Happiness starts with contentment, goal setting and a positive accepting attitude. Surround yourself with healthy activities, whole foods and happy companions.

Connie Dello Buono



By Bari Lyman

The same seven habits that make a highly effective person can also help you become a highly effective dater:

  1. Be proactive. Remember that you are in control of your life. If you don’t feel like you’re meeting anyone or you’re not where you want to be in your relationship, assess what is missing and change it. Make a promise or set a goal for yourself and act on it. For example, make a dating action plan that includes scheduling time for dating-related activities.
  2. Begin with the end in mind. Before you begin a relationship, you need to first know where you’re going. By understanding your intentions, you won’t waste time with the people who didn’t align with your marriage vision in the first place. Ask yourself: What’s my mission? What am I hoping to achieve by dating?
  3. Put first things first. You may say “yes” or “no” to dating on a regular basis, but if you truly want to find your ideal spouse, you need to put in the effort. Your decisions need to align with your goals. If marriage is important to you, put forth the effort and be an intentional dater!
  4. Think win/win. Don’t be alarmed by this habit, having a win/win mentality isn’t as impossible as you may think. In fact, Covey argues that achieving this kind of outcome is most realistic at the beginning of a relationship. Perhaps you recently started dating someone, but you realize it’s not going to work out. Rather than thinking one of you is losing out by ending the relationship, think win/win. There is someone else better out there for both of you, and by ending things sooner rather than later, you open the door again to the possibility of meeting that person.
  5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Setting goals for yourself is a great way to help you become a proactive dater. However, it’s also important to remember that goals aren’t achieved overnight. One of the best ways to reach your dating goal is to listen. More importantly, listen with the intent to understand others and not just yourself. Rather than jumping headfirst into a relationship, take the time to listen to what someone else has to say so you’ll know if that person is right for you.
  6. Synergize. Covey explains that “when you communicate synergistically, you are simply opening your mind and heart and expressions to new possibilities, new alternatives, new options.” If someone’s views don’t align with yours, don’t criticize them. Instead, make an effort to listen, ask questions and understand where they’re coming from. Be open and, if you don’t feel like you’re making a connection with someone, simply explain that while you respect their views, you don’t think they will line up with yours in the long run. What they value may not be right for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for someone else.
  7. Sharpen the saw. Make a habit of renewing yourself physically, spiritually, mentally and socially on a regular basis so that when you meet “the One” you can be the best possible version of yourself!