Gift Ideas for First Anniversaries

For most couples the first anniversary is one of the most special anniversaries you will ever share together. The first anniversary is the one you’ll look back on together on every other anniversary. And because the first anniversary is such an important milestone for every couple it is important to take care when picking out the first-anniversary gift. While everyone’s relationship is unique there are some universal factors to take into consideration when choosing the first-anniversary gift. Here’s a list of anniversary gift ideas as well as some advice about what not to give.

Make it Personal

Roses and Cologne are fantastic, but since you can get anybody roses and Cologne they should be avoid as anniversary gifts. It’s important to make the first-anniversary gift unique to your partner. If you are getting flowers, make sure it’s their favorite flower or perhaps the same flowers that were on the table when you went on your first date. Only give cologne if that is something he truly enjoys, if not it is best to buying something that is reprehensive of something he is truly passionate about cars, photography, etc. When you give a gift that is specific to your partner’s needs and likes it lets them know that you are attentive to their desires and that you truly appreciate them as a unique individual.

We all Love Food

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with getting your partner their favorite treat for your anniversary. Be it candy, cookies or brownies, your first anniversary is a perfect time to give sweets to your sweetie.

Don’ts

Don’t go overboard with the budget. Firstly, because if you buy them a diamond tennis bracelet or a Rolex on your first anniversary how are you ever going to top that for all the subsequent anniversaries to follow. Secondly, no matter what your socio-economic backgrounds are giving lavish gifts on at the first anniversary comes across as more than a little desperate. Best to keep it simple and heartfelt.

Don’t be afraid to go homemade. Some of the best gifts are the ones we make ourselves. Write a poem, make a collage of your year together or simply just make them a really fancy dinner.

 

Now that you know some great gift ideas for your first anniversary, be sure to pick one up for your significant other for your special day. And you can pick up some amazing anniversary treats at cheryl.com.

Feeling so Lonely in New York? Never Mind!

Living in a big city is such a great idea to choose. I believe that there will be many people who want to live in the big city for getting the better living also. If you have a good living in a big city, commonly you will get the high salary for at least for supporting your life. Of course, we need to make sure that we need to work hard to get the better job for making the better living also. There are many kinds of jobs that you can do in the big city and there will be so many choices that you can choose.

Where do you live? Let’s take an example if we are living in New York. New York is the central of economy in the United States. There will be many chances that you can get in order to make the better living for your life. You will have such a wonderful time when you are living in the big city such as New York. But remember that we also need to prepare for having the principal on how to choose the good and appropriate job for our living. We cannot simply get the job if we do not feel so comfortable with the job.

Sometimes, when we are living in the big city, we will feel so bored with the condition of our daily life. Have you ever faced this kind of condition? What do you do when you are in this kind of condition? If you do not have any relatives to spend your time with, you will feel so lonely even you are living in the big city. If you face this kind of condition and you want to have a friend to spend your time with, it is not hard thing to do. You can have the NY call girls that will accompany you during the lonely time that you face. You will feel so happy to have the great time in New York.

 

 

 

The Great Things about Call Girl Paris

When you decide to have a trip to the fabulous place like Paris, it is actually such a great idea for you have a gorgeous companion while you are there. Then, in case you really want to get a wonderful companion in Paris, you can actually invite callgirl Paris to make your trip in town become so much special and unforgettable. It is because they have been known so well as the best partners that can make you find the best part of having trip in “The city of Romance”. Besides, there are also some great things about the girls in Paris that you better know. What are they? In case you want to know, you better keep reading below.

There are actually several great things about the call girl in Paris that you better know; such as: There is the fact that most of the call girls in Paris are able to speak in different languages such as English, Spanish, German, and so on. This particular fact makes them able to communicate with different people in the same best way. So, it can be a great advantage for you because language will never be a problem for you and she while you both enjoy the beauty of Paris together. Moreover, there are so many call girls in Paris that have won the local or the national beauty pageants. So, it is actually no wonder if the girls have the wonderful beauty that can make you get attracted amazingly.

In addition, in case you want to get your beautiful call girl in Paris, you can find them easily in many clubs in town. So, all you need to do is go to the club to find the right girl that you want, and then you can start to have fun in the club or in any occasion that you want to attend with her.

Why Couples Fall out of Love

In my counseling office, I frequently deal with people who’ve heard the dread phrase, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” How can it happen that a couple who were once thrilled with each other can fall out of love? It seems like a mystery, but it’s not. And, it’s frequently fixable.

Couples fall out of love for three main reasons:
• They don’t understand the difference between infatuation and love,
• They aren’t don’t understand how to grow their love for each other, and/or
• They don’t know what partnership is, or how to do it. Without partnership, there can be no lasting love.

Couples who become competitive and fight about who’s right or wrong can destroy the love they originally had for each other. The partnership way is to focus on cooperatively fixing the problem. What makes love last is an attitude of “I want both you and me to get what we want” in this relationship.

The quickest way to destroy love is to hold on to resentment. Allowing old hurts and grudges to go unresolved is corrosive. Resentment is like rust that eats away at the bonds of your relationship. It’s important to learn to clear up resentment by first recognizing it in yourself, then confessing it and learning to solve the problems that caused it.

Men and women have different reasons for falling out of love. Husbands often disconnect from their wives when they don’t feel the wives are interested in them anymore. Because men often have a difficult time with intimacy, someone at work who is sympathetic and doesn’t make demands can be very tempting.

Wives disconnect because they feel unloved or taken for granted. They complain for a while, then withdraw. Once she gives up on getting caring from her partner, a masseur or yoga teacher who is attentive can make her feel wanted.

Either spouse will be tempted to cheat if the marriage is disconnected, or has sunk into friendship—affection without sex. To mend the relationship, both spouses need to be willing to make it work, to talk openly about what went wrong, to take responsibility for what they did or didn’t do to make the marriage work. This takes emotional maturity, which is the ability to rise above your immediate wants and emotional reactions in order to have a reasonable discussion rather than a fight. Married couples also need support for their marriage—other couples who can help them through rough times.

Love also changes over time, and if you don’t understand the change, it can be scary. It’s easy to feel romantic when you live separately and date each other, because every moment spent together is special. From the moment you begin to live together, such romantic moments are no longer automatic. Instead, much of your time together is spent on more mundane things: doing laundry, washing dishes, paying bills, and going to work. Although this can be new, exciting and fun at first, as soon as the initial newness of living together wears off, such everyday things cease to feel exciting and romantic, and you may find yourself feeling worried that your partner no longer cares as much or is as excited to be with you.

If you react negatively to the changes instead of handling them, you can damage your relationship beyond repair.

Dr. Romance’s 3 Signs You’re Headed for Divorce
1. You aren’t fighting—but you aren’t communicating. If you’ve been fighting, or dread fighting, moving into a phase of not talking meaningfully at all can feel like a relief—but it could be a sign that you’ve both given up on being understood. When this happens, divorce is often the next step if you don’t get counseling and figure out how to talk to each other without fighting.

2. No sex. While sex in long-term relationships isn’t the easy, self-igniting excitement it was in the beginning, it’s still the heartbeat of your relationship. If you haven’t learned how to keep your sex life alive, and it sputters out, you open a wound in the relationship that invites an affair. If you haven’t had sex with your partner in a while, start talking about what’s not working—or divorce could be the solution.

3. You’re only parents, not partners. If you have focused so much on being a family and raising your kids, and let your couple relationship go, you may find that you’ve lost your couple connection completely. This is why so many couples break up as soon as the kids are grown (or even before) Your man and wife relationship is vital—it’s the foundation your family is built on. Don’t get so into your role as parents that you forget to be partners.

There are ten most common ways couples behave that ruin their relationships. The following list shows you what not to do.

Dr. Romance’s 10 ways to ruin your relationship:
1. Pick the wrong partner for the wrong reasons: No matter how charming your partner is, if he or she’s a player, an out-of-control spender, a con artist, an alcoholic/addict or violent, no amount of love on your part will fix the problem. Don’t try. The minute you find out there’s a Fatal Flaw, end it. Find a less charming, but more upstanding, healthy person to love. If you’ve been with this person a long time, you might not want to give up. You can try an intervention, but it’s tough.

2. Nag/scold/bitch/yell when things don’t meet your expectations. You have to take care of yourself, and find a way to solve problems and motivate your partner to work with you. Partnership is the name of the game, not “I want you to take care of me, and I’ll throw a temper tantrum if you don’t.” You’ll get a lot more of what you want if you ask directly and simply, and motivate with affection, humor and fun. Celebration + Appreciation = Motivation.

3. Do it all yourself. Lots of people try to fill in all the gaps by doing whatever their partner isn’t doing—all alone. If he can’t keep a job, getting successful on your own could be a good thing for you, but it won’t save the relationship. If she won’t be responsible about money or discipline, doing it all yourself will work for a while, but you’ll wind up being seen as a control freak, and hated. If your partner won’t help around the house, or with the kids, doing it all yourself (plus your job) won’t save the relationship either. Very early in the relationship, give your partner the room pitch in and help. If nothing is forthcoming, ask directly (don’t just whine or hint) for what you want. If your mate doesn’t step up, and won’t discuss what would help, then you’re probably the only one in the relationship, and it’s not going to work.

4. Make assumptions that your partner thinks the way you do, and then get angry when he or she doesn’t. If you don’t learn how to communicate, and find out what your partner thinks, you won’t be able to get along. The three most important words in a relationship are: “tell me more.”

5. Blow sex out of proportion. If sex is either too important, or not important enough to you, the relationship won’t have any juice, and won’t last. Sex is one more form of relationship communication. You and your partner need to work it out together. If you have hang-ups or unrealistic expectations about sex, and won’t address them, you won’t have a lasting relationship.

6. Be out of control with money. If you’re either too controlling or too out of control with money, you’ll wind up fighting endlessly about it, and the arguments will suck the joy and love right out of the relationship. Money is an important, inevitable part of a relationship. It’s just math. Get over yourself and learn to deal with it like a grownup.

7. Hate yourself and be too self-conscious. If you don’t like yourself, your partner will feel it, and eventually get tired of trying to love you when you feel unlovable and fend off affection and compliments.

8. Keep going out of bounds: If you’re struggling with compulsive behavior such as overeating, gambling, drugs, alcohol or spending money, and you keep breaking promises, you destroy the trust in your relationship, and eventually the love. Get it under control, or get proper treatment before getting into a relationship.

9. Be miserable, negative and critical. If you whine, complain, are depressed or feel sorry for yourself too often, you’ll be too much of a downer for your partner to handle. Learn to count your blessings, give compliments, and look on the bright side at least 75% of the time. You’ll get what you focus on, and if you focus on misery, you’ll be miserable alone.

10. Don’t listen. If you don’t care about what your partner thinks, wants and feels, you’ll cut yourself off from being loved. Listen to what your partner says, and learn to recognize the other person’s style (even non-verbal.) If you just go on what you’re thinking and feeling, you’ll be missing all the clues about what makes your other half happy. Both of you need to be happy for it to work, and both of you need to cooperate to make a successful relationship.

If your sex life is dying or dead, it doesn’t have to be fatal to the relationship. You can re-invigorate it.

Dr. Romance’s 4 Tips on Jump-Starting Your Sex Life
Has your sex life gone to sleep? No matter what the old wives’ tales say about it, there’s no reason not to have sex in long-term relationships. Sex not only will keep your love energized, it’s also fun exercise, a great stress-releaser, and aerobic: it raises your heart rate and your respiration—and you don’t even notice you’re working hard.

Here’s how to make it easy and fun:

1. Relax.
Relaxing allows you to be more aware of your sexual energy, enhances sexual feelings, and frees you up to respond sexually. If you’re too stressed or tired at the end of the day, Allow time for morning sex when you are still relaxed from sleep, or after a nap.

2. Lighten Up
Because of media influence, most couples have an exaggerated, stressful image of sex. To have more fun, focus on having fun, instead of meeting a goal. Some sex encounters go well, some don’t, so have a sense of humor. Spend more time giggling, talking and being silly and less time under pressure. A lighter attitude makes sex more fun.

3. Communicate
The best beginning for a lovely sexual encounter is a good, honest and open conversation. When you were new lovers, you talked and sex was easy. In a busy life, it’s easy to get disconnected. Frequently make time to “catch up” with each other over an unhurried dinner or breakfast. Express your hopes and dreams, clear the air, and you can both relax. From there, it’s not such a long distance into the bedroom.

4. Be Flexible
Physical agility can be helpful, but emotional flexibility will really improve your sex life. The longer you and your partner are together, the more you need options like: A Quickie, Stealth Sex (hiding out from the kids or roommates), Romantic Sex, Nostalgic Sex (recreate early dates) Make-up Sex (after an argument), Comfort Sex (when one of you is sad or stressed), Relaxing Sex (no pressure, no hurry), Reassuring Sex (when a partner is insecure), or Fantasy Sex (playacting)

Intimacy is the art of making your partner feel understood and accepted. When this feeling is created, barriers fall. Gentle touch, eye contact a gentle sense of humor and the right words all create the atmosphere. Positive comments on your partner’s looks or the day’s activities positively will also help. Couples disconnect when they don’t feel interested in each other anymore. To reconnect, make an effort to listen and understand each other’s’ needs and wants.

The most powerful thing you can do to keep a marriage strong is form a partnership, a team, where both parties feel respected, cared about and needed. If you really want to restore the marriage, begin not by complaining, but by seeking to understand your partner. Once the connection is there, you can begin to work out the issues.

It’s pretty common these days for couples to sign prenuptial agreements, but I’d like to see a new trend of couples making the following promises instead.

Dr. Romance’s recommended relationship promises:
I agree not to argue, yell, shout, or fight with you. If we have a disagreement, we’ll discuss it like a business deal, focused not on who is right or wrong, but on what will fix the problem. If there’s any problem we can’t solve together in three days, we’ll go see a marriage counselor.

I agree to be honest, even if I know you won’t like it. There’s a kind way to say what I need to say, and I’ll figure it out.

I agree to work with you and view you as my equal partner. We will focus on partnership, cooperation and team building.

I wish you a loving relationship that will make all your dreams into reality.

3 Things You Should Not Do When Dating

Dating is no longer, what it used to be. You also have to realize that your boyfriend or girlfriend had his or her own friends’ priority to meeting you. Dating is about learning and exploring the possibilities that exist in a relationship and figuring out if the relationship can move to the next level. You cannot expect your partner to abandon his/her lifestyle to fit in with yours.
Here are three things you should not do when dating:

Expect Your Partner to Give Up “Me” Time

Everyone deserves to have some “me” time where he or she relaxes and loosen up after working hard or taking care of business. Do not expect your partner will be around you 24/7. Your partner deserves to have some alone time where he or she can wind down without being disturbed. Every relationship should have time out where each partner can relax without choking the other partner up.

Do not monitor your partner

Some people are fond of calling their partners up and when he or she does not answer the phone, they press the redial button immediately. Calling your partner too frequently is a sign of desperation (or insecurity) when there is no emergency. Your partner may be at a meeting at work or in-transit and cannot pick up your call. It may also be that your partner wants to have some time alone. Learn to wait for an explanation before charging and jumping to conclusions about his/her whereabouts.
Monitoring your partner’s movements or phone calls is a sign of insecurity. Do not try to sneak and check your partner’s phone every time it rings or ask who is calling. Do not try to be too clingy. It also shows some signs of insecurity. Allow your partner talk to whomever he/she wants to.

Do not try to change or control your partner

Your insecurities may also push you to want to control your partner and expect him or her to take to your rules. Dating is more like trying on clothes to see which ones will fit you. You cannot try to change someone just to fit into your own ways. You either accept them for who they are along with their flaws or move on to find someone else. Trying to change or control someone is narcissistic and should not be encouraged. You can learn to understand your partner and work together to figure out how best to improve on your communication and relationship while building into one another.

If you find anything wrong, it is best to bring it to your partner’s attention by having an amiable conversation than an intense argument. It is okay to let your partner know about your fears (if any) and you both work at it together. Relationships are not rocket-science. It takes two people who know and understand each other while dating to make a relationship work.

Dating is all about trying to figure each other out, ensuring you both share values and are compatible. You also trust, love and are committed to each other. Your partner’s time should be valued as well as yours and respect each other’s space. The more you give your partner the space needed and build on each other, the deeper you give room for your relationship to thrive.
Author’s Bio:

Kemi Sogunle is the author of Love, Sex, Lies and Reality.

Kemi is also a professional writer, speaker, life and relationship coach. She is dedicated to helping others transform their lives through self-development and growth, gaining knowledge and understanding of self-love prior to becoming involved in a relationship, find what works best and how to remain true to oneself while connecting with others to build solid relationships that will make their lives better not bitter.

Do Some People Analyse Others In Order To Avoid Themselves?

While it could be said that there are some people who are highly curious, it could also be said that there are others who are the complete opposite. This is not to say that this is something that is black and white; as there are going to be people who fall into the middle of the spectrum.

There are also likely to be moments where someone changes, and this could be because they feel different. What this shows is that although human beings are creates of habit, they can still change their behaviour.

Curious

When someone is curious, it can cause them to look into why people do the things they do. They are not going to take things at face value, and this is because they want to look a little deeper.

This is not to say that they will always find out why something takes place, but then, this might not bother them. Thinking about why someone has done something might be enough, and then it won’t matter whether they are able to find out why.

The Other Side

However, when someone is not curious, they might not be interested in why people do the things that they do. The behaviour of others is then taken at face value and that’s as far as it goes.

They may believe that looking into why people do things is a waste of energy, and they may say that it is not possible to find out. This could cause them to criticise people who do look a little deeper.

Pure Intentions

When someone is interested in why people do the things that they do, it could be because they are simply interested in people. In this case, it could be sad that their intentions are generally pure, and that they are not out to manipulate others.

Conversely, there are also going to be people who have a hidden agenda, and their reason for looking deeper will be to gain the upper hand. Being curious is a tool for the first person and a weapon for the second person.

Pain

There are also going to be moments where someone looks into someone’s behaviour in order to regulate their inner pain. They may have been let down or hurt by someone, and this has then created a need within them to find out why the other person did what they did.

And if they are unable to ask the person directly, it could create an ever greater need for them to understand. What this means is that their need to understand another is way for them to settle themselves down.

Emotional Reaction

However, although one has experienced an emotional reaction and this has caused them to analyse someone, it doesn’t mean they are aware of what has happened. They might just end up in a position where they are obsessed with another person.

If they are aware of what is taking place within them, it will be possible for them to take a more balanced approach. For one thing, they won’t need to be obsessed with what someone is or isn’t doing, and they may find it easier to move on.

Avoidance

Yet, if someone is unaware of what is taking place within them, and they are doing everything they can to try and find out why something has happened, it might not be possible for them to move on. This is because they are caught up in the other person’s life, and this is causing them to avoid themselves.

On one side, this is stopping them from looking at the part they may be playing in what has happened, and on the other, this is keeping their pain at bay. This shows is that the primary reason they are interested in why something has happened is because they don’t want to face how they feel.

Out of the Mind

In order for someone to let go of their minds obsessive need to analyse someone, it will be important for them to get out of their mind and into their body. When they are aware of how they feel, it will give them the chance to look into why their mind is so active.

It could be said that their obsessive need to analyse someone is a defence mechanism their mind is using to avoid being overwhelmed with pain. Once their body has started to settle down, their mind will no longer need to be so active.

Example

If one is analysing the person they were in a relationship with, it may be a way for them to avoid the loss that is within them. And even if they find out why the relationship came to an end, it doesn’t mean that they will be able to accept what happened.

Their mind can still end up going over what took place, and they may begin to feel as though their mind is out of control. This may be a sign that they need to grieve the loss of their relationship.

Awareness

One may find that they are able to get in touch with how they feel and to work through their feelings. Yet, if this is something they are unable to do, it will be important for them to seek external support, and this can be provided by a therapist and/or a support group, for example.

 

Emotional Self-Control

One of the most powerful ways I found to stop being a doormat in relationships was to learn emotional self-control. When you’re too reactive to your partner, he or she can easily draw you into a fight that stops you both from focusing on fixing the problem.

Self-control is not easy. In the face of your partner’s actions, it’s difficult not to react. But learning to stop and think, to respond thoughtfully and carefully rather than quickly and automatically, is hard. But learning self-control, no matter how difficult, is always worth while, because it makes every moment of your life easier.

Self-Control begins with self-awareness. If you already know what pushes your buttons, you will be less reactive to it. If you can tell when you’re stressed, you can be more cautious at those times. If you know that you and your partner tend to fight about the same things, over and over, you can learn to exercise more self-control when those things are discussed, and react differently to avoid fighting.

It is not necessary to keep tight self-control all the time. If you and your partner are relaxing and having fun, you can most likely respond spontaneously and be fine. But, if you’re in a tense situation, extra tired, frustrated, stressed, or talking about a sensitive subject, thinking about your response in advance will make the whole interaction work a lot better.

For example, if the two of you are just relaxing in the hot tub, you can probably feel free to tease your partner, joke around, and be playful. But, if you’re talking about financial problems, or jealousy, your responses need to be much more carefully considered.

Choosing Your Response

Each of us has his or her own sphere of influence, our own private space, which we can picture as a physical boundary surrounding us, like the invisible “glass wall” mimes often pretend to be trapped behind. All other people and events are outside this boundary, but visible and accessible through it. You can send messages in the form of words and deeds (and perhaps even thoughts and subtle body and facial movements) through this boundary, and others can send theirs in to you. You have little control over what people choose to send toward you, and total control over what you choose to send out. The control you do have over what people send into your world consists in how you receive it and respond to it.

For example, if your spouse or your boss or a family member sends you some crabbiness, you can’t change the fact that it’s been sent your way. Perhaps there is some other problem (having nothing to do with you) that accounts for this bad mood. There is little to be gained from attempting to mind-read or to change the other person’s attitude. However, if you remember about your own private space, and your wall, you will realize you have many options.

You can choose to believe that the crabbiness was sent to hurt you, or because the other person is your enemy, or because you somehow deserve to be treated that way. Any of the above choices will lead to a negative, hurtful response from you, and most likely to an unpleasant interaction. Or, you can choose not to worry about the reason for the crabbiness, and instead assume it is a problem the other person is having, and become helpful. “Are you upset?” “Is there anything I can do to help?” “Will you explain to me what you’re upset about?” If you choose to respond this way, you are more likely to have a good, productive talk with the other person.

When you remember that your responses have power to shape the whole interaction and eventually your whole relationship; and you take the time to control the way you respond, you will see all your relationships improve dramatically. This kind of self-control is a very powerful tool, when used correctly. By using it wisely, you gain the power to make your relationships, and therefore your life, happier, more successful, and more loving.

Using Self Talk

If learning self-control is difficult for you, one of the most powerful tools you can use to change is self-talk. We all have a running dialog in our heads, which often is negative or self-defeating. The good news is that you can choose to replace this negative monologue with something more positive. The brain tends to repeat familiar things over and over, going again and again over established neuronal pathways. Repeating a mantra, an affirmation or a choice over and over creates new pathways, which eventually become automatic. The new thoughts will run through your head like the old thoughts did, or like a popular song you’ve heard over and over.

controlIf your self talk feels “naturally negative,” you may be creating a self-fulfilling identity, which saps your ability to choose your responses. One thing you can do is to monitor your self-talk: what do you say to yourself about the upcoming day, about mistakes, about your luck? If these messages are negative, changing them can indeed lift your spirits and your optimism. Know yourself: if you love silence, tend to be quiet, like quiet conversations and not big parties, this may be a genetic trait; your hearing and nervous system may be more sensitive than others, and this trait will not go away. You can, however, make the most of it, and learn that creating plenty of quiet in your life will make you a happier, calmer person. If, on the other hand, you’re a party animal: social, enjoying noise and excitement, you can also use that as an asset. Positive, happy people do have an easier time in life, and bounce back from problems faster. There are things you can do in every case to increase your level of optimism, even if you can’t change who you are.

Your thoughts affect your mood, and how you relate to yourself can either lift or dampen your spirits. Neuronal activity in the brain activates hormones which are synonymous with feelings. Constant self-criticism results in a “what’s the use” attitude, which leads to depression and a cranky attitude, which doesn’t work well in your marriage. Continuous free-floating thoughts of impending doom lead to anxiety attacks. Negative self-talk creates stress; but if you listen, support and trust yourself things get better right away. Many of my clients don’t realize at first that they are responsible for their own feelings, and no one else is responsible for making them feel better. But when they catch on to that fact, their lives improve.

Looking for Love

look-for-loveI was recently in a New York City café, sipping a cappuccino and observing couples at different stages in their relationships. The age-old story: two people meet… and the ritual of courtship ensues. They’re looking for love. Some couples will find “love” for a day. Other couples will create a mutually loving bond that lasts forever.

Years ago, I wanted to find lasting love for myself. In order to get this, though, I needed to learn about the different levels of love that were out there. After getting therapy, a degree in marriage and family counseling, and a lot of experience working with both successful and unsuccessful couples…. I did learn how to find lasting love for myself. Now I write about this ultimate journey, and I try to guide others as well.

Many of us want to find The One, but we don’t know what, exactly, to look for. We hope that destiny will bring our true love to us through a chance meeting, or maybe via an introduction through a friend. Think again! Destiny and chance and an introduction here and there aren’t usually enough.

We may want to find lasting love, but the truth is that most of us apply more research, strategy, and effort in searching for a car, than we’d ever think to apply toward finding the person who is perfect for us. When we go shopping for a new set of wheels, we know what we want. Maybe we go hunting for a black convertible with black interiors, manual transmission, and a sports package… You get the picture.

We should apply the same process to finding our perfect life-mate. But how do you do this?

I take my clients through a process. First, we identify the qualities that are important to the person who is looking for love. Is their perfect mate kind or relatively blunt? Adventurous or meek? A vegan or a T-bone and potatoes kind of guy? Outgoing? Health conscious? The kind of guy whose idea of exercise is to ride the couch while channel surfing? The client must decide.

If you want to find your own perfect match, you need to start by thinking about what you want. Explore your values. Pick five or six values that you care about most. Are you looking for someone who values charitable endeavors? Their family? Having fun? Academia? Money? Being compatible and sharing values is an important determinant of enduring and successful relationships.

Be honest and specific when you write your list of core values. This is not the time to worry about being politically correct or being judged. When your list is complete, you can use it to help you identify The One if you happen to meet or hear about them.

Now it’s time to make your second list: your “deal breakers.” These are the things that you decide are unambiguously unacceptable in your potential mate—even if he or she meets every other one of the good qualities on your list. These “deal breakers” should include the obvious entries, like physical and verbal abuse, active addictions, and anger management issues. But you should include your own personal list of behaviors or features that you know don’t work for you. Perhaps you don’t want to be with someone who travels for work and is almost never at home. Or perhaps you don’t want to be with someone who can’t resolve conflicts with discussion, and who chooses to, instead, act out their relationship distress in mean ways. Add these to the list. When you see these behaviors or features in someone, you know that it’s time to move on to the next candidate. Run! Don’t walk.

Armed with your two lists, you are now ready to look for The One. You’re not playing a guessing game anymore. Remember that there’s someone out there for everyone. There’s someone out there for you. You don’t ever need to settle for less.