Dear Donna: October 03, 2021

Dear Donna,

Since my marriage ended 10 years ago I have had two significant long term relationships.

As far as my last relationship, I was very focused this time and thought I had covered all the bases that were important to me and had finally found the right man for me.

I was wrong, again. I have lost all confidence in my ability to pick the right person for myself and wonder if I am just unlucky in love or not paying attention to the right things.

What do you think are the essential ingredients for a successful relationship?


Dear Tanya,

Many people will tell me “their picker is broken” but that is mainly because people base their choice, at least initially, on physical attraction.

That is why what I do for my clients is just the opposite. I start with the things that matter and then look to add the mutual physical attraction.

I think the essential “ingredients” are compatibility, similar long term goals and shared interests and activities.

Other issues I take into consideration are smoking, drinking, kids, pets, income levels and education. Although intellectual compatibility matters more than the level of education.

Another very essential ingredient is communication. If two people can communicate effectively with each other they can work out almost anything.

The absolutely most important ingredient is that you both want the relationship to work.
When two people both want the relationship to work, it does.
And , OF COURSE, mutual physical attraction.

Dear Donna,

I have been in an off and on relationship for four years.
Right now it is off again and I want to keep it that but she keeps calling, texting and emailing me.

She does not believe it’s over because I have said “never again” before and we have gotten back together.
How can I convince her it is really over for me this time? George

Dear George,

Stop responding to her calls, texts and emails.
Tell her you need some space in order to move on and you would appreciate if she would stop the phone calls, texting and emails.

If you have already said this, or have said it before, then you have to show that you mean it by not responding.

No communication for three months and most people will have moved on.