In the quest to find Mr. Right or Ms. Right, many have sought a variety of routes. In our technologically advanced society, on-line dating services, on-line matchmaker assessments, Facebook, and MySpace have been used to find that compatible mate. Still, well meaning friends and/or family members may have made you their pet project to get you hitched, the old-fashioned way - by setting you up on blind dates. Social clubs, organizations, the gym or yes, believe it or not, even places of worship have been used as promising sources to find the one. Then, there may be that opportunity you have been waiting for - discovering your soul mate when you least expect to, quite by accident, when you are not looking. It could happen. Whichever method you use or others have used on your behalf, keep in mind the following twelve practical points when looking for that special someone.
BE AT HOME WITH YOURSELF
Do not look for someone to complete you or feel that you are nothing without a man or a woman. This is a self-esteem issue. If you do not regard yourself highly, chances are you will be drawn to someone (or someone will be drawn to you) who does not think of himself or herself highly either.
BE TRUE TO YOURSELF
Know your spiritual, religious, and moral standards. Are they worth compromising for the sake of being able to say, "I have a man" or "I have a woman" in order to avoid being without a mate any longer? If you have a shopping list of your top ten must-haves in a mate, which of those ten will you be willing to compromise without physical, emotional, financial, or spiritual injury to yourself or others?
ASK YOURSELF IF YOU ARE LOOKING OUT OF DESPERATION
Dating is almost like grocery shopping. It is not a good idea to go to the grocery store when you are hungry. Chances are, you will buy what you do not need, taking advantage of every sale item, just because it's on sale - whether you use the product or not. When you date hungry or out of desperation, you are likely to fall for just about anything and get involved with someone that you do not really need in your life. Once in this situation, somewhere down the road, you may find yourself asking, "What was I thinking?" By then you are probably in too deep.
DO NOT HESITATE ASKING THE HARD QUESTIONS
In these days and times issues regarding debt, sexual activity, whether someone is married, divorced or single, whether they have children, what their spiritual/religious values are, or if they have a criminal background are legitimate issues to be addressed during the course of the early stages of the dating process. Asking these questions could save you a lot of heartache later on. Do your homework.
BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU CAN BRING TO A RELATIONSHIP
If you are looking for someone to complete you or to take care of you, it is best to hold off dating until you have a good idea of who your are. It takes one hundred percent plus some from each person in a relationship to even begin to make it work. Looking for what you can get out of it, without consideration to what you can bring to enrich the relationship is one sided. This is not only about material things, but whether you are able to be available to spend quality time with the other person or just want them as eye candy, whether you are a good listener and encourager without being their savior or fixer or by playing the victim/needy role in the relationship.
FIND YOUR OWN MATE - NOT SOMEONE ELSE'S
When you play second fiddle, expect to get played. If it does not matter to you whether the person is already in a relationship with someone else, then you have to ask yourself why you would settle for half of a relationship. What does this say about you, your values, and how trustworthy you are? What is your level of self-esteem? What will your degree of trust be if this person leaves someone for you? You may find yourself wondering if your new dating partner is having an affair with someone else. This could be a nagging suspicion or distrust in the back of your mind, which could lead to stress in the relationship, possibly ending it.
TAKE IT SLOW
You do not want to get so caught up in the moment that you miss the red flags. Does the individual anger easily?Is he or she inconsiderate of you and others? Is this person a control freak? Is this possible dating partner looking for a sexual relationship only? Remember, when you are meeting someone for the first time, they are most likely presenting their best self and you may be caught up in what physically and emotionally attracts you to her or him - you want to see the positive. Pay attention to those negative feelings you are having, which can be signals to problems just waiting to hatch. Listen to your gut.
REALIZE THAT NO ONE IS PERFECT - NOT EVEN YOU
This could lead to you trying to fix the other person, when in fact you may need the fixing. The imperfections that you see in the other may very well be imperfections in yourself, but you are the only one who is unaware of them.
BE AWARE OF THE FEELINGS, DESIRES, AND WANTS YOU HAVE
You may be attracted to a person due to unmet emotional needs in your childhood such as abandonment and rejection, which can bring about powerful and unrecognized drives when being attracted to someone. Know your emotional and relational history, for example, "Why am I always attracted to a particular type of man or woman and the relationship always ends in a disaster?" Know your stuff. Take the emotional and relational blinders off. Get professional help if necessary, in order to explore the root or any unmet needs that you may have, which will follow you into every relationship if not dealt with. Also, ask yourself if you are seeking a dating partner to make your last partner jealous. Revenge dating is not dating, but rather manipulation at the expense of an innocent bystander - the new partner. Keep in mind that, if you are just coming out of a dating relationship, have recently become divorced, or have experienced the loss of a spouse you may be vulnerable and emotionally wide open - like a sponge. Resist falling into the arms of the first possible prospect that crosses your path because you fear being alone or because the individual may be saying all the things you have been yearning to hear. Use this time to heal, regroup, and learn from your experience.
KNOW WHAT YOUR INTERESTS AND HOBBIES ARE
Are you into running, art, classical music, bird watching or dumpster diving? A possible dating partner may have the same interests. This will give the both of you something in common, which can go a long way in positive relationship building.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Just as in real estate, location is important when attempting to find a mate. If you frequent seedy places or find yourself in the company of questionable people, the chances are greater that you will get a seedy or questionable dating partner. As grandma always said, "If you lay down with dogs, expect to get up with fleas."
DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT
You do not have to sleep with someone to be with them and you do not have to pay them back sexually because they took you out. You do not owe them anything. Allowing someone to put a price tag on you cheapens you. Do not fall for it. You do not have to put yourself out as a fast food meal, just waiting for the next drive-thru customer to come along.
I hope these twelve dating points will be helpful to you in your quest to find that special someone.