This may just be the most important question you have to ask yourself when embarking on the quest to find a date/mate. This question may be on par with, "What is the meaning of life." After all, you may find out you don’t even belong on Internet dating services. Yes, you may not be an iDater.

Take pause for a moment to think about your own desires and needs. In finding a mate to live with forever what does the prudent person look to find?

Communication and conversation to allow for discourse seems to be very important. The broad umbrella of companionship would better describe those desires.

Do you really have need for a companion?

Many people get used to living alone and only want discourse on a limited basis. Men and women are from different planets as we have been told, so there are some huge differences in needs.

Some guys may find happiness being alone and only put up with social intercourse so as to get sexual intercourse at the end of the night. Yes, that is shallow, but you have to remember guys are wired differently.

Please, let's not discount that there are women out there who also prefer to be alone, and may want to put up with us ogres for a bit just to get their sexual desires met.

You have to decide whether or not you are mate -like material. If all you want is sex, this will not likely lead you to a meaningful relationship, and that’s okay as long as you are up front with your dates. If all you want is a friend to talk to, make sure you state that upfront, too.You have to decide if you prefer to be alone or in a relationship.

Pleasure in the physical world is a nice thing, and here I refer to sexual fulfillment and physical contact. Physical contact is a basic human need; this includes everything from the simple handshake to the highest form of physical relationship which, as we all know, is the proctologic exam. Oops, I mean sexual intercourse.

Since physical contact is such an important need for many, and a none-issue for others, it is imperative to make sure you are compatible with your new mate regarding frequency of physical contact: How often shall you engage in sex? How long shall you spend cuddling after sex? How often shall you cuddle without sex? How often and how long shall you hug? As odd as it seems to quantify such activities, if you and your mate are on different pages, there will be tension, frustration and conflict because you may not be compatible.

It has become rather common in modern America for men to be able to find sex for sex-sake. While women don’t generally utilize the services of male prostitutes, they, too, can get into plenty of physical relationships because there are lots of horny guys out there. However, for anyone who desires regular sex and physical contact that is filled with more than the physical, a real relationship will be necessary with someone who has similar desires. Yes, you should thrive on conversation with this mate before and after sex.

All the great conversation in the world is not going to help if you expect to have a great physical relationship and later find out your mate has little libido, and only used sex to catch you. You could get frustrated by this new relationship as it turns stale.

Just as important is the disappointment in a relationship born of lust that soon turns pale in the light of nothing to say to one another after the act.

The importance of finding a compatible mate with regard to physical and social desires, can’t be overemphasized. Hopefully, in the dating process you will learn more about your new mate and figure what works and what doesn’t.

For generations they have always said, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Keep in mind, these same people said, "A diamond is a girls best friend," and that "A dog is man's best friend."

Food is important; however, cooking skills are needed less than they may have been generations before. Today we get the finest foods prepared for us with a trip to the store or by visiting a restaurant. Generally speaking ,this is a guy thing unless you ladies are looking to snag an Iron Chief of some sort.

Security has much more to do with the diamond quote noted above, and is a good attribute in a mate. Security can be broken down into both physical security as in wealth to provide for necessities, and psychological security as in being there to deal with difficult times.

Commitment, is a much desired quality to find in a mate. unless that's not what you are looking for. With true love, can expect your mate to stand by your side? You might want to ask yourself another companion question: for how long?

 Will I ever find anyone who would be there for me if I had a sudden illness requiring a caregiver relationship?

At first glance, you may not realize the importance of this concern. How would you like to be with your new mate for a year or so, get married and you become ill? How many dates, and how deep does the relationship have to be before you should be able to expect this significant other to be by your side if you are stricken?

We all know that if you went on just one date and then had a stroke, the person is not likely to take care of you for the rest of your life. More likely they’d be out of the door really fast.

What is realistic to expect of a mate. Let’s face it, there are some people who abandon their marriage oath of many years and jump ship at the slightest provocation. Others recognize the commitment to the significant other and stand by their side through thick and thin.

I think it is reasonable for a mate to jump ship if the other party has a catastrophic event while they are still in the discovery phase of the relationship – like after around 700 dates. Actually, until one makes a verbal and written commitment, as in the formal marriage vowel, it should not be unexpected that some will leave when adversity strikes. After all, while it would be nice for that level of devotion, most people will chose to move on to find what they are looking for and let you go your way.

Loyalty, trust, honesty and integrity fill out the list of needs. So it seems that there are just eight needs in a mate. Oh, I almost forgot. You want sane as noted in an earlier post. Yes, sanity is very important to add to your list.

Now that you know what you’re looking for, don’t you feel relieved?

Oh, by the way, if you are lonely, but really don't want or belong in a real relationship, consider getting a dog.

• The love doctor (2010/11/29 01:50)
I believe this is commonly referred to as the "list."
The book Intimate Communion says most women are looking for the following: Presence, Intelligence, Strength, Passion, Direction, and Humor. Men are looking for women who are whores in bed and ladies when they are fully clothed. Just kidding. Isn't it curious that there is not a word for men who are whorry?

Men supposedly are looking for Beauty, Sexual Openness, Trust of their man's direction, Support for their man's vision, Intelligence, and a Healthy Radiance.

These are insightful lists which could be broken out into twelve or more essays on what they actually mean.

The book from which this came is intimate Connection by David Deida. I particularly enjoyed one of his other books called The Way of the Superior Man. David knows about women, he seems to have clarity which is so rare for many of us.

Editors notes: Men who are whorish (no such thing as whorry) are called lechers or lascivious or licentious. Yes, even us men have names to describe our various and sundry behaviors.

Regarding Intimate Communion: He discusses the futility of our search for release (organs - mini-death) and suggests enjoying the "heart of this moment." Is he eschewing orgasm? I have to re-read as it is very heavy stuff.
• Lynne (2010/11/24 10:24)
Great post

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