Dating and Emotional Needs

If you have finally decided to come out of your cocoon and join the unattached millions seeking romance, you should ask yourself what it is you're looking for in a date. Is it someone to make your ex jealous? Is it to get a ring on your finger before your sister does? Is it because you are lonely or bored or depressed? Or are you looking for someone you would like to spend the rest of your life with? Entering the dating competition can be risky at best. Without guidelines it can be hazardous to your self-esteem and your bank account. Copyright 2006 Robert T.

Lewis If you have a particular goal in mind, it narrows the field of possible dates. That saves you time, money and energy. If you are bored or depressed, for example, look for someone who is fun and has a good sense of humor. It may not turn out to be your future spouse, but it will meet your present needs. Unless you are a struggling graduate student and you consider strolling through the park discussing Chaucer with a member of the opposite sex a date, dating is not cheap.

Of, if you are also a gambler you might invest your small pittance in a prospective date, who would later support you through medical school. If your employer has outsourced your job to India, your unemployment checks have run out and your car is about to be repossessed, your chances of finding a date are minimal. If you are lucky, you might stumble onto a compassionate social work type, whose shoulder you can cry on.

Better yet, you could restrict your search to someone whose father owns a thriving business and who could offer you a job. The more you are in tune with the emotional needs you hope will be satisfied by a potential partner, the more you can target your search to possible dates that meet your criteria. Keep in mind that couples who are compatible generally satisfy each other's needs. So, if you narrow your search to a few possible dates, try to determine if what you have to offer also meets the needs of the other person.

Needs may be temporary or superficial or basic, and they will most likely change as you mature. They may be as simple as choosing a date who will impress your friends to the deep seated needs that lead to marriage. Finding a compatible partner will usually take time, and probably time with more than one person. So, if you find yourself still seeking the ideal mate, don't despair. Keep trying.

Some people find true love in their 80's and 90's. And, if you occasionally get distracted by someone with great sex appeal, a winning smile and a Porsche, don't lose track of your final goal. Such temptations can be fun, but are rarely lasting. As you plow your way through the adversities of dating, you are bound to make mistakes. If you screw up a relationship and it bombs, don't worry.

Failure can be a great learning experience. Did you learn what you did or didn't do to offend your date? Did you learn your date didn't appreciate your sense of humor. And more important, did you learn what type of person you don't want to marry? Now that you know the basics, but are still confused about how to begin your search for the perfect partner, think of the last time you were looking for a job. Being single is much like being unemployed. When you were being interviewed for a job, did you look for an employer whose goals were similar to your own? Was the company a place where you would like to spend the rest of your working life? Did the company seem to meet your emotional needs, and did you feel you had something to offer the company in return? Did you feel accepted and comfortable and appreciated? If the company didn't seem to meet your expectations, did you turn the job down and seek another? Or did you overlook all the negatives because you were so desperate for a job you would take anything you could get? Seeking an ideal date is like seeking an ideal job. If you are only seeking a temporary relationship or a temporary job, you probably won't be picky.

But if you are seeking a long term commitment, both at work and in your love life, be sure they both result in compatible satisfaction. Of course you don't expect your employer to satisfy your need for love and affection. But sometimes it happens. Copyright2006 Robert T. Lewis.

Robert T. Lewis, Ph.D.
Psychologist and Author of:
How Any Male Can Be A Super Dater


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