important to you?
~What types of recreational activities do you prefer?
~What shared activities are important to you?
~How important is it to you that you and your partner share similar hobbies?
~What income level do you seek in a partner, and what, if anything, are you prepared to contribute?
~How important is having children to you, and how many would you like?
~Are you willing to move if necessary?
~How much independent time are you comfortable with for him and for yourself?
~Do you have a strong political party affiliation?  How important is it to you that a prospective partner shares that orientation?

Now look back over your relationship list.  How many of them are needs or non-negotiables?  How many are just wants you could live without?  
These kinds of questions will help you get at what your basic values are.  They'll become the major criteria to concentrate on when you find your love relationship.
A final caveat:  keep your focus on yourself at this stage.  Stay there until you are certain that you have clarified your list.

Listening plays a key role in finding that love relationship

Now you are ready to start “auditioning” men.  On the first date, keep the conversation light, like where you each grew up, how many siblings you each have, etc.  Learn to be in control of yourself without being controlling of him.  The only person any of us can control is ourselves.  So take charge of the conversation and invite him to participate. 
Listen stereophonically both to what he is saying, and how he is saying it.  Go tourist. See what there is to see.  For example, if he volunteers that he was recently in a long term relationship, listen for how he talks about it.  Is he respectful of her?  Does he accept responsibility for his part in its failure?  Is he over her?  You will find out a great deal more by listening to how he talks about his prior relationship than by asking direct questions.

Your unconscious mind can steer you in the right direction

Check the chemistry between you.  We make most of our most important decisions unconsciously.  It’s natural for chemistry and attraction to occur without really knowing it. This is why we often end up wondering why we are drawn to certain people and not to others.  Based on messages from your unconscious mind, it’s likely you’ll have a good sense early on if this guy is a realistic prospect or whether you even like him.  So trust your intuition.  If your gut tells you to avoid this guy, listen to it.  Don’t try to force the relationship like the ugly stepsister’s shoe.  On the other hand, if your read on him is that he’s likeable and that he may like you in return, this relationship is worth further exploration.

Find love, not desperation

Don’t allow yourself to become desperate. Spending time with friends or developing a new hobby will take your focus off finding love. Get a pet, particularly one that is cuddly and will love you unconditionally.  It doesn’t have to be a behemoth dog.  A teacup variety will do and in some ways is more desirable.  An animal’s presence can help cure your loneliness, which is a source of fuel for desperation.  Having an animal also will help you see another side of a man by observing how he relates to your animal – or doesn’t.  For example, on my husband’s and my first date, I told him, “There is only one deal breaker.  You’ve got to love my dog.”  And I meant it.  Lucky for both of us, he does.
And if you begin to feel desperate, get good at acting ‘as if’.  Act as if you are in no hurry to be in a relationship, and that you have all the time in the world to find the guy of your dreams -   because you do.  Then, after a while, you’ll convince yourself you’re not desperate.  This will make you a much more attractive prospect, as well as save you a great deal of stress.

What This Means for You
First and foremost, get to know yourself, what you value, and what you are looking for before you go in search of a man.


Thanks to Dr Beth Erickson for this enlightening post on how to find your love relationship. Please use the comment form to add your own advice in finding that relationship of your dreams. Many women out there feel they'll never find that special someone. What do you think is holding them back and how did you get out of this rut?
   
Best Selling Author
www.DrBethErickson.com;
www.AskDrBethErickson.com;
Host of "Relationships 101" on
www.webtalkradio.net;
Author of Marriage Isn't for Sissies: 7 Simple Keys to Unlocking the Best Part of Your Life;
Longing for Dad: Father Loss and Its Impact; and
As seen in Fortune, Reuters, USA Today, Better Homes and Gardens, Cosmopolitan, Forbes.com, Entrepreneur.com, Christian Science Monitor, The Miami Herald, Minneapolis Star Tribune, The Huffington Post; ABC Twin Cities Live and NBC Chicago.

6 comments:

♥~Judy~♥ November 12, 2011 at 1:41 PM  

There is some good advice here. Thanks for sharing.

myletterstoemily November 16, 2011 at 5:32 PM  

your advice is so sound that i can't think
of anything to add!

Eman November 18, 2011 at 1:13 PM  

Great Blog ! all the best ..

Anne Lyken-Garner November 21, 2011 at 7:26 PM  

Thanks for the comments, guys. I hope we can all take away something from this post.

Anonymous November 24, 2011 at 5:36 PM  

There is no Beatles song entitled "Can't Find Me Love" ...it's "Can't BUY Me Love"

Self Sagacity December 4, 2011 at 4:08 PM  

Good advice for the lookie loos. I think it's all a matter of luck too. Just like most things that you want to do in life, put yourself out there, do a good job and be aware, the right person will come a long - it is what you put in sometimes is what you get back.

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Anne Lyken-Garner is a published author, editor and freelance writer. Her specialities include relationships and confidence building. You can find her inspirational memoir here.
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