Start a list!
By Liz Dawn Donahue, Care2 Healthy Living
Let me begin in stating that I am not a therapist. I am simply a woman who has worked hard on herself in therapy, self awareness workshops, read books, done hours and hours of self reflection, praying, meditation and utilized other various modalities to break my own patterns in order to create a healthy relationship. If I knew then, what I know now, I would have been spared years of doing the dysfunctional dating dance.
This topic will be for those of you who are seeking to better understand the dating dilemma and deeply want to find a long lasting committed healthy monogamous relationship that will lead to marriage.
In my 20s, when some of my friends were focusing on finding a husband, there was nothing further from my mind than getting married. I was into creating a career, traveling, finding myself, discovering the world, partying and having fun.
As I crept into my late-30s, I began to wonder about getting married. I felt it would happen…someday. I dated, had relationships, but nothing ever lasted. In my early 40s, I started to feel as if I wanted to share my life with someone in a very intimate way. I loved being single for most of the time but now my soul was calling me towards another journey and I longed to be joyously married. I dated, and dated, but things would never work out. It was not until after I ended a six year relationship that I realized if I wanted this, I had to take yet another hard look at myself and figure this dating thing out.
Although I had done much of this work in the past, it was still important to re-visit these areas again.
An important element in breaking the dating cycle is to make certain you are choosing to embark on the path of wanting a committed relationship from a strong centered place. Wanting to be in love and entwine your life in a healthy way is nothing to be ashamed of, however check in to see if it is out of desperation or wholeness.
Loving yourself and being happy with who you are and having the ability to be alone is a big step in preparing yourself to be a good partner. I thought I had done this, but it was obvious I needed to do this again. I took dance classes, singing lessons and anything that I felt would make my heart sing. I took good care of myself, mind, body and spirit. I had dates with myself, wrote in my journal and did things to get to know me again. Being so engrossed in my career had left little time for these small niceties.
Being very clear about what you want in a partner is crucial. I did an exercise with my dear friend Victoria.
We each took a piece of paper and wrote down what we did NOT want in a partner. This was easy once we got going. We were ruthless tapping into all those dates and relationships that did not work. We read our list out loud to one another and beckoned to our angels that this was NOT what we wanted in a partner. We ripped our papers to shreds and then threw it out in the garbage.
We took a long deep breath and shifted the energy and called upon our angels, romance angels and G-d. We wrote down at the top of another piece of paper "This is What I WANT in a Life Partner," and we proceeded to write down our heart's desire. Including everything you want is very important even down to physical characteristics if that is important for you. Our lists were long, but my main mantra during this process was "a man who is emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically and financially healthy." All these elements were important to me. I think the first four are self explanatory. The fifth was challenging for me to write. I finally came to terms that it was okay for me to have a partner that was financially responsible. He did not have to be wealthy, but did need to be healthy, because I bring that into a relationship and wanted the same in my partner.
After completing your list, read it out loud. Claim it as your heart's desire.
After creating this list, begin dating with a different intention. You are looking for a life partner with certain qualities. Begin to understand what your deal breakers are without making excuses. Just because someone is extraordinarily attractive to you, or you might have great chemistry, they may not be the person for you if they do not have some of the important qualities that you are seeking in a life partner. If you are seeking someone who is spiritual and has a strong belief in G-d, then dating an atheist might not work for you as a life partner. Does that mean that you do not go on anymore dates with that person? YES!! Do not waste your time on people that you know from the first date are not a fit for you. Do not make excuses to continue seeing them.
Now, having said that, if you date someone that has all the qualities on your list, and you are not attracted to them right away, keep dating them! This is completely against all the other dating books, but I assure you there is a wonderful reason.
Have fun creating your life partner list!
Read more from the Stop Dating & Find Love series here.
Why Romantic Chemistry Can Be So Deceiving
10 Dating Tips from the Animal World
8 Inspirational Love Stories