Some of you may have heard Kirstie Alley on Ellen talking about how she is going to start dating "ugly men" this year. She said she always went for the players and attractive guys but has had two divorces so this year she is going to date ugly men. Kirstie is making a common relationship mistake. When relationships don't work out over and over again, we tend to look at the people we are choosing to find the commonality to determine, "What's wrong with them?" It is much more painful, albiet productive, to take a look in the mirror and ask the question, "Why do I keep repeating this same pattern in my relationships?" It's rarely about the other person, and almost always about ourselves.

This is why in my book, Secrets of Happy Couples, I have many tasks a person should engage in while in the Alone Stage of Rthe relationship Cycle. One of these is looking inside at ourselves. Another is deciding what's important to us in our relationship and making a list of the traits, qualities and behaviors we want in our future partner.

Relationships are meaningful when two people come together and support each other in doing the things that are important to them. Relationships are meaningful when each person can be themselves without fear of losing the other person. Relationships are meaningful when each person is not trying to change the other. And finally, relationships are most meaningful when both people put the needs of the relationship above their own individual needs and work to determine what's important to their partner and then gives it to him or her rather than giving what they would want in a similar situation.

It's not a good idea to date the opposite of what you're attracted to. What you are attracted to is important to have in a relationship unless you find you are attracted to certain characteristics for the "wrong" reason. A lot of times we are not choosing from a conscious place of knowing what's good for us. We often function from a subconscious place that has been fueled by early childhood messages we may or may not be aware of but that are operating in the background of our consciousness 24/7. For example, if you had people in your life that caused you to feel unworthy of love, then you will tend to attract people who are incapable of loving you. This is something to take a close look at. However, you should not decide ALL attractive men are "dogs" so I'm going to date "ugly" men now. This is based on a stereotype that has no basis in fact. There is definitely something more serious going on with Kirstie than simply a need to date less attractive men. What do you think?

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