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Most of us hope to find a partner for life to share experiences, good and bad.  My friends and I have shared these efforts and strategies for years. Back in my teens and as a young adult the process consisted primarily of hanging out where we thought the boys were. We learned to enjoy sports, learned about cars, and all sorts of activities traditionally the prevue of young men. As we got older we learned to talk business, politics and world affairs and learned we liked it and had ideas and opinions of our own. Many of us found our soul mates and some were fortunate enough to form lifelong relationships but some of us lost that first love through accidents or war and went on alone hoping we wouldn’t spend the rest of our life alone.

With the advent of the proliferation of the internet and social media the whole picture changed. We no longer limited ourselves to the boy next door. We have access to the whole world. this can be seen as a good thing or not. Many of the things that help make relationships work come from mutual social, geographical and cultural backgrounds. That mutuality helps each of us to understand our partner’s point of view and provides some degree of safety through mutual acquaintances. But the world is getting to be a smaller and smaller place and with that comes new risks and some danger. Single adults are bombarded with innovations to join a plethora of dating sites that portray themselves as the ultimate way to find the perfect match. There is a specialized site for Christians, Jews, Catholics, Seniors and on and on.

Meanwhile relationship satisfaction doesn’t seem to be flourishing. Marriages are at a all time low and schemes to get your partner to commit are everywhere. For under fifty dollars you can be guaranteed a plan to land your dream man and it all hinges on a secret method of getting inside his head, learning how men think and saying the  “right” thing and avoiding the “wrong” words or phrases. In the introduction hype the promoter, a man, explains that many women lose out to “the bimbo across the room” because he longs for respect and admiration. He goes on to say that men value respect over love in surveys conducted to find out what men want and frequently express that they’re the same thing.

That was my Ah ha moment. Okay, I get it, men want respect but what’s a girl going to do when the men who are available are really hard to respect. From insecure, arrogant types to Poor me, I need a caretaker types it’s been a real challenge.