There are worse things in life than being single!

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It can often feel as if you are surrounded by couples. In the media, on TV, in the books and magazines that we read, as well as most of the people you know having a ‘significant other’. This can leave you feeling lonely and particularly at social functions and during the holidays.

So you embark on a quest for love. There is nothing wrong with this in principle, but its important to understand the difference between being open to love and stalking it like a hunter in search of prey. Not everyone you meet or interact with has to be assessed for long term potential. There are many wonderful interactions that can bring us joy and happiness without reaching any kind of long term commitment.

Remember that not every couple you see is living the ‘happy ever after’ so avoid comparing what you see on the surface with what you would like for yourself.

The best relationships have ups and downs, and require compromise and sacrifices in order to keep things going – the worst relationships consist of two people hanging in there for the sake of children, finances, fear and / or co-dependency. A kind of self imposed prison.

When seeking a potential partner it is very important be honest with yourself about what you REALLY want.

The more lonely and desperate you become, the more at risk you become. You may make huge, unreasonable compromises just to be part of a couple. It could be that you really have very little in common with the person you are seeing. Perhaps they and selfish and abusive or perhaps they are just not looking for the same outcome. The problem with desperately wanting a relationship is that you may end up getting a relationship, but it still wont be what you want and may come at an enormous cost to your emotional wellbeing.

A question that I am occasionally asked: ‘I have just met someone new and I want to know if they want this to be long term’. There are two issues here. One is that they don’t know you well enough to know that yet and the other is that YOU don’t know THEM well enough to know if even want that yourself.

This is why when you meet someone new you need to take things slowly, allow things to unfold at a gradual and steady pace, and explore options by taking your time to get to the know the real person. The one beneath the lust and instant attraction. To really know someone you need to to see all aspects of who they are. Happy, sad, tired, energetic, under pressure and relaxed. How do they interact with friends and family – YOURS as well as theirs? How do they treat people who can do nothing for them?

Remember that they also need to time to get to know you. One of the biggest mistakes that I see clients making is rushing into things much too fast. Jumping in at the deep end with someone that they barely know. This is not only highly risky behaviour but it also sends out a very strong message – that you are not concerned with WHO this person really is – you are only concerned with what they represent – a way to avoid being single being acted out by someone who lacks self love and self control. No one is going to find that attractive.

Try to view yourself through their eyes. If you are pushy, manipulative, too eager, to available, or just too keen to enter a deeper level of commitment before you really know who you are dealing with, then you will come across as needy and insecure. These are NOT attractive traits and will NOT result in the long term happiness that you desire.

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