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In September 2006, I decided to make dating into a project, with plans to be married by December 31, 2007. For that to occur, I plan to date from one to three men per week, so I can get to know them as friends, and to make sure they match my relationship requirements.
Recently, I've been dating someone for 6 weeks. He appears, so far, to meet most of my requirements. Do I continue to date other men until I find out if he meets ALL of my requirements -- even though I just want to date him at this time?
I've been told that it's best to continue to date others for at least 3 months while you're dating someone you really like. What do you think? What should I do?
Kim in Atlanta
Sandy responds …
This one is really easy -- continue to date others for at least 3 months. Consider these points:
1. One of the relationship traps is the “mini-marriage,” where you rush to be exclusive with someone. When you stop dating others and become exclusive you begin thinking "we" rather than "I." Your mindset is as a couple, rather than "single and available." There is enormous pressure to stay with that person because breaking up feels like a divorce. This pressure, alone, could cause you to overlook red flags that may be present.
2. Six weeks is not long enough to know a person well, and, if you add up all the hours you have spent with him during those 6 weeks, you will see clearly that this is not a great deal of time (and really, 3 months is only 6 weeks more).
3. If it turns out that he disappoints you and you stop seeing him, you won’t be starting back at square one, having to establish dating relationships all over again; instead, you’ll simply be able to continue with the others whom you’ve been dating.
4. Your goal is to build a relationship that will be enduring and satisfying, so patience and discipline will more than pay off in the long run.
Keep your eye on the goal, keep the mindset that you're single and take your time and continue to see others until you know that he meets all of your requirements—even if it takes more than 3 months. My very best to you!
Michelle responds …
Your desire to commit to someone is a strong desire -- maybe as strong as self-preservation. Do you know his requirements? Do you meet them? Has he done similar work with a coach to determine his vision for the future and his relationship requirements -- both which are crucial to relationship success? Are you prepared to love him in the way he needs to be loved? Does he know you well enough, after only six weeks of dating, to know how you need to be loved?
You indicate you've been advised to date other men for at least three months, yet in the interest of self-preservation, I suggest it may be important to maintain a more casual and less committed relationship for as long as it takes to determine the answers to the questions above.
If you move too quickly, you may become caught in the "date-to-mate" or the "mini-marriage" trap, either of which can lead to heartache. These situations pressure you to create a relationship even though you haven't fully validated your requirements or developed enough of a real connection, worthy of commitment, with the other person.
By continuing to date
others, you're keeping your options open while still getting to know
him, and while continuing to learn more about yourself. I would
encourage you to ask God for His wisdom as you proceed in making such
an important decision because He loves you and wants the best for you.
God bless you.
Randy responds …
Every situation is
unique, so there is no hard and firm rule.
My advice is not to jump
into "Commitment" (note the capital "C") too fast. Instead, make
gradual commitments -- nothing too big at first, and nothing you can't
keep, even if you may be dating others. Gradual commitments, when kept,
build trust more that big commitments which ultimately cannot be kept.
Also, I do not favor arbitrary deadlines for measuring relationship
progress! I hope this helps.
Relationship Readiness Quiz
Did you know you can take the Relationship Readiness Quiz at www.consciousdating.org? Enjoy the quiz as well as other Conscious Dating resources developed by RCI Founder and CEO, David Steele.
Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff | Editor
by David Steele, MA, LMFT
CEO and Founder, Relationship Coaching Institute
Our life, relationships, and our planet would work so much better if all choices were conscious. What does it mean to be '"conscious?" To illustrate, I propose the following three levels of consciousness:
1. Unconscious (awake but unaware)
This is when you forget where you put your keys, you leave the headlights on and are surprised by a dead battery, you drive past your freeway exit, etc. You're simply not paying attention.
If life is like an iceberg, when we're unconscious, we crash and sink before we see it.
2. Semi-conscious (aware of what's in front of you)
This is when you're sure you know what's what. We believe that our stories (beliefs, interpretations, etc) and our sensory perceptions (see, hear, feel, etc) are true and correct.
If life is like an iceberg, when we're semi-conscious we're aware of the iceberg and truly believe we know how to avoid it, but then we crash and sink because it's larger than we thought.
3. Conscious (aware of the big picture)
This is when we humbly understand that "we don't know what we don't know," and realize that there may be more to a situation than we can see or understand at the time. We are aware of our goal and do our best to learn more about the situation. We examine our options to make the best possible choice.
If life is like an iceberg, when we're conscious, we realize that we need to know more about what's under the surface before making our choices about how to proceed.
Three Keys to Making Conscious Choices
1. Be clear about who you are and what you want.
What's the purpose of your life? What is your Vision for your life, work, and relationships? What are your requirements, needs, and wants in any situation?
Strive to lower the waterline on the iceberg that is your Self, to achieve the clarity you need to be motivated and empowered.
2. Stay focused on what's important to you. Don't settle for less!
Most people "lead lives of quiet desperation." They want to be happy, but don't know how and don't think it's possible. However, the Law of Attraction can work for you or against you; if you expect less, you get less.
Go after what you really want in your life and assume you can find the resources needed to be successful if you're looking for them.
3. Be supportable -- with enough help you can do anything!
We're human, and no-one is successful alone. We need to be conscious of our support needs and proactively seek to get them met. Continually ask yourself what help you need and who can help you.
Wishing you a healthy, happy, and conscious life.
David Steele, MA, LMFT is founder of Relationship Coaching Institute and author of the ground-breaking new book for singles Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World. www.ConsciousDating.com
Copyright © 2006
by David Steele.
Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT
Often we find wisdom in the lyrics of popular songs. In the early seventies, Carly Simon sang:
When you look at the bottom line, the feeling that it's "time" to commit and/or get married is the reason many people do get married. I know it sounds crazy, but in all of my years of working with people in relationships, I know this to be true.
This is what I believe happens. The notion that it's "time to settle down" intersects with who you're dating and you wind up married.
The problem is that you commit as a result of timing, and not because you are well matched. This dating trap results in relationship failure because both people realize they are not aligned on their relationship requirements or needs.
The solution to this trap is to commit when you are ready to commit - when you and the other person are aligned in terms of your values, requirements, needs and wants
You don't need to live out the old Carly Simon song; you get to write your own when you're ready to do so.
Conscious Dating Resources
a resource for singles offered by Relationship Coaching Institute, is a
worldwide relationship coaching organization dedicated to helping you
'find the love of your life AND the life that you love'. For more
information about us, please visit our web site at www.consciousdating.org
for cutting-edge information and resources for couples. You will be
glad you did! Please share this with new couples that you care about.
Kachaturoff | Editor,
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