I'm done jumping into dating headfirst. I always ignore the warning signs because I like someone and it causes me a ton of trouble later.
Next time I get involved, I'm determined to be smarter.
Here are 12 things I want to happen before I make my relationship with someone official.
1. We have to click.
First and foremost, we need to have chemistry on multiple levels. It can't just be physical -- that won't lead to anything concrete.
I need someone who stimulates me mentally and emotionally. Of course we need to be attracted to each other, but I also want to be attracted to who he is as a person.
2. We have to have common interests.
No more dating guys who don't like to do what I do! It's pointless. So he's cute, who cares?
If he wants to stay inside and lie around all day, it'll never work.
We can have sex but that's about it, and I don't want to have sex with someone who doesn't excite me. My next boyfriend will love doing the same stuff I love.
3. We have to have similar values.
If I want something that lasts, we need to feel the same way about certain issues.
I want someone who cares more about people than things and wants to explore rather than stay put.
I want someone who believes in protecting the beautiful planet we live on and stands up for the rights of others. These are only a few examples of the beliefs we need to share.
4. We have to want the same things from life.
If we have different end goals, we will never stay together.
Before I get in too deep next time, I'm going to figure out if the guy is interested in leading the kind of life I want. If he wants a traditional setup with a wife, kids, a dog and a big house... it ain't gonna happen. I won't be foolish again. I have to think practically.
5. We have to make each other smile.
It may sound dumb, but it's exceedingly important.
If we can remember why we care about each other even when we're fighting or driving each other crazy, we're doing well.
I never want my significant other to look at me with hatred or contempt. I want to be with a man who is caring, kind, considerate and passionate. That'll keep me smiling forever.
6. We have to agree on the deal breakers.
I'm not great at compromising, but there are a few problematic issues that will ruin any relationship if the two people involved don't agree.
The big one for me is kids, because I don't want any.
It seems like a lot of guys would be all over a woman like me, but that's not the case.
I've had more than one breakup over the issue and it sucks. Next time, I'll make sure he and I feel the same way about it long before I get emotionally attached.
7. We have to have a similar sense of humor.
There's nothing weirder than dating someone who has a sense of humor I simply cannot understand.
I need to be with a guy who makes me laugh and who thinks I'm hilarious as well.
If we don't get each other in that way, our relationship is doomed from the start. I could never date someone who takes himself too seriously or someone who's amused by really stupid and lazy humor.
8. We have to be equally interested in each other.
I've been in relationships where I've cared more about the other person and I've been in relationships where I've cared less. Both sucked.
I don't like feeling like I'm at a disadvantage, and I don't like not being into someone I'm seeing.
I want to be with someone who is crazy about me, and I want to be crazy about him. I am determined to find that or stay single until I do.
9. We have to share the same morals and ideals.
I will never again be with anyone who is less than kind, considerate, compassionate and thoughtful.
I will not be with anyone who disrespects their fellow human beings or the world we live in.
I cannot be with someone who is conservative or religious or homophobic or sexist or racist. I will make sure the next guy I date is compatible with me in the way I view the world.
10. We have to connect on a deeper level.
Once upon a time I was with a man. It wasn't perfect, but we truly cared for each other. We had a lot in common. He made me smile.
Still, there was something missing. He never really opened up to me and I didn't feel we were connected on an emotional level. It sucked, and no matter what I did, nothing changed. I won't ever settle for that again, no matter what.
11. We have to communicate well.
It's useless to get stuck in a relationship with someone who doesn't communicate the way you do.
If you can't understand each other, how will you ever get anywhere?
I've been there and it's horribly frustrating. I will never fall for someone again before I figure out if we can work through and discuss the important issues and bumps in the road.
12. We have to be equally committed to the relationship.
If one person stops trying, it's dead in the water.
I want a man who wants to be with me through thick and thin, and is willing to work on whatever comes our way.
I'm tired of trying to drag something along like a dead horse with the sheer force of my will. It's not worth it. I won't do it again.