If you’re a woman looking to find a lasting, healthy relationship with a great, relational man, then commit to changing the way you date. Ignore much of the traditional advice about dating, such as: be coy, keep them guessing, play hard to get, focus on them, etc. If you’re serious about finding someone to have a future with, stop playing games and get real.

Below are five tips to help you find a great potential life partner.

• Switch from being the “choosee” to being the chooser. Too many women go into dating hoping their date will like them. You need to be clear with yourself that you’re the one deciding if you like them. Stop trying to bend yourself backwards to try to be attractive to them. Know that you’re trying to figure out if they are a good fit for you. Pay attention to how you feel in their presence, how they treat you, listen to you and act around you. Be the chooser.

• Be yourself, not who you think they want you to be. There’s no reason to put on a show when you’re the one choosing. If you pretend to be someone you’re not and they fall for it, then what? Realize this only sets you both up in the long run. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not — that’s an insult to you and them.

• Speak what you want to speak, not what you think they want to hear. A friend of mine once told me she used to purposely answer questions the way she thought the guy wanted her to. She did this because she wanted him to like her. What? That’s absurd…common and absurd. Stop acting like you’re not good enough for them and start knowing to the core of your being that you are. Then, act on this belief by being yourself and trusting this is enough…you are enough.

• Move from desperate to relaxed. If you’re desperate to be in a relationship, you are likely to make a poor choice. Your lens is clouded and your expectations are too low. Trust that you’ll find someone when the time is right and don’t try to speed up the process in an effort to feel better about yourself, be less lonely, to get other people off your back, to beat your biological clock, or (fill in the blank).

• Be conscious and dare to see what you see. There are often a thousand red flags in relationships that women repeatedly choose to ignore. These later come back to haunt them. Often if there’s something “off” or unhealthy about a person, it will show up fairly quickly (note picture). You just have to dare to see it. The bottom line is: if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not. Don’t minimize, rationalize or defend these red flags…notice them and walk away (guilt free) if they’re significant.

Creating a healthy relationship begins before the first hello. Make sure you’re in a healthy frame of mind for dating. The healthier and more secure you are, the healthier the person will be whom you attract. Don’t play games. Have a clear vision of what you’re looking for and go in from a position of strength (not conceit…strength). Have fun and good luck.

CHALLENGE: If you’re in the dating scene and you only change one thing about how you date, shift your attitude from that of the choosee to that of the chooser. This shift will make an enormous difference in your dating experience.

Author's Bio: 

Lisa Merlo-Booth is a relationship coach with over 15 years of experience in the field of therapy and coaching. She has worked with individuals, families and couples on a variety of life issues. http://www.relationalcoaching.com.

She earned her Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pepperdine University in 1991 and has received her coaching training from Coach University. Lisa is the Director of Training for the Relational Life Institute owned by the renowned author, Terrence Real.

Check out Lisa's blog on relationships at http://lmerlobooth.typepad.com/straight_talk_4_women/