Whittling Down Your Dating Pool

Whittling Down Your Dating Pool by Dr. Randy Gilchrist, LDS Psychologist
www.LDSdimension.com (FREE LDS online dating site)

Sometimes in dating, you might find yourself liking and being attracted to more than one potential partner. Or, sometimes you might be dating more than one person at the same time. Eventually, it comes to a point where you need to make a decision: date one, end the relationship with the other, or end the relationship with both of them. Perhaps you begin to feel guilty. Perhaps you become concerned that one will soon find out about the other. Perhaps it starts to become too time consuming or complicated to keep juggling. Maybe one of them or both begin to pressure you. In any event, a decision soon needs to be made when dating multiple partners (or, even in choosing one of several to begin dating). So, how can you feel confident that you are making the right choice?

Step 1--Figure Out Who Is the Partner to Eliminate

The best partner to eliminate first is the person with the least commitment potential. Commitment potential consists of a balance of the practical, the emotional, and the spiritual. Practically, the partner to eliminate can be seen as a strain to potentially merge your life with theirs. Common practical challenges include the other partner having notable debt or credit problems, income/career challenges, family or origin conflicts/issues, hygiene issues, clutter problems, and many other large and small challenges that would make it difficult to combine and adjust lives together.

The emotional challenges leading to eliminate a partner would be the "the spark just isn't there"--a low or absent romantic spark or emotional connection that separates a love connection with potential from a friendship that is limited to just that--the partner ending up in the infamous "friend zone". My best advice with this trait is to pay attention and have a good level of self-awareness. Ask yourself--can I imagine myself kissing this person? Am I strongly attracted to them? Do I miss them and think about them when they are not here? Does my heart yearn for them? Do I really feel like I care about and love them? A low or absent emotional connection is a big red flag and reason enough to eliminate choosing a particular partner.

Finally, when considering the spiritual qualities with a particular person, the problems in this area tend to occur at the extremes. It is, in my opinion, a good idea to eliminate a particular partner if their current level of spirituality (testimony, worthiness level, scripture reading, prayer, church attendance, callings, etc.)
is notably higher or lower than yours. If too high, the other partner may grow frustrated with you and engage in power struggles to get you to conform to their way of spiritual living. If too low, you may be the one growing frustrated and engaging in power struggles to get the other to change. Either way, notable conflict, contention, and resentment are commonly the result.

Deciding to Continue Dating the Second Partner or Not

After eliminating/breaking up with a dating partner with less commitment potential doesn't necessarily mean that the remaining partner should be continued to be pursued either. The second partner showing that they possess more practical, emotional, and spiritual potential or assets than the other person doesn't necessarily mean to pursue them. It just means, assess the same areas and simply ask yourself: does this person possess enough of an adequate balance in all three areas to encourage me enough to continue pursuing this relationship? This decision is more of an art and a judgment call that a science. Think about it. Analyze it. Search your feelings. Pray. Although it's true that "nobody is perfect", it is true that some dating partners definitely make for a better match across the important dimensions than others.

Final Thoughts

Some of your friends or family members may tell you that you are too picky. Maybe others will tell you that you aren't picky enough. Ultimately, you have to be honest and true with your own feelings and choices with any dating decision. Outsiders can be heard and considered, but ultimately, you have to be true to yourself and what you know of a relationship as you choose to pursue or end it. When you combine what you know mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, you have to balance these factors and ultimately make a decision. In my opinion: make the decision that you can best feel satisfied with looking back 10 or 20 years from now. Sometimes the best thing that can happen to a relationship is for it to end. Other relationships are worth fighting for and continuing. Develop the wisdom to know the difference between the two and choose accordingly. And you can, and you will succeed, if you approach this carefully. Because "…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 11:11). Good luck.

Dr. G
**To readers: to submit a question to Dr. G for a future Q and A column, please send your questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Also, please register for a free account at www.ldsdimension.com for access to previous and future Dr. G articles.

2016-11-29 Randy Gilchrist Dating

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About the author

Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to drgilchrist@yahoo.com).