Recovery from Addictions, Traumas, and Unsatisfying Relationships
Let us help you...
put your life back together again.


Instructions For Using Your Friend/Partner List



1. List all of the characteristics that you want in a friend and or partner. (While this form is for both, make a copy and create 2 lists because you might be OK with attributes in a friend that would drive you crazy in a partner!)



2. Remember your difficult friendships or relationships so that you can put qualities or attributes that you would like instead.  (One woman forgot to put expresses anger appropriately who had a history of two battering relationships!)



3. Do not limit yourself.  Put down what you really want.  (If you really want someone who makes a certain income, has never been married before, has no active addiction issues, put it down.)



4. Cross check this list with your therapist, group, and objective friends. They may remember troublesome friends and partners better than you do.



5. When your list is complete, star the items that are non-negotiable.  This means that if you meet someone and they do not meet those criteria, you will not move forward with the friendship or relationship.  (Example:  You meet someone who smokes and you do not want to be friends or partnered with someone who smokes.  You do not see them again except as part of a group you already belong to.)



6. Now look at the Interest/Recreation/Hobbies section.  This will give you some ideas of places to go to meet compatible people.  If you belong to a certain religion or are very interested in politics, those areas will also be good places to start.  If you are looking for a partner, joining a singles group around an activity you like makes sense.  This may also make sense for singles even when looking for friends because partnered friends are usually not as available to do things on the weekend.  If you are married or partnered and looking for friends, avoid singles-only activities.



7. Whether you are beginning a friendship or relationship, start out with activities.  This gives you a safe way to get to know the person.  You can begin to share your personal information a little at a time and see how the person responds.  It is also important to notice if they keep their word, are dependable, and if you enjoy being with them.



8. If you are beginning to date, spend no more than 4 hours per week with the person.  The more time you spend, the more bonded you get especially if you are mutually sexually attracted.  For the first month, between dates talk on the phone no more than 1 time per week for approximately ½ hour.  Again, the voice of someone you are attracted to creates a chemical reaction in your brain that causes you to become bonded before you even know him or her.  This also applies to e-mail and text messaging.  TAKE IT SLOW.  It is OK to let that person know that you are taking it slow deliberately.



9. USE YOUR LIST.  Talk about the items on your list or give the person an opportunity to let you see their personality.  (Example:  go to a cafe at lunch where alcohol is served and notice if the person has 2 beers at lunch when you have a coke.  This is at least a yellow flag.  (Yes, s/he may be nervous, so one more chance.)



10. Let the person know that you do not want to be sexual for ________months.  Explain that you want a real relationship based on more than sex.  Not being sexual means no intercourse, no touching or kissing of genitals or female breasts.  It also means no sleeping overnight together clothed or unclothed.



11. Know yourself.  Not being sexual may mean that you do not spend time in each others home alone.  It may mean no sitting out in the car necking before going inside.  It may mean no alcoholic beverages.  Hint:  Tell your date that they are so attractive to you that you have to take these measures to assure that you will follow through with your commitment to yourself.  (They will be flattered and its true!)



12. Do not meet their children or let your children meet them until you are dating them exclusively and know that you want a serious, possibly committed relationship with this person.  Their relationship with your children and visa versa is one of the final pieces of information you get, not the first.  Children can become very attached to someone you are dating and may take it personally if you break up.  This doesn’t mean you keep your kids a secret or do not talk about them to gauge the person’s reaction.  You just don’t introduce your kids to the person too soon.




Individuals of all cultural backgrounds / sexual orientations welcome.


CALL NOW 916-616-5227 or email and begin getting the life and love you want.


"A ship in harbor is safe — but that is not what ships are built for."

-J.A. Shedd