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So What if He’s Not ‘Mr. Right?’

You may hear your friend say, “He’s just my Mr. Right Now” or, “She and I are just hanging out for fun.” You know the friend in this situation is looking for “the one,” and you wonder, “Why are you wasting your time on this temporary person, when you could be spending your energy finding the right person?”

Ms. and Mr. Right-Now often get a bad rap. But they don’t have to be destined to live in the shadow of Mr. and Mrs. One-and-Only. They just might have something to offer and here’s why:

1. They Fill a Void

Sometimes you find yourself spending time with someone you know doesn’t have long-term relationship potential, and yet you may be “coming of age” or find your “biological clock is ticking.”

But in reality, when you haven’t found the one, it’s natural to want company in some form that fills the romantic relationship void. How long you want to spend there is up to you — but it’s important to be honest with yourself about the whole situation.

2. Opportunity Knocks!

Marie moved to Chicago because she was seriously dating Greg, who lived there. Eventually, they broke up. But what did Marie get out of it? By that time, she had already landed an exciting marketing job she never would have taken without the extra motivation to move that Greg provided.

Many people rearrange their lives for a relationship that doesn’t work out. But much good can come from it – new connections, openings, and adventures. It can spin your life in a new direction.

3. It’s a Discovery Process

Few people marry the first person they date seriously. But you may find that they do have a lot of the qualities you’re ultimately looking for. You may also discover that they have qualities you’ll make sure your committed partner doesn’t have.

Set your sights, then, to learn what you can from each and every person you date. Do your very best to set aside the urge to strain toward a permanent result, even if your ultimate goal is to settle down and commit. This person could give you something other than a life-long partnership, but something just as necessary for what you need in the course of your life.

4. Every Day is a Gift

In a way, anyone you are dating is a Right Now. Why? When you’re dating someone, no matter how wonderful they are, no matter how much you have in common, no matter how promising the relationship may seem, you can’t possibly know 100% if they’re going to be a permanent fixture in your life. And if you’ve been searching for a while, you’re likely to be keenly aware of this. It’s okay to wonder, but instead of fixating on “Is this the one?,” you may want to pour more energy into the joy and entertainment of what is happening in the now.

5. Say Thank You

Many of us know about the resentment and bitterness that can emerge out of a broken relationship. That’s often an unavoidable part of the journey when you allow your heart to get attached to someone. You can, however, get to a place where while you acknowledge where they and you fell short in significant ways, you can see what you contributed to each other’s lives. If it weren’t for that step in your “dating dance,” you may not have gotten to the place where you joined your permanent partner.

The bottom line? Give yourself the freedom to enjoy another’s company, even if you are pretty sure they aren’t “the one.” Being open to possibilities and learning more about the dating experience will always benefit you on the road to finding the love of your life.