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Unrealistic expectations can leave you miserable
True love takes work but leads to real happiness

Carly, 38, secretary: "I can't seem to meet the right guy. When I find someone I like, it fizzles out after a few dates. I feel miserable without a man."

Selina, 31, retail manager: "The guys I date either compete with me or are scared of me. What's the matter with men these days? They're either too macho or they're wimps."

Gemma, 23, halrdre88er: "I meet lots of men, but they don't have much to offer me. I'm looking for someone special who's got everything I need."  Do these complaints sound familiar? These women have two things in common: they're expecting too much from a relationship and, not surprisingly, they can't seem to find a suitable partner. Are you guilty of unrealistic expectations? Check this list of "love busters", and if even one of them sounds reasonable to you, you're asking far too much from a man.”

When I find the right man, all my problems will be solved.
A relationship should be a welcome addition to a full and happy life, not the be-all and end-all. It's those single women who focus on getting their lives on track who are most likely to attract a partner. There's nothing more seductive than a woman who is happy and gets support from a range of family and friends. Love is just the icing on the cake of life.

He'll be smarter, more successful, taller and earn more money than I do. If you're expecting Prince Charming with a million dollars, don't hold your breath. Now that women have climbed the corporate ladder, your potential mate may have less power, ambition and financial security than you do. Ask yourself what you really want from a relationship - a mortgage-free roof over your head and a limitless credit card, or a best friend, lover and helpmate in life? Don't judge a man
by what he does and has
instead value him for who he is.

He'll make all the right moves and sweep me off my feet.
Men are so bewildered by what women want that they frequently hesitate to ask a woman out. Men wonder, "Does she want an old- fashioned gentleman who pays for dinner, or will she slap my face if I open the car door for her? "Men are more than ready to receive some help with the confusion of modem dating. Tell him what works for you and take responsibility for your half of the courting process. Why not make the first move? He'll thank you for it.

We'll be perfectly compatible. Perfect compatibility exists only in romantic movies and novels, not in real life. Conflict is a natural part of an intimate relationship. A common point of argument is men's desire to see their friends and enjoy sports and hobbies which don't include their partners. True love does not mean you have to be joined at the hip 24 hours
a day. The right balance of outside interests and time spent together adds value to a relationship.

He'll know just what I want in bed without asking me.
Men are not mind-readers. In fact, they have great difficulty knowing what a woman wants in bed. For
a start every woman is different. Often men's information about sex is questionable to say the least. Usually it's gathered from pornography or school friends. There's a lot of pressure on men to perform in bed. Women can help by being open and supportive and not critical.

He'll change to please me.
When you live in close quarters with another person his annoying little habits will inevitably drive you nuts. But don't expect that you'll somehow learn to "love" his disagreeable ways. If you can't love him just the way he is and tolerate his irritating behaviour, give him a miss.

The relationship will stay exciting and romantic forever.
Women adore the early courtship phase of relationships. It's thrilling to fall in love. During that first year both partners are on their best behaviour, being polite, tolerant and reliable. It's all an act. Once you settle into the relationship, you start to be yourself. Suddenly there's more conflict. Don't despair - true love can't start until you feel safe enough to really be yourself. Sure, the excitement may be less, but comfort, security and bonding develops over time. Romance takes effort, so work together to recreate that rapture whenever you can.