4 Non-Negotiables That Will Change Your Dating Pattern

4 Non-Negotiables That Will Change Your Dating Pattern

So, let me just lay it right out there, right now.  If you are reading this, I can already bet that YOUR STANDARDS ARE TOO LOW.  Why?

After having counseled hundreds of couples and desperately single fellows and ladies, I learned most of my clients do not know what they want in a partner.  

Here is the typical relationship cycle I've been seeing:

STAGE 1: Person musters up the energy and courage to enter the dating world, with no particulars in mind but camaraderie, getting laid and -- let us keep it real for a moment -- the pure goal of not being alone.

STAGE 2:  They meet someone who either temporarily gives them the attention they are seeking and/or someone they are physically attracted to.  

STAGE 3:  Maybe there are some hot nights and fun evenings, but they take little to no time to really get to know this person before they make their relationship status“official”...

STAGE 4:  As they begin to give this person more of their time, they begin to get to  know them and realize, “Whoa, who is this guy?!  We have nothing in common…” or “This chick is a complete mess…”  They end the relationship devastated, yet again.  The “I suck at relationships,” or “I keep finding assholes…” thoughts ultimately sneak in and their self-esteem plummets.  

Person then crawls into a hole for a few days, weeks or months...and then, the cycle repeats itself, indefinitely.

What is missing in this cycle are the incredibly important non-negotiables.  No, these are not “Must make six-figures, annually, and love giving back massages…”  These are personality traits that tell you a potential partner is, first of all, emotionally prepared to be in a relationship and, secondly, what you need in a partnership!

Here are a four suggested non-negotiables to give you some things to consider:

1.     They are confident.  There is no manipulation or game play going on.  You know their intentions and they are open and honest about their feelings—even the hard ones to say or admit.  This transparency offers a solid foundation for a healthy relationship.  

  • The positive sign: Conversation tennis...texting/calling back within a day or so.  
  • The red flags: Texting/calling many times, checking in and over-communicating anxiety if they haven’t heard from you and/or going days/weeks between responses.

2.     They are reliable. They say what they mean and mean what they say.  Actions speak louder than words and they are not selling you their resume.  You see them actively “walking the talk.”  They work hard, they show up, and you know you can count on them to do what they say.  No excuses.

  • The positive sign: They consistently follow-through.  
  •  The red flags: They do not follow-up, do not reply to communications, are late and/or miss dates altogether.

3.     They are patient.  Problems will arise.  This is life.  They understand that there will be road bumps and that the world does not revolve around them.  They are patient and flexible with challenges and other people.

  • The positive sign: Something comes up and they are helpful and understanding.  
  • The red flag: Something pops up and they have a melt-down, cold-shoulder, guilt trip, or suddenly you discover they have a temper. 

4.     They take responsibility for their part. When they are wrong or make a mistake, they do not try to placate it, redirect attention or blame someone else. They take responsibility for their role in the problem and take action to fix it.  It takes courage to accept responsibility for your imperfections.

  • The sign: “Oh, I’m so sorry I dropped the ball on this.  I’ll fix it right away.”
  • The red flags: “It’s not my fault!” or “But you…” (blaming), deflecting, redirecting attention to something else, ignoring the problem, etc.

What other non-negotiables would you add for yourself?  Is it important that your special someone is religious?  Athletic?  An animal lover? Family-oriented?  

Before you jump into a new relationship, take this time to give yourself a moment to really think about what you want in a partner.  What do you insist upon in your next relationship?

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