A Dating Timeline: Are You Sliding Or Deciding?

by Jennifer Oikle - Date: 2007-02-23 - Word Count: 452 Share This!

Here's reality: The longer you date Mr./Ms. Wrong the farther away you will be from Mr./Ms. Right. There is NO way around this. This means that if you keep dating Mr./Ms. Right Now you have ZERO chance of landing your perfect partner.

One of the biggest dating mistakes people make is staying too long in relationships that are clearly heading nowhere. Most of us get involved with someone new and just keep sliding forward in the relationship, without making conscious decisions. To avoid this, you have to get smart about choosing your future, always keeping in mind this question, "Is this the right person for me to spend a lifetime with?" When the answer is no, you've got to be prepared to move on. To help you minimize wasted time, effort, and emotion, follow this suggested dating timeline by asking yourself the questions below (for a typical dating scenario).

After One Month: Is this a person you think has enough potential that you want to explore them exclusively? If yes, date only each other for awhile. If you still feel like seeing other people, it's a good sign that this isn't the partner for you. Move on.

After Three Months: Does this person have enough compatibility with me that I can see a long term future with them? If yes, date for three more months. It typically takes up to three months for a person's true personality to begin shining through. So you don't want to make any major decisions before then. But if you are seeing some major incompatibilities by three months, it's time to move on.

After Six Months: Does this relationship reliably meet my needs? And would spending my lifetime with this person make me happy? If so, give it six more months and reassess. By six months, you've typically had a chance to get to know someone fairly well and you've seen them in different situations. If all lights are green, it can still take up to two years to know someone well enough to make a well informed decision about whether you should commit for life. But if your answer to this question now is no, move on.

By regularly reviewing the status of your relationship with open eyes and being honest about it's fit for your future, you can fast forward the process of finding your mate. Your goal should be to have fun while minimizing wasted time, effort, and emotion, because every moment spent with a Frog is more time away from your Prince/ss!

So if you are serious about finding the right partner, don't slide into your next relationship, consciously decide every step of the way by continuously asking the most important question: Is this really the person for me?

Related Tags: relationships, dating, breaking up, partner selection

Jennifer Oikle, Ph.D. is a psychologist whose practice consists of dating and relationship coaching. Her passion is helping singles and couples create the love they deserve. Through powerful workshops, effective one-on-one coaching, and affordable group coaching, she offers people the insight, tools, and skills they need to bring extraordinary love into their lives. She also provides free relationship resources in the form of newsletters and monthly group coaching calls. Learn more at: http://www.couplingconnection.com.

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