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    Looking for Love: Understanding What You Need

    Looking for love and finding frustration instead? Follow these five steps to increase your chances of finding lasting happiness.

    1. Define Your Core Values continued...

    While core values are different for every person, they often touch on such personal issues as:

    • The desire to have children
    • Religious beliefs
    • How you deal with money
    • How you make important decisions
    • The importance you place on honesty, integrity, fidelity
    • Even how you view divorce itself

    And while we all have heard that opposites attract -- and experts say they do -- when it comes to the really big issues in our life, shared values are still what count the most.

    "When it comes to our most important and lasting relationships, it's similar core values that becomes the glue that cements a couple together," Carle tells WebMD.

    2. Understand Your Emotional Needs

    While core values may form the foundation of who we are, our emotional needs often define the finer points of our relationships. Psychologist Dennis Sugrue says we must acknowledge those emotional needs before we can find someone who can fill them.

    "A need for intimacy, for sexual gratification and satisfaction, a need to be honored and understood and even accepted by our partner, these are all important aspects of who we are. Each of us has our own way in which these needs must be met in order to feel happy and secure" says Sugrue , an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School and co-author of Sex Matters for Women.

    Understanding what fulfillment means to you, he says, is paramount to finding a partner with whom you can feel satisfied and happy.

    The one caveat: Trouble comes when we look for a partner to fulfill us in ways that, ultimately, we can only fulfill ourselves.

    "If you are looking to a partner to make you feel worthwhile, to make you feel happy, to rescue you from a bored or unhappy life, if you are seeking someone to make you feel complete or whole -- well then you have some work to do, because these are needs that are never going to be met by any one other than yourself," says Sugrue. To put those demands on someone else is to set up yourself -- and the relationship -- for failure.

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