Dear Rachel,

I’m dating several women at once, and each one has traits I enjoy. Ideally, I’d like to find one fantastic woman who provides all the qualities I desire. Here is a list of some of the traits I find attractive: affectionate, intelligent, ambitious, athletic, cultured, loves to camp, has a great body, loves to travel, is a great cook, lives a healthy lifestyle, has perfect teeth and a great sense of humor. How can I find all these qualities rolled into one woman?

Signed, High Standards

Dear High Standards,

Wow, that’s quite a list. There’s only one problem with it — it’s not prioritized. You don’t need a woman who has all the above-mentioned qualities. True satisfaction comes from finding a mate who possesses your priority traits. When you focus on these traits, the rest of the details fall into place.

Many people make a wish list of qualities they’d like in a mate, but few people prioritize that list. For instance, in your list you have “perfect teeth” next to “a great sense of humor.” However, a great sense of humor affects the quality of a relationship much more than a superficial quality, such as flawless dental work. It’s not that you can’t find a woman with both these qualities, but you must satisfy your priority traits first, and then decide if you still care about the details later. If you date a woman who doesn’t have a good sense of humor, the most perfect teeth in the world won’t be enough to satisfy you.

No one is perfect, so it’s up to you to know which qualities are essential to you and which are optional. Sometimes we get distracted from our priorities by flashy, superficial qualities, then wonder why we’re not happy. So, if you decide your priority is a mate who’s intelligent, loves camping and has a great sense of humor, place those traits at the top of your priority list and don’t settle for less. You’ll be on your way to finding the smartest, funniest camper you’ve ever met, and you may be too busy laughing to scrutinize her teeth.

Dear Rachel,

The other night after we made love, my boyfriend asked me how many men I’ve been with. Even though my number is low, I was scared to answer his question. I’m worried he’ll judge me. I’ve heard my boyfriend and his friends making harsh comments about women, calling them whores and sluts. Meanwhile, these guys sleep with anything that breathes. I’m so tired of promiscuous men being labeled studs, while equally promiscuous women are called whores. Should I tell my boyfriend my number or not?

Signed, Scared to be Judged

Dear Scared to be Judged,

I understand your concern about being judged by your boyfriend, especially since you’ve heard him and his friends make harsh comments about women in the past. Now that he’s asking for your “number,” you may want to voice your concerns about his insensitive attitude towards women. Your sexual number is certainly no one’s business but your own. Who you choose to share that information with is up to you. Can your boyfriend be trusted with your personal information? Have a frank talk with him, and then base your decision on his response. If he shows signs of jealousy or tries to pressure you or degrade you into revealing your number, he’s not worthy of that information or your time.

The sooner you identify and address unhealthy behavior in a mate, the less time you’ll waste with an incompatible partner. If you refuse to settle for disrespectful behavior, your boyfriend has the choice to rise to your standards, or move along. Either way, you’ll be one step closer to a relationship with a partner who shares your values.

Dear Rachel,

I’m dating the most beautiful woman of my life, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. She’s physically perfect and completely conceited. It’s as if she never had to develop character because she’s so hot. She acts as if the world revolves around her and, at first, I agreed so I put up with it. I hate to let such a beauty go, but her attitude is becoming a real drag. Are all gorgeous women so stuck-up?

Disappointed by a Hottie

Dear Disappointed by a Hottie,

Not all beautiful women are conceited. Don’t let one bad experience ruin your outlook for the rest of your life. Beautiful women are human and, therefore, each one is unique just like the rest of us. However, there is definitely a pretty-person advantage. Good-looking men and women, who receive special treatment because of their looks, sometimes let it go to their heads. There will always be conceited people in the world, but it’s your choice to steer clear of them. Your best bet is to project humility and kindness to attract a like-minded mate.

Rachel Iverson is a freelance writer, dating coach and author, who lives with her husband in Venice Beach. Her book, “Don’t Help A Man Be A Man: How To Avoid 12 Dating Time Bombs,” has been endorsed by Dr. John Gray, author of “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus.” For more information on Rachel or her book, visit: www.rebelgirlpublishing.com. For dating advice, contact rachel@rebelgirlpublishing.com.

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