Jenni Trent Hughes is a relationship expert who has been on screen for the last 15 years, most recently in Channel 4's dating show, Perfect Match, as well as Big Brother’s Little Brother when she was the in-house behavioural observationist. She has had two books published and is now a relationship expert for dating site eHarmony.co.uk.
So who better to turn to for some relationship advice?
A simple six-step plan with weekly actions and goals to change the way we approach finding a partner, including lots of tips, advice and tools is set to give you the confidence and the techniques that will completely turn around your love life in 2013.
The plan includes steps such as learning from our mistakes, becoming confident, improving communication, preparing your heart and your life for what lies ahead. In week One she helps us to understand and identify what traits are really important in a partner.
Week One: Step One
Pull together a short list of the five things you would like to have in a partner. This should take no more than three minutes to do. Be strict and true to the time, as you want to find out what's in your subconscious because that is really what will govern your choices and your actions.
Next, take an individual look at each trait that you've identified and note the following:
a) On a scale of 1-10 with one being 'not particularly bothered' and 10 being 'I couldn't exist without it', rate the importance of this quality to you
b) How many of the qualities that you've listed were present in your last 3 relationships?
c) Before this moment how much thought have you ever given to what you really need to be present in a relationship for you to be happy?
It is important to decipher whether these qualities are a want or a need. Many times we opt for the ‘wants’ in relationships as opposed to what we really ‘need’ from one. So look again at your list and decide which camp your trait falls into.
A. If the score is 1 - 5 then the quality is a Want. If it is 5 - 8 it is a Need. If the rating is 9 or above then don't even think about going there if the person doesn't have this quality, whatever it may be
B. This will give you a clear picture as to whether so far in your relationship history you've been picking Wants or Needs. Remember there is no 'wrong' or 'right'. It's just that choosing according to 'wants' means you're gambling against the odds that it will all work out in the end. If you choose according to 'needs' you stand a better chance of a long lasting relationship because in the end if you need something you believe you cannot exist without
C. Finally, and here is where you gain 'The Big Wisdom' in this particular exercise, by looking at the answers you have to the questions above, compare the actions you've taken in the past to the results you've achieved. Are there things you've gotten right - note them so we can include them in the plan to improve your love life. Similarly note anything you see as a problem area so we can include some techniques to remove them from your behaviour patterns
Next week: Step Two: Use life experience and learn from past mistakes