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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Understanding Relationship Goals

In the realm of dating and personal relationships, it is critical that when setting requirements and goals, that we clearly understand exactly what it is that we are looking for. It is all fine and well, want certain qualities and characteristics in the people we spend our time with, and ultimately, in the person we choose as a life partner. However, it is a good idea to review those requirements frequently, so as to focus on what our goals are, and ensure that we truly understand what they mean.

For example, when physical requirements come into play, examining why we may like a certain “type” of person, may actually reveal that in reality, the reason why we may gravitate toward a certain type of individual, is actually based upon a shallow or co-dependent situation that existed in our pasts. Learning to confront that issue, may result in becoming free of it, and ultimately, open up your dating world to people you may never have considered getting to know, which, of course, could lead to finding a soul mate, if that is what you desire.

Another situation that may result from closely looking at why we desire certain physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the people we choose to date, may be the realization that expectations are a bit too high. Are you looking for a “perfect” person? Are you seeking someone who has qualities that you, yourself do not have and would have difficulty developing on your own? It’s important to keep things in perspective while dating. If qualifications are too high, for example, finding suitable people to date and get to know, let alone a life partner, will remain needle-in-a-haystack elusive.

Ensuring that qualifications are prioritized can also help greatly help, in the process of finding new friends and dating situations. For example, what is the most important characteristic that one should possess, in your world, in order for you to be interested a person, for whatever purpose, whether that be casual dating, friendship, a lover, or a life partner? Once those issues are distilled, then it is easier to make sure that those basic qualities are met, and to stay on track, for the long haul. Of course, if your goal is to simply casually date, then there is not so much emphasis on goal setting and dating requirements.

Opposites do most definitely attract, and it is certainly not necessary to be involved with people who possess all of your positive qualities. In fact, many successful relationships rely upon balancing the scales with distinctly different characteristics.

Another thing that one can do, to stir up the dating life, and open new doors, is to find new ways to discover new friends. Here are some suggestions:

1. Tap your personal support community. Many people find new friends, and often, life partners, through their existing social network, including friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, that can be a fruitful place to meet potential dating partners.

2. Join or start a social networking group. There are many social activities groups to align with available. The bonus of joining new social networking groups is two-fold:

1) You can spend your time with like-minded individuals who enjoy the same things that you do; and

2) you could possibly meet people with whom you could develop a romantic interest.

3. Get involved in social and charitable causes that interest you. Not only can this serve to help your community and people in need, but new friendships may develop – which can lead to meaningful and long-lasting relationships. It makes sense that those who care about the same things, ultimately have more in common, and there is more of a chance at success in a relationship, as a result. Looking into clubs, groups, classes, charities, church/temple to participate in, can greatly increase your chances at finding quality people to spend time with and get to know.

The bottom line, is that each relationship should be treated as a unique experience. The way we interact, and our feelings for each other, all depend on ourselves and the individuals we choose to be involved with.

Some things to keep in mind as you pursue new friendships:

1. Realize that relationships take time, and that you're probably not going to find people to become best friends with immediately.

2. Begin all new relationships – whether romantic, family, friend - with an open mind. Being open to new people, will foster friendships that can blossom into more, and even branch into other ones.

3. Ensure that quality communication is maintained, since it remains vital to any successful relationship. The reason is that suppressed emotions can develop into problems that could have easily been avoided, if communication was handled properly.

By evaluating relationship goals, balancing high tech with common sense, and never forgeting that we are social beings, finding a life partner can be much more effectively acheived. Ultimately, we are more likely to find relationship fulfillment by living full, richly networked lives, including people who are involved in doing the things that matter most to us. By keeping involved in the social activites that we enjoy, and donating our time to good causes, we can ultimatley increase our chances of meeting the best types of individuals that make our lives meaningful, and develop relationships that blossom.

Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.

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