Published in the Santa Monica Mirror Newspaper Aug. 21, 2013
Dear Anthea, I’m looking to settle down and get married, but I never seem to meet the right guy! What questions should I be asking on first dates to figure out if he could be the one for me? I don’t want to scare a potential great guy off if I’m too forward about marriage too soon, but I don’t want to waste time if he’s just after a fling. – Maria, 30
What a terrific question! It’s one I hear often from women looking for more than a casual hookup.
Asking questions to help you ‘figure out’ if someone is the one is futile. It’s more about observing their behavior over time. There are no shortcuts. Most of us have public personas and are on our best behavior when dating. It takes many months of spending time together to even scratch the surface of beginning to get to know someone. You need to see a person in a variety of stressful situations, so you can learn more about their character. Just know the process will take time and energy on your part.
Having said that, there are definitely some basics to address during the early stages of dating.
You mentioned you want to get married. Does that mean within the next few years, or sometime in the distant future? Does that include having children? It’s good to be as specific as possible with your dating intention so that men who don’t want anything similar won’t waste your time. You don’t necessarily have to say all this info on the first date, but if you are meeting guys through online dating, it would be a good idea to put it on your profile.
It’s a good sign when your date asks you what you’re looking for. A man who is looking for something serious will want to know your dating intentions to make sure it matches with his. Conversely, their lack of inquisitiveness about what you want for the future is a sign that they are only interested in something causal. Feel free to ask your dates this great question as well. Don’t be shy or embarrassed about wanting to know their dating intentions.
Does he try to rush the intimacy factor without taking the time to get to know you? Let him know you like him and are attracted to him, you’re just not ready to rush into anything without getting to know each other better. If he bolts, it’s a sign that he’s not willing to put the effort into anything serious.
In addition to being clear about your own dating intentions, it’s important for you to know your most important core values. Watching their behaviors will tell you a lot about their values. Do they call when they say they will, or are they always breaking plans? Are they close with their family, or more interested in drinking and partying?
Sometimes women sweep the bad behavior under the rug in an effort to be more accommodating. Consistent and reliable behavior is what you should be looking for. You want their values to match with yours.
Even if you have shared values and long-term goals, this does not mean that you are in an instant relationship. You are still at the very early phases, so you need to keep it casual as you continue to get to know each other.
Sometimes, when we are very excited about someone we like, we can end up doing many things to sabotage or rush the relationship. This is what scares a guy off. Check out my article on Commitment Confusion.
Finally, it’s good to get very clear on the reason you want to get married.
It’s important to know that a relationship is never a place to get something; it’s a place to give love and share life experiences.
Some people enter into relationships to fill a feeling of emptiness. This can come off as needy and will repel the guys you like.
Make sure you are happy in your own life first and you will be more attractive to the guys you’re interested in. Also knowing all of your special gifts you have to give in a relationship will help you better evaluate if a man is right for you.
Evaluation and observation over time are the keys to finding the right one for you.
We all like volunteering. But who here has ever felt low energy tired stuck, blocked, or even depressed in our own lives? Who here would like to live life as a shining example in order to uplift all of humanity?
I want to propose a solution that some might say is selfish.
You are the most important person in your life to give help to. If you don’t take care of your own health and well being, then how can you help other people?
Most of us at sometime or another would like to loose a few pounds. But the answer to total well being isn’t always found in a salad
The culprit to our low energy, poor moods and dissatisfaction with life is not found in an isolated area such as food or nutrition.
We all know to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and eat less processed food and sugar. But more information is not the solution. There is enough easily found in the world or on the Internet about what to eat and what not to eat, and nothing is changing.
So…… Why don’t we just do it already?
The answer: We are not choosing to. We are not choosing to love our selves and therefore not choosing to love other people or the world.
Our self love is the key to our health.
When you love yourself you would not and could not let your self be treated that way. You would not raid the fridge at 3am, you would not eat that second piece of cake, you would not polish off that bottle of wine because it is ultimately hurting you.
So what’s one way we can love ourselves more? Right now?
Look around you: Relationships. the answer is other people. How you treat other people is a reflection of how much you love and respect your self.
‘What’s my life purpose’ is a question I hear a lot. Ask yourself. Am I living and fulfilling my life’s purpose? Just to clarify a ‘job’ is not the same as a life purpose. An accomplishment is not the same as a life purpose. Perhaps your life’s purpose is to joyfully uplift the world through your ever expanding loving heart and interactions with people, but your job is an accountant. Who’s to say you can’t uplift others while being an accountant?Or perhaps the way you uplift others is through your volunteer work thereby living your life’s purpose?
Don’t let your job stop you from your life’s purpose.
Spiritual Practice: How do you connect with a force greater to your own self? Yoga, meditation, gardening, writing, singing, being around children? Perhaps it’s a more traditional path such as religion. For each person it will be a personal and private choice. Remember you can’t get this wrong!
Exercise: Being sedentary will ruin your health. You must move your body. But if its not fun to you then you won’t do it. Take a salsa class or get out in nature and go hiking. Body movement releases endorphins and raises your happiness. Fact.
Your happiness is the key to expanding your capacity to helping others. Protect it. Invest in it. Cherish it. And be grateful for it. Grateful for your strong healthy body. Grateful for your loving relationships. Grateful for the opportunity every second to live your life’s purpose. And grateful for your ability to expand your wellness to uplift the whole world.
Inspired by lessons from A Course in Miracles & The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Dating process confusing? Frustrating? Painful…..? UNBEARABLE?
Want to find love with an amazing, charismatic, kind, generous man you respect, and who treats you like gold?
Wondering why guys are so darn complicated and difficult to be with? Can’t understand how every relationship starts off amazing, but then he seems to loose interest for no apparent reason, and the more you try to win him back the more distant he becomes?
Then today is your lucky day, girl! Read on for some gold nuggets and an information throwdown that will save your precious time & delicate heart….
You are confused about dating, love & guys in general. You need a love & dating coach who will give you the skinny that your girlfriends are too afraid to tell you.
Let’s put it this way, if you wanted to get in shape would you the fitness trainer who had been 300 lbs and then transformed into a rock solid fitness model? Or the one who never ever had a problem with food, and could eat anything she wants, and never gains weight?
You want the one warrior rose from the ashes, metaphorically speaking. Who came back from the anguish and desperation to start life anew. Clawing her way out of that rock bottom tunnel to become a beacon of hope and inspiration to others looking for a light in their dark tunnel.
I’ve got news for you - whatever man troubles you are going through – I’ve done WORSE! I’ve acted in ways that break all sense of decency or logic in order to keep the most mouthwatering morsels of unavailable, unsustainable men.
Featured In The Santa Monica Mirror, August 7, 2013.
I’ve been dating a girl for two months, and it’s going great, but she is an obsessive texter! For example, we spent all of last weekend together. When she went home to her place on Sunday afternoon, she wanted to text back and forth all night, but when I told her I was going to bed early as an excuse not to text her continuously, she got all upset and defensive and asking if everything was okay. A few days ago a similar situation happened when I was busy at work and she sent a handful of messages, then later asking why I wasn’t responding to her straight away. How do I tell her to ease up on texting without upsetting her?
– Adam, 27
First, I want to congratulate you for being so connected with the pulse of the relationship to sense that it’s beginning to go in a direction you don’t want. It’s never okay for someone to expect you to be ‘on call’ for them 24/7.
One thing to consider is the current state of your relationship. You say you have been ‘dating’ for two months, does this mean you are in an exclusive relationship?
If you haven’t yet had a conversation about going from casual to exclusive, there might be some confusion here, check out my article on the common mistakes women make in the early stages of a relationship.
Because of this, she might think your relationship is further along than it is. Women value connection and are always looking for evidence that connection is being maintained and increasing, or lessening. She could feel insecure when she senses a threat to the connection.
If you want to take a step forward and become exclusive, now is the time to talk about it.
Let her know that you really like her and want to continue progressing forward. Also, make it clear that you need considerable time alone and for time with your friends.
Many women don’t understand that men, like most people, need personal, private time.
You need to create an agreement of how you will spend the following:
- Time together as a couple
- Time separate and alone
- Time together as a couple with other people
- Time separate with other friends
If there is an imbalance in one of these areas, the relationship will suffer.
Have a discussion about what each of these different types of quality time would provide for you.
For instance you could say something like: “Having time alone to relax and recharge provides me with enough energy to be fully active and attentive in the times when we are together. It also gives me a chance to miss you and remember all of the reasons our relationship is important to me.”
If you are, indeed, in a committed exclusive relationship, it sounds like you are spending lots of significant quality time together. Good job, boyfriend!
A whole weekend should be enough closeness for a normal, healthy woman with her own life.
If, after you take all of these steps and make the effort to make her feel secure and loved in the relationship and she still can’t relax, then this could be a sign of low self-esteem on her part.
Be aware of giving your energy to a black hole. Someone who constantly needs reassurance from you will turn a promising relationship into an emotional drain for you.