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Finding a Good Match: Know What You Want and Need in a Relationship

“You’ll never find the right person if you never let go of the wrong one.” ~Unknown

I recently left a relationship that I was not happy in. Although my ex was definitely an unconditional lover, it painfully bothered me that the man I loved was not taking care of his responsibilities.

Since I’ve entered my twenties, I’ve been looking for more than just a good time; I need a stable partner who will be able to meet our shared expenses and obligations in the future. So, I was faced with the crucial, inevitable decision of calling it quits.

I cried the first few nights, but every night after was a learning experience. I realized that no matter how much he loved me, I needed more from the relationship than he could give.

While I was still in it, he kept telling me that I made the entire relationship about me, saying, “You are only worried about your happiness. What about mine?”

Although he was right about his happiness being important, I realized something: my happiness is just as important, and I cannot—and should not have to—sacrifice mine for his.

Half of a couple can’t be happy while the other half is miserable. If neither is happy, then the relationship is already over.

A few weeks after the big break, I began asking myself what I wanted out of a relationship. Who am I? What do I need?

I wrote down a list of my nice-to-haves and my non-negotiables. This allowed me to see my past relationship for what it was: not what I really wanted. And thus, I experienced little pain and was able to move on gracefully.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt incredibly terrible for breaking his heart. I have always been the one to break things off, but I wasn’t so sure if I ever broke a guy’s heart until the day I broke his.

But I had to learn to forgive myself because I knew the relationship wouldn’t last. And it was better to break his heart now than to stay in it for far too long and inescapably break it later.

He eventually told me I was his only source of happiness, but just as you shouldn’t sacrifice your own happiness, you shouldn’t be responsible for another’s happiness either.

Happiness should come from within. If you have it before you enter the relationship, once ties are severed and the mourning phase is over, you will surely have it again.

The greatest lesson I learned is that you have to know what you want before the relationship starts.

When people say, “I don’t know what I want, but when I see it, I’ll know,” they are usually the ones who stick around in a relationship longer than necessary because they weren’t sure of what they wanted from the beginning. This causes unnecessary trial and error and a lot more pain.

It doesn’t take long to ask yourself what it is you desire and write it down. You may not know for certain right away, but you should at least have a rough idea. Getting to know yourself better can help with this.

Dating can also help refine your list, but making a serious commitment before really understanding your requirements in a relationship can be detrimental.

Typically when we go into a relationship without truly understanding our requirements, we end up trying to change our partner, which never ends well.

A loving relationship is meant to be the reward of knowing what you wanted and receiving it. Getting into a relationship in order to figure out what you want is backwards.

Ask yourself what it is you appreciate in a partner. What will cause you to write off a potential partner (perhaps not having the same goals and dreams)? This is important because if we don’t determine what we will and will not accept, we end up accepting anything.

But even more importantly, don’t forget about yourself. Get to know your own personal likes and dislikes. This is the one time where everything can be about what you want.

When we’re in a relationship, we’re always so busy trying to learn about another person’s wants, needs, goals, and aspirations that we oftentimes forget about our own.

During this time you don’t have to ask anyone for affirmation. All of your decisions are your own. No one can tell you who to be.

And while in a relationship, you still have to remember that you complete yourself. The man or woman you’re with does not define who you are, and you do not need him or her to be complete. Your self-esteem should not begin or end with how that person feels about you.

Be willing to give the person you love the shirt off your back, but your self-worth? Never give them that.

You have to honestly know that you will be happy with or without them. This little piece of knowledge makes it easier for you to leave a relationship that causes you anguish, and find one that better serves you.

That’s not to say that relationships are perfect and no one will ever hurt you; that’s certainly not the case. Every person will come with his or her own flaws, and every relationship will require a little work. You just have to know what you’re willing to work through and what you’re not.

Some words of advice my wise mother once gave me: you are the prize. How big of a prize is defined by how much you love and respect yourself. You determine how much you are worth. Nobody else.

Sometimes love can turn into a battle that we want to win but can’t. Many relationships aren’t meant to be. That doesn’t make it your fault, and it doesn’t make it the other person’s fault; it just makes it life.

Whatever the case, you should never sacrifice your dignity at the expense of a futile relationship.

As for me, I couldn’t wait for him to be who I needed him to be. And I couldn’t change him either. I had to do what was best for me and for him as well.

If it were meant to be, it would’ve been right from the beginning.

I just have to go out into the world and find someone who better suits me. In the meantime, I am discovering a lot about myself, things I would’ve probably never known otherwise.

You must never get so caught up in your other half’s happiness that you forget about your own, and what matters most to you.

By the time I get into my next relationship, I will have better clarity of what I want and what I need.

But for right now, I am the love of my life. I am hoping that eventually I can share my love and happiness with another being, and he can share his with me.

Romance does not only consist of loving another, but also finding it easy to love oneself in the process. And I have to remind myself to never lose sight of that self-love.

About Ariel Hairston

Ariel Hairston is a college student at Valdosta State University in Georgia and aspires to become a professional writer. She enjoys exercise, yoga, and putting smiles on people’s faces. Follow her @uhhangel on twitter and add her on Facebook.

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  • sia

    U look so young and yet you have this mature wisdom in your concept.. i really like the essence of this article. what your mother said about self worth and love is absolutely true. only waiting for too long might bring some doubt about ourselves. i also wanted to say the u do write like a professional writer, excellent choice of words. i’d like to wish you grace while u find your true love. 🙂

  • t

    thanks for sharing! Perfect timing for me to come across this : )

  • Nancy

    Excellent post! You are wise beyond your years!! Wishing you all the best in life and love 🙂

  • foeaminute

    This is, to a shocking degree, exactly what I needed to hear today.

  • rishabh

    He tell you that you are his only source of happiness and you leave him . Wow. That’s brilliant.

  • Rosemarie

    Thank you for this article. I really needed this. I think this is one of the best articles I’ve read on the subject. You are so wise! Your mother’s advice is so true. Peace and blessings.

  • pam

    I’m going thru a very tough phrase with a man I though I love but I know now that no matter how much I care and love him, he’ll never felt the same for me. Its truly is hard to make up my mind to move on. Sure I’ll cry and miss him but I’ll know its okay. Thank you for posting such wise words and I will reflect on those words when I need encouragement.

  • Nik Jones

    You can’t rely on someone else to make you happy – you need to do it for yourself. As she says in her article :: “The man or woman you’re with does not define who you are, and you do not
    need him or her to be complete. Your self-esteem should not begin or
    end with how that person feels about you.”

  • Stephanie

    Thank you for this. This is surely a healthy reminder of self-love and appreciation to many of us out there. Excellent post!

  • Kate

    “since I’ve entered my twenties”? Who the hell do you think you are, writing a an article about relationships and finding a match? Get over yourself.

  • Saad

    The articles posted on this website in general feel a more mature tone than most other websites.

  • Diane

    This is a timely message for me as well. Agree with others that you are wise beyond your years and this post was very well written. Wish you all the best in life.

  • Mandy

    Wow. i confess i hesitated to keep reading when you said you are in your 20’s. I thought: that’s just another girl who thinks she knows better. But i kept on reading, and i must say, you do. I wish i was as mature as your are in my 20’s. I admire you’re mother for giving you such valuable teachings, she’s right: you’re the prize. We’re the prize. Thanks for sharing your experience and don’t forget to enjoy your single time until the right person comes along! 🙂

  • Amy

    wow, great job at being kind and compassionate.

  • Alf

    This sounds so selfish to me, part of loving is to give without expecting, we are not a prize to be wined it is arrogant, every relationship will need a LOT of work and that’s the only way we get good things in life, but is easier to give up and say “next”. It is typical of young people…

  • Andres

    Nobody has the right to put the “weight of happiness” above other’ shoulders… it’s just not fair, if you are not happy on your own, you probably are not prepared to be and share your life with someone else, first resolve your “issues”, learn to be happy, then share your happiness.

  • Allie

    Wise beyond your years 🙂 Going through something very similar now. Nice reminders in this post.

  • Marie

    I think this is written in such a way to help young women especially, to understand they need to feel special inside and out. I am glad to see a young person has discovery this in her 20’s I wish I had! then it would have saved me from a lot of heartache.

  • Crystal

    Your article was stunning! Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  • Ariel

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you liked the article and think that I write like a professional. That really means a lot 🙂

  • Ariel

    Thank you. I learned a lot of what I know from my mother. And I am definitely enjoying this time!!

  • Ariel

    Thanks Nancy 🙂

  • Ariel

    Yes, just remember to always love yourself. It’s the most important thing to never forget!

  • Ariel

    Well I’m glad you got to hear it 🙂

  • Ariel

    No, thank you!

  • Ariel

    🙂

  • Ariel

    A lot of young women my age unfortunately do not understand how important it is to never give up too much of yourself for another human being. Love is about sharing yourself, but not losing yourself. But it can work with any age group, man or woman. I do believe that life is about giving, but the giving should better you also and make you feel great in return. If you’re giving too much of who you are and aren’t returning any love to yourself, it can leave you empty and insecure. A lot of times we don’t want to admit that we are important because it means we’ll come off as selfish. But you have to live with yourself first, so you are just as worthy of your love as anyone else.

  • Ariel

    I’m glad I could help. 🙂

  • Ariel

    Thank you so much Diane!

  • Ariel

    Yes! You are so important 🙂

  • Ariel

    Wow, that means a lot! Thank you.

  • Marie

    Well Said and I agree totally!

  • Ariel

    I definitely agree!!

  • Ariel

    Exactly!

  • lv2terp

    Beautiful post!!! That is a wonderful message, with so many good points! Thank you for sharing your insight and self discovery with us! 🙂

  • Laura

    I’m at this place in my relationship, we actually just had the discussion last night. I don’t have the heart to break up with him though before I give him a chance to make some changes in behavior. Is that wrong? Should I just stop having hope about it? Is it possible to reverse/heal the damage that was done?

  • Ariel

    Thank you for reading and enjoying!

  • Cory

    Thank you for this 🙂 I think Imma take at least one part to heart fully; make a list of what you want and non-negotiables 🙂 Of course there will be things that are throwaways but some won’t be. Thank you for this lovely read.

  • Blue Otis

    isn’t this supposed to be a buddhist blog ?

  • Ariel

    Depends. If you believe that he can change then maybe you should give him a chance. I believe as women, we usually don’t leave the relationship until we’re absolutely fed up anyway. Do you feel like he will change? Do you think he deserves the chance? Be honest with yourself. The hard part isn’t knowing when it’s time to leave (because you will know), the hard part is actually leaving. And that’s when loving yourself is so important. Relationships aren’t 50/50, they are 100/100, and a lot of times if one person isn’t giving 100%, we feel like whatever they’re giving (whether it’s 70, 40, or 20) must be what we deserve. But you mustn’t think this way. All in all, I wouldn’t say stop having hope, I would just say remember what you’re worth and if he doesn’t want to live up to your needs, then it’s time to let it go!

  • Ariel

    Well thank you Cory!

  • sally

    I disagree fully with the statement “if you were meant to be, it’d be right from the beginning.” Strong relationships take,compromise, and effort. I mean, sure, there is a point where no amount of work will do it – and this situation sounds like that – but I think it’s a dangerous statement to be making.

  • Hi there! I didn’t write this post, but I thought I’d address your question since I started the site.

    The site’s a place to seek and share wisdom. From
    The FAQs:

    1. Is this a site about Buddhism?
    Yes and no. Buddhist ideas underlie much of what gets published on the site. Kindness, compassion, mindfulness, selflessness, and non-attachment are common themes.

    However, you’ll also find posts about living out loud, finding your purpose, and pursuing your dreams. Tiny Buddha is a little bit Buddhism, but also a lot of wisdom from all religions, traditions, and cultures.

  • Ariel

    By “right” I didn’t mean without compromise and effort. You may disagree and rightfully so, but I don’t think that you start a relationship with pulling and tugging, as I foolishly did with mine. Strong relationships do take compromise and effort, but usually after a lot of time has been put into them, and each person has felt that it was “right” first. So that it was I meant, maybe I should’ve clarified. But thanks for the comment 🙂

  • Susanna

    Great article! It had a lot of wisdom and good advice in it, right when I needed it most today. Thanks!

  • Ariel

    🙂 Thanks Susanna.

  • Nicolle

    Exactly what i needed to read a year ago. Brilliant write-up. Thanks!

  • Blue Otis

    beautiful !

  • Kelmenow

    I am so impressed with your self-love… and, I’d like to learn how you were always the one to break things off first – Could you share some more about that?

  • Ariel

    Well a lot of it has to do when women usually not being as attached to relationships as men are (studies have shown this). But on a personal note, I generally know when it’s not ever going to work out. Some people continually try to fit a square peg into a circle, as they say, instead of coming to terms with the fact that it’s never going to fit. It’s not hard for me to break things off when it’s time because I think about how messed up the both of us may be down the line if we continue hurting each other. It’s just a matter of realizing when that person isn’t right for you, and being strong enough to be the one to end it for the sake of both of you. Because someone’s got to do it.

  • Guest

    And just a disclaimer, if they were willing first, it’d be completely fine. But some were just waiting on me to anyway.

  • Rosie

    Wow, such insightful and meaningful words here. So true and apt to my previous on again off again relationship that really was a constant battle from the start. Unbelievable, You have given us hope. You have confirmed that it is okay to let go when necessary and not harbour the guilty feelings. Thank you for sharing these invaluable words that can only be described as Gold. I truly believe to love someone you need to love yourself first. Self Worth is everything!!! Thank you.

  • Alice Ankha

    i m sure you must be having narcissistic personality.

  • mars

    This may be one of the most meaningful articles I’ve read on this blog. I can’t believe you’re twenty-something; you sound like you’re a hundred.

  • Ariel

    I’m so glad you were able to take so much from this, it means a lot. I’m glad you were able to understand the importance of loving yourself. Thank you Rosie!

  • Ariel

    Wow! Thank you, maybe I am 😉

  • dean

    thanks for sharing your thoughts! i’m single and never been to a relationship. i thought i cannot relate to it, but as i read through, it inspires me a lot and learned something from you. thanks! i hope you keep on writing and inspiring others. 😀

  • Ariel

    Thank you Dean, I’m glad I inspired you! 🙂

  • Amy

    Wise beyond your years! I am 30 years old and just left a 10-year relationship just like the one you described leaving. The self-love lesson has not been easy for me to learn (I totally lost myself in the dysfunction), and this is an amazing and timely post for me. Thank you, thank you!!!

  • Memm

    I don’t agree with the idea that you “have to know what you want before a relationship starts”, you can know a few basic things, preferences mostly, but that’s about it. The rest is discovery and getting to know the other person. If you go into it with a huge list of must-haves I think you’re just sabotaging things from the beginning while looking for a perfect someone that doesn’t exist.

    People are not so black and white that you can make lists about them.

  • Ariel

    It’s not about them, it’s more so about you. You would be making the list for yourself, figuring out what is important to you. When you figure out what you want, you figure out who you are in the process. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, it just makes it easier to find the right person for you.

  • Ariel

    I’m so glad you left something that caused you to lose yourself, and that you were able to learn to love yourself again. Thank you for your comment, Amy 🙂

  • Wendy

    Ariel, such wise words from a young woman. I don’t believe wisdom necessarily comes with age, it comes by tuning in to our true self and listening with our own sense of self worth and integrity. It is knowing what we deserve and what we will give ourselves permission to deserve! Thank you for sharing these words. I am 49, just left a toxic relationship 2 days ago and found your words to be so right on. Smiles and blessings. Wendy

  • pj

    I am currently separated and in my 60’s. The emotions I feel along with the heartache of leaving a “relationship” of 40 plus years are difficult to bear and cope with. Nevertheless,the wisdom of your words and guidance transcends age . Thank you

  • Ariel

    Wow. Amazing. Thank you!!

  • Ariel

    Thank you so much Wendy! I definitely agree on the part about tuning into our true self. Wisdom comes from within! 🙂

  • Sabrina Marigold

    Also important to remember that the other person is also the prize.

  • Ariel

    Yes. “You” are the prize goes for everyone. So naturally, the other person is the prize as well. The reason why I focused on the “you” and not the other person is because it’s “you” being the prize we so often forget. The message I was trying to push was remembering that you are important, and never losing sight of that. Not putting the other person down, still understanding they are important, but making sure you remember your own self-worth. But yes, you are absolutely right Sabrina. Thanks for your comment 🙂

  • aankits

    to the author – what you say seems true when seen in light of people who lack ethics to commit for any decision they have taken in life. Moreover, your writing just confuses people who are already in a confused state of mind. Your thoughts might have developed with the experiences you have had in life, but your life is yet to make a conclusion 50 years from now. When you would be old, and pondering over these decisions you have made. It is true for me too, because I would be in my 70’s almost at the same time. I am writing to you because an integral part of my life got influenced by your writing. I should have been furious but thought of telling you the negative impacts of your writing. If someone thinks they know better than the other person, they are wrong because variability of factors influencing everyone’s life are in gazillions. People might start relating to your experiences from the very first paragraph but you are showing them the smaller picture in your writing and they forget about the bigger picture. The smaller picture being the problems you have discussed and the bigger picture refers to all the variables because of which they decided to take a certain decision.

  • G

    You have spent the entire article justifying the actions you instinctively felt bad about, and simultaneously promoting such behavior as “the right” thing to do.

    You pretend to value unconditional love, then essentially accuse anyone who doesn’t have a little list prepared as being stupid and only having themselves to blame for naturally falling in love.

  • G

    Note: only assenting/complimentary comments are allowed on this open-minded “discussion” board.

  • Hi G,

    I moderate the site, so I thought I’d respond to this. I’ve been more diligent in deleting comments that I believe to be mean spirited, but I never delete comments just because the people who wrote them didn’t agree with the author.

    I welcome discussion and debate, but it’s important to me that Tiny Buddha remains a safe space where writers can share their experiences, feelings, and lessons honestly, and trust their character will not be attacked.

    I appreciate your understanding.

    Lori

  • Ariel

    G,I think you misunderstood what I was saying. Unconditional love is still unconditional in this case. The point I was making was that if you don’t love yourself first, how can you fully and correctly love someone else?
    Let me say this: I’m sure you know that there are people who are in relationships where their other half does not treat them fairly, or return the amount of love they receive. The reason some may accept this is because they may not know what they deserve, or what it is they want and need out of their relationship.
    Therefore, I am focusing on reminding each reader that they are important and worthy of being loved fully and rightfully. I’m not trying to make anyone feel inadequate. My writing stemmed from personal experience but that experience is mine, everyone is different.
    I’m sure you believe that loving someone means accepting all of their flaws and it does, but with the right person for you. Not just anyone.

    So that is what I meant and you have every right to disagree.

  • Ariel

    And moreover, it isn’t to say anyone is wrong, or they do not love themselves. It is simply a reminder. I have no intentions on attacking anyone. I am just a firm believer in really looking into yourself to know what it is you desire from another person.

  • Evan

    Very true story. I had an amazing, intelligent and ambitious girlfriend for 3 years that constantly was trying to help me see my potential. I kept thinking everything would come to me like it always had and I didn’t need to go out and work for it. After 6-8 months of trying to give me the signs that we are heading different ways she left and it was heart wrenching. I bet that her exact sentiments and feelings are word for word described above. Since then though i’ve become 1000% more aware of me, eventually realizing exactly what you stated above. She needed someone able to match her ambition and at the time I didn’t have it in me. The best option was to let go and although it tore her to pieces it is the only thing that changed me and let her be happy. Every day I thank her for letting go and helping me get to where I am today. Great read! Thanks for posting.

  • Ariel

    Wow Evan! That story was amazing! I am glad you found so much truth in what I wrote. Best of luck to you 🙂

  • inspirefulness

    Wow, thanks for this article! I so much needed to read these words tonight. 2 weeks ago we broke up with my boyfriend. Although it’s been tough since then (really really tough!), I know it’s for the best. My story is very similar to yours except that it was him to insist we broke up… One cannot change another being. The change must come from within…

    I am also surprised by your maturity… great article indeed! Thanks again

  • Ariel

    Thank you so much! I’m glad you could relate 🙂

  • Elmiza

    Beautiful write-up over here.. Just what I need to hear since years ago. This really makes me feel alive!

  • Ariel

    Thank you !! 🙂

  • Victoria

    You and I are kindred spirits. This was my experience with my last boyfriend. We broke up last month for your reasons listed and it’s funny how much I focused on his happiness and put mine aside. Thank you for being so candid and making me feel even better about my hard decision to call things off. This was extremely comforting to read and know I’m not the only one who went through something like this. Take care!

  • Ariel

    Thank you for your comment Victoria 🙂

  • Harj

    What a brilliant piece! I am also in my 20s and went through pretty much the exact same thing – and to know that there are also like minded people at a “young” age makes me feel so happy. I often get questioned a lot for having a clear understanding on what I want even though I am viewed as “young” when I try and explain my situation to others. But this was communicated very well especially the part on sharing your love! Thank you! Made my day 🙂

  • Nicole

    Thank you for writing this. I am in a situation with my fiance and this has definitely helped me out in giving me an idea of what to do. My own happiness is most important and if I’m not getting what I need from the relationship after trying for so long, a decision has to be made. Thank you for your wonderful insight, you’re very brilliant!

  • Guest

    I’m glad I was able to help, Nicole! 🙂

  • Ariel

    It’s 10 days later, but I’m still glad I made your day that day 🙂

  • Ariel

    I’m so glad I could help you, Nicole. 🙂

  • Eric

    You are not wrong, but you are not correct, as many of things in this world are. That paragraph you wrote has an underlying message, “if you don’t give me everything I want, then get out”. It’s passive aggressive.

    You do have a valid point where your boyfriend’s immaturity, or the differences between you. It is understandable, WE ALL WANT the person of our dreams. The given time line in our lives going towards starting a family and our eventual death doesn’t leave us much room to wait for another person. Sometimes saying “sorry” maybe the only thing we can help each other grow.

    Usually guys matures much later than a girl anyway. It is through the failures and difficult times in our lives that we mature and be more independent to carry a relationship.

    However, tying your self worth and respect in this article towards your relationship, despite the fact that you said, “You determine your self worth” you are infact making your self worth related to what social constructs that are important to you. Money, maturity, etc. There’s two words for this: Pride and Vanity.

    Your definition of self worth and self love is different from what most people perceive it to be. Self worth means you can take care of your self, know who you are, that you stop needing another person “to make you happy”. It is on that level that you can have more compassion for another person. That you stop determining how much your worth. That you are strong enough to be patient and caring of another person.

    Of course there is a line of how much we can take from another person and that’s related to how strong and mature you are as an individual. The more mature you are the more you can accept the differences of another person or things in life.

    In the end, as we mature we find things that are far from perfect or sometimes it seems wrong. Having the idea of right and wrong misleads us, because we’re always trying to be “right”. To be right means we must blame whatever problems in our lives on “life” and people that are close to us. Imagine you got with the partner of your dreams, but he got into an accident making him completely different from the man he was. Would you think ” Getting with him was a mistake and wrong” ?. Would you nullify every happy moment you have had because something happened?

    What truly matters in maturity is not right or wrong, happy and unhappy. As we grow we find there is no right choices or wrong choices. There are only different view points, each of them valid because they are unique to another’s thoughts and feelings. What truly matters is how our actions make another person feel, and live with the positive or negative consequences of our actions.

    It is by this that we come to embrace life, and truly have LOVE for the people around us.

    Life in the end isn’t about what we get from another person, it’s about being strong enough to serve others. That’s the way some views as the road to happiness, because the only thing you can left behind is other’s memory of you, and the only thing you can take away is the knowledge you made your corner of the world a happier place.

  • Sam74

    Hi, I am crying my eyes out as I read this as I have separated from my husband who I love very much, but doesn’t love me and in no way is he willing to try and work things out. This is the toughest thing I have ever had to work through and I know what you are saying is right,but I have no idea how to pick my self esteem off the floor and start again. I believe that through communication and work we could get through it and have the most wonderful relationship but it seems his heart/mind is not willing to do so. I thought he was a keeper. I thought we’d grow and change together into our old age. A broken heart is truly a sad a painful thing xx

  • Lirio

    I am sorry, It seems you are going though so much pain. That’s what I can read from your post.

  • Mari

    My best friend has a boyfriend who’s going through the same exact situation you did with your girlfriend. She’s getting ready to apply for grad school, he hasnt finished under grad and has dropped out 2 times. He’s a great guy buy has no ambition, no motivation and no plans on having a career to have something to rely on in the future. They have been together for almost 5 years. She says she loves him and supports him and will stand by him. But I feel he is slowing her down and she is not letting him find himself and what he wants. It’s just all so strange. Don’t you want to be with someone that inspires you and makes you want to be a better person BOTH ways? she is the one working so hard! she has a beautiful personality, with big aspirations and he is so little next to her but he has no desire.

    I stopped advising her because I figure you must learn on your own and eventually realize it. What can a frustrated friend do?

  • bendesc

    “When people say, “I don’t know what I want, but when I see it, I’ll
    know,” they are usually the ones who stick around in a relationship
    longer than necessary because they weren’t sure of what they wanted from
    the beginning. This causes unnecessary trial and error and a lot more
    pain.”

    Isn’t this normal? Shouldn’t you try and make your experiences? Only a woman could say something like that because women get way more attention than men. I mean, tell me how long it took you to find another guy? Let me guess, less than a week or two?
    It doesn’t work that way for a lot of men I know with technical jobs in IT and engineering. Those guys can be happy if they find someone new after 6 months or a year…It is MUCH better to have loved and lost than haven’t had anything at all, because at least, even for a short time, you have felt what it is like to be a real human being with feelings, instead of a calculating/coding/computing slave of society.

  • jimmy

    Self love ? Selfish love? Selfless love? Lovers of themselves? Lovers of God? Lovers Of others?lovers of many?lovers of one?endless love ? Lasting love? True love? Lovers of a little? Lovers of a lot? What kind of love have you got?

  • Sheila

    people should admit and take accountability of their actions in their life instead of blaming it to the writers. Grow up

  • Nanananana

    Well.. finding yourself first… easier said than done… what if someone is bout to be 40, still have those problem.. what would you say…?

  • Ariel,

    You state: “Be willing to give the person you love the shirt off your back, but your self-worth? Never give them that.”

    One of your most powerful statements in the piece. Many struggle with this, but when we can truly realize it, we are ready for a deeper relationship. Before that, forget it.

    I also made a list after my marriage ended of what I wanted in someone before dating. One of the best things I did. It has kept me from settling in more than a few relationships. Making the list also taught me a lot about me, what makes me tick. It’s amazing how empowering making that list was. It inspired me enough to focus an entire blog post on a compatible dating list everyone should compile. Not only should you focus on what you want, but what you don’t want based on past experiences with other partners.

    Good luck with finding the right one int he future, Ariel. You seem to have a good head on your shoulders.

  • Linda Turner

    I’m reading this 4 years gown the track and your article is well written and offers an insight that with all the reading I’ve done on relationships I’ve not come across before. Know what I want in a relationship. I know myself super well but I’ve never thought about what I want and need. I certainly know what I do t want and can absolutely recognise a lot of red flags. What I’ve realised from your comment is that I’ve never taken myself into consideration

  • Ethic

    I loved your Blog , and it inspired me a lot.