The Real Relationship Rules for Dating, Part 1

What Women Need to Know to Find Lasting Love in Time

I’ve personally experienced the inner sense of panic when you suddenly start to wonder if you might be too old to have children and have no eligible man in sight. I’ve also coached many high-level executive women who were so busy and distracted by their careers that they missed the opportunity to have children. Unfortunately, the biological clock waits for no woman. Whether you want to have children or whether you simply don’t want to waste time in a relationship that is going nowhere, these simple relationship rules will help you find the right relationship without coming across as needy or desperate.

The secret to effortlessly attracting the right partner is to leverage the laws of attraction. The first law of attraction is Like Attracts Like. You’ve no doubt heard the cliche that opposites attract. However the statistics reveal that you are much more likely to attract and marry someone of similar education and economic background than not. In fact, we even attract people with similar levels of vocabulary. 

So, how do you find your ideal partner?

Your first step is to write down all the qualities you want your ideal mate to have. Is he or she financially secure, generous, kind, loving, intelligent, self-confident, or a good listener? Write down every single quality that you are looking for in a life-long relationship. It is fine to have a very long, very specific list. In fact, the more specific you are, the better.

I remember writing down details such as “looks good in a tux as well as jeans,” and “loves his siblings and family.” Go back through your list and make it as detailed as you can. This is a powerful exercise. You might just find that the universe delivers exactly what you put on the list. For example, one of the qualities a client had written on her list was “intelligent and likes to read books.” Well, for years she dated a very intelligent man who liked to read books. But those books were computer manuals! When she reviewed her list, she realized that she hadn’t been specific enough. She was actually thinking she wanted a partner who liked to read and discuss literature and modern fiction. She revised her list accordingly. Another woman had written the heading, “My Ideal Husband,” above her list of qualities and characteristics. She then wondered why she kept attracting married men (husbands). Oops!

Now that you have your detailed and specific list ready, review it looking to see which qualities you are lacking yourself. Given the law of attraction, like attracts like, it is easier to attract the person you desire if you embody those qualities as well.

When I was burdened with credit card debt in my twenties, I kept fantasizing that a fabulously wealthy Prince Charming would fall in love with me and pay off all my debts. Instead, I attracted a man who had money, but was incredibly tight and insisted on going dutch on dates. Not my idea of a generous Prince Charming! I had to learn how to better manage my money and get out of debt first. Once I was successful and debt-free, I started attracting really wealthy men who always insisted on paying for dinner. If you want to attract someone who is wealthy, get your own financial house in order. If you want to be with someone adventurous, get out there and have your own adventures. Become the person you want to attract and you’ll be leveraging the first law of attraction.

The second step is to highlight the top 10 qualities that are most important to you.

If you could only choose ten out of your lengthy list, which ten are essential in your ideal relationship? These are the ten things that your partner absolutely MUST have in order to be considered an eligible mate. Now, the next step is to write down the top 10 qualities your partner MUST NOT have. This may include things like no smoking, no prior children, no drugs, not jealous, not stingy, and so on. Again, think carefully, as you only get to list 10 must not haves. This is super important work, so take your time. 

Neil Clark Warren, the founder of the online dating service eharmony.com, has done extensive research to say with complete confidence and certainty that if you marry someone with even ONE quality on the must not have list, you will very likely end up divorced a few years later.

What we can overlook in the initial glow of love eventually becomes intolerable. Yes, no one is perfect. But in order for your marriage to last, you need to find your partner’s flaws rather charming. This is why I recommend printing out your top 10 must haves and your top 10 must not haves. Then give them to your best friends and family members. If they spot one of the must not haves on your list, then they can remind you.

We all get blinded by love and can be tempted to gloss over a potentially major relationship breaker. If you are dating and discover one of the must not haves you should end the relationship immediately and move on. Yes, even if he or she has all the top 10 must haves on your list. Don’t for a minute think that you’ll change your partner. Once married, people tend to relax and revert back to their usual behavior. Keep dating until you find someone who meets all of your top 10 must haves and has none of the must not haves. 

This blog has been adapted from the book, The Secret Laws of Attraction: The Effortless Way to Get the Relationship You Want by Talane Miedaner (McGraw-Hill). 

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