Dating the right way

My parents advised what they did in their own marriage: “both of you always think about giving 90% to your partner and you both will be very happy.” They meant it’s so important to think about how your partner is feeling, to stand in their shoes, to be giving and compromising, and emotionally generous.

That 10% is for the understanding that sometimes it’s also OK to be a bit selfish, to place your needs first, or stand firm on something.

To do this, partners need to allow each other the space to be themselves and to have their experiences without trying to control the outcome or think that you are responsible for their lives and reaction.

It’s hard work and takes practice, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

I stopped being resentful that my friends were married and having lives that felt out of reach to me. Through this advice I learned about the importance of caring for my mind, body, and spirit. You have to apply it to yourself before applying it to the person next to you.

Thinking that they’re always going to be in a good mood and directing their affectionate attention towards me — while that may be possible during the initial stage of a relationship, is impossible to sustain long-term. If you’re looking for someone to complete you —or vice versa—you’re looking in the wrong direction for the lasting happiness, wholeness, and fulfillment that you truly seek.

Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a way to feel how you want to feel regardless of what you’re partner is saying or doing?

When I was single and stressed about finding love, my good friend, Scott, a confirmed bachelor, told me this. I knew he was The One when he told me, “I’ve always been too nice for the naughty girls and too naughty for the nice ones.” That had been my experience with men.

He said, “Lisa, you need to calm down, chill out, and stop expecting love to be here already. My advice for singles who are struggling in their search is to look within and ask themselves what part of their own life still needs work. Right] will not be perfect, but will be perfect for you, just as you’ll be perfectly imperfect for him [or her].

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