#94 - Dating consciously



We live in a world of mixed messages and immediate gratification.  Media tells us that if we want something, we deserve to have it now.  We also live in a world where our friends and family (and even some relationship coaches and counselors) tell us we cannot have everything we want in a relationship.  They tell us we are too picky and our standards are too high.  We are told that there is no perfect man or woman.  The underlying message is “settle for what you can find.”  Consequently, most people date and get into relationships without thinking about what they really want.  They decide that it is more important to be in a relationship (immediate gratification) than it is to think deeply and identify what is important to them and wait for the right relationship.


Most people just jump into a relationship without fully understanding what (or whom) they are looking for.  They will spend months and even years in a relationship that is less than fulfilling and wonder what is wrong.  When they are in these relationships they are settling for someone that is not fulfilling one or more of their intellectual, spiritual, emotional or physical needs.  These couples usually experience significant tears and heartache because so much time and emotion has been invested and often times wasted in the wrong relationship.


Most relationships don’t need to end this way.  So, how do you change this pattern?  It starts with serious thought about who you are, what you have to offer and what you are looking for in a relationship.  This is dating consciously.  Dating consciously is the act of thinking about whom you are looking for and why you are looking, before you start to date.


If you are dating consciously, you will have predetermined the type of relationship you are looking for.  Relationships range from casual (just friends to do things with) to permanent (one that leads to marriage) or maybe something in between.


When you date consciously, you will also have thought about (and written down) the Must Have characteristics of your next mate, your Deal Breaker list and then the list of traits that make you an extraordinary mate.  If you want more details about creating these lists, check out my book, Dating Backward, available on or


The process of dating consciously will create a vision of the very minimum of what you will accept in a relationship.  It will also help prevent you from dating people that are not right for you.  You will be able to identify red flags with most potential mates in 30 days or less.  In fact, you should be able to see most red flags in the first date or two simply because you are focused on what you want.


Start dating smarter.  Avoid most of the tears and heartache from poor relationships.  Date Consciously!


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About the author:


Over the past 30 years, Rick Soetebier has been a student of self and relationship improvement. He has become an astute observer of people and relationship issues. Over time and through a relationship and marriage that ended after 25 years, Rick started to develop some of the fundamental principles that are found in his book, Dating Backward: A practical guide to dating and finding your soul mate.  You can benefit from his observations, education, research and personal experience by letting him help you make better relationship decisions. Date consciously and settle for nothing less than extraordinary in your next relationship.