03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Top 5 Dating And Relationship Tips For Women

I forget who told me this, but she said it was the best advice she had ever received and came from her dad and mom. Both her parents really liked the man she was marrying, and the church was filled with family and friends. Just before she walked down the aisle her mom and dad said that they would love and support her even if she changed her mind and realized she did not want to marry. She went on to be happily married and have kids -- however, the knowledge that her parents would support her even if it cost them some money or created some social awkwardness told her that she was loved and her parents wanted what was best for her. They didn't care how her decision looked to others, they cared about her well being.

With that in mind, here we go with the top 5 relationship tips for women.

1) Know each other for four consecutive seasons, at least a year, before marrying. A grandmother married over 40 years always asked her daughters, "Don't think about getting engaged to him until you have seen him angry and seen how he handles his anger." This fits with know each other for long enough to see each other at your worst before making significant decisions. It is not how good your good golf swing is, it is how bad is your bad swing. A man might be a great guy, have a great income but if he loses your savings gambling once a year, hits you once a year or has an affair once a year, it may only be 20 minutes out of the entire year, but it is an extremely important 20 minutes. Know what is unacceptable to you and do not make excuses for another person not measuring up. Do not agree to something important out of pity, guilt or discomfort.

2) Do not have sex with or marry a man thinking he will change. You need to have all your non-negotiables met before taking either of those steps or you will feel crazy and off balance. A woman needs to feel completely comfortable and satisfied with who he is that day because he may never change. If she makes changing him her project, both people will be unhappy.

3) Make a list of the your top 5 non-negotiables in a partner and stick to it. If honesty is on that list, do not go out with him again if he lies to you. If available and puts you first is on your list but he doesn't, move on. There are plenty of good people who wil be compatible with you out there. Beware of marrying a man for his money alone. There is an old saying. "if you marry for money you will end up earning it." Trust your instincts and intuition no matter how strong the attraction or how good he looks on paper. The book Calling in the One can help you do this.

4) Date multiple people during the day time when you are rested and without drinking alcohol so you can really learn what feels right and comfortable to you. Look for compatibility (do you like each other?), communication (How well can you talk through problems and negotiate?) and chemistry (how well do your bodies like each other?) If you have great chemistry but are not compatible, you will have good sex but argue all the time. If you are extremely compatible but do not have chemistry, you will be like brother and sister.

5) Put time and effort into learning how to communicate with each other. You can have great compatibility and chemistry, but if you can't communicate constructively during the difficult times, words can wound and your relationship can be harmed and maybe destroyed from under developed communication skills. Dr. Pat Allen says that intimacy is built during the hard times, so learn to ritualize your communication through reading her book, Staying Married and Loving it Dr. Harley has a great book called His Needs, Her Needs, building an affair proof marriage. Consider doing pre-engagement counseling to formally look at the important categories together. There is another piece of wisdom: Do not give up your place and move in together until you have an engagement ring and a wedding date. You may have spent every night for the past 3 months at his place, but you are still a guest as long as you have your own place.

I recommend the books Calling in the One and The List for anyone looking at finding a good relationship.

So, I put this out to you, what is the best relationship or dating advice you've ever heard?