Post by Susan Peabody on Oct 3, 2017 9:18:43 GMT -8
This is an article I wrote about dating in recovery . . .
Dating with Purpose
Before I got married I had dating down to a science. I knew where to meet people. I had an excellent online profile. I had the clothes I needed to impress a man, and I was an excellent conversationalist. What I did not have was a understanding of what I was looking for. I just wanted to be wanted. I just wanted to impress someone. I wanted a handsome man on my arm. I wanted a lot of things but I had no real understanding of what would make is happy. I was not dating with a purpose.
Dating with a purpose is reserved for those of us who are making a concerted effort to find out if there is enough compatibility to sustain and healthy relationship which includes romantic love, excitement, getting along and a future together. In other words, dating with a purpose is like interviewing someone for the most important role in his or her life as your partner.
Dating with a purpose is not easy. It takes effort, patience, self-discipline and the wisdom of others who have gone through this process themselves and been successful.
Since dating with a purpose is one of the most important things we do in life, I have created a list of things one should look for in a relationship when dating for a purpose . . .
1. Honesty that engenders trust.
2. Readiness for a relationship (both partners).
3. The willingness to negotiate or compromise.
4. Self-awareness—this means both partners knowing who they are and what they want.
5. Self-esteem—this means both partners feeling good about themselves.
6. Communication skills.
- Asking for what you want, but not being addicted to getting it.
- Fighting fair. (This means expressing your opinion without attacking the other person.)
- Reporting your feelings.
- Saying what you mean (not beating around the bush).
- Listening, as well as talking.
7. Sexual compatibility. This means similar values and preferences.
8. There should be a recognition of the fact that there are 4 people in the relationship—2 adults and 2 children (1 inner child per adult).
- That childhood wounds will probably be triggered and sensitivity strategies must be created.
- That rituals from your family of origin must be re-negotiated and new rituals created as a couple.
- And, finally, that the wounded inner child must be kept in check. (In other words, love your inner child, but don't give him or her the keys to the car.)
9. Similar (but not necessarily identical) values about such issues as money, religion, monogamy, and parenting. This avoids needless conflict. Still, you don't have to agree about everything—just what's important to you.
10. Patience and tolerance, but you should never tolerate abuse.
11. It is important to accept the fact that there will be days when the relationship seems very ordinary or even boring. Many people tend to have an “all or nothing” mentality. They either want a relationship to be exciting all the time, or they live with unbearable pain rather than move on. Healthy relationships are sometimes lukewarm.
12. The willingness to substitute “influencing” for “controlling.”
- Saying something once and then letting it go.
- It also means being a role-model instead of nagging someone to change.
13. The willingness to keep your personality boundaries (even when you feel like losing yourself in the other person). This is how we maintain our self-esteem.
14. Devotion. How can an intimate relationship feel good if we aren't special to each other.
15. Quality time together. At the same time, you want to set aside time for personal interests. Look for balance.
16. Knowing when to stay and when to leave. This means staying when things are going well (and you feel like running), and being willing to let go of the relationship if it is unhealthy.
17. It is also important to have compatibility and “ease” in a relationship. At the same time it must be understood that no relationship is perfect. (Compatibility comes from being alike or from having a high tolerance for your partner's differences.)
18. The willingness to face your problems (without over-reacting).
19. Respect and admiration, but there should also be an understanding that your partner will not always look good to you.
20. Reciprocity (give and take), but you should also be willing to make sacrifices now and then.
21. Realistic expectations about how much of your happiness should come from the relationship—not too much and not too little.
These guidelines worked for me and today I am happily in a partnership with Frank. He is not was I was looking for until I realized what was really going to make me happy over a lifetime. I started dating with a purpose and found my man.