Finding a mate is hard to do, but no one ever said it had to be left up to chance. What makes a relationship work has less to do with luck and more to do with choosing wisely. Admitting you didn't pick the right one the first, second or third time is difficult to accept. But let's face it -- chances are you've used the same criteria to choose the wrong person over and over again. The good news is that you can prevent yourself from another heartbreak by grading your mate based on the criteria called "D.I.C.E." -- an acronym for Dependable, Inspiring, Complementary and Enhancing!
There are simple rules to grading your mate. For starters, don't make excuses for their bad behavior. For example, someone can't be "kind of" dependable -- they either are or they aren't. There are only two options when evaluating whether or not your mate fits within the criteria of D.I.C.E. -- yes or no!
D for Dependable
What a person does during the dating phase is an indicator of their character and reliability in the long run.
• Do they make you a priority?
Most people tend to make excuses for being second, third or merely an afterthought for their mate. Are you a factor in their daily decisions and if so, where do you rank? Missing holiday gatherings because of work and forgetting a birthday, Valentines Day or any other special occasion are red flags and indicate that you are not a priority.
• Do they deliver on their promises?
You spent years with a person you couldn't rely on. They probably showed you they wouldn't keep their promises while you were dating, but you ignored the signs. Don't do it again. If you can't count on your mate to call when he says he will or pick you up on time for a date when he is trying to impress you, how can you count on them to be there for you when you really need them?
I for Inspiring
Most people struggle to determine if someone is inspiring. It's simple. Pay attention to the way the person makes you feel. Inspirational people are positive, uplifting and exciting.
• Do they make you feel like you can conquer the world?
By now, you know that most people do not turn out the way you expect. Let's change that by making sure that this time you choose a different type of person. He or she should inspire you to wake up ready to tackle the world one more time -- even when you don't feel like it.
• Do they bring out the best in you?
Marriage and divorce have taken a toll on you. It's time to figure out what it will take to make you happy again. Does your potential mate do the things it takes to unlock that special quality in you every day?
C for Complementary
Everyone believes opposites attract but they usually don't stay connected. It takes synergy to make a relationship last. You must complement each other's lives.
• Do they like to do what you like to do -- with you, not just with their friends?
Get to know your date. Do you have mutual interests and hobbies? If you enjoy outdoor activities and they like playing X-Box -- how do you plan on creating memorable moments together?
• Do you have great emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual chemistry?
Most couples start with good physically and sexual attraction. But, a healthy sex life requires a couple being in tune to each other's needs and satisfying each other. Physical chemistry is more than just how someone looks. Do you also like being with and around each other? Does your mate make you feel safe and secure to let your guard down? Do you two have the same spiritual beliefs and practices and how willing is your mate to participate?
E for Enhancing
Choose someone who will help make your life "significantly better" than what you can achieve by yourself.
• What do they bring to the table?
Many women want a man on their level or higher. Many men never really evaluate beyond the sexual qualities a woman brings to the table. Both are wrong! Expect more from a potential mate. Do you know what you bring to the table and can your date step up to that plate?
• Do they enhance your lifestyle?
Life is always easier if you work as a team. Determine what was missing in your last marriage and choose better. Finding what enhances your life is the key to choosing a better match.
If you follow the rules and grade accordingly, there should be no excuse for choosing wrong again. Your mate should be Dependable, Inspiring, Complementary and Enhancing to your life. There are no splitting hairs on any of the criteria. Anything short of D.I.C.E and you are cheating yourself out of happiness.
Use the D.I.C.E. criteria like a performance review at work -- a roadmap to figure out whether or not the person you're with needs to be promoted or dismissed. It's understandable that you're nervous about getting back in the game, but now you have tools to find the right one to share your life with. Roll the D.I.C.E. and get it right this time!