Dear Danielle: How Do I Find The Right Partner?

Danielle is a life coach/relationship expert dedicated to answering your hard-hitting questions. If you’d like to submit a question of your own, you can do so at the bottom of this post. We will both be reading them and picking one or two to answer every month, and it all remains anonymous. You can see what else she talks about over on her blog.

Q: “Dear Danielle…
I’m a 21 college student from California, I really enjoy reading your comments to other people’s posts. I will be transferring soon to my dream university to finish and start my life as an elementary teacher, but at the moment I feel lost and fairly upset when it comes to finding love. Sometimes I am not even sure if I am ready to find that perfect relationship.

I am a very sweet and intuitive person but also very sensitive and quiet. I would like your advice on how I can become a better person when it comes to dating and selecting the right partner. I feel that most men I have dated are either only looking for a sexual type relationship or it only turns out as a friend type relationship.

My mother keeps reminding me that when it comes to relationships one has to be mentally prepared and be prepared to pay attention to one’s partner and being financially stable. What can I do to stop feeling that void in my heart and stop obsessing about finding a guy? It saddens me to see other people or my college friends in relationships, getting married or starting a family

– P


A: Hi gorgeous lady!

Congratulations on your big career aspirations and dreams. Go make them happen! In regards to love — of course you want to be loved and in love! It’s only natural of you. Human beings are built to be in relationship with one another and we are happier when we are in quality partnerships built on mutual respect, trust and affection.

This is why it can be so hurtful and saddening to see friends and family engaged in the exact relationship we desire for ourselves. You’re happy for them but disheartened for yourself. That being said, you are a fantastic soul with big dreams and I imagine, an even bigger heart! A heart that wants to love. And that is beautiful. Dear One, remember you are still so so young and you have heaps of gorgeous time for romance… trust it will come… and when it does you will be ready because I have a few tips to get you prepared! I’ve got a little formula for success that I give away to all my email subscribers on my blog and I believe it is 100% applicable.

Here is the philosophy: when you take the responsibility of telling yourself and the world the truth about what you want, are able to give, and are willing to accept in a relationship, you will be successful in love. Here are the questions you want to answer for yourself:

1. What Is Your Dating + Relationship Purpose?

What would you like the end result of your dating to be? With the end in view… where do you see your dating going? What is as far out as you can see? Right now, maybe as far out as you can see is that you want to find someone that you can sleep with every Friday and Saturday night. OR maybe you are looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend. OR maybe you want to get married and your looking for a husband. And you want to state it—to yourself first and then to the person you are on a date with. (“I’m looking to just date.” OR “I’m looking for a boyfriend.”)

Can you imagine what would happen if you just came out and said it? How quickly you could sort through your dates? Instead of trying to figure out how long you have to go out with him before you bring up the concept of commitment and kids just to you realize that he never wants to get married and that kids make him itch with anxiety?

Really! Just put it out there. I’m looking for a sexual partner. If that’s true for you!

What we fear the most is that telling the truth will make us unattractive. But in actuality it is the opposite. The person who wants to give you what you want will find your dating and relationship purpose very attractive. I want you to start to notice how attractive people are when they are being authentic.

For example, when I was dating (I am 37) I was looking for “a boyfriend with the possibility of marriage within the next 3 years.” Now that I am in a relationship I have a ‘relationship purpose.’ Which is: self-expansion, shared lifetime purpose and a partner to to build that with. I really like him and because I like him so much I want him to feel safe and loved in our relationship.

2. My most favorite thing to do truth-telling around: Deal-breakers!

A deal-breaker is an area of no compromise. We tend to lie/conceal around our deal-breakers. Often we don’t honor our partners deal-breakers OR our own. We think we can bring the truth out LATER when they love us MORE, when we have more power and we can change them. We often tolerate things we swear we never would just because we want the relationship to work out. And we subsequently waste a lot of time and energy trying to make them and us a version we are not and never will be.

Don’t do it.

You want to reveal your deal-breakers in the very beginning when you have the least at stake. Before all sorts of emotions and feelings have been exchanged. If they one day dream of moving to Zimbabwe and joining the peace core and you don’t think that sounds like the best thing since your last girls trip to Cabo then walk away.

Other examples of deal breakers: children-timing and how many; money, the “when” of marriage, pets, religion, lifestyle choices (drinking, smoking).

3. The next thing to be honest and sincere about: The Give/Get.

Start with your dating purpose. You now have that kind of person in your life. Now what you need to figure out is:

:: what do you want to give
:: what do you want to get/receive

What are you able and wanting to give? Here are some examples:
1. Sex
2. Financial support
3. Home cooked meals 3x a week… or more?
4. Lots of hugs and kisses
5. Stimulating political conversation
6. Loyalty
7. Compassion
8. Amazing mom to his children

What do you want to receive/get? Here are some examples:
1.Financial support + stability
2. Empathetic listening
3. Patience
4. Hugs and kisses
5. Travel companion
6. Career support–he needs to understand and cheer-lead you on.

Here’s another dating tip gem. Drop The Scarcity Mentality: there are over 3 million people in the United States. One of them will like you. Let’s say half of them are the opposite sex. That leaves 150 million people. It’s not a “quantity” problem–it’s a “sorting” problem.

How fast can you sort through the possibilities? Instead of trying to make the most out of the guy in front of you. Now in your hands is your blueprint for living success in love. Here’s what I want you to do with it — Be honest about it. Refine it whenever you like and use it as your guiding principals in love.

Remember, the better you know yourself the more clear and transparent you can be in love and life — and that is a recipe for success!


What advice would you give to “P”?

Want to submit your own question about life, love, or business? It will remain anonymous and may just be featured here! Click here to submit! Read more of our Dear Danielle features here.

Dr. Danielle Dowling is a life coach and psychologist. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring lives and to help them achieve their dreams, whatever they may be! Connect with Danielle on Twitter and Pinterest. Ready to step up your game? Hire her. You won’t regret it.

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By Dana Fox

Founder of the Wonder Forest blog and brand and bestselling author of the Watercolor With Me book series.