There are two types of people in this world when it comes to relationships; those who are single, and those who are not. The question of which group is happier is tossed around many times. In both scenarios it seems that everybody is always looking for the grass on the other side of the fence. When married or in a relationship the thought can come up of; what if I were single again…would I have more fun? Then those who are single will wish that there was a significant other to “complete” them. I have heard many versions of this scenario on both sides. I have been married so I have been on that end of the spectrum. Now being single I appreciate both sides. When it comes to being single and starting to look for that “significant other”, there are some simple guidelines to follow to do it right the first time so that you don’t end up like myself and so many others who were, married and single again. I prefer to not use the term “divorced” but rather “single again”.
Disclaimer- Any relationship you get into will either end in marriage or a breakup. You will either end up alone again or stay with that person, so the more people you date, the more you face this simple truth.
Rule #1- KNOW YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES
If your end goal is marriage or a long term relationship, then you need to be honest with yourself about what you are looking for in a relationship. There are many things in a relationship that need to be discussed before getting too deep into a relationship. If you find out on the first date that somebody does not ever want children and you do, then you got lucky and you didn’t waste a 2nd date. That is just one example but a big one. You need to make sure that you cover your bases so that you don’t waste anybody’s time. the way to do that is to make a list. On one side put the things that are preferences and then on the other side write the requirements (non-negotiables). You have to discipline yourself. Non-negotiables are simply that! You can not change your mind on these because the person is perfect in every way but one. Eventually you will find who you are looking for but patience is key. Soo many good relationships are lost because of a sense of urgency to be in a relationship. So get a pen and make a list of what you want and what you don’t want. It will narrow your choices substantially. Know your value and know what you deserve and never settle for less.
Rule #2- BE WILLING TO CHANGE YOUR SEARCH AREA
When I say search area, that is not implying that you should be out searching for a mate. It will happen when it is supposed to. In the same breath, It will not happen if you are sitting at home watching soap operas and dreaming of the perfect date. In order to meet people you have to have exposure to other people. So many times people will go to a bar or a particular place that they hang out every week and expect to meet somebody there. The problem with this is that if you are always looking in the same place then you will always meet the same type of people. If you have not been satisfied with the people that you have been meeting then maybe your “normal spot” is not the best place to look. You have to be willing to try new things and new places and you have to be willing to meet new people. Sometimes stepping out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can do for your future. you have to know what type of person you are looking to meet and then go from there. start hanging out in paces where that type of person would generally be.
Rule #3- WHEN YOU ARE READY TO SETTLE DOWN MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT SETTLING
It is easy to settle when you find somebody who meets all but one of your personal requirements. There is NO RUSH it is important to take as much time as you need. If the person you are potentially going to marry really is the one, then you will be spending the rest of your life with them. If that is the case, then why rush the dating process. Make sure that you are getting exactly what you want. Know your worth and know you deserve the best. If you rush things or sell yourself short then you will not be happy. So often this happens and we end up settling. One thing that may be taboo is the fact that you need to date many people before you can really know what you want/like. It is very true. There is a difference between dating and being in a relationship. It is a bad thing to be in a relationship with multiple people; That is obvious. It is a good thing to go on dates and learn about new people. Be clear with people that you are dating and that you are not ready to commit yet. Never commit to the first person that you date either. As long as you are open from the start, it can not be held against you later. Don’t put blinders on, be open to people around you. enjoy the dating scene. it can be really fun. Even the bad dates turn out to be really funny stories…we all need some of those. It is all a part of the experience.
GOLDEN RULE: NEVER LOOK FOR ANOTHER PERSON TO FULFILL YOU!
Fulfillment must happen before you are meeting somebody with a relational intent. If you enter a relationship at 50% the other person will never fill you up or satisfy you and you will always be lacking. Know who you are and what you stand for. Be happy with yourself because you are truly the only person who will ever be able to do so. ……..MOST IMPORTANTLY- Have fun with it!