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“I have a lot of boyfriends; I want you to write that. Every country I visit, I have a different boyfriend. And I kiss them all.” Anna Kournikova

 There are no absolutes in finding and nailing down the right partner. However, there are guidelines that can pull in or push away from a good match.

Too much too soon. I’ve known guys on the first date promise me the moon, trips to Europe, over the top suggestions. The second date with the over-the-top dude never took place. If on the first date you are naming your future children, picking your wedding date, staring longingly into your Pinterest wedding account, chances are you have rightfully scared off a normal dude.

Getting to know a new person is pivotal; fun, full of ideas, conversation, and a dash of flirting. Simple, but the basics hold true. 

I believe that most men have a natural drive to hunt. Therefore, the slightly out-of-reach girl more appealing. No throwing yourself at Mr. Wonderful, no dumb text excuse, let him come after you.

You may run from a too eager dude; give the decent guy a second or third date. The first date may be wracked with honest nerves, intercepting your impression. Your gut instant is always the best, by the third date, you should know if you want to continue with that guy.

Complaints about your ex or his ex should not factor into the beginning part of courtship. If a new date berates his ex, I would squirm. Becoming the next Ms. Awful, pass.

Clingy needy is not a good look on anyone. Unless you want to sign up for codependent consoling. No babies on board, whiners step aside, if you want a strong partnership, be a strong partner.

Know who you are, to attract what you want.

I love a man with a plan; unless you want to be the mom or the director, let him plan. Be the cool chick; if he’s interested, he will pursue you.

Remember, in finding the perfect partner, the important things are character qualities, conversation, conflict resolution, and being able to function through change. Everyone faces changes and problems. Know your love language and what his is; love him by his language.

Connecting is a matter of deep conversation, humor, friendship, and how you face problems.

Don’t hit the sheets unless you feel there is potential. The moment you sleep together changes everything. You bond chemically, and his need for the chase settles way down. You may shift into wanting the ‘next love fix.’ Before you become that chasing girl, know who you are bedding. Having sex will not make you exclusive unless agreed upon. Having sex will not make a man fall in love with you.

 Don’t be afraid to fail. To love and lose may not be the greatest loss if lessons were learned—one step closer to knowing where you fall, one step closer to loving better.

 We can learn from others! Read about my love journey “A Man for Every Purpose, My Naked Journey Searching for Love.”

My Mantra: “Dating smart provides lessons if you pay attention.”