How I Stopped A Revolving Door of Failed Relationships: The Big Four

In today’s world, dating and finding love seems harder to find than ever before. How ironic, considering you can swipe left and right on potential suitors from the comfort of your own bed at 3 in the morning! It’s insane that even when our options seem unlimited, a majority of us aren’t able to have meaningful relationships. Dating is hard to say the least!

But it can be made a hell of a lot easier. However, in order for it to be easier there is a question you must be able to answer.

What do you and your potential partner bring to the table?

If you read that and immediately went into frenzy, don’t worry, I will make it a little more specific. I call it, The Big Four.

  1. Have you started working towards your 2-year goals? 5-year goals? Maybe you want to go to school, or learn a trade, perfect your talent, or make it big! This is important; if you do not set goals for yourself then it will be easy to latch onto
    Dating 1
    someone who has no goals for themselves either. But more than setting them, you have to work on them. This may not be a deal breaker out front but if you want to be with someone long term, you can see where this might cause some issues.
  2. Do you have a reliable source of income? We are all adults here; yes you need to have a steady source of income. If you are bouncing from job to job trying to make ends meet then you really don’t have the time to invest into a relationship. Ha! Invest…get it?
  3. Do you have a car/Are you planning to get a car? We are not in high school anymore; this is definitely something that matters. Now you don’t have to own a car and this shouldn’t be considered a red flag right off the bat. But if you don’t, you should have a plan in place to get one. Unless of course you have a personal driver, your parents don’t count!
  4. What is your current living situation? Chances are if you still live with an ex, this might not be the best time to start dating someone new. If you live with your parents that is okay if: you have a job and have a serious plan to move out, you’re in school or you’re in the earlier part of your 20’s.

I’m sure most of you are looking at this list thinking “She must be crazy, does she know how hard it is to have all four at this age?” Don’t worry, I completely agree! It is a little unrealistic to put that kind of pressure on someone for them to be “the one”, and you shouldn’t have to have all four to want to be with someone either! I consider this a scale to apply to my partner and myself in order to determine if our relationship will be successful. Here’s how you read it.

How many of The Big Four do you have?

How many of The Big Four do they have?

1 out of 4

You need to get your own life together before you can invest your time into a relationship. A much better investment with that time would be to commit it to you. It will pay off!

They have their own problems that they need to figure out. If you have more than 2 out of the 4, you deserve someone who is at the same pace. Just like you can get all 4, you can also be held back from achieving all 4.

2 out of 4

You’re definitely on your way. At this point a full blown relationship might not be ideal, but it could still be promising if you leave time to dedicate to your personal success and growth. Casually date someone and take your time.

They could definitely be someone worth dating, but only if they have the drive to keep going until they reach all 4. Don’t try jumping into it too fast. Allow them the room to continue building themselves.

3 out of 4


4 out of the 4

You are ready to be in a relationship! You’ve got a good idea of where you want to go in life and you definitely have the flexibility to really give this relationship a serious effort. If you only have 3 out of the 4, then work on the 4th one. I’m sure your partner can help! If you have all 4, then congratulations! Don’t settle.

Pursuing something serious with this person will be a wise decision. They have the time to offer you and will also help to better you as a person. Growth is important for a successful relationship. You will be challenged to do better and you should be able to do the same for them!

There is a lot that goes into having a successful relationship, and by no means should this scale be the only thing you use to determine if you should be with someone. There are always exceptions, there will always be a gray area! Don’t forget that you’re the one choosing this person. Not me!

Notice how there is no advice for someone who has 0 out of 4? If someone has 0 out of The Big Four…. Do not date this person and do not try and look for someone if you fall in this category.

Dating 3

I have had my fair share of relationship experiences with someone from every category, yes, even someone who had 0 out of the 4. I have also been the type of person that has fit into every category. During my relationship with someone who had 0 out of 4, it was clear from the beginning that it was never going to go anywhere. This was by far my worst relationship because the love that I thought was so strong faded extremely quickly. We became so dependent on each other because we were the only thing we had to be happy about. That puts too much pressure on the feelings that are there naturally, and it starts to become forced. I was also with someone who only had 1 out of the 4, it wasn’t an awful relationship, but it was clear that we just didn’t have that kind of time to be spending with each other. We needed to figure ourselves out first and what we really wanted. I have dated numerous people who only have 2 out of the 4 and it can work, it can be successful, and it can bring you the happiness you want. But you must remember that in this kind of relationship there must be time set aside for either yourself or the other person to continue to take the steps needed in reaching the next level. If that time is not put aside, it is very easy to see the number drop back to 1 and in rare cases 0. The best chance for success, that I have experienced, is when both people have 3 out of the 4 or even 4 out of the 4. At that point there is a lot more time to put into the relationship without exerting too much. So, believe me when I say that you will still struggle to find your way, even after reading this. Practice makes perfect and finding a meaningful partnership will take effort! From both sides.

Dating 5

On my final note I have one question that must be answered before ever trying to put The Big Four into practice. Do you know your worth? By that I mean if someone is 45 minutes late for a date you two planned and they don’t have a reasonable excuse, would you still go on the date? If the answer is no. You know your time is valuable and is to be respected. If you said maybe or yes, then you’re not quite there. This is probably one of the biggest challenges people face but it is so important! If you don’t realize your worth and you get into a ‘relationship’ then odds are you’ll tolerate a lot more than you deserve. Regardless of The Big Four, you know yourself better than you think you do. Listen to yourself and use this as a rough outline on your journey to finding “the one”.

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