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Playing for keeps: Tips on finding a lasting relationship

May 9, 2012, 6 a.m.

If you've been disappointed in relationships before, you may wonder if you'll ever meet the right person. In an age of internet dating, it still can be extremely difficult to find that special someone. If the dating scene has you feeling discouraged, try a few of these tips for building a lasting relationship:

Be Open to Different People

Have you been settling for the same type of person again and again? Perhaps you enjoy dating bohemian types, or maybe you're more into the whole bad boy thing. Either way, you'll find it beneficial to expand your horizons. Try dating someone outside of your usual comfort zone. You just might be surprised how well you click with the nice guy or the oddball woman at the coffee shop.

Work on Yourself

The old cliche "you can't love someone unless you love yourself" may sound corny, but it is true. If you haven't come to peace with your own flaws, you'll only end up sabotaging relationships. If you are struggling with addiction or other serious mental health issues, consider visiting a therapist before you return to the dating scene. And if you are already in a relationship, have your partner come in to meet the therapist.

Forgiveness

Another overused cliche that rings true: "Forgive and forget." When you do hit it off with the right person, you'll probably enjoy a brief honeymoon period before settling into the tough part of the relationship. You are bound to get in the occasional fight. Things will be a whole lot easier if you learn to let the little things go. If you talk to anyone who's been in a long and successful relationship, they'll likely tell you that everything is easier if you know how to forgive your partner. And that is a solid nugget of relationship advice.

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