Becky Johnston

Becky Johnston

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If you are returning to the dating world after a long time away, or if you have not had the dating life you hoped for, maybe it’s time to try something different. Reflect on and apply these dating search ideas and practices and see if you experience more success and happiness in your dating life.

Notice, I only refer to finding a dating partner — not a life partner. One step at a time! Just find someone that you enjoy dating. And see if the dating works before expecting more.

Your criteria

Have an idea and outline, knowing yourself, of what you need in a partner and stick to it. Try not to make the goals too superficial, but more along the lines of compatibility with you. Make sure you meet your criteria too, and that you are looking for a fair match. Think about what someone seeking you may list on their criteria. And don’t have too much criteria.

The goal is to have an idea of what you need in a partner instead of trying to make someone you meet fit your criteria later on.

Your availability

Break down your week and see how many available hours you have to give to dating or a partner. Are you free from your ex-spouse, legally and emotionally? Are you open and aware of dating potential in people you meet?

The goal here is reasonable criteria + good availability = positive probability.

Your placement in potential places to meet dating partners

Try something new. Be open. Don’t write off any avenue. Just try it for fun with an open mind. Bars, friends, activities, daily routine, work, Internet, singles groups. More options equal more chances.

The goal here is to step a bit out of your comfort zone. 

Your pheromones

Do not underestimate the importance of attraction. Don’t waste your or his/her time trying to talk yourself into someone because they look good on paper. We need love and attraction for a successful relationship. That said, that isn’t all you need — remember your criteria for compatibility, too.

The goal here is pheromones first.

Your patience

With all of these requirements and with all of this exposure, in order for success and in order to manage your dating hours wisely, you need to be patient. Do not spend a lot of time or energy in something that isn’t working immediately. Relationships are work, but they shouldn’t be too much work. Relationships should be a refuge, too. Be patient for the right match. Don’t expect or give a commitment too quickly. Keep your options open until you know something is right and worth that commitment. People say our society divorces too easily, but I see people very hesitant and painstaking in their decisions to divorce. We do, however, marry and get into relationships too easily because we do not want to be patient. And that unfortunately contributes to the high statistics for divorce.

The goal here is to wait and continue to meet people until it feels natural and right.

• Becky Johnston, MA, MBA, LPC, is the author of, “The Dating Coach Workbook,” a tool she uses in her Ahwatukee dating coaching practice. She specializes in dating coaching, couples counseling, life coaching, corporate counseling and family counseling. Reach her at (480) 245-6080 or at

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