12 Best Pieces of Dating Advice

Love, Heartbreak

My current favorite tips to help you create a healthy, fulfilling, sustainable relationship!

People ask me all the time for dating tips and advice, and I definitely have some current favorites. Whether you’re back on the dating scene after a divorce/difficult breakup/death of a spouse; whether you were plain old dumped and are afraid to have your heart broken again; are a single parent; are intimidated by online dating; wouldn’t know where to start or even what to say if you saw someone you liked; or are simply starting over, try these twelve tips on for size.

• Don’t lead with “sexy” unless you want someone to value that most about you!
• You don’t need to “sell” yourself. Remember that who you are is not for sale.
• Notice if you like who you are more, or like who you are less in the presence of a potential partner. Do they automatically bring out the best or worst in you? Example, do you feel insecure and unsure about yourself, or leave wondering if they like you? Or do you feel calm, comfortable, warm inside and invigorated as a result? Keep in mind: there is little difference between excitement and fear, yet there IS a difference!

• Slow down—no need to be desperate, even if you feel desperate! Here’s a handy tool I call think it through. Remember the last time you were gaga for someone and the relationship ended badly? Remind yourself that just because someone seems like they might be a good fit, there’s no need to rush. This will usually cool your proverbial jets no matter how hot or perfect someone SEEMS at the time! Remember there are 1.45 million potential mates out there for you, Again, slow down. Think School Zone!
• Smile at your sisters every day: there is plenty of love to go around and around. There are 1.45 million potential partners for everyone looking!
• Find out what someone you like is bringing to the party. That’s right, you know what you have going on; remember this works both ways. Want a balanced relationship with flow, not all you give and they take? Then, find out what they have to offer. Do they have good listening skills and don’t just talk about themselves? Pay attention and see if they remember small bits of information you shared, like your kids’ names or ask about your job…you know, things that say “I care.”

• Go for the ones who think you’re easy to love! I used to be afraid I was too much/too sensitive/too high-maintenance, until I decided to re-frame and love my big nature/sensitivity/preference for processing and self-inquiry. And, it turns out, so does my husband!
• Do something every day to get ready for your new relationship. Do a clearing exercise of your past relationships, let go of old pictures or items that remind you of the past not the future, get a set of matching coffee mugs, another cruiser bike, fix the seat belt in your car on the passenger side, get some new sheets. Or, like I did, marry yourself so you know you’re ready for commitment!

• Resist the urge to merge until you find out if this person has the same relationship goals as you do and that YOU are in fact a candidate! Sex does not a relationship make!
• Take care, use your common sense and set yourself up to succeed, not fail!. For example: don’t date a guy who wants kids if you know you don’t or can’t—why cause each other pain? Or gracefully decline if someone is “sleeping in the other room” from their spouse, “about to get a divorce” or is “technically” separated. Have them call you in a year when they are actually free and available!
• Make your list of non-negotiables, things that come hell or high water are deal breakers! Like smoking, drugs, polygamy, porn…whatever does NOT work for you!! (for more info on deal-breakers get a copy of Hindsight, What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers.)
• But the best advice I could ever give, which took me many years to realize and even longer to understand and put successfully into practice, is: Great relationships begin within!®

This article was originally published at Maryanne Live . Reprinted with permission from the author.