09/25/2015 08:45 EDT | Updated 09/25/2016 05:12 EDT

4 Personal Laws to Consider Before Starting to Date Again

Happy couple smiling on a wedding day, with retro bike and vintage outfit.
SashaHaltam via Getty Images
Happy couple smiling on a wedding day, with retro bike and vintage outfit.

By Mario P. Cloutier and Diane Sawaya Cloutier

If you have had one or more serious breakups, your journey to finding your perfect mate will likely require a serious shift. We call this a shift to a "no compromises, no settlements mindset." It incorporates several elements, but we will zero-in on a specific one: your personal "laws."

Think of it as a set of rules that highlight how special you are -- those things you bring to a relationship because of who you are as an individual. Know that the most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself. In other words, who is going to love you if you don't love yourself? Who will show esteem for you if you don't display self-esteem by establishing your own boundaries?

Depending on your circumstances, your personal laws will take different stripes and colors. The important mindset here it that, this time, it's about what you want and need, and not about bending to fit another's mold.

Here are four examples of personal laws to apply to attract an ideal life partner:

1. Zero tolerance for lies

The late Dr. Maya Angelou had a wonderful saying: "When people show you who they are, believe them the first time." If someone you are dating lies to you about her age, employment, past relationships, or anything else, this is a RED FLAG! We believe there is no such thing as a "white lie" when you're seeking to build a long-term relationship. A lie is a lie. Remember, too, whatever a relationship is built upon will determine what the whole relationship will be about.

2. Respect is a two-way street

Our space, our faith and our pace are to be honoured, not questioned. What does that mean? It means that you should both expect to respect one another's circumstances if you want this to work. Do not be afraid to address your expectations, limitations and hopes for the relationship. In addition, seek to understand the expectations of the other party.

3. Meet each other's meaningful people

Who are the meaningful people in your life? Do you want them to have a great first impression of your new flame? And what about you? Don't you want to have the same impact on your mate's meaningful people? What this rule states is that both partners should meet each other's important people at a well-planned time and under appropriate conditions where there can be an authentic conversation. At the same time, keep in mind that there's no need to rush things or to improvise impromptu meetings with those VIPs. Curb your enthusiasm.

4. Don't rush into intimacy before you're ready

Postponing intimacy has become almost taboo in today's society. Please understand that we're not promoting abstinence here, nor do we deny that physical attraction is one of the strongest forces of nature! What we're saying is that a healthy sex life is certainly part of a successful relationship, but that there is no urgency. You should not feel pressured about a timeframe for having sex. It's your own decision based on when it feels right for you.

If you are serious about building a long-term relationship, like any laws, your personal laws have to be obeyed and should never be broken. They not only show others how much you love yourself, they also reinforce that you have clearly defined standards that you're not willing to compromise. Personal laws emphasize that anything of great value deserves to be earned and handled with care.

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Authors and relationship coaches Diane and Mario Cloutier found each other in 1998 after they both had experienced unfulfilling relationships. Their new book,Relovenship™ - Look Within to Love Again! (Xclamat!on Media, 2015) gives inspiration, hope and a step-by-step methodology to people who have had romantic disappointments and are still looking to find "the one." Mario Cloutier is founder and chief creative officer of Xclamat!ion Marketing. Diane Sawaya Cloutier enjoyed a successful career in managerial roles with Fortune 500 organizations before focusing full-time on the couple's book and seminars. Learn more at