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Discerning Available Partners

When I ask my clients to explain why their past relationships
have not worked out, most tell me their past partners have been

When I have asked them to describe an unavailable partner,
they have listed some of the following behavior:

Uncommunicative; keeps secrets; doesn't talk about feelings;
doesn't talk about his/her life; doesn't have time for the
relationship; wants a relationship on weekends only;
geographically distant and doesn't want to change the situation;
doesn't want a commitment; doesn't want to move to the next step
in the relationship; etc.

Does any of this behavior remind you of your past or present
relationship partners, or even of yourself? Each of these
can be categorized as either a gap in communication, a gap in
the amount of time each partner wants to spend together, or a
gap in the level of commitment. These gaps are what make one
partner feel the other is unavailable.

We each have a unique need for intimacy, for availability from
our partner. If we connect with a person whose need for intimacy
is drastically different from ours, we will struggle and suffer
in the relationship. This is why it's equally important to
understand your own need for intimacy first. Then you need to
learn to recognize and get to know the person you are
dating, to accurately assess his or her need and capacity for
intimacy, before you get involved.

Answer the following questions to assess your need for intimacy:

· Describe the behavior of a partner who is "available enough"
for you.

· On a scale of 1 to 10, how much of each of the following do
you need from a partner?

Depth of communication
Communication in person
Personal time
Time and space apart from the other
Depth of connection

· What needs to happen in a relationship for you to feel you
have enough intimacy?

· Do you want to be in a committed relationship?

To gain even more insight into your need for intimacy, look at
your past relationships. Was there a gap between what you wanted
and what your partners were willing to give? Did you get the
right amount of closeness, distance, communication and
commitment? So how do you recognize a partner who is "available
enough" for you?

Listen to your dates, engage in conversation with them and watch
their behavior. They will communicate clearly who they are and
what they are looking for -- you just need to know how to listen
to what they are communicating.

If your date says he is not interested in a committed
relationship, and you know you are, then he is not "available
enough." If she says she loves her life working 80-hour weeks,
while you want someone with you every night, she is not
"available enough."

One key point to remember is that most people you date are not
the right partners. Work on attracting/selecting a partner who
wants similar things to what you want, and who has a similar
value system. It will become easier to select out those who are
not right for you. They are simply not "available enough." Once
you begin viewing relationships in this way, it will become
easier to attract a partner who is "available enough."

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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