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I want someone who will fight for me - is that wrong? Add to ...

Group Therapy is a relationship advice column to which readers contribute their wisdom.

A reader writes: I am a confident, single twentysomething, happy in my life. But I want that little something extra. Problem is, I have a talent for talking myself out of relationships before the first date. I’ve been hoping someone will fight for me. So far, no luck. Should I take a chance on the current potential, or keep waiting?

Slow down

I am confused why a confident, happy person would be so needy as to want someone to fight for them before they even really know each other. You don’t date someone to see if they will fight for you. You date them to see if your attraction sticks, to see if you are compatible, and to see if you fall in love. Dating is not a waiting game; it is a treasure hunt.

Brian King, Ladysmith, B.C.

Change your thinking

Stop thinking, “But I want that little something extra.” Partners are not hood ornaments, candy cherries or baubles. You should see them as the other (possibly) half of your life. Marriage is work.

Justin Ball, New Westminster, B.C.

Try making friends

You are young, confident and happy. If you don’t feel a need to be in a relationship, you don’t have to! But you can always talk yourself into making more friends and opening up more avenues for yourself. The “friends” made can be pretty handy when you need them.

Agnes Tai, Edmonton

The last word

I asked my eldest daughter about this idea of men duelling it out for women. Where does it come from? She rolled her eyes and dubbed it the Bella Effect – girls fantasizing about being the heroine from Twilight, who has not one hot guy fighting for her, but two. Only, here’s the thing: In Twilight, Edward is a vampire and Jacob is a werewolf – creatures that do not really exist. Despite the women’s movement, when it comes to finding a romantic partner, young women often turn into passive, simpering twits.

Should you take a chance on the current potential? I don’t know, is he a serial killer? Does he eat babies for breakfast? The only way to find out is to get to know him. Have a list of important qualities you’re looking for and see if he fits the bill.

You want that “little something extra,” but Justin’s right, finding a future spouse is not in the same category as ordering extra croutons on your salad. Here’s what I tell my daughters: Strategize about finding a life partner the same way you’d strategize about finding the right career. Both are important to a woman’s future happiness, so why be pro-active with one and lie around like a beached, romantically sick whale with the other?

Agnes’s sentiment about making friends could work for you. My sister-in-law spied a handsome fellow counsellor while volunteering at Muslim camp. After getting to know him and learning that he had the qualities she valued - she proposed. She’s now happily married with four kids. In the 21st century, self-respecting, modern women can make the first move.

So get cracking. You don’t want to wake up one morning and wonder where all the good men have gone. Possible answer: They’re married to women who were willing to fight for themselves.

Zarqa Nawaz is the creator of Little Mosque on the Prairie .

Next week’s question

A reader writes: Over the past year, my husband has been very successful in his work, winning praise from employers and underlings alike. To my embarrassment, I realize my pride in his success is turning to resentment. It bugs me that everyone seems to just talk about how great my husband is, and how happy I must be for him. And, while my husband and I often did projects together, now I’m turning down such jobs. I feel I'm struggling to maintain my identity. Is this simple jealousy? How can I fix it?

Let’s hear from you: If you have a question or would like to participate, e-mail us at grouptherapy@globeandmail.com.

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