You are in love. Your hormones are surging, so you know this must be "the one."   Besides, you are lonely and you want someone to hold you and make you feel cherished - now.  "Mister Right" is saying all the things you want to hear.   He says he adores you and wants you forever.   STOP!   Review this list of what it takes for a relationship to stay great over the years.

7 Keys to a Great Relationship

  1. You are Self-Reliant.  "Neediness" is no basis for a relationship.  If you feel that you "need" him, or that you "need" to be in relationship, STOP!  You are not ready for this or any other relationship.  Do some personal work on yourself first.  It isn't fair to him or to yourself to merge your lives before you love and respect yourself.
  2. He is Self-Reliant.   If he "needs" you, RUN.  Choose someone who is already happy with himself and his life.  While being "needed" may stroke your ego now, just fast forward a few months.  Visualize him clinging to you and being jealous whenever you want a night with the girls.  Moreover, if he is a person who is not satisfied with his life now, know that you are NOT the "magic pill" that will keep him happy over the years.  Choose a happy and self-reliant man who views you as the magnificent frosting on the cake of his already wonderful life.
  3. He Respects you and respects women in general.  Disrespect is fatal to a relationship - both disrespect for you and disrespect in general.   If he is EVER sarcastic or demeaning to you, end it now - even if it only happens once and he apologizes profusely.   If he shows disrespect now while he is courting you, I guarantee it will get worse over time.  A particular caution is to avoid men who have a general disrespect for women as a group.  These are hopeless relationship candidates.  You are NOT an exception; if your prospective partner disrespects those of your gender, he will NOT respect you - however fervently he promises that you are different.  If he says something like, “Most women are bitches, but you are different; you are special,”   RUN, run fast, run far, never look back.  Choose a man who demonstrates respect toward himself, toward you, and toward everyone else. 
  4. He is Gentle.  Hopefully it is obvious that if he EVER raises a hand to you or threatens, leave instantly - and stop in at your local police station.  Don't ask for an apology; don't say anything; just get away.
  5. You are not "Rescuing" or Pitying him.  If you are looking for a forlorn puppy, try your local animal shelter.  If you are looking for a charitable cause, volunteer at the food bank.  But, if you are looking for a life partner, make sure that his acting helpless is not part of his appeal to you.  If he can't match his socks without your help, or hasn't cooked himself a healthy meal in weeks, or says he doesn't have any friends, Run.  Your job is to co-create a great life with your partner - not to "fix" him.
  6. You like his Friends and Family.  His friends and family are crucial to the success of your relationship.  If you haven't met them yet, do it now - don't wait another minute.  His friends and family are his life.  Whatever he says, he won't give them up for you; it's not in his nature.  If he is tied to his mother's apron strings, you want to know that today.  If you dislike his friends now, you will hate them later.  Choose a man who brings great friends and family to your relationship.
  7. You accept him EXACTLY as he is and promise never to try to change him.  He is practically perfect except he drinks too much, or smokes, or swears, or spends too much time with his friends, or does something else that really bugs you.  Get REAL.  He isn't going to change!  He may promise to change in order to woo you.  He may really feel committed to changing.  But it isn't going to happen.  Respect him, love him, and accept him EXACTLY as he is today, or break it off, and find someone you respect and accept exactly as they are today.
Author's Bio: 

Visit Dance Lightly to sign-up for Jonathan's Daily Inspiration email, and read his article How To Be Happy - 7 Secrets for a Happy Life.

Jonathan Lockwood Huie is an author of self-awareness books and free inspirational email publications. He has been dubbed "The Philosopher of Happiness" by those closest to him, in recognition of his on-going commitment to seeing Joy in all of life.

** Today is your day to dance lightly with life. It really is. - jonathan lockwood huie **