I am often surprised to see how singles begin dating those who are incompatible to them. Apparently they are driven by needs which compel them to have a partner no matter what. Here are some criteria to date someone hoping to continue it into a satisfying relationship:
1. Ability to Communicate With Each Other Honestly:
* Can you have an honest and frank conversation with your potential partner? Can you tell him/her how you feel? What kind of a relationship you’d like to have? What expectations and fantasies you have?
* Do you feel there is a mutual trust and respect between the two of you? If you hesitate to answer affirmatively, it means you have doubts. In such a case you better look to have a relationship with someone else.
* Do you feel you can be authentic with this person? Do you perceive him/her to be authentic with you? Being authentic doesn’t necessarily mean you tell one another everything about yourselves right away; but that you feel free to “be who you are” and not pretend to be someone you are not. Many pretend to exaggerate traits and behaviors in order to be liked and appreciated by their date. They think that doing so opens the way to a relationship. But in the long run a relationship which is not based on authenticity breaks up. Or when slowly but surely the two of you begin to reveal “the real you”, it boomerang as having cheated on the other to begin with.
2. Having common interests:
* Do the two of you enjoy doing similar things (together)? Do your hobbies match? Do you find an interest in each other’s work/hobbies? There are too many whose eagerness to have a partner drives them to ignore basic differences between them and the person they begin to date. By so doing they only postpone the ultimate breakup, and might end up frustrated, angry and disappointed.
* Do the two of you have a similar background, education, culture and so on? It is very idealistic to believe that “everybody is equal under the law”, and that “differences complement each other”. But the truth of the matter is that the more common background you two have the more commonalities you share, and the easier it is for you to understand one another and get along with one another.
3. Knowing your – and your partner’s – expectations:
* A successful relationship may develop when your expectations parallel one another (at least to a certain degree). If one of you desires a serious relationship and the other not, there is no reason to attempt at being together. People often make the mistake of believing that they can “change” the other; that the other will eventually “fall in love with them” so fiercely that he/she would like a serious relationship even though it wasn’t the case to begin with.
When this is how you think you are actually being driven by your own needs and fears (need to have a partner; fear of being alone), and you ignore reality. You then convince yourself to go on with the relationship because “it has a potential”. In most cases you prove yourself wrong at the end, and rather than having a satisfying intimacy you find yourself frustrated, angry (at both yourself and the other person), disappointed and alone.
4. Becoming aware of your fears and needs:
* As you begin to date someone it is imperative that you are aware of whatever needs and fears drive your attitudes, reactions and behaviors. Are you controlled by the need to have a partner, be loved and appreciated to the point that you are willing to go out with whoever shows an interest in you? Are you driven by the fear of being alone, therefore submit yourself to whatever type of dating & relationship the other determines? Are you driven by the fear of commitment, therefore unable to honestly and sincerely develop a true relationship?
It is only when you aware of these – and other – factors which control your attitudes, reactions and behaviors that you are able to develop a successful relationship.
The road to a successful relationship might be paved with difficulties. You can cut down the number of these difficulties by paying attention to the 4 important points outlined here. Taking the time to doing so and becoming tuned to yourself and to the way you “do” dating and relationships is a key to becoming able to develop a satisfying intimacy.