Relationship Dilemma Remedies

A Blog About Solving Common Relationship Dilemmas

10 Things That A Woman Should Do Before She Gets Married

Here are our suggestions for what a woman should experience before saying “I Do”.  What about you?  What would you add to the list?

1.  Live on her own for at least one year.

2.  Travel to interesting places with someone other than her “intended.”

3.  Be financially self-sufficient.  Get rid of any significant credit card debt and make a big dent in any student loans.

4.  Have good friends of both sexes.

Photo by Todd Turner

5.  Recover from a broken heart.

6.  Get rid of all ghosts and demons from past relationships.

7.  Know how to stand up for herself in important relationships.

8.  Understand her relationship with anger.

9.  Have at least two other significant relationships and understand why they did not work out for her.

10.  Like, really like, herself.  Know her strengths and accept her imperfections.

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January 8, 2010 Posted by | Dating, single, women | 3 Comments

How can I build trust in a dating relationship?

I have had bad luck with dating.  The guys that I go out with either end up leaving me or have some problems like pot, alcohol or dating several at the same time but not letting me in on this.  Trusting a new person is hard and yet I really want a new relationship. Can you give me some ideas about how to find someone that I can trust and when I can decide that it is okay to let down my guard.

Congratulations to you, Tara, for recognizing that you want to go more slowly and be more careful before beginning a new romantic relationship.  Dating is and should be about learning about yourself as much as it is about finding the right person for the rest of your life.

Think about these ideas when you are looking for a new romantic partner.

We tend to be drawn to the “familiar”, even if it is not necessarily healthy. Our radar seems to just “hone in” on partners who feel comfortable to us, even if the comfort level is not a good one.  Hence, we may find ourselves drawn to “thrill-seekers” or engaging alcoholics or players because their behaviors remind us of other significant relationships with parents or former loves.

We have to find ways to get over one significant relationship before beginning a new one. Finding a new love is really not the best antidote to getting over an old one.  Take time to mourn the loss and grieve the hopes and dreams for what might have been.

Take the time to do a “post mortem” about the relationship. Was this just about your  “picker”?  Or would you say that you did some things that you know that you want to do differently the next time around?

What about that picker?
Have you chosen the same kind of person only with a little different look?  Are you always with someone that you have to “fix” or take care of?  Do you tend to choose men who are romantic and exciting but with no history of commitment?

What about your own half of the relationship?
Are there things that you did with communication or with conflict that you know you need to do differently?

These are just some points to ponder.  Please call or email us if you have comments or questions.  We offer online counseling by phone and by email and would be glad to work with you in more detail about your specific situation.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating, single, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dating Advice: What Are Some Things I Should Look For In Choosing a Partner?

So, what are some of the things to count in and count out when looking for someone to date?remember_when_image042


Has your new interest been able to hold on to a job for a while, have healthy relationships with friends and family or be able to explain honestly some of his or her decisions about distance or disruption in a relationship?  Is he or she able to be nurturing and supportive?  Does he/she struggle with “old baggage”?

While you may be of different political perspectives, can you respect the differences?  Are they too large?  Do you believe that your partner is honest and has integrity?  What about spirituality?  Is he/she a loyal person?  Responsible?  Trustworthy?


Is your new interest able to handle money effectively?  Is debt appropriate for his or her status?  (Student loans are a lot different than a large credit card balance.)  What do you notice about how he or she handles money when you are together?

Interests and Lifestyle
Do you have things in common?  Like similar music interests? Activities? Hobbies?  What about social activities, do you both enjoy generally the same level of activity with others?  Does one of you really like to be out and about while the other is more of a “homebody”?

Education and Intelligence
Do you have similar educational backgrounds?  Relationships work best when there is similarity although it certainly does not have to be equal.  It is also best when intelligence is similar.  It enhances conversation and interests.


What does your interest think about marriage?  What are his/her thoughts about roles for a husband and wife?  What about children?  If he/she could describe an ideal marriage, what would it be?

While beauty is only skin deep, there are also some physical characteristics to consider.  Certainly, physical attraction is one of the first things that you notice but, in the long run, some aspects may remain important.  Is being “fit” important to you? Are neatness or stylish dressing important to you?

January 15, 2009 Posted by | choosing healthy partners, Dating, dating advice, single, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lonely, Single and Facing the Holidays Alone

Are you facing the holidays alone?  Many say that they are okay 3076201649_e190bd64d5_m1with their “singleness” most of the year but the holidays are really tough.  You want someone to go with you to parties, shopping, to share presents, religious and family celebrations.  Doing these things alone, especially in the company of others who seem happily mated can be really difficult and remind you even more that you are not “coupled”.

It is extremely hard if this is a “first” for you.  The first one after the end of a relationship, especially after a death or a divorce, is so very hard.  Thoughts and feelings from memories of past holidays together feel overwhelming at times and it may seem hard to get through each day, sometimes each hour.  It gets easier as time passes although some say it never really gets easy.

Here are some suggestions for helping you to ease this time.

Be kind to yourself. Buy yourself a Christmas present and special holiday food.  Think of ways to celebrate the goodness of you.

Go easy and have realistic expectations
.  Don’t expect “glorious” holidays, rather look for ones of peace.

Acknowledge your feelings of sadness and loneliness.
Recognize that it is natural to want to share this time of year with someone special.  Journal about it or talk it over with a friend and then find a way to let it go.  Focus on something or someone else.  Do not let yourself travel too far down the path of unhappiness, rather head it off at the pass.  Rarely is there anything good that comes from thinking too much or letting these thoughts overwhelm you.

Do something for another person.
This can be anything from volunteering to help out in a shelter to baking cookies for neighbors.  Reaching out to others, often ones in a more difficult situation than your own, can help put your own loneliness in perspective.

Write a list of the good things about you and happening in your life right now. What do you do well?  Who are your friends?  What are your strengths?  What would others say that they most like about you?  Make copies of this list and keep it near by so that you can reach for it whenever you need to bring yourself back to a happier place.

Make plans.
If you do not have a lot of people to keep you busy … or money to cover costs, find ways to attend events at the library, show up at a church, walk in the neighborhood where you might see other people.  Get out of your home and be active.  We have a friend who has organized an “Orphans’ Christmas”.  She invites others that she knows are alone for the holidays.  They all bring a small gift to open and exchange and share a meal.  This tradition is now 12 years old and she has requests from others who hear about it and want to join the group.

Remind yourself that this time does not last forever.
January 1 will come and life will return to a more normal place.  You have gotten through tougher times in your life.  You can and will get through this as well.

December 11, 2008 Posted by | holidays, lonely, single | Leave a comment