Successful Relationships - A Guide For Women
24th September, 2010
It could be argued that this is a good time in history to be a single woman. Certainly in the U.K. we have more career choice, better earnings and personal freedom than women of past generations. However most of us reach a point were we wish to share our lives with a male partner. Many women find the journey from single to contented couple fraught with difficulties. My aim here is to guide you step by step from single to couple pointing out some potential pitfalls and how you might avoid them.
Decide that you actually want a life partner. Our society considers it important for women to be in a relationship. There is still a perception in many quarters that a woman without a relationship is unhappy.
Our friends and relatives want us to be happy and fulfilled and so encourage us to find a life partner. The media also exerts pressure on women to be part of a couple.
Women who have mixed feelings about choosing a partner or choosing one at this time often select men who are unavailable. A potential partner may be unavailable because he is already in a committed relationship. Or his work or other issue’s in his personal life may not allow him the time or opportunity to enter a committed relationship. Or he may simply not wish to.
We all have a right to choose a life partner or to decide not to choose one. We also have a right to decide when we will choose our life partner.
So if you are enjoying life as a single and currently have no desire to find a life partner why not continue for now. Choosing a life partner is not a decision to be made under pressure or to please others.
Define your future partner. Everything that currently exists in your life was at one point defined by you the shoes and clothes that you put on this morning, your home, the holiday that you are about to take. This doesn’t just apply to things. If you have a pet you also decided what shape and form your pet would take. For example you decided to choose a dog and then refined your choice further by specifying a breed. You also made choices about who to allow into your life as friends. Yet surprisingly many women never consciously define their future life partner. They are asked out, accept and take it from there. Not only is this a passive way of making a vitally important choice it’s impractical.
A better way would be to spend your spare moments whilst commuting or engaged in monotonous tasks mentally picturing your future partner and the lifestyle you would share. This is useful in two ways. It will help you be clear about what qualities you seek in your life partner. Additionally it will help you recognise when you meet someone who has potential to be your partner.
Step 3 Get pro-active.
It’s only in fairy stories that the handsome prince beats a path to our door. In reality we need to put ourselves into situations where we can meet available males. How does this apply to the woman who works ten-hour days or rarely leaves her home because of her duties as a carer?
It’s possibly to meet attractive members of the opposite sex whilst engaged in everyday activities, work related meetings, shopping, dog walking
Many women overlook these men who they often meet on a regular basis as potential partners. Defining your future partner as explained above will help you to know quickly if you have interests and values in common.
Step 4 Qualify potential partners
If you were choosing someone to work in your home or garden you would go through a qualification process. You would probably ask your friends and neighbours if they could recommend a gardener or builder. You would want to see references and know what trade associations he belonged to.
Yet many women choose a life partner based on little more than his great smile, attractive blue eyes or keen sense of humour.
This is hardly sufficient for the person with whom you hope to share your life now and in the future.
It’s important to observe what a potential partner does rather than what he says. Does he for example keep his promises? If he keeps small promises like telephoning when he says that he will he is likely to keep the bigger ones too. Observe also how he behaves towards others whilst you are out together.
Is he charming to you to you but inconsiderate or rude to the waiter? We all display our true attitudes towards people by the way we behave to those who are least important to us.
Step 5 Overcome obstacles
Obstacles come in two forms external and internal. External obstacles to your relationship are other people who may feel that they have something to lose by it. For example your close friends who may be concerned that you will now have less time for them. Don’t cut off from friends. The mutual support that friendship brings is important to all of us. If you stay in touch and if possible include them in some of your couple activities they are likely to adjust well to your new status.
Internal obstacles to a happy relationship may arise in the form of excessive jealousy or replaying past negative patterns from old relationships in the current one. Being aware of this type of problem is the first step towards overcoming it. The second step is changing the inappropriate behaviour. In some instances this could require professional help.
Related articles from our experts
- 'Tis the season to be quarrelling
Dr Alexander Fox MBACP Dip.Coun MSc PhD6th December, 2016
- Inner child therapy
Allswell Counselling - Joy Christopher Reg.MBACP. MIC. LLHAY.cert.6th December, 2016
- Transform your relationship in the run up to Christmas
Kamila Kaminska Counselling for Individuals and Couples1st December, 2016
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.