My Mom said to me after my first real breakup: “choose carefully who you decide to spend your life with, because that will account for 90% of your happiness and stability in your adult life. Have expectations. Don’t go into anything just to be with anyone”.

At that time this piece of advice was blatantly disregarded and discarded by my stubborn “he was the love of my life and I’ll do anything to get him back” state of mind.

Several months later, while I was working on being a happy single and in my “strong, independent woman who don’t need no man” state of mind, I refused to believe that 90% of my happiness was linked to someone else. No one should have that power over MY own happiness but myself.

I still believe that my happiness -or the never ending quest for it- is entirely up to me. But I see the truth behind my Mom’s words. A lot of trial and error in the dating world has given me sense to this piece of advice.

And in my more stable and paced state of mind, now I have made up my own conclusions regarding happiness in relationships or just relationships in general: I must be clear about what I DON’T want first. And as that clears up the panorama; what I DO want in someone will start to reveal itself.

My list of Dont’s is a long one and has been made up over a number of years: no drugs, no cheating in past relationships, no disrespect to any waiters… the list goes on (and these, of course, are MY guidelines, they can and will vary for everyone).

And naturally; what I ask for is what I am committed to give.

My list of Do’s in the other hand… have come down to 4. I DO want and need:

Commitment: sounds so basic; and yet not everyone is quite there.

Communication: with Communication comes Honesty. Honesty means you trust and respect each other.

Affection: I LOVE HUGS! I NEED HUGS!

Respect: There is no stable relationship without respect. Ever. Don’t ever forget that.

Ladies, don’t go into a relationship if you’re not certain about your needs and if you don’t feel you can’t be reciprocated.

I have come to find that the easiest relationships are the ones you just slip comfortably in; where it’s easy to relate to the other person and that when you’re in them, you just get it. You just know that that is how a relationship should feel. No suffering, no tears, no passive-aggressiveness, no games. And in case you do have to change something, it is not a burden at all.

When it comes to relationships, knowing what you want empowers you. You don’t get into one just because you don’t know how to be alone.  Take time to reflect on what are the basics you need and don’t go overboard. Some things are fundamental and others superfluous. But always keep in mind what you’re worth and the worth of your partner.

I hope you’ve found yours as I have found mine.

In other words: Have #RelationshipGoals