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“I’m telling you, the perfect person will show up at my doorstep. They will check off every single thing on my list. We will never have to work at our relationship. Ok, ya, it hasn’t happened yet, but …"

We can discover and build better and better, win-win relationships. It would be nice if it was easy as the romance novels and Hallmark channel make it out to be. It might take a little more work on our part but it’s worth the effort.

“Nope, not dating right now. What do I do? I stay home most nights watching the tube. There’s no one out there. Not a person in the world to connect with. Go out and mingle? Why should I have to? If the right person’s out there, let them find me!”

We can start with a deeper understanding of the way relationships work and approaches that support that understanding. More active participation in increasing the likelihood of a relationship happening is a positive, empowering step.

“We’ve been going out for a few weeks but I don’t think it’s gonna work. She’s nice and everything, but she’s not in a lucrative profession. Well ya, she treats me well, but she’s shorter than the women I normally like. I suppose she’s okay, but she drives an ancient car. Her phone number? I guess you can have it…”

We can choose the qualities of the “right person” we are seeking. However, the perfect person for us is unlikely to be a perfect person. We have worked to allow our own imperfections, and it’s only fair and realistic to allow for the same in others. We can limit our “list” to the most important qualities we are seeking, enjoying those aspects of the person and letting go of those that are less central.

“Hey, how are ya? Oh my new boy toy? Ya, he is such great eye candy. I know that he talks about himself a lot, but that’s okay. He make me look so good when I’m on his arm. Sure I do a lot of things for him. He’s worth it. I guess he could say things in a nicer way but he has pecs to die for.”

We have worked to value ourselves based on qualities that are in our control and which are central to who we truly are. It’s only fair to do the same with others. When we see the inner beauty of others, they become even more beautiful to us on the outside as well.

“I will never get into a relationship again. There is nobody out there that is honest, kind or trustworthy. They’re all alike. There is not one single solitary good person that is worth taking a chance on. I may be alone but at least I’m safe.”

We can allow good to come now even when less good has come in the past. When we’ve been in a relationship with someone who’s not been completely honest, kind, or trustworthy, it can be very hurtful. It’s understandable to take time to feel and process the emotions that follow such a difficult situation.

However, is avoiding risk of being hurt again worth negating any possibility of a positive connection? We don’t have to let a past negative relationship close off all possibilities of future positive relationships. Instead, we can use what we’ve learned from that relationship to be aware of signs of dishonesty, pulling back if we need to, but open to the joy that may await us.

Building relationships may not be as clear-cut as romance novels and movies lead us to believe. However, active participation, using reasonable criteria, and remaining open to possibilities can increase our chances of developing the kinds of relationships that can enhance our lives.

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