Dating is fantastic fun; the sense of choice, freedom and excitement at meeting a potential new partner is something which many people in a long term relationship will miss. Living the single (and occasionally hooked-up) life is great if you're still enjoying it, and if you are then by all means continue. However, there comes a time in many women's (and men's!) lives when dating and ‘sowing your wild oats' just doesn't cut it anymore. Eventually most of us want to quit looking and actually start to settle down with that special someone. This need to settle down is usually sparked off in women when they start to see their girlfriends getting engaged, married and when the pitter-patter of tiny feet can be heard, it's quite often a wakeup call.
So, if you do want to find and keep the man or woman of your dreams then you need to go about it carefully and delicately. Some men and women just can't seem to hold down a relationship if they aren't used to spending a lot of time with one person. Take a look below for my tips for maintaining a successful relationship.
Look at the type of man or woman you usually go for – if you're attracted to party boys or it girls who love to live the high life and who seem to spend an unhealthy amount of time with their crazy friends then the chances of you getting them to commit are slim to none.
Don't stop dating, just date with a different intention – just because you've decide you want to settle down doesn't mean that you should assume that love will find you. You still need to date, but you need to do so with a different intention in mind. To elaborate on the first point you need to direct your energy towards slightly more mature individuals who are secure in their career, who seem to have a grown up outlook on life (without being dull and a bit too down to earth!), and who don't flinch at the idea of spending the night in every now and then.
Keep it fresh and new – once you've tracked down your idea mate (and make sure you're not being too picky!) you need to work hard to keep your relationship fresh; go out for dinner, surprise each other with little gifts, take time to show how much you care for each other and make sure that sex is at the top of your priority list.
Be honest and flexible – try not to make concrete plans for your relationship no matter how tempted you are. The best way to ruin a relationship is to place a timeline upon it, e.g. ‘I want to be engaged within the first 2 years of our relationship, and I want children within 5 year.' It's ok to share your hopes and dreams for the future, but concrete plans will only be broken. Stay flexible but don't be afraid to ask for what you want if the relationship seems to be going off track.
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