Fri | Sep 21, 2018

Torn between the two

Published:Monday | January 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Cathy Risden, Lifestyle Writer

Psychologists say the hardest decisions to be made are between two positives. If you are dating two equally fun, loving, genuine, attractive, charming persons - making a decision about which to start seeing exclusively can be difficult. Here are some helpful tips to guide you in making the right decision.

Know what you want and make sure you are ready to commit

In your quest you need to know what you want - the attributes you most admire, their values, and the person's character on a whole.

Be reasonable in setting your standards, try not to set them too high.

Make note of how you feel around each person

Try to find someone who not only lets you be yourself, but brings out your best qualities. It's also important to pay attention to how you feel when you are around the person - what aspect of your personality gets amplified? Which one makes you feel more alive, comfortable, true to yourself? Which one gives you more chemistry sexually?

Similar goals

Couples with more in common have less to fight about - if you are with someone who sees things your way, then more than likely you both would be working towards other things together. If you see yourself in that person's life, are you about to adjust to their lifestyle for a long time?

Communication styles

Communication is key in every relationship. Assertiveness can be learned, and someone who already possesses this quality is a great catch. Does he/she hog the conversation and make everything about them or, do they ask about you, sincerely listen to what you have to say, and respond in a thoughtful way? The better match for you is more than likely the one who communicates clearly, actively listens and keeps your needs in mind throughout the conversation.

Evaluate your potential social status as a couple

Yes, the social aspect of your life does matter. The way you feel in public with the person can indicate the status of your relationship.

Make an assessment based on these questions:

Are you proud to be with this person in public?

Can you take him/her to a staff event?

Are you hesitant to introduce this person to your family or friends?

How much do you guys have in common?

Be honest about your answers. Explore the cons as much as the pros.

Weigh the baggage each potential partner carries

Evaluate each prospect's baggage, but be careful not to let a few unexpected variables cloud your ability to see the person that is in front of you. For instance, if prospect number one has not gone through a divorce or has been separated for more five years, it might make prospect number two look a lot more appealing. Being conscientious and committed can help you two work through anything.

After a while do you feel like you are 'cheating' with one of your dates?

Although no commitment has been made you may find that when you are out with one person, you feel guilty about it, like you are betraying the other. If you feel like you are being unfaithful, this can help you recognise which person is right for you. Your conscience may have already made the decision for you.

Notice the small gestures each prospect does to make you feel loved and appreciated

Pay attention to the little things each prospect does to make you feel special. For women, does he open your doors, and for men, does she say thank you when you do? Does he pull out your chair and ensure that you are always comfortable? Does he/she compliments your hair, outfit, and smell among other things? What about his/her mannerisms - does he/she say please and thank you? Does he or she treat you like a king or queen? Is he/she controlling?

Follow your heart

This is where the rubber meets the road, and no matter how you answered all the previous questions, love is ultimately about following your heart.

Listen to your heart when you ask yourself the following questions:

Which one pays attention to my needs?

Which one listens to my complains and tries to help?

Which one makes me smile at the very thought?

Which one makes me think of things to do just to make this person happy?

Which one's birthday do I actually remember?

Take it slow, no need to rush and don't force a decision until you are ready. Everything will eventually become clearer. Get to know these potential partners better, gather additional information and let things unfold naturally. One day, you may realise that 'the one' is simply the person that's always on your mind.