Are you tired of being single, but wary of getting into another lousy (or worse) relationship, especially when you barely got out of the last one with your sanity in tact?
If it's true that "when you are in love, smoke gets in your eyes," and even more true that when you're betrayed, hurt and outraged, smoke gets in your eyes, quickly followed by fire and then scorched earth retaliation and revenge, how can you increase the chances that your next relationship will not just survive, but that the two of your will live happily ever after?
A female friend of mine who was 47 and had never been married kept bringing up her single status with a therapist. Her therapist said, "Would you rather be in a miserable marriage, as apparently 50+% of couples are, or just accept that being alone is not so bad and doesn't mean you're any less than people who are married?"
My friend was miffed, but highly creative and resourceful. What she did next was brilliant.
She made a list of all the qualities in a man that she would want to spend the rest of her life with --traits to keep in mind so that she'd recognize such a guy if she came across him. This wasn't rocket science. Her list included:
- Takes charge without being controlling
- Relatively successful
- Focuses on solutions vs. staying stuck in problems
- Doesn't complain
- Doesn't whine
- Doesn't indulge in self-pity
- Doesn't make excuses
- Takes life, but not himself, too seriously
- Great sense of humor
- Takes care of himself health-wise
- Listens non-judgmentally
- Gives people the benefit of the doubt
- Is not a bore
- Has some sense of self-awareness of how he comes off
- Dedicated to self-improvement
- Owns up to, takes full responsibility and faces consequences of his actions (and failure to act)
- Admits and learns from mistakes
- Has or had (if deceased) a good relationship with both parents
- Being petty
- Being b-tchy
- Holding grudges
- Being obsessed with her weight
- Alternatively being a slob at times
- Being indecisive
- Becoming and getting highly emotional and screaming when she was upset
- Being gossipy
- Overly chatty
- Having one or two glasses of wine too many
Then one day, she met Mr. Right in that he had all the qualities on her list and by that time, so did she.
And the result... married, ten years and counting and well on their way to living happily ever after.
More love advice:
- The 10 Habits of Happy Couples
- The 6 Secrets of a Lasting Relationship: How to Fall in Love Again... and Stay There