After years of dating men in six cities, four countries and two continents I had an epiphany the other day. The perfect partner does not exist. We’ve been led to believe that someday we’ll meet that person that will have everything we’ve been looking for, but we forget that they may also have some things we’re not looking for. The bottom line is: Everyone has a personality/character trait or a circumstance that could be considered a flaw.

Luckily, what is a deal breaker for one person, the next person may barely notice. Spiritual guru Marianne Williamson says that, “The person that sees your wounds as faults and would therefore punish you, is not your partner.”

Your mission, when you begin to date someone, is to find out what his or her “flaw” is as soon as possible. Here is a list of common ones. It’s up to you to decide: deal or no deal.

Workaholic – This is a double edged sword. Workaholics are usually successful, so there are a lot of perks (gifts, trips, expensive restaurants) to be had by dating this type of partner. The downside of course is that you probably won’t be able to spend a lot of time together and when you do, they may be on the phone/PDA more often than you’d like.

If you’re an independent type and prefer to have a lot of time to yourself, then this may be a perfect match. If not, please don’t kid yourself and think that they will change once you get married, have kids, etc. The more common scenario is that you will begin to resent your partner for not being there and will eventually have an affair and/or file for divorce.

Kids – Some people will absolutely not date anyone with kids. Fine. However, what happens when you meet someone you’re strongly attracted to and they have kids? It’s not always that easy to just walk away. You need to take many factors into account.

How many kids? What ages? What sex? (Sibling rivalry can exist between a child and an adult that are not related). How often do they have the kids? Are they well behaved or brats? Is there any drama with the ex?

Bad Sex – This may be more important for men than for women, although once you’ve had great sex, it’s hard to put up with so-so sex, no matter what sex you are. Even if a guy thinks a girl may be “the one”, if the sex is bad, more often than not, he will not continue dating her. He will certainly try to see if it can be improved, but at a certain point, he will either cheat and/or bail.

Don’t feel guilty. Sex is an important part of a relationship. If you are willing to put up with it, without cheating, then stay. If not, don’t prolong the process, hoping it will improve. Leave as soon as possible.

Overweight – I used to only be attracted to guys that looked as if they’d just stepped off the cover or GQ and had a six-pack. Now, I’m wary of those guys. My experience has been that they are often self-centered and with so many women after them, not the most faithful guys around.

I’m willing to overlook a few (and I do mean, a few) extra pounds and a face that is not model material. Those guys usually try harder. This goes for women as well. Don’t overlook a woman just because her body fat isn’t 15%. She can always lose weight. Plus, remember, looks don’t last forever.

REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens. Write to Lucia at: The Art of Love is sponsored by: Twisted Elegance Boutique, 7407 and 7560 Melrose Ave.