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Drop that LTR Goal and Strive for HQR (High Quality!)

November 17, 20222 min read

Like the rest of life, dating isn't binary (Long-Term GOOD or Short-Term CHEAP)

High-quality, medium-term relationships are the answer to society's incessant need -- reinforced by online dating sites -- for relationships to be defined as short term (presumably less fulfilling) and long-term (which is a coin toss about fulfillment over time).

They're the answer to a big part of how BROKEN our view of dating is today, especially for spiritual singles over forty -- the audience I work with most.

It's fairly evident that longevity is a poor indicator of relationship quality, since

Like the rest of life, dating isn't binary (Long Term GOOD or Short Term CHEAP)
  • most divorcees previously had good relationships before the termination,


  • a great number of long-term marriages turn sexless and more like roommates grumbling, exasperated, under their breath.

In most/all other areas of life, many people will choose quality over quantity. But in dating, somehow people have been socialized to think long-term (LTR) is synonymous with "real" or "lifetime/forever" thus they pick quantity before quality.

<Sound of vinyl record scratching>

<Yes I know you think this dates me but albums are back in style!>

<Back to our original program>

Danger, Will Robinson!

In something as important as your love life, I encourage you to rank quality over quantity.


  • Would you wish a friend “good luck in keeping your job until retirement” without considering their job satisfaction? No, you’d likely want them to be growing personally and professionally, in addition to income, feeling good about their colleagues as much as possible, being compensated well for their energy/talent, etc.

  • Would you wish a friend's parent entering into an assisted living center, "hope it works out for you for decades?" No, you'd likely wish them happiness for their new situation of safety and community without even thinking of duration.

    And finally

  • What do you think might be going on in someone's head when you read "LTR" in their profile? Did it ever occur to you that this could be code for:
    (a) They hate dating so they’re looking for the first thing that's close (can they fog a mirror?) rather than making an informed decision, or
    (b) They naively believe their last LTR was a fluke and since they got rid of that partner, you'll fit right in and make them happy. [Ed. Note: this almost never works] 

Finally, think about your last long-term relationship. Why aren’t you in it any longer?

If there's anything I know from chatting with hundreds of people about The School For Love, it's because something wasn’t working for one or both of you. You got the opportunity to work on that (and hopefully have gotten clear, or the Great Mystery will bringing you mirrors of the issue to examine).

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to comment. You'll also probably appreciate our free e-book, The Four Biggies: The Top Online Dating Mistakes Spiritual Singles Are Making.

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Paul Aaron Travis

Paul’s commitment to making dating joyful, respectful, expansive and consensual comes from extensive training in interpersonal relations — from Nonviolent Communication to the Wheel of Consent, from Landmark Education to Human Awareness International, from Body Electric to ISTA/Tantra. In his early years, Paul cofacilitated the Seattle Men’s Wisdom Council, working with hundreds of men every month. In the years since his divorce, he has dated dozens and dozens and dozens of women – mostly first dates which didn’t yield sufficient chemistry to go further. Yet this practice manifested 3 wonderful, multi-year relationships – helping him create the Authintimacy method he now teaches in The Great Dating Reset and Dating Sherpa.

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The School For Love Medium articles

Coming Soon:

Ask The School For Love for Free Advice - Dating Dilemma

Ask The School For Love for Free Advice - Relationship and Romance Rupture