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Interaction. It's what could make a relationship work.

Okay. so I don't do the dishes, the laundry or scrub the toilet bowl. But. I do cook a mean roast chicken, clean the bathroom sink and offer to iron my husband's shirts, even though I know he frequents the cleaners on a weekly basis.

Sound like true love? It's marriage at its best, and while none of this may appear particularly romantic to singles in search of a mate, these are common rituals that ultimately make their way into most relationships. So let me take you through the maze of pitfalls and pratfalls along the way.

Only you know what you need to be happy, but before you can be happy with someone else, you need to be happy with yourself. Singlehood seems like an unalterable state - an eternal condition destined to bring unfullfillment. But, it doesn't have to be that way. When else can you phone a friend and talk for hours, pile dishes in the sink until the food cakes on or order in a pizza and pick off all the pepperoni for yourself?

Now's the perfect time to follow the Yellow Brick Road in pursuit of your dreams. Singlehood is a time to grow, try new things and explore what life has to offer.

According to New York psychologist and familv therapist Laurie Freeman, "Women are given more of a mandate than men to be partners with someone. Being a good female in this societv means you're connected -- be it with girlfriends, boyfriends, family or whatever. Men are encouraged not to be dependent, and sometimes it isn't until a career is established that they become more aware of their need to be connected."

It's not critical to have that Cloud Nine feeling right away for a relationship to work. Cloud Eight is nothing to sneeze at. Cloud Nine ultimately fades, and you will be left with a person who has to be able to satisfy you in such basic ways as sharing interests, physical compatability, and amicable co-habitation.

So you had better think carefully when contemplating commitment.

"We all put certain blinders on in order to have that Cloud Nine feeling. We're seeing a fantasy version of a person. We're not the same person everyday. You could have the identical blind date on two different days, and it could work one night but not the other," says Freeman. "It's not really about the guy or girl. It's about the interaction."

You must know the lingo and speak the language, whether you're in pursuit or being pursued. In addition to outward appearance, we often judge people on the basis of what they do and where they live, otherwise referred to as "E.P." and "G.U."

If you're a man looking for a woman, think twice about the woman if she:

  • Is on a first-name basis with the sales help at Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Invites you over for a romantic dinner and expects you to cook
  • Thinks the New York Jets are characters in West Side Story
  • Has more shoes than Imelda Marcos
  • Greets you at her apartment wearing a mud mask and says it's a daily ritual
  • Takes a cellular phone to her aerobics class

If you're a woman looking for a man. think twice about the guy if he:

  • Takes you to a Star Trek film festival on your first date
  • Doesn't know that flood pants were never in style
  • Swears by Richard Simmons workout tapes
  • Thinks the stock market means livestock
  • Doesn't pay more than $20 for a shirt and is proud of it
  • Takes his beeper to bed, but is not on call


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copyright 2007 Robin Gorman Newman. All rights reserved.