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Ask Ellie: Before dating, know what you want and how to look for it

'Ask the right qualifying questions and have a clear idea of what you want your partner — and your relationship — to be,' dating expert says

Dear Readers: Wherever there are possibilities for garnering publicity, relationship writers are sent the latest promotions by various dating websites.

As this past Christmas was approaching, one such teaser was about finding “the perfect partner” during the holiday season.

That’s why PCMobile (operated in Canada through Bell Mobility) partnered with dating expert Carmelia Ray, for tips.

Her Starter: “Know what you’re looking for and what you bring to a relationship… Ask the right qualifying questions and have a clear idea of what you want your partner — and your relationship — to be.”

Her Tips:

1. Find “someone who’ll love and accept all your unique quirks … Look for a flexible partner who’ll accept you through all your changes.”

Her formula: “Compromise plus open communication plus someone willing to listen will help keep the flame alive.”

2. Red Flags: “Someone sounds great on paper but they underdeliver. Watch out for people who overpromise because it might be too good to be true. If someone’s stretching the truth or coming off as inauthentic — run!”

3. Don’t Settle: “Sometimes it can be easy to fall into a ‘situationship,’ a clear sign you’re settling. When you settle for less, you’ll hear that little voice in the back of your head questioning your relationship … you haven’t found the right one.”

4. Manifest Your Destiny: “If you’re dating around blindly and without intention, you’ll attract anyone and everyone. Be open and honest about what YOU want, your needs and goals…. Set up necessary boundaries, too!”

From my relationship advice experience, that’s all good solid advice from Ray.

Meanwhile, everything else in the promotion is about mobile telephones… presumably a corporate-based idea of a link to finding “the one.”

Feedback regarding your reply to “Shattered Husband”, who felt “embarrassed” by a stranger who alluded to his wife’s past actions in Las Vegas years before they met (Dec. 18):

“I believe that your reply didn’t deal with what I see was a more fundamental, and disturbing problem.

“You told him that the stranger was a trouble-making jerk, that he should accept his wife’s response since they have been “very happily married for seven years” and they have a daughter. You are, of course, correct. Whatever happened in Las Vegas does not matter.

“What concerns me is the sentiment expressed by “Shattered Husband” that the stranger “embarrassed” him by supposedly putting his wife’s reputation in doubt. Even by describing himself as “shattered” implies that he feels hurt by her actions that happened YEARS before their marriage.

“Where have we heard an attitude like this before? In the context of so-called “honour killings.” This person not only needs to accept that his wife’s still the loving, trustworthy partner he married, but he needs to go further. He must make a serious shift in his view of being damaged by her youthful exuberance. It might take significant counselling to achieve this. Otherwise, their marriage — and even her wellbeing — may be in jeopardy.”

Reader 2: “What kind of prehistoric numbskulls are we dealing with here? Did the husband believe he’d married a virgin with zero life experience whatsoever? I feel for his poor unfortunate wife!

“The jealous, vindictive, small-town loser who targeted Shattered Husband with “your wife is fast” gossip … help, this guy is bitter and overtly out to dampen everyone’s parade.

“Shattered Husband needs to get his act together and grow up. They have a kid! I’m embarrassed for him.”

Reader 3: “It’s incredible that in this day and age there are people who still talk like we’re still living in the 1960s i.e., “walk to WEAR OFF THE ALCOHOL we drank BEFORE DRIVING home.”

“One can only assume that a great deal of alcohol was consumed during dinner but hey, “let’s go for a walk to sober up before driving!”

“Unbelievable!!! Ellie, this was a great opportunity for you to chide this moron for making such a casual remark about alcohol and driving, especially during the Christmas holidays.

Big miss!”

Ellie: Correct. My mind was focused on the question, the man’s unreasonable overreaction, his distrust of his wife from a time four years before they married, etc.

But drunk-driving, which he alluded to, plus his anger and doubts about his wife, is a potentially lethal accident primed to happen. We can all appreciate your highlighting this important issue!

Ellie’s tip of the day

When there’s solid information on relationship topics, be open to learning, testing and expanding your comfort level with new possibilities.

Send relationship questions to [email protected].