Dating Advice: There Are No Buts In a Healthy Romantic Relationship

dating advice

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.

I have some great dating advice, sparked by a conversation I recently had with a friend. My friend has been divorced for a couple years and recently ended a relationship that lasted for several months.


Looking back, every time I would ask her how it was going with this guy, she would say, “Well…” and then she would talk about some issue she had with him. He was late a lot, he didn’t want to meet her friends, he was distant one night. So basically, every time I asked her about him, the answer was always that they were still together, “BUT”…


So now, they broke up and she has been dating someone new for a few weeks, and when I saw her, I asked, “How is the new guy?”


Alyssa Dineen -
Online Dating Coach and Stylist


“He’s great,” she said, gushing with happiness. And, she stopped right there. She didn’t say, “but…”


Her response got me thinking about the difference between healthy romantic relationships and those that most likely won’t work out.


Karen Covy - Live the life you truly want to live.


So, here’s the dating advice. I truly believe that when a relationship is good (healthy) there are no buts. I’m not saying that healthy relationships are perfect. They aren’t. But rather that when someone is truly making you happy, your gut response is positive. Always. Period. That’s it.



More dating advice:

When in a relationship, LISTEN to yourself when you are talking to your friends and family about the person. Listen to the words that come out of your own mouth. That says everything about whether or not the relationship is making you happy.


It’s easier to stay in a relationship sometimes, even if you know it isn’t right for a few possible reasons:

1. Because you care deeply about the person.

2. Perhaps you don’t want to get back out there in the dating world, i.e. you are comfortable.

3. You don’t think you can do any better.

4. You’re thinking there are no better men (or women) better than who you are with out there.


So, you try to fit a square peg in a round hole, and you keep dating him or her, and you end up frustrated and unhappy because the same “buts” keep coming up over and over again!


You say things to your friends like, “he’s really good, but we fight a lot,” or “He’s good but he kind of drinks a lot” or “he’s good but he never wants to go out with me on weekends” or “good but I don’t know if I see a future.”


Dating advice: Notice that there is a but in every one of these statements.


Joanne Litman - Eagle Strategies LLC - Financial Solutions for Women


If a friend asks you, “How is your new guy?” and you answer in one of the following ways, keep him!

“How is your new guy?”


  • the best

  • a total sweetheart

  • Great, he surprised me yesterday and showed up at my house with lunch.

  • We are having so much fun!

  • I just love him.


    MJ Gabel - Sell your wedding rings, diamonds, and jewelry.


  • He makes me feel great about myself.

  • I like myself with him.

  • He is kind and caring and giving.

  • I’m just really happy.

  • I’ve been waiting for him all my life.


Or, you say nothing, and your smile says it all.


I believe that relationships develop “a theme” very early on. In other words, the stage is set almost from the start, and whatever the issues are, they will be there for the entire relationship.


My Divorce Solution



That isn’t always a bad thing and that doesn’t mean you are with the wrong person or that it won’t work out. I’m just saying know what you have and don’t try to change the person’s core or the situation. Your choices: accept it or move on.


If you are a bickering couple, that will start in month two and you will probably always bicker. Whatever bugs you about each other will continue to bug you for the entirety of the relationship–which may span decades! And, it takes guts to really ask yourself if the issues are too big, or if you are willing to live with them.


I believe your gut will speak to you and tell you if the buts are too big for the relationship to truly fulfill you. The key is to listen to it.


I remember sitting on a plane next to some random guy one time, oversharing with him about a guy I had been seeing. Two little white wine bottles later, he said to me, “When a relationship is right, it will be easy.” I never forgot that. What does “easy” mean? No buts!

Like this article? Check out “Dating After Divorce: Advice, Tips and Why this is an Exciting Time”

Listen to the Divorced Girl Smiling podcast View the DGS trusted divorce professionals! Divorced Girl Smiling is now offering a private, no-cost, one-on-one phone consult

Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to get articles on divorce and dating.

Sign up


    Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video
    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    4 Responses to “Dating Advice: There Are No Buts In a Healthy Romantic Relationship”

    1. Dawn

      I just wanted to comment, that this article truly hit home for me and described exactly what I am going through in contemplating breaking up from a 5 year relationship. There are SO many “buts” but I stayed with him out of those exact fear-fueled reasons and I now realize that I deserve to be with someone where I say those positive, happy statements and feel ALIVE. Thank you for this – it’s given me the motivation to finally let go. I know it won’t be easy, but will be well worth it when, (not if) I find the TRUE love of my life!

    2. Dor

      I think that there can be a but
      No relationship will be perfect or close to perfect
      It’s ok to recognize the buts

    3. Angela

      I am in a relationship with several “buts” noted. Guilty as charged. He is a great guy, but… I admit I’m afraid to leave for all the reasons you mention. A friend told me that I would have to love myself before I can hope for someone to love me equally. It’s not easy. Thank you for sharing this story. I’ve been contemplating a change an exit. Perhaps this is the nudge I need!

    4. Jeanne

      I’m here in 2023 and this blog has helped me end a toxic relationship full of “buts” thanks for vocalizing what, in the moment, I couldn’t/can’t articulate.


    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *