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Laura's Corner

I work very hard and am attending college to obtain my degree in the Human Service field. Writing makes me feel alive and gives me the opportunity to touch those whom I would not be able to otherwise. Last but not least, I have been blessed with two amazing daughters who love me completely and support my dreams. Feel free to contact me with questions, concerns or feedback.

Wonderful world of......

dating....

I've taken some time to ponder what it takes for individuals to be truly at peace with their decisions regarding dating, relationships and everything in between.  A great majority of us will find love, or at least like, a couple of times in our lives.  I can honestly say I've fallen in love a handful of times and have felt that instant connection.  It doesn't happen often but when it does, life is different. 

I enjoy being close, having someone to rely on and also falling asleep next to another.  Unless that person is snoring, then in all honesty I'd rather sleep in another room.  Yet, there is nothing greater than love, absolutely nothing. If there wasn't, we wouldn't come back time after time despite heartache.

I've been thinking about a couple of really important aspects of the dating world. Prior to diving in, there should be a few questions posed to your new or current interest. 

Each and every person knows exactly what they want regarding dating and/or relationships.  It takes moments upon meeting someone to decide what category they fall into.  Each man and woman decides if that individual is a short term, potential or long term interest.  It is when the two parties are indifferent is when it becomes sketchy.  Let me explain.

Let's say man and woman are both on track for a friends with benefits situation.  This is absolutely within reason as long as each is 100% honest about expectations and needs. Yet, if you have a man who wants a friends with benefits situation and the woman has expressed a desire for a long term, monogamous situation, the man may be dishonest about his intentions.  You will see this when he states he is "not exactly sure" what he wants regarding dating or more.  This means that he is willing to string her along for the benefit of a sexual relationship without the commitment. 

The answer to this is simple.  If you are looking for a committed, monogamous relationship, avoid jumping into the deep end of the waterbed.  Take the time to see if they want to see you outside of the bedroom.  Take note of which direction the conversation goes.  Most important, take note to see if they have any interest in who you are, not just your favorite position.

How about dating someone with children?  I've dated a majority of individuals with children, and I would again in the future if someone caught my interest.  Yet, what I've found, now that my children have flown, is that more and more parents have different styles regarding discipline and respect.  It is important to ensure that their parenting style is in sync with yours.  If you've taken the time to set strict guidelines and expect your children to respect you and others, your worst fear may come true in another.  He or she may not feel it's important to say no or may give in to every whim their children desires.  There is absolutely nothing more uncomfortable than spending time with a man or woman who's 8, 10 or 13 year old talks back, throws tempter tantrums or has never heard the word no. 

The answer to this is simple.  It is within your right to "just say no" to signing on the dotted line, break it off and move on.   One day you will meet someone who has the same family values as yourself. 

Time restraints are also a consideration.  If you are single, sans children, and your interest has split custody, you may find yourself frustrated that you are more available.  This isn't a problem if you like your freedom, but when it's apparent that you would like to establish something awesome, this is a huge consideration.  When an individual has children, they will always put them first.  They may state that it won't be a problem, yet it will eventually.  Children deserve undivided attention at times and require it even much longer than we believe. 

The answer is simple.  Find someone on the same page with you, whether it's single parenting or empty nestering.  You'll be much more satisfied in the long run.

Last but not least, at least 50% of individuals are divorced.  Divorced meaning they've signed on the dotted line, end of story.  What I've seen in the past few years are individuals stating they are divorced but are simply "separated".  They believe that it's a-ok to begin dating 24 hours after the Mrs. has moved out and can't wait to whet their whistle.  Some begin before she moves out and consider the spare bedroom enough space.  If you've been divorced for a significant period of time, it's important you require the person asking you out to be on the same page.  It takes a lot of work to get through a breakup.  I wouldn't say eons, but 1-2 years is a good start.  It is within your rights to ask for paperwork or search on the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access to see when the filing occurred and if it is "Open" or "Closed".  I've encountered many who state they're divorced, begin dating, only to find out they've been separated for 6 months or a year.  They then go on to drag you into a threesome type of situation, continually talking and/or complaining about their ex and how they've been done wrong.  Little do they know that they chose their current ex and that they, too, have been a part of the problem.  It isn't until you've done the hard work, healed and acknowledged your responsibility in the relationship that you can move on towards a new and exciting adventure. 

The answer is simple.  Date someone who is on the same page with you regarding length of time since last contact with both of your exes.  If you've done the hard work, and have healed, refuse to commit to someone who hasn't.  There are plenty of fish in the sea, approximately 50% more than 10 or 20 years ago. 

True happiness lies in the honesty of what you want and need, believing that you deserve something awesome and living without fear of rejection or being single.  Don't be afraid to immediately tell someone that you don't foresee a future with someone if you know deep down inside that they aren't someone you really want to know.  Hold out for something bigger and better, for the truth of the matter is, amazing people do exist. 

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