How to Set Your Intention and Act Wholeheartedly

Setting Intention

Setting an intention is a way of pointing yourself in one direction, toward an important value or goal. It is a way of identifying a quality you wish to nurture in your life.  Setting an intention can be done skillfully or unskillfully.

First, lets go over how to unskillfully set an intention.  It is not skillful or effective to be rigid or attached to an ideal about your intention.  For example, is your intention is to foster ease and self-acceptance, don’t expect to become 100% relaxed or self-accepting after just a few minutes.  Be careful that you don’t make your intention, no matter how wonderful or positive, something else on your to-do list or something you must achieve at all costs.  Recognize the trap of judging yourself harshly or doubting your intention if things don’t change right away. Don’t fall into the trap of judgment and doubt.

On the other hand, a skillful intention is more like a friendly guide. Acknowledge from the beginning that important changes take time. You, like everyone else, must make the effort to return repeatedly to the goal you seek.

Your intention, to become more self-accepting, for example, is better thought of as a direction you have selected for yourself.  The practice you choose is a way to enter on a path moving in that direction. Many conditions and factors are at work as you move along your path.  What is important is that you keep moving in the right direction. Being friendly with yourself as you travel the path is vital. Being patient with yourself as you move toward your goal is critical.

Would you like to know your life’s purpose?  You can find it here

You can think of your intention as  clear and strong statement of an important value quality, or goal you have selected for yourself.  Through the single act of making the statement, you have opened the door for a profound shift in your life.


Acting Wholeheartedly

To act wholeheartedly means to do something with all of your attention and energy.  Establishing presence and acting from clear intention will support you in embracing what you do wholeheartedly.  In just a few minutes of establishing presence and stating an intention, you are invited to embrace the practice you have selected wholeheartedly.  That practice could be studying the AGLs (Aquariana Gateway Lessons), any type of meditation or yoga, affirmations or chants or mantras, prayer, or something else.

You might have to experiment a bit with being wholehearted.  Much of what we do in life is done without full attention, or without real commitment to the activity or process, for a variety of reasons.  So, as you begin your practice give yourself some room to grow. At first, you might not feel wholehearted about whatever you have chosen to do.  You might not even like it much, if at all. That is alright and to be expected. Just continue to do it.

To get the most out of your practice, start with activities that resonate with you, or that seem especially interesting, or are perfect for something happening in your life right now.  As you work with the various practices over time, notice yow different ones fit in the different corners and phases of your life.

Do you know which career or line of work you are best suited for in your life?  If your answer is no, you can find it here

When you have selected practices that seem to fit, nurture a willingness to experiment with them, without expecting too much at first.  Even if you feel awkward, silly, or embarrassed, just acknowledge how you feel and then keep on with the practice.

You might find it easier to be wholehearted if you let go of trying to change anything or make anything happen as you do your practice.  This is a paradox that is true of many of the practices you will learn via this work. In the realm of transformation and growth, the more you reach for something, the farther away it can seem.

So let go of any attachment to outcome and just dive right in!  Instead of vigilantly monitoring what is happening, looking for changes, or judging yourself, just let go and do it.  That way, you are truly acting wholeheartedly and, paradoxically, are maximizing your chances for change and growth.

Are you ready to begin the Aquariana Gateway Lessons?  Find our here


How to Breathe Mindfully

Mindful breathing is one of the most ancient and profound meditation practices available to human beings.  Mindful breathing can be done by anyone, regardless of faith. Whoever you are, paying attention on purpose and non-judgmentally to the sensations of your breath is an effective way to dwell in the present moment and to avoid being lost in the wandering of your own mind.

To breathe mindfully means to become an observer of your own breath sensations as they move in and out of your body.  As you become a more sensitive observer, you will begin to notice different qualities in each breath, in or out, and the space between breaths as well.

The following instructions are one way to practice mindful breathing. Whatever the exact wording might be, mindful breathing is essentially about your willingness to reside in the present moment with your kind and nonjudgmental attention focused on the sensations of your breath.  From just that primary focus, your relationship to all other experience shifts.

You can do mindful breathing in any position you find comfortable, at any time of day, and anywhere.  You can even practice mindful breathing while moving around, walking, jogging, etc. Think of this exercise as an active meditation, if you like.

Here’s how to practice mindful breathing:

  • Relax your shoulders, face and neck.  Relax your hands and feet. Let the meditation support you.
  • Find a comfortable position, one that supports you in being awake.
  • Turn your attention to the actual physical sensations happening as you breath. Close your eyes if that helps you focus.
  • Find a place in your body where you can actually feel the breath moving in and out.  Your abdomen, nose or mouth (but it is best to breathe through your nose, not your mouth).  Rest your attention there, where you feel your breath most easily.
  • It is not necessary to control your breath in anyway.  Simply allow your body to breathe as it does. Pay attention as best you can to the direct sensations of the moving breath.
  • Direct kind attention to your breath sensations.  It is not necessary to make anything happen nor to become anything other than who you are in this moment.
  • As you spend kind attention on your breath sensations, set down all your burdens-inner and outer ones- for the time of meditation.
  • When you notice that your attention has wandered off the breath sensations, notice where it went, and gently but firmly bring it back.  You have not done anything wrong if this happens. The mind will move off the breath countless times. Each time practice kindness and patience with yourself, notice where your mind went, and bring attention back to your breath.
  • Rest attention on the changing patterns of sensations and breath.  Move your attention closer, noticing the quality of each new breath as accurately and as continuously as possible.  Stay present to the entire breath cycle: in, out, pause, in, and out, and so on. Notice how each breath has its own character.
  • End your meditation by shifting your focus off of the breath sensations, opening your eyes, and moving gently.

Is something bothering you?  Do you need to resolve a question or concern?  Is it a matter of the heart, self acceptance, a relationship issue, or other problem?  Ask Dr. Vaune a question – use her 1 question email consult service.  No appointment necessary.

Could you benefit from knowing your life’s purpose? Click here for more information on how you can find out what you are supposed to be doing here.

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The Benefits of Living a Purpose-Driven Life

Wouldn’t it be great to have a clear purpose in life?

Do you ever wonder what the heck you are supposed to be doing here?  Of course your do!  But what if you don’t know what your life purpose is?

  • What if you are a lousy goal setter, easily distracted, easily thrown off course, and very often full of self-doubt?
  • Maybe you have just graduated from college, and aren’t sure which direction to head.
  • Perhaps you’ve just been fired from a job or retired and don’t know what you should do now.
  • Maybe you have a number of interests and don’t know exactly which to focus on.
  • Want to know where your life is headed?
  • Need to understand your past?
  • Could you use a full life map?

Do you want information you can actually use for the rest of your life?

Get your life’s purpose consult from Dr. Vaune and start to live your life’s purpose now!

The benefits of living a purpose-driven life are priceless.

Mindfulness vs Meditation vs Imagery

Mindfulness is the awareness that arises as you pay attention on purpose with a friendly and accepting attitude to whatever is present.  Being mindful means being present consciously. Being mindful is at the heart of your self care time. Mindfulness of your breath is how you establish presence.  Be open to being mindful in more places and in different ways in your daily life.

Meditation is an activity of directing your attention, so you will become more aware and more understanding and wise.  Meditation is about much more than simple relaxation. Some meditation methods emphasize narrowing your attention to a simple object or a quality.  Other meditation practices focus upon developing clearer and deeper awareness of what is happening. Both approaches are useful. They both promote calm attention and awareness for feeling more ease and peace, for greater understanding, and for the development of desirable qualities, such as kindness, compassion or joy.

Imagery is the thought process that involves and uses the senses: sight, hearing, smelling, feeling, tasting and the sense of movement and position.  You use your imagination to facilitate communication between perception, emotion, and bodily change. It is one of the world’s oldest healing modalities.

Acting wholeheartedly is central to all these activities.  



If you try Dr. Vaune’s commitment and marriageability consult report you will find this insights will repeatedly prove accurate and useful to you over time.

This service is:

  • For people who need to understand themselves better regarding loving relationships
  • For people dating but hoping for more substantial relationship
  • For people hoping to attract and develop a person capable of committed relationship
  • For people already in serious relationship who are considering commitment
  • For committed couples who are preparing for marriage
  • For people in committed relationships who are struggling with their partner
  • For people curious to know if the one in your life now is realistically ‘the one’ forever


What is Metaphysics?


Oh, the benefits of living a purpose-driven life are priceless.

Wouldn’t it be great to have a clear purpose in life?

Do you ever wonder what the heck you are supposed to be doing here?  Of course your do!  But what if you don’t know what your life purpose is?

  • What if you are a lousy goal setter, easily distracted, easily thrown off course, and very often full of self-doubt?
  • Maybe you have just graduated from college, and aren’t sure which direction to head.
  • Perhaps you’ve just been fired from a job or retired and don’t know what you should do now.
  • Maybe you have a number of interests and don’t know exactly which to focus on.
  • Want to know where your life is headed?
  • Need to understand your past?
  • Could you use a full life map?

Do you want information you can actually use for the rest of your life?

Get your life’s purpose consult from Dr. Vaune and start to live your life’s purpose now!

Understanding the Elements and Alchemy

What is alchemy?  Alchemy is a quest for physical, mental and spiritual transformation.  Evolving in both western and eastern cultures, this ancient art developed basic laboratory procedures to refine and purify metals. These operations became the foundation on which the modern sciences of biology, chemistry and physics have been built. The perceptive student student of alchemy also realizes, however, that these laboratory processes of transformation veil a deeper philosophy leading to self-knowledge, spiritual evolution and personal transformation and enlightenment.

Alchemy is a process that requires thought, reflection and proper action.  As you begin to understand its physical operation, the deeper philosophical and spiritual mysteries unfold.

               Human transformation alchemy symbols.


Events can flow freely – Adapt, be patient and remain persistent – Feel your emotions and release them

The elements of water represents those aspects of matter that are moist, fluid and humid.

In the scientific world,  water is connected closely to the phase of ablution (the gradual purification of a substance, often through a series of stages, for our purposes, when Primal Matter is washed of all impurities. During the operations of distillation, Water evaporates and falls as condensation in the Alembic vessel (an alembic is an alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used for distilling), further refining the substance.

This element is closely  connected to love and the emotions.

As our watery planet floats in space, huge cloud crowned oceans swell and fall under the influence of the Moon.  From the joyous bubblings of a mountain stream and the cascading veil of a waterfall, to the deep surging power of rivers and the eternal give and take of ocean waves, Water holds many lessons.  Its turbulent tempests and dangerous undertows show it to be a powerful force. It dances around, over, under and through any obstacles encountered as i continues its path to the sea. In its persistence and timeless endurance, it can carve canyons, and through its gentle action can smooth the hardest surfaces into fluid forms.

The fluidity of Water in all its forms can be emulated with great success.  Adaptability and conformity within boundaries may be the proper approach for now, knowing that your unending persistence will eventually wear away any resistance.  Water is patient and powerful at the same time. Like a sudden rain shower, a release of emotions can be helpful to relieve stress and clear our old debris. In quiet reflection, sink into that deep well of feeling within and intuitively draw up a course for proper action.

                                                                              ~M. E. Warlick



Identify exactly what you need – Be practical in your approach – Stand firm and build the foundations to realize your plans

In its diversity, Earth appears as grains of sand on a beach, warm loamy garden soil, tough clay on a mountain side, or huge, solid boulders.  It is the element most closely equated with Primal Matter, although all substances to some degree contain, Earth’s qualities of dryness and solidity.

The Lion, ruling over practical matters and material possessions, its alchemical symbol, represents its fixed aspects with the lions four paws resting on the ground to indicate stability.

Two lions, male and female, represent the two opposing properties of Primal Matter.  Alchemical processes duplicate the Earth’s natural cycle in its evolution of death and rebirth.  Seeds must be buried in the Earth before new life can begin and, as they germinate and take root, the Earth’s minerals support the life of the plant to maturity.  The Earth them receives back the mature plant so that it can decay and replenish its fertility.

Whatever the physical appearance of the Earth, it is a solid substance that can be depended on for support.  Feel yourself grounded in the world, let your feet touch the cool grass, knowing that layers of soil and bedrock are beneath you.  Approach decisions with this grounding in the real world. Look for practical solutions and straightforward, down to earth approaches.  Although material gain should not be your only consideration, this may be the time to think about the realistic financial aspects of your position.  Weigh the situation carefully, as if you were holding a real object in your hand. In the midst of conflict, stand firm in your resolve. Although we sometimes take the Earth for granted, the enormity of this solid supportive substance should be acknowledged and used to support your own inner strength.


Mental clarity brings transformation – Soar high and explore a limitless universe – Enjoy your freedom

In the scientific world, Air is the life giving force joining the Earth and the heavens. As one aspect of Primal Matter, it represents those qualities that are subtle and gaseous.  The gasses in the vessel are symbolized by rising and falling birds; as liquids boil, gases escape and coalesce like crystallized birds on the walls of the vessel. Air is connected to the intellect, and to the life of the mind, which must moderate physical activity just as the careful addition of Air is used to moderate fire and its effects in the laboratory.

A gentle breeze stirs the newly formed leaves in spring to encourage their unfolding and growth.Immense swirling currents of Air encircle the planet and direct the weather, bringing both rain and clearing sunshine.  Although Air is a subtle fore, it can cause great transformation and metamorphosis.

Change is possible through a careful exercising of your mental powers, even though your presence may seem invisible.  Before any action is taken, allow time for reflection. Spontaneous ideas and deliberate plan s both have a function in the process.  As gases escape from boiling liquid, you may need to remove yourself if the activity around gets too hectic. You have freedom and mobility to act, but too many possibilities may be clouding your line of vision.  Clear, sharp perceptions gained at some distance from the situation are needed here. Just as gasses are released to purify the substance in the process of distillation, removal of all unessential factors is necessary to find the essence of your solution.  Exhale all negative thoughts and energy, and breathe in the peacefulness, love and joy that surround us all.


Thrive in the midst of adversity – Vigorous action brings transformation

In the scientific world, Fire is the agent of transformation.  Full of energy and activity, it represents those aspects of matter that are hot and dry.  Heating with fire occurs both inside and outside the vessel: internal fire is created when acids react together to elevate the temperature within the vessel and break down the materials; an external Fire, contained within the ‘Athanor furnace’*, heats the vessel and causes Philosophic Sulphur and Philosophic Mercury to unite.  Although care must be taken to control its power, Fire is an essential tool. The Alchemist must create a constant gentle heat and a uniform temperature within the vessel for the great work to succeed. The substance in the vessel can withstand the heating process, like the mythic salamander who can survive the fire unharmed.

The fire within your heart is capable of transforming the world both inside and out.  Use your initiative, inventiveness and spontaneity to set new projects in motion. Now is the time for action applied carefully and consistently to those areas in your life where it is needed.  Like the salamander, you can survive external adversity and actually thrive, even when the situation around you is overheated and inflamed. Your energy now burns brightly, but take some care to keep new fires under control.

Fire can both break down matter and fuse it; so too, can your passion create the necessary changes for letting go of destructive elements in your life and bringing union with new, beneficial ones.  Warmth and compassion given to others will return to you threefold, when you need it most.


“In alchemy, an athanor is a furnace used to provide heat for alchemical digestion. An athanor is a self-feeding furnace, designed to maintain a uniform temperature.

The athanor was also called Piger Henricus (“Slow Harry”), because it was chiefly used in slower operations, and because when once filled with coals, it keeps burning a long time. For this reason the Greeks referred to it as “giving no trouble”, as it did not need to be continually attended. It was also called the Philosophical furnace, Furnace of Arcana, or popularly, the Tower furnace.”

From Paul Foster Case:

“Dissolution is said to be the whole mystery of alchemy,

because Hermetic practice enables us to control those

functions of our bodies which dissolve, or break down

into their constituent elements, the forms of materials

taken from our environment. The laboratory of the

alchemist is his own personality. The secret vessels

therein are organs in his own physical body, together

with their astral and etheric counterparts.

The principal piece of alchemical apparatus is a furnace,

called an “athanor.” Eliphas Levi says: “We are all in

possession of the chemical instrument, the great and

sole athanor which answers for the separation of the

subtle from the gross and the fixed from the volatile.

This instrument, complete as the world and precise as

mathematics, is represented by the sages under the

emblem of the pentagram, or five-pointed star, which is

the absolute sign of human intelligence. I will follow

the example of the wise by forbearing to name it; it is

too easy to guess it.”

Today there is no need for even the slight concealment

which seemed advisable when Levi wrote. The athanor

is the human organism.




This material has been heavily influenced by content found in The Philosopher’s Stone.

Helen and Mack: Innocent Man and Money Trouble

Background: Helen and Mack dated for 18 months prior to becoming engaged.  When Helen came to me with her crisis, their wedding was in 2 months and plans were well underway for a sumptuous wedding with 300 people expected to attend.  Helen was accustomed to the finer things in life and her family was considered wealthy by most people’s standards. Helen’s father recently died and her mother was head of the family, but she was not a hands on administrator and had been quickly taken advantage of by her financial managers.  The families fortune had been significantly diminished as a result, as Helen had just found this out. The wedding will be the last extravagance Helen will receive from her family.

Mack is from humble circumstances and, though he does care for Helen and sincerely wishes to marry her, he is also expecting financial benefits from Helen’s family to flow his way after the marriage.  Mack is a good man and Helen’s family liked him; he made a good living as a respectable professional, but not nearly enough to maintain Helen in the manner to which she had been accustomed all her life. Helen was expecting considerable financial support from her family because she knew they knew Mack could not provide at the level the family’s social circle required, and her father had always assured her of such help when she married.  Her father expected to likely have to provide such support for Helen as her dating pool was limited due to their unusually high level economic and social status (and the fact that Helen was not a pretty woman).



Problem: Helen was not sure Mack would still want to marry her if she would not be receiving significant funds from her family after their wedding. This is because she felt Mack would feel pressured to provide at a level he could not and would be afraid to enter into the marriage. Helen also was concerned that she would have a difficult time adjusting to more modest circumstances and might come to resent Mack’s inability to provide her the luxuries she prefers.  She was overwhelmed by the wedding plans, was still grieving the loss of her father, and the reality of the misfortune her family has suffered – in addition to her fears about Mack and her future with – or without – him. She felt, under the circumstances, she could not think straight and asked what she should do to be fair to both herself and to Mack?

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  Helen might not be ‘a looker’ but she is self aware enough to recognize when she needs help and wise enough to ask for help when she needs it. So, at our first session, I explained to Helen that she needed to understand that her grief, for both losses, would take time to mellow and come to terms with; meanwhile she should allow herself time to feel it and process it on a daily basis.

Second, Helen was reminded that planning a wedding is, of course, stressful and demanding, especially as the big day nears. This stress, too, needed to be recognized and managed throughout each day. I gave her some simple techniques for managing both her grief and stress which she can put into practice under almost any circumstance, to allow the energy to flow out and away from her, while giving it all the respect it is due.  

Third, I reminded her that she must first get clear within herself about what she truly needs from Mack and whether or not he can reliably supply that to her.

Fourth, I asked her, if she had met Mack and she had had no expectation of family, or even his financial support, would she still want to be his life partner and wife? That was the priority question, so I suggested she give that some serious consideration. She later replied she would still want Mack, even if money were not an issue.

So, the next hurdle involved getting her and Mack to discuss the new reality of circumstance and sort out how much, if at all, they would let it impact their relationship.  Mack would need to reflect on his ability to provide and whether or not he could manage his ego and insecurity, if any, about Helen feeling short changed. Helen would need to reflect on her materialism expectations and decide whether or not she could maturely embrace the required changes life was thrusting upon her. To facilitate their discussion I suggested they use the book, The Life Mate Questions, by Cathleen Carr, to make sure they talked about the various topics, with specific questions, that their new circumstances demanded.

No matter what, Helen’s lifestyle was going to change and require her to accept that reality and adjust her expectations.  It would be up to her to accept this challenge with grace and gratefulness for all she has had – or not. Mack was being given the opportunity to determine if he really wanted Helen, with or without her family’s deep pockets and social connections that would probably disintegrate over time.  Both of these issues would be profoundly important for both these individuals to have sorted within themselves and between one another, prior to saying, “I do.”

They did the self reflection and the questioning of one another even while the wedding plans continued to unfold.  Now, they are living together happily as husband and wife.

  • Relationship problem? Ask Dr. Vaune! Get your 1 Question Email Consult now  

*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?



20 Best Dating Questions

After this brief but important introduction, I will quickly go over the list, without much embellishment, then afterwards, I will go over best practices for using the list.  I plan to do a video presentation of this material so check the Metaphysics Today YouTube channel for the video of this list which will include a little more explanatory content. 

Let me open by saying this content if for quality people looking for quality relationships.  This dating advice can apply to straight or gay folks.  It also applies to people who are dating over 40 as well as people who have previously been married. It is not about how you like to do it or with which gender you are attracted to for love or how old or ‘around the block’ you are.  These are about the heart and mind, and enduring, potentially deeply fulfilling, quality romantic, life mate level relationships.

If you are the type (or are experimenting with being the type) of person who just desires lusty, crusty couplings, then this  message is not for you. However, If you are even the slightest bit interested in marrying someday, especially to start a family, you would be wise to take your dating time seriously.  Why? Because people can be upset and damaged by bad non committed relationships arguably just as deeply as by committed relationships gone sour. Why let unworthy people mess you up even before you meet your life mate?  

With the prevalence of incurable venereal diseases, curable but damaging venereal diseases, and seemingly more and more crazy people – what with all the prescribed and non-prescribed medications people take these days – roaming the earth, and the high cost of dating and living- why expose yourself to so much *hit when there is only a limited amount of shinola out there for you?

Here I will teach you how to quickly screen and move on from obvious from the gate,  ‘go nowhere’ potential couplings, so you can save your heart, mind, and body from the life grinding sludge heap of junk you will otherwise expose yourself to – and get gunked up by – for no good reason.

So, let’s get started…


One of the most powerful indicators of whether you are dating someone worth your time is how they choose to respond to even being asked these types of questions I present here.  If someone responds with something like, ‘hey’ i’m just interested in keeping it light’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with talking about these types of personal questions’ or ‘ hey, lets just have some fun and see what happens’, know you are wasting your time with someone who does not share your goals and who probably sleeps around.  Why pick up all their collected physical and spiritual heebeegeebies? Why do you deserve that? Even if this used to be you, why go backwards to these kinds of shallow people? You’d just be setting yourself back, no doubt for nothing that will be worth it in the end.

This is not an anti sex talk.  Sex is great. However, the proof is out there that too much casual sex is harmful in many ways to both men and women.  Scoff if you wish, but deep down you know it’s true. Freedom to enjoy casual sex goes well beyond birth control. There is still the emotional, spiritual, social, and physical ramifications of sleeping around, just because your horny, or trying to prove to yourself or others that you are ‘free’ and can do what you like. That just does not add up to a healthy and wise outcome.  

Now, let’s go over the 20 questions to ask a new man or woman during the first few dates:

  1. How do you spend your down time?
  2. What makes you laugh?
  3. What are your long term goals?
  4. What is something on your bucket list?
  5. What is your relationship like with your parents?
  6. Are you hoping for a relationship or just fun?
  7. What do you value most in a relationship?
  8. What quality is most attractive to you in a partner?
  9. Name three things you would like to have in common with your partner?
  10. For what in life do you feel most grateful?
  11. Do you like animals / plants as part of your home environment?
  12. What do you believe is your worst quality?
  13. What is one thing you will not tolerate in a relationship?
  14. Are you family oriented?
  15. What is your biggest strength?
  16. What is your biggest weakness?
  17. Are you a grudge holder?
  18. Are you spiteful or vengeful?
  19. What is the longest relationship you have been in and how did it end?
  20. How do you nurture your own spirituality?

These are not the only important questions to ask prior to engagement or marriage, these are just the questions to ask to filter out people you do not need to ever take seriously for purposes of becoming a life mate.  For hundreds more questions and dozens of topics which need to be asked prior to marriage get a copy of this book, THE LIFE MATE QUESTIONS: 600 Questions and Topics to Consider and Ask for Happily Ever After, by Cathleen Vaune Carr available on 

Okay, back to these 20 Dating Questions…

These 20 questions have been carefully curated to not be construed by an otherwise well intentioned, quality person, as being too intrusive.  A quality person will immediately understand your reason for inquiry without you even having to explain yourself. If they are open to the same outcome as you they will be grateful to have the subjects broached, so they too, do not have to waste their valuable time.  This is a fair approach because it gives both parties 20 chances up front to determine if more time, money, and energy need be invested.

Let’s be clear, you do not need to ask all these questions on the first date. That would be ridiculous and accurately perceived as desperate. Pace yourself and learn more about the strategy for doing so later in this message.

Understand, I have not put these 20 questions into any particular order, mostly because I know each of you has our own priorities and must follow how our own mind works.  So, you can put them in to whatever order makes the most sense to you, then when the conversation feels right, ask one question only, then LISTEN carefully to the answer.

If you do not understand what the verb ‘to listen’ truly means, immediately read a few articles, posts or books on the subject.  Next meditate on HOW TO LISTEN, until you can actually LISTEN to another person while they are speaking to you.  

After your date has finished speaking, and you have taken a moment to consider what they have said, then ask clarifying questions if you did not understand them completely. Also, and this is important,… pause and wait to see if they ask you the same or similar question. This step is important because it will reveal whether this person is self centered and/ or perhaps not interested enough in you to care. Does not it stand to reason that if they are interested in you, or at least interested in not wasting their own time, they would want to know about your answers to these same questions?

Then and only then, move on to question #2 on your list, if it feels right to do so.  Otherwise, leave the next question for another time. Chances are, there is absolutely no need to rush.  The last thing you want is for someone to feel he or she is being interrogated because you cannot stop asking questions. Breathe and relax yourself if you find yourself becoming anxious. Its okay to feel excited, but do not let your excitement ruin your chances of being positively perceived. At this stage of the proceedings, (notice I did not say ‘game’, games are for players – and you are more respectable than that, right?) it will be hard to come back from a show of bad form if you let anxiety or poorly managed excitement get the best of you.  

Another good method of approaching these questions at a reasonable pace is to  allow yourself no more than a few questions per date.  That gives you at least several more dates with this person and a fair chance of getting a real feel for them, and them for you, while you are doing your ‘homework’. Keep your pants on and only go to places where you can talk that do not cost lots of money and do not have a strong romantic vibe until you are satisfied that this person is worth more substantial investment.  This applies equally to the other person regarding you.

Now, the reason I mention money, is that many people feel ‘owed’ or ‘pressured’ when the expenditure of money becomes too excessive  (dependent on the respective parties means) early on in a dating environment. So rather than get into ‘value’ judgment issues, just keep money out of it in the first place.  Frankly, if a person is only going to go out with you if you are going to spend lots of money, well there’s a big hint right there that they are not smitten with you, but rather with what you can provide to him or her.  I’ll leave it up to you to figure out how that makes you feel. I’m not judging you, just warning you.

Next, after you and your date have gotten past the 20 questions, you have two sensible options you can avail yourselves of  to help you resolve the next set of most important questions; those being whether you and / or your date are wired for commitment and marriage. Trust me, not every one is.  That does not mean they are not a nice person or even a great friend and lover.  It means they do not do well in confining relationships or relationships that require a lot of focused devotion on another person.  this could be for many reasons.  I can help you easily sort this issue out with a Commitment / Marriage Ability Consultation. Also, if after your happily  past the early dating stage, and later have run into problems, I can still help you with my 1 Question email consult.  Both of these services- and others -are explained in detail here on the website.

So there you have it. So here you get the goods and how to use them in one place.  It is wise of you to be smart about your heart!  Remember, these are 20 questions that can save you time, money, and heartache while you are on one of the most important journeys of your life – the hunt for a life mate. Happy hunting!

Wishing you all the best!

Dr. Vaune

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