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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dating call to action: Healthy dating. Avoiding the wrong person and recognizing a healthy relationship.

By Briana Booker

Often when we do not know a good thing from a bad thing, we are more inclined to jump on a fast-paced train. This gets really hard to jump off once on. This happens often in the dating department. But it can be avoidable. You can stop yourself right now, from avoiding the wrong person in dating. You can recognize healthy dating from unhealthy dating. I am writing this post to give myself and Fromgirltogirl readers a call to action.

 Now, when dating first starts it is that great high and excitement of being introduced to something new. You hope for the best. However when one starts declining from this high, reality sets. You have to decide whether you will put your time and effort into another person. You have to decide if you both are going to put two feet in for a healthy dating atmosphere.

We all have had instances where we dated someone we knew, deep down, was not the one for us.  He or she was not right for us. Yet, we still pursued it. Now, logically why would we do that? It is all summed up by the following four themes:

1.Insecurity or loneliness. You do not love yourself enough to want more of yourself and others. You simply settle.
2. External pressures. You feel you have to fit the norm.
3. You think dating is the next logical step.
4.  Length of time and effort you have invested. "I did not want to put to waste all the time I spent and invested in this relationship."

I am here to tell you, it is time to listen to your gut. No matter how you flip it, you know deep down someone is right or wrong for how you instinctively feel. This is how you start on that trend of dating the wrong types of people when you ignore this gut feeling.

Now, to avoid continuing this horrible trend here are some questions you should ask yourself after the first five or six dates you have been with a person. Because, whether you like it or not, the questions of where do we stand will inevitably come up.

Here are five key questions to ask yourself to see if you are truly ready for healthy dating:

1. Will you want to be with this person six months from now?
2.Are you under any pressure to continue dating the person? Are you being influenced by your family or friends?
3.Have you set an deadline for yourself about settling with someone? Is there a Ticking biological clock going in your head?
4.Are you dating because you think it is the next logical step?
5.Are you dating because you are tired of being alone or afraid no one “better” is going to come along?
6. Do you and your date share the same goals, beliefs, and ideals for a relationship? Have you ever talked about any of this with each other?

A majority of people, when they find themselves in bad circumstances, they often say: "I did not want to be selfish" , " I was tired of being alone", " I wanted to date by a certain time", "  I made a promise", or " I did not want to hurt he or she". And I am going to say if you have to say any of these things as explanation for staying somewhere you are not happy have some soul-searching within yourself to do.

Abusive dating in a spiritual or a physical matter will never do any good for anyone involved. Ever. Get yourself together. And then you will be able to function in a healthy manner with someone else. Fact.

The best way to form healthy dating is by getting on the table what you both want and need. You also need to think what is important to you. Values are crucial to how things will progress. For example, if family and traditions are important to you...then make that known to your partner. If faith is something you stand for, make that obvious.

What is important is not a universal list. It will differentiate person to person. However, there is a universal guide to healthy dating qualities. They are as followed, and it starts with questioning:

1.Do you bring out the best in each other, not the worst?
2.Do you encourage each other to grow personally, professionally and emotionally?
3. Can you recognize when change is positive and healthy?
4. Do you trust each other and know that you can count on one another to do the right thing?
5. There’s no jealousy or second-guessing in the relationship?
6. Do you have fun together?
7.Do you share common core beliefs and values?
8. Do you try connecting on an emotional and spiritual level? This is as powerful and vital as a physical connection.
9.Do you communicate with each other out of care and concern instead of judgment and criticism?
10. What is the tone of  your voice when you are critical and judgmental? If It is harsh, there is a good chance there is not real care or concern for the other person.

Real talk. Do you have these qualities in your relationship? If not, you should be listening to that gut feeling. You know what it is right for you. It is that same feeling you had as a child when things just did not seem right. As adults we try to tune out this information.

I leave you with  this question:  If the person you are dating says or does anything counter to your morals or beliefs, how do you feel? Does it make you feel uneasy?

Pay attention to this the next time you start dating someone. Define what concerns you. Think how that behavior or attitude will  make you feel six months from now. If you are still with that person six months from, think how will you feel taking this bullshit 15 years from now. It is something to think about.

Remember, life is about choices. The 'one' you choose as a companion will dictate a great deal of your joys and sorrows. You have a gut feeling about things for a reason. Pay attention to it. It is the way of the universe telling you what is best for you. And it starts with self-love.

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