Michele Armani and Sally Meisenheimer
Dear Style & Substance:
My brothers think I am not good at dating. I have had boyfriends and many guys ask me out on dates, but these relationships work for a while and then they don't work anymore. I am very committed to my career but I would like to have a happy, healthy relationship even though I am not ready for marriage. Where do I start?
Dear Dating Dilemma,
All healthy relationships are the same at the core: they make you content and satisfied the majority of the time. Being clear with yourself helps you to be clear with others, and in this case ‘dates’. To begin; you can start with defining happiness for yourself and then put it into action on the dating scene. Try to be more discerning up front, sooner, rather than later. You may not be ready for marriage, but it sounds like you are ready for LOVE!
Clarify your "happiness" quotient - what basic qualities are most essential to your well-being? Is it honesty, movement and activity, compassion, intelligence, clever dialogue, humor? Make a list of those qualities that make you happiest in spending time with someone. While you’re at it, distinguish what things you spend time doing; work, leisure, recreation, volunteer work, community activities and time with family and friends. These answers will help you in finding a compatible partner. Compatibility is essential to a harmonious relationship. It can be as simple as energy levels or as complex as a personal worldview.
Different areas of compatibility can include (interpret and clarify, then add your own “areas”):
Level of success; which can mean level of education, drive to succeed at work, hours and sacrifices you make for work over pleasure.
Lifestyle comes into play; are you active, a homebody, always looking for something to do? Are you an inside or outside person? Do you make healthy or non-healthy choices? What do you like to eat; adventurous or picky? And so on…
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