There are 10 things you can do that will almost guarantee success:
1. To find the right person, you need to be the right person.
Before a relationship, build your life. What went wrong in your last relationship? What patterns and habits do you need to address? Understand these before you get into a new one.
You’re both in or no one is in. If one partner wants to change and the other doesn’t, it’s not a relationship anymore.
If you’re in a relationship and are both trying to save it, you—both of you—figure it out and heal the wounds. Therapy is a good start. Again, you both are in or no one is in. If one partner wants to change and the other doesn’t, it’s not a relationship anymore.
2. Know your boundaries.
Is an affair a deal breaker? What else is a non-starter? Drug abuse? Excessive drinking? Dishonesty? Financial instability? Racial slurs? Emotional, verbal, or any other abuse? Know before you go in.
Once you know your deal breakers, be prepared to follow through. This isn’t about losing the other person—this is about not losing yourself. And, men and women—emotional, verbal, physical, or s*xual abuse is a one-shot deal breaker. A person who will treat you like this isn’t likely to change, but rather to ratchet up the abuse. They aren’t your problem to solve—move on.
If you stay beyond any of these allowances, you’re lying to yourself. You’ll be stuck again in dysfunction—bargaining to accept less than you want and certainly less than you deserve.