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Finding a Partner

A Blueprint for Finding a Partner
By Janet Bush

Dear Doctor Single,

This is a more general question than most, but maybe the answer will help people other than just myself. After reading lots of the articles on I think I’m ready to take the plunge and start dating again (over a year after a bad breakup). Can you summarize what the most important steps are to take now that I’m in the dating mindset again?


A bit nervous in Chicago

Dear ‘A bit nervous in Chicago’,

Congratulations on taking things slow and not jumping into a rebound relationship to try to avoid dealing with anger, hurt, and many other emotions that you were likely experiencing since your breakup. That’s the first bit of advice. And you’ve already done that!

The next point is to be clear about your dating goals: are you looking for a casual friend or two to hang out with and just have fun with (‘no strings attached’) or is your purpose in dating to find someone with whom you can build a long-term relationship and possibly even marry? This question is important and should really be decided on upfront. And, you should be honest about your intentions with those you date to avoid hurt and confusion. Earlier is always better than later to have this kind of candid talk. (And, believe what those you date tell you are their intentions, as well. Don’t think you’ll be the one to change a 'commitment-phobe’s mind! This is probably more fantasy than reality.)

If your goal is to find a lifelong partner, choose with your head and be aware of the seduction of becoming awash in ‘lust hormones’ that inevitably diminish in a few months! Make sure that there’s at least a decent chance that you and your love interest can create a happy future together based on a foundation of love, common interests, goals, and core beliefs. It helps to make a list of criteria that are important to you before you get sucked into what may turn out to be a disastrous short term liaison with someone not very compatible with you. This will help you stay connected to your rational side when you find yourself attracted physically to someone out of the blue and can serve as a red – or at least amber! - light before things get out of hand.

Next, use the best means available to meet a potential partner. If you’re into sailing, consider joining a sailing club. If you’re into cooking, consider taking a few gourmet or ethnic cooking classes. Whatever your interests are, you’ll greatly increase the odds of meeting someone who is truly compatible with you if you spread your wings to increase the ‘eligibility net’. If you sign up for an online dating service (which is often a good idea), pay close attention to written profiles of potential dates and avoid getting caught up in just communicating with those whose photos you find most attractive (although physical attraction is important, as well).

And, finally, realize that you may meet and date many potential partners before the right person for you (and them!) comes along. That’s what dating is all about! Don’t be discouraged if this takes more time than you think it should. You’ll be better off in the long run!

Hope this helps,

Doctor Single

Article published by Tigress Luv & Glass Slipper publishing, the Breakup Gurus. For more breakup advice and forums please join us at the Lifted Hearts Breakup Support Forums & Community at

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