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    Do people tell you that you’re a “A Great Catch,” but then wonder how you still haven’t found the right long-term relationship? You’re not alone.


    You’re nice, attractive, intelligent, and successful.  You could have your pick of anyone you want as a partner. It really seems odd that YOU, of all people, are not only not happily coupled, but struggling to date.


    The easy thought is: There must be something wrong with you, right? But maybe it’s not that. Nobody is perfect, right?  Let’s be honest. What if the reason you are struggling with dating has nothing really to do with your qualities as a person? Maybe it has to do with HOW you are dating and approaching relationships?


    Let’s examine a couple who is in a happy, healthy, long-term relationship.


    Prior to dating, each person is not looking for someone to make them happy or fill a void. They are each ok with being alone and do not feel that they are “less than” or cannot be truly fulfilled in life unless they are in a relationship.  Their life is stable and happy regardless of whether they have a partner in it.


    When two individuals like this come together and create a partnership, they can both support, love and become better versions of themselves by being together.


    Their relationship is one which helps support and better their lives as individuals, and does not define them nor do they feel desperate to hold onto the other person.  Thus, there is no jealously, possessiveness, abuse or disrespect between them.


    People in these types of relationships truly just want to be together because they truly believe their lives are more enjoyable and the other person enhances their already-full life.  It is like the icing on the cake.  It is NOT actual cake.


    In contract, other individuals present an appearance that their life is stable and happy, but underneath they are really feeling like they are missing something.


    They believe that they can’t really, truly be happy unless they are in a relationship.  They may approach dating with questions like “How is this person going to make me happy?”  or “Am I attracted to them?” Everything they are asking or going into the relationship thinking about is about how this other person is going to do for them, make them feel. Basically, what are they going to get out of it?


    This is probably not the best or most healthy way to start a relationship.


    While we all want to be in a relationship with someone who treats us well and where we feel loved and happy, relationships go two ways. Over time, the person they are dating is undoubtedly not only going to not be able to fulfill their every need, wish and desire, but ultimately will fall short without even knowing why or how they are doing so.


    Someone starting off like this, regardless of how great of a “catch” they appear to be, is simply way too needy and selfish to be a loving, giving partner to anyone.


    They just go in with needs, wants and expectations without asking themselves the important questions like:

    • What do I have to offer someone in a relationship?
    • Are there things I need to work on in order to be a better partner to someone?
    • Is there something I can do, say, change in order to better this relationship or that I know my partner would really appreciate or need right now?

    While important and necessary to consider what you would like in a potential partner, it is also important and necessary to consider the above questions.

    Even well-intentioned expectations placed on another person before a relationship begins (he/she needs to make me feel loved; has to accept all of me unconditionally; has to fulfill all of my sexual needs and desires, etc.) is only a recipe for disaster whereby you will never be satisfied or happy and the other person will constantly feel inadequate and, over time, resent you.


    Going in asking about what you want and need in a partner and in a relationship can help guide you in choosing a compatible partner with whom you can be happy and hopefully have a healthy, long term relationship.


    If you don’t know these things and just allow yourself to partner up with anyone without much thought about what you need or want, then the relationship is all about the other person. If you start out only thinking about how good of a partner you can be for someone else and what you can do for the other person, it can create a painful potential outcome.


    Relationships starting out like this can tend to become skewed with one partner giving too much, and the other is taking too much (a type of codependency).


    In time, it may become very difficult for the person who did not go in knowing what they wanted or needed to have a voice in the relationship.  They may lose their identity to the relationship and become so dependent upon the relationship that they cannot imagine not being in it.  This can also lead to them feeling taken for granted and becoming resentful and angry.


    The Take-Away: The best time to date, in order to have the best chance of a healthy, long-term relationship is when both people enter with a clear understanding of what they need and want in a partner, AND are also both at a place where they can give to another person and are willing to do so.


    Dating, love and relationships are wonderful, messy things. I have tons off blog posts written to help you navigate the ups, downs and twisty turns, including How to Feel More Confident About Lesbian Dating, How to Come Out of Your Shell & Meet Someone Special , and Lesbian Flirting: How to Do It and How to Recognize It If none of those topics are what you’re looking for, enter a search term at the top of the page (in the black menu bar where it says “search”) and find the info you need. If you’re still struggling, consider reaching out to me for dating coaching. I’m always happy to give hope and practical tips to someone looking for love.

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