Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

Ask Ellie: To find lasting love, first recognize poor choices of past

Before dating again, bolster your own sense of self-worth, bringing confidence and realistic needs to an emotionally healthy choice of partner.

Dear Readers: Periodically, a reader sends me personal information that warrants its own revelations rather than my interpretation of them.

This happened when I recently re-read a charming personal love story by a woman whose main work had long been creating/teaching art, and now, volunteering.

She sent me her personal journey to find a mate, beginning with the wise counsel of a four-year-old who told her, “True love is in your heart and it creates your whole body.” We should all be so smart!

She wrote in her self-described “two-Minute story,”

“I actually met my true love when I was a student at university in the early 80s. We met at the dance hall. He was the DJ, playing every song I requested.”

He had a great smile and she felt comfortable with him but he wasn’t “her type.” (Cue that first mistake). Actually, her then-type was emotionally abusive. And she described herself as “a hormone-riddled youth, with shaky self-esteem, in search of true love. And who often made my love decisions based on my heart and groin.”

She then decided to use her head, too.

She examined past relationships — who asked out whom, who paid for the outing, how the dates were, and how those dates treated their mothers.

Conclusion — all her dates were either unavailable or unable to be there for her when needed, many had negative relationships with their mothers and also eventually treated her negatively.

Meanwhile, the top qualities she realized she needed in a partner were a good sense of humour, kindness, intelligence, and someone she’d be happy to grow old with.

She made cue cards and read them nightly. Daytime, she’d focus on her health, career, and studies — areas where she had some control, helping her feel stronger inside.

Years later, she met “him” again. “I asked him out as a friend and fell in love when he did a triple summersault rolling down a park hill, landing clapping with his feet.”

They’ve been married now for almost 35 years. “I still feel lightness in my heart and grounded in my body when I’m with my true love.”

Disclosure: The writer, Barbara Salsberg Matthews had her original article published five years ago in the University of Guelph’s student newspaper, The Ontarion., but not in any other newspaper. Encouraged to read and use it, I drew from parts of the original, because it has some very still-current and practical tips for people seeking long-term loving relationships.

Still most important today, during worrisome times on many fronts, is for people to recognize their own poor dating choices of the past, and instead, bolster their own sense of self-worth, bringing confidence and realistic needs to a meaningful and emotionally healthy choice of partner.

On the same topic of relationships — which is what my columns are about — the dating site Hello Couply, has sent me (as all dating-site promoters send to relationship writers) their latest “secrets” to a happy relationship. So, too, from a recent survey of Couply users, “around the world,” comes the secrets to “a healthy long-term relationship.”

These findings are then distilled to present the top-five “secrets” to relationship success:

Healthy Communication (46%), Commitment to One Another (12%), Trust (7%), Mutual Respect (7%) and Honesty (4%).

You decide whether you agree. Frequent readers may easily guess my order of significance — honesty, trust, mutual respect, commitment and healthy communication. Why? From “honesty,” the rest should come naturally.

Dear Ellie: I don’t want to move to the country but my husband’s urging me to appreciate the cheaper home prices there. He works from home and loves gardening, carpentry etc.

I love the city — working downtown, diversity of people/restaurants/music venues. I’m comfortable in our condo.

I want to wait until we’re expecting a baby before everything changes. But he thinks I’m crazy not to save costs now. How do we resolve this?

City vs Country Mouse

There are mice in both locales. Yes, some house-prices are much cheaper to carry than downtown condo costs. But sticking to your preference can also end up costly, relationship-wise, if neither of you budges on choice.

Discuss possible solutions with cool heads and reasonable concerns about moving becoming divisive or a new adventure together. Put a time limit on the wait-and-see option. Meanwhile, explore country towns where local theatre/music/art, may surprise you.

Ellie’s tip of the day

Strengthen your own self-respect and awareness of your personal needs/goals for a lasting relationship.

Send relationship questions to ellie@thestar.ca.