mature_girl_dating_prep_inside.jpgAs you grow older, it may take a little more effort to find a relationship that both inspires and fulfills you. While we all look for the special kind of companionship that a romantic relationship provides, the independence that comes with maturity may make it difficult to find the right kind of romance. But believe it or not, this independence may actually be a good thing.

"An ideal relationship is one where the two people involved are happy being together and happy being alone," says Maribel Dionisio, associate counselor at the Reintegrating for Care and Wholeness Foundation Inc. and co-founder and marriage counselor at the Love Institute in Quezon City. "In short, they have a complete and full life, even without the other."

In order for one to be happy being alone, one has to be happy with herself, a task that will require the following steps.


1.  KNOW YOURSELF.

Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and work on them.  Get an emotional health check up and see a counselor at least once a year to see how you have developed and changed. “If you need a regular check up with a doctor for your health,” explains Dionisio, “your emotional well being deserves the same kind of maintenance.”


2.  KNOW WHAT YOUR NON-NEGOTIABLES ARE.

Dionisio explains, “It cannot be all ‘bahala na’ or ‘whatever.’  Every relationship will require a bit of compromise and sacrifice, but your core values and principles should remain intact.”


3.  UNLOAD YOUR EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE.

Whether your personal issues come from childhood experiences or past relationships, you have to confront and solve them--deal with unfinished business, or so to speak. Otherwise, Dionisio says, these can be stumbling blocks to relationships. “When it comes to past lovers, we sometimes create our own imprisonment from the memories. You need to examine yourself closely and assess what issues are keeping you from having happy, healthy relationships.”


For more on mature relationships, check out the following articles
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(Photo by pedrosimoes7 via Flickr Creative Commons)


(Originally published in
Marie Claire Philippines February 2009 issue as part of "The 30+ Dating Files"; adapted for use in Female Network)
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