As unromantic as it may feel sometimes, our journey to finding real love today needs the right amount of “work”.

It’s worth it though right?

After all, you’re selecting one of the most important relationships in your life without settling or compromising on your most important needs.

Your selective, smart dating plan and staying open are the keys to creating many high-quality opportunities for you to meet that one special person.



Getting distracted by less important “preferences” instead of paying attention to your important “must have’s” may unknowingly be holding you back more than you think.

Having clarity about these essentials and allowing them to be your guide to love, IS the difference between investing in someone with serious potential, and wasting your energy and emotions on the wrong person.

Studies across different societies have proven that you do have to share some similarities such as core values, personality traits and relationship goals but NOT as many as we believe. Important must have's include things like Respect, Kindness, Safety, Trust and, Loyalty.

Obvious right?  However, in practice, we often focus on the things we think we need in a partner for a relationship to succeed but actually don’t. 

Remember your perfect partner and relationship may not come in the “package” you hoped according to your “must have” list.

So, to avoid cheating yourself out of the chance to attract real love, don’t be distracted and influenced by these 6 common "must have’s" or "non-negotiables" when you’re selecting who to date and commit to.

They alone don’t determine the quality of your future, successful, loving, relationship.

1)    Level of Education

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"Educated" is one of the most popular "must have's" mentioned. 

While I agree that academic credentials are admirable; qualifying potential dates or a partner by their education level isn't that character revealing. 

It doesn’t automatically mean their relationship and communication skills, emotional maturity and availability are equally developed and will match yours.

While I understand having academic credentials in common is familiar and appealing, I encourage you to be open about how you decide this. Think about what you personally need someone's "education" to tell you about them?  (not your parents, family, friends). 

For example, I once met a potential client who was proud to inform me he had three degrees, yet by the end of the conversation, his behaviour, attitude, conversation topics,and his conversational skills, revealed he was disrespectful, a misogynist, emotionally unstable and sleazy.  I couldn't help as a dating coach. 

That's a small example of the importance of keeping "education" in perspective. Perhaps learn more about their overall attitude, passion and purpose in life? What drives them? How do they conduct themselves? What are their standards? What accomplishments are they proud of in life overall?  

Some of the happiest, driven, smartest and successful people I've met, don't have "conventional" degrees, but they're educated and smart in life, business, relationships, are self-aware and are continuously evolving.  

Do you ever assume you're overqualified or more accomplished to date someone with less success?

The other side of the coin is assuming that someone won’t be interested in you if your education level is higher or you have more "accomplishments".

I see this mistake made especially by accomplished women who fall into the trap of believing a man will feel intimidated by their level of education and success.  The wrong men might, but don’t judge all men by this "assumption". 

Give the right quality men who don’t match your education level and success a chance, and you’ll discover soon enough if his self-esteem is healthy, if not move on.

I assure you confident happy emotionally mature men will applaud your success.

These men are also more interested in your warmth, intelligence, confidence, personality, feminine presence, attractiveness inside and out, and how he feels in your company.


2)    Career/ Profession


We often make quick judgements about a person’s attractiveness, character and suitability based on their profession, career and objective financial success.  Some people's identity is defined by these factors. 

The truth is, these external factors don't always define their character, morals or their suitability as a potential partner at all, whether it looks impressive on paper or not. Only consistent actions and behaviours do. 

I encourage you to be flexible and open about this.

A person's title isn’t as important as essential "must have's" such as financial independence, lifestyle preferences, goals, morality, honesty and if theirs are aligned with yours.

This counts more than job title for relationship success.


3)    Chemistry


Chemistry is seductive and the most common reason we date the wrong person for longer than we should, or decide not to go on that second date.

It’s definitely important, but real, deep, lasting chemistry and attraction grows over time.

Instant chemistry is just that” instant” and it fizzles out fast if there is no substance and depth to back it up.

Chemistry alone isn’t enough to keep real love alive.

As Rori Raye, Relationship Coach says " if you have strong chemical feelings right away, that’s an instant sign that something is wrong – this is the basis of codependency.   You’re attaching a lot of meaning to very little substance and creating a fantasy.  Chemistry is not a magic emotion:  it is something that builds over time when you feel safe with someone and you build intimacy"  

Stay resilient and not distracted by the feel good “chemistry” myth. Invest in dates, where you don't feel instant chemistry, and be sure there is no potential to develop the connection based on your important must have's before closing that door.


4)    Common Interests


Many people look for someone to share the same interests and hobbies. Of course, it’s fun to share activities together.

Some popular must have's are must love to travel or be well travelled. Keep in mind, interests and hobbies evolve as do people with time, with experience and age. Many couples like to take part in new hobbies and passions with their partner, if they don’t, it doesn’t mean it isn’t a great match in other important areas.

Imagine your date loves watching TV as entertainment, and you are the opposite,  or you love dancing and socialising, and your date doesn't; are you willing to close the door to a potentially great partner in many other ways, whose essential values and needs are aligned with yours, because you spend your down time differently?  

You need to be clear about what your comfort zone is, in terms of how many and what kinds of activities you want to enjoy together and avoid judging a person who doesn't do what you do and as often. It's their business, and control doesn't belong in the mix. They're not you, and you're not looking for another you in a partner.  Are you?

Avoid interests being a barrier to connecting to quality potential dates. 

I  believe it’s healthy and important to maintain your own personal interests and hobbies. That shouldn't change when you're in a relationship.

Choose to date more people with different interests and passions, and look for the qualities in them that count for a happy relationship.


5)    Physical Attraction


Let’s start with the reality that looks do matter! And we’re responsible for presenting our most attractive selves to feel great about ourselves first. That authentic, confident energy is attractive.

Attraction is about more than a polished exterior. It includes many elements like energy, warmth, personality, attitude, body language, femininity in women, confidence, masculinity in men, the way a person listens, how they engage in conversations, and their charisma.

Until you are in someone’s company, you cannot feel their essence and attractiveness in real life.

Judging a person whose physical appearance doesn’t initially meet your standards is the most limiting choice you can make when you’re searching for an authentic connection and lasting love.

We know looks alone don’t determine long-term happiness and it’s the most common trap singles unconsciously fall for.

Stay strong on this. Broaden your scope and actively connect to more quality singles who may not match your usual physical type


6)    Emotions & Love


This is a delicate one and more relevant when you’ve been dating someone for a few weeks or months.

Allowing your emotions to blur the fact that you're not fundamentally compatible will only lead to disappointment. Keep a level of objectivity as you discover who the person is so that you don't overly invest emotionally too soon.

How often do we hear about relationships ending after a few months, when the honeymoon period has settled and there are major differences in each other's needs and values.  

Of course, all those lovely emotions feel nice in the moment, but even loving someone won’t stop the relationship cracks in the future, if the foundation isn’t strong enough. So focus on setting a strong foundation first. 

If you’re essential "must have’s" are not fulfilled like, kindness, respect, trust, safety, emotional maturity, and whichever other shared values are essential to you- you’re  settling! You don't ever need to do that.


On a final note, I encourage you to take the slow road to love.

Be sure your essential relationship worthy "must haves" are met and reciprocated to guarantee you a happy long loving relationship. You deserve that!

If you would like to gain clarity about where you are on your dating journey, what may be holding you back and how best to maximise your dating success authentically, I'd love to invite you to a complimentary 30-minute coaching call. Let's talk.