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Dating for grownups

Tressa O'Lear

Help us all! I have been in the introduction industry for 15 years next month! The sad truth is, as a nation, we are less informed about how to manage a successful relationship.

Divorce rate is up.Way up! And trust, honesty, respect and communication are down.Way down! How do you intend to be successful in a relationship without the fundamental characteristics above, when the color of one’s hair, their alma mater or income is at the top of your criteria for a lifetime partner? Is the car your intended to drive really important after you graduate from high school? If you are asking me,”Do I have to tell him (blank)?” usually some secret from your past, do you trust the person you are thinking of disclosing your ‘truth’ to? And if you do not introduce every skeleton from your closet to your new beau on a first or second date is it really a sin of omission? Why do seemingly smart single people whine,”I’m a catch,” while resorting back to their unsuccessful methods of meeting and dating unqualified singles? Of course the Internet works! Just like newspaper ads helped people find their soul mate 10 years ago.

But it takes a lot of work.

You will probably meet more people you do not like than you do like, but if you want to meet someone, why not be as proactive in your social life as you are towards your education or hobby or career? Anything worth having usually requires time,money or both! Once you have survived one, two, even three broken hearts, do you even trust yourself to know what it is you are looking for in a partner? How many disaster endings must you endure before you start at the beginning by working on yourself? Are you honest about your interests, goals and long-term objectives? Do you trust yourself to make a fair assessment of the person you are dating? Do you ignore the signs they send you and stop listening when they tell you their truth? Is that a respectful way to treat yourself? There are numerous studies to suggest that being in a healthy and happy relationship improves not only your health and your career, but even your own mortality!

If you believe those studies then what do you think unhealthy relationships do for your health, career and life? What lessons are you teaching those who observe your tumultuous relationships? And why are you surprised when the pattern is repeated over again? Who is responsible for your broken heart? Fool me once … People tell me all the time they are happy being alone; their job, children, dogs, yard, et al, demands all their time, leaving little time to pursue a decent relationship.

I wonder who they are trying to convince me or themselves? When strangers learn I am a matchmaker, they often launch into a tirade of what they think is wrong with the opposite sex or what their ex did to them leaving me curious if they were an unwilling participant to this evil behavior.

Sure, everyone has one story of someone they met and thought was nice to find out differently down the road.

My point is when this pattern is repeated the culprit might be the person in the mirror! If you are emotionally available, have enthusiasm for your future, enjoy other’s company, then why would you not be at least receptive to the possibility that you might be a lovable person? Do you believe a person exists who could enhance your life by sharing, caring, listening and loving only you? If that idea has not crossed your mind, chances are the problem is not in those you meet, but in the eternal monster lurking in the baggage you have been carrying since your first broken heart! If you really want a significant other in your life, then why don’t you have one?

Is having a super-sized career really as satisfying as having someone honestly ask,”How was your day, honey?” Could the iron and steel trap you have erected for selfpreservation be the same wall that keeps others away? Before you ever had a broken heart, before you were disappointed in love, before you vowed,”never again,” it was fairly easy to meet people, right? Because you were open to the possibility, because you allowed yourself to be vulnerable and because you took a chance you were approachable.

Have you stopped being accessible and started being difficult to reject others before they can reject you? Nothing has changed! If you want to have a successful and significant relationship, be honest with yourself, be forgiving to past mistakes, be respectful to others and to yourself and communicate with complete honesty about what you want in a partner and what is non-negotiable.

Truthfully, if you think someone is going to have a flat in front of your house and when you open your door you will suddenly hear birds sing and bells ring, you are probably going to be disappointed with your social life.

Like anything worth having, being in a healthy relationship takes effort.

It has to first be a goal before it can be accomplished.

You have to set your sights, devise and follow a plan.

Successful marriages, happy relationship and respectful partnerships do not magically appear.

Determine your objective and then get busy by being proactive! Tressa O’Lear is president of Together, a personalized introduction service in Reno since 1994.

She has been successfully matching singles in Colorado, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Nevada since 1989.


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