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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Do This Before You Pursue a Relationship By Deb Allen

Even as children most of us dream about what our life partner will be like. Some of focus on the appearance of our mate and others focus more on the personality of that special person. The truth is that almost everyone of us will feel that we are in love at some point in our lifetime. Being in love does not guarantee our happiness, but being in love with a compatible person might. That is why there are a few steps to take before pursuing a relationship in order to ensure that it will be a great one.

The steps are easy but they can be time-consuming. The reason is that you should give careful consideration to each step. Okay, please see the list below:

1) Get to know yourself

2) Consider your dreams, goals and plans

3) Decide what, if anything, you are willing to compromise on

4) If children are in your plans determine a parenting style you are comfortable with

5) Consider your budgeting style, are you a spender or a saver

When I listed 'get to know yourself' as step one I thought many people might misunderstand.

You see, this is really the most time-consuming step for most people. In order to know yourself you will need to carefully analyze what is important to you. After completing this step you will be able to tell anyone your basic thoughts about the fundamentals of life.

I suggest that you begin with your values, faith, and ethics. I always find it helpful to make lists on paper (or a computer screen) so I can look over it. But if you prefer making the list in your head that is fine. The purpose of defining these things for yourself is so that you can decide just how important they are to you. For instance, if you are a very religious person you may plan to raise your children with that same religion. Consider how you would feel if your partner has a different religion and wants to raise the children with those beliefs.

You most likely have some plans for your future. I think we all do. The point in this step is so that you become clearer on your goals and you can more easily determine how important they are to you.

Step three is reviewing your lists from step one and two in order to determine if you are willing to compromise on any of those issues. An example might be if you meet your partner and he or she feels that their goals are more beneficial to the relationship so you are asked to assist in helping them reach their goals while yours are put on hold or forgotten.

Raising children often results in disagreements between the parents. One may have a more liberal style of parenting while the other is very strict and authoritative. Consider how that could be handled. Ideally this is something that would be discussed early in a relationship in order to avoid disputes later.

And the last step I have listed is determining your budgeting style. Some of us are spenders and some of us are savers. Arguments over money are common in relationships. Sometimes having a spender and a saver in the couple is the ideal mix. They tend to smooth the edges of one another. But if you have been on your own for awhile it may be hard to switch styles. Decide how you would handle such a situation if your partner wanted money matters handled differently than you do.

By assessing yourself before you even begin a relationship you will be better equipped to make an intelligent decision about the viability of the partnership. Some relationships may be better left as a friendship than to be pursued as a lifetime partnership.