Most of the time, love addicts are very susceptible to dating anyone who they are attracted to and who shows some interest in them. Because they are love addicts and feel they need romantic love to be happy, they will settle for less than what they want. They will allow themselves to keep dating someone who does not want to move on to the next stage.

Usually, love addicts have dating down to a science. They know where to meet people. They have an excellent online profile that says nothing about what they really want, but is guaranteed to get someone’s attention. They have the clothes they need to impress their date, and they are excellent conversationalists.

What they do not have is an understanding of how to get what they really want. They think impressing someone is enough. They want someone handsome or beautiful in their life to compensate for their own low self-esteem. They glide from one date to another hoping something magical will have. In other words, they are not dating with a purpose.

Dating with a purpose is reserved for those who are making a concerted effort to find out if there is enough compatibility to sustain a healthy relationship which includes romantic love, excitement, getting along, and a future together. In other words, dating with a purpose is like interviewing someone for the most important role in his or her life as your partner.

Dating with a purpose is not easy. It takes effort, patience, self-discipline and the wisdom of others who have gone through this process themselves and been successful.

Since dating with a purpose is one of the most important things we do in life, I have created a list of things one should look for in a relationship. You can use this as a guide.

  1. Honesty that engenders trust.
  2. Readiness for a relationship (both partners).
  3. The ability to negotiate or compromise.
  4. Self-awareness.
  5. Self-esteem.
  6. Communication skills.
  7. Sexual compatibility.
  8. There should be a recognition of the fact that each person had a different childhood experience.
  9. Similar (but not necessarily identical) values: This includes such issues as money, monogamy, and parenting.
  10. Patience and tolerance.
  11. It is important to accept the fact that there will be days when the relationship seems very ordinary or even boring.
  12. The willingness to substitute influencing for controlling: Saying something once and then letting it go.  Being a role-model instead of nagging someone to change.
  13. Healthy boundaries.
  14. Devotion.
  15. Quality time together.
  16. Knowing when to stay and when to leave.
  17. It is also important to have compatibility and “ease” in a relationship:  At the same time, it must be understood that no relationship is perfect.
  18. The willingness to face your problems (without over-reacting).
  19. Reciprocity (give and take).
  20. Realistic expectations. After the honeymoon, relationships are not a romantic fantasy anymore.

In conclusion, I believe we cannot just start dating and hope that everything will fall in to place. I think we need to be honest from the beginning about what we are looking for and move on if we are not happy.

Sherry helps singles navigate the dating process to find the love of their lives. Take her quiz to find out if you’re a love addict, sign up for a 30-minute strategy session, or learn more about how to get over a break up. Sherry maintains a private practice in Westlake Village, and is a sought after online dating and relationship coach. For more information, visit or sign up today for Sherry’s online group coaching program for $19/month. Buy her books Love Smacked or Infinite Recovery.