Given all the relationship tips out there today, perhaps the most
basic is simply this - ask yourself two separate and distinct questions:
- Are we ready to start dating?
- Are we ready for a relationship?
If we can honestly answer "yes" to the first question, then we're ready to take on the second.
we start dating again, let's take a moment to get a good look at
ourselves, including how others might see us. Is our timing right? How
soon did our last relationship end, and what were the circumstances?
Would others see us on the proverbial "rebound" and perhaps desperate,
simply because we can't bear the thought of being on our own for too
long? Do we honestly feel that our happiness depends on being with
someone? Or is it better just to spend some time alone, getting fully
reacquainted with our self and our feelings, before taking on the rigors
Relationship Tips - Take Inventory
Not only is an emotional inventory helpful,
it's also important to take stock physically - do we need to shed some
pounds, start a workout program, or just improve our health generally?
To enter (or re-enter) the dating market, especially if we see dating
as competitive, we need to put the "best product" forward. Even if
"marketing" is not necessarily a priority or even a concern, it's
never wrong to focus on good health, exercise and eating habits.
Relationship Tips - Decide What We Want
The next key is deciding what we want in our next relationship. Is it
friendship, mostly for the sake of companionship for the occasions that
we want it, or is it for something more serious and long term, perhaps
leading to marriage? The choice here depends solely upon what's right
for each of us. To help make that choice, we should identify the things
that we liked - and didn't like - about being single or being married
before, as the case may be. Do we want absolute freedom to make all
decisions - from the mundane to the serious - without having to meld
with another? Or has our desire to share the details and values of our
life with another, just gone unfulfilled and we can no longer set those
desires aside? The "right" answer to these choices will certainly vary
from one person to another, but in all cases depends upon being totally
honest with ourselves.
Relationship Tips - Make Some "Reality Checks"
Is dating at our age now anything like shopping at the grocery store?
Well, when we shop for food, we're looking for specific items, and we
probably shouldn't go without a list. If we do, we likely end up with
things we really don't need, don't want, and aren't even good for us in
the first place. And we also know that if we go food shopping when
hungry, we'll grab too much of the wrong stuff. So in that sense at
least, dating is no different - we need a list to make sure we're ready
and we get only the things that are right for us.
The relationship tip here is to assess our own personal realities:
- In my own mind, I have a clear idea picture of what I want for my next relationship.
- My personal values are important to me, and I don't want to sacrifice or compromise them for the sake of a new relationship.
have a plan for where and how I want to live (i.e., lifestyle with
respect to house, condo, acreage, city, suburb, town, rural, etc.).
things I'm doing now with respect to job, finances, and retirement
planning are consistent with where and how I plan to live.
attitude is consistently positive and enthusiastic; I've forgiven and
have let go of all past hurts and bitterness from previous
- I am aware that I might have hurt another in my previous relationship(s), and I have sought their forgiveness.
- I have a clear idea of my own boundaries for what I can and can not tolerate in my next relationship.
- I demonstrate patience and calm as issues arise in my daily life.
- I have no prejudices, temper tendencies, abusiveness, self-control issues or other addictions.
- I have learned from past relationships what has and has not worked for me.
Relationship Tips - Relate to Our Partner
We also need to assess our own personal realities vis-a-vis our partner:
- I'm aware of my own desires and personality characteristics that drive my choice in a relationship partner.
have determined whether my relationship goal is for friendship or for
long term commitment, and I am ready to clearly communicate those
intentions to my prospective partner early on.
- I know and feel strongly about the values that my relationship partner must have, to be compatible with my own.
- I know and feel strongly about the personal habits my partner must demonstrate, to be compatible with my own.
understand the key roles that I must play, and the roles that my
partner must play, in order for our relationship to be successful and
- I know that my partner and I must have some goals, interests, and favorite activities in common.
addition to my partner, I treat all others outside of our relationship
with the same courtesy and respect, knowing that they deserve it.
- I feel confident in my ability to clearly express my thoughts, desires, and relationship needs to my next partner.
- I am ready to support any family obligations that my partner may have from previous relationship(s).
am fully aware of my own family obligations should I have them from
previous relationship(s), and I am willing to balance them with
allegiance to my partner.
- I know that genuine love
will bring true happiness to my partner and to myself, and that our
relationship is the vehicle that we share equally to achieve and
maintain that love.
- I am willing to take all steps
reasonable to maintain my own desirability to my partner, and all
steps necessary to improve myself mentally and spiritually.
know that it's essential that my partner and I agree on the means we
must take to resolve any and all issues that arise in our relationship.
my goal is for a long term relationship, I am committed to my partner's
happiness and satisfaction every bit as much as I am to my own
happiness and satisfaction.
Relationship Tips - Conclusion
The relationship tips here simply mean having a game plan - knowing our
selves together with our partner, and what things are most important to
us now. Some of us may recall Frank Sinatra singing about love being
sweeter "the second time around". We can make that true if we give it
just a bit more thought!