I’m 34 years old and still single. Most of my friends are married with kids. The most frequently asked question I get is, “When are you getting married?” They seem to think that for some reason, my life is not complete. The truth is, I’m perfectly happy. I live the life most people dream about. I’m an entrepreneur. I travel the world. I have great relationships. Most of all, I have my liberty. I do what I want, when I want. I have friends who are happy with their marriages and some that break up or end in divorces.

Relationships take work. My parents got married when my mom was just 18 years old and got pregnant with me when she was 19. By the time I was in the third grade, they got a divorce. My mom always said that “When I was your age, I was a single parent, raising two teenagers.” It’s hard for me to even imagine having two teenagers and being a single parent at 34.

I decided to research the Ingredients for a Successful Relationship. If people simply applied these ingredients in their relationships, the divorce rate is our country will drop significantly. According to Dr. Pat Allen, author of Getting to “I Do”, there are ten secrets for getting and keeping the right person:

1. Choose to Be Respected or Cherished – You’ve got to know who you are before you can exchange what you’ve got. In every relationship, there can be only one respected leader and one cherished follower, at least in the beginning until a commitment has been negotiated. Choose whether you want to be the giving/male or the receiving/female, regardless of your anatomy. Whatever you choose, have integrity.

2. Pay Attention to Your Feelings – Always pay attention to our feelings. Avoid what you don’t want. Feminine energy must feel good to do good. (Masculine energy must do good to feel good.) Don’t rationalize away negative feelings, no matter who tells you to. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. Honor your body.

3. Flirt to Attract – If you want to “attract” a male, you must be “seen” as a sex object. Take care of your body, dress sensuously, fix your hair and make up, go where men are, catch “his” eye and signal your interest and availability. (The Five-Second Flirt Technique) so he won’t be afraid to approach you. Smile, don’t talk. If you speak first, you’re the better man.

4. You Need Chemistry, Compatibility, and Communication – You need all three, but they don’t have to be perfect. Chemistry is a body-to-body reaction. Enjoy it, but don’t consummate too soon. Communicate first to investigate compatibility, in order to s separate your fantasy projection from reality. He could be crazy, married, or a “little boy.” Once the bodies take over, it’s hard to negotiate compatibility or even learn to communicate.

5. Have No Sex Without Commitment – Most females become bonded to the male with whom they have a sexual relationship, so unless you’re “man” enough for casual sex, negotiate the commitment before making love. Find out in advance whether he’ll pay the “entrance fee,” which is exclusivity, continuity, and longevity. Remember, men fall in love with your virtue, not your body.

6. Set Aside Fifteen Minutes a Day to Talk – Every day, each of you should do “Amigo Talk, “ asking the other what he or she thinks and feels about things that matter to you. Learn how to help the other to feel better and to achieve his or her goals. Then each of you should try to execute your tasks. When a woman’s feelings are cherished, she feels respected.

7. Renegotiate Terms Regularly After Six Months – The first three months are the Perfect Phase, the next three the Imperfect Phase. At six months you start negotiating time, space, play, and money, and a t nine months, the Commitment period, you begin planning for the future. You must renegotiate regularly to accommodate changes and to give both partners the variety of switching roles.

8. Keep All Agreements – The only way you know you love yourself and others is by keeping agreements you are willing to make and keep. Respect and cherish each other daily. Don’t give up unless he makes you sick or dives you crazy. Nobody is perfect. If he’s 51%, keep him.

9. Create a Romantic Memory Bank – A romantic memory is one in which the male gives pleasure to you, and you give pleasure back to him (but always a little less than you get). When the male is giving, protecting, and cherishing, he is penetrating your defenses so you can surrender to the pleasure of the relationship. You must never ask a man for more, better, or different love, so pick a male who gives the way you like to receive.

10. Wait at Least a Year to Marry – You don’t know a person until you’ve been through four seasons with him. You must each have accepted the other’s foibles and frailties. The male must know that he thinks and ask for what he wants. The female must know what she feels and what she doesn’t want and say no to anything unethical or immoral. You have negotiated time, space, money, and play. If you must marry or sign papers sooner than a year, make sure you seek legal counsel first.

What does a perfect relationship look like to me? I want to be respected, accepted, loved, and cherished. I want him to bring out the best in me. No criticisms, no judgment. Just plain unconditional love.

Are you ready to create the relationship of your dreams? I know I am!