If you are like most single people you have put a lot of thought into how to meet someone and then the even more challenging task of discovering if you like one another and want to move forward into a relationship. This process has historically been accomplished through some type of courtship, getting to know one another or dating. However, you may be experiencing enormous amounts of frustration if all the time and energy you put into dating is not getting you the results you want. The following 5 subtle shifts in how you approach looking for your next potential relationship can help minimize the pitfalls and improve your likelihood of finding a compatible partner and lasting relationship.
Are you ready for this?
Think about when you bought your last car. That most likely was not a rash decision. You knew that you were making a serious commitment. You probably spent a great deal of time considering the qualities and value of the car, deciding on the make, the color, and ensuring that it was economical and mechanically sound. You also had to take inventory of your own abilities to make the monthly payments and keep the vehicle maintained. However, individuals often rush into the business of coupling prematurely, before they have prepared themselves mentally and emotionally. Chances are you began dating before you learned how to drive and no one taught you how to effectively pursue a healthy and lasting relationship. Imagine if you had the skills to not only navigate the dating arena but cultivate the relationship you want as well.
Before you can determine what you are looking for in a partner or a relationship you need to first make an honest look inward. What are your strengths and assets that you bring to the table? Where are your weak spots and your vulnerabilities that have caused you unnecessary heartache in the past? Are these areas that you could use time in more personal growth before pursuing your next relationship? What take-aways are you carrying from past relationships and how can you use them in a constructive manner moving forward? Some productive ways to gain insight are journaling, meditation and reflecting. Others find it more helpful to turn to a trusted friend or therapist as they process. Some reach for reliable resources such as self-help books or websites. And if you are really feeling really bold, consider what you might learn about yourself if you conducted an “exit interview” with a past romantic partner or two.
Moving Past Your Past
Break ups can feel like a train wreck. If your body had literally been through such a physical trauma you would have no choice but to go through the necessary process to allow it to properly and entirely heal before subjecting it to the rigors of your daily life. Meaning you wouldn’t resume going to the gym until it had fully healed. You would wait for casts or braces to come off, go to physical therapy, and then ease your way back into your regular workout routine. Are you carrying unresolved issues from a past relationship? Allow yourself the same kind of time for healing after a break up, including reaching out for support as needed. Many use this time to nurture themselves, they take up a hobby, join a gym. It is also a great time to nurture significant relationships with family and friends.
Refining “the List”
Developing a finely tuned vision of what you are looking for in a relationship is also an essential part of the process. For how else can you measure when you have arrived if you don’t know where you want to get to? It is generally more productive to utilize the laws of attraction by concentrating on seeking partners with desirable qualities rather than putting energy into trying to avoid partners with character flaws. Those who take their time on this step have learned a couple of valuable lessons. First, that a vision is not simply a checklist of expectations, superficial or otherwise. It is a process of developing clarity about what you are wanting and needing and how you envision those needs best being met by a partner over time. Some people look to sources such as happy, healthy mentor relationships for examples. Regardless it is a process that takes time and has a learning curve. You may even find that you learn a great deal as you go along your path and your vision evolves as you put yourself out there.
Selection, Rejection & Compatibility
The final hurdle is the repetitive and often painful process of selection. One of your most valuable assets that is often brought in too late to be truly effective is vetting a potential love interest with your friends and family. If you introduce someone you are not serious with yet to your trusted allies, both male and female, they can spot not only the potential red flags but also how you are with this person. Are you the best version of yourself? Do you act natural or light up inside? Consider how valuable it would be to have this kind of feedback early on from a trusted source as you consider how to proceed with the relationship.
Many perceive rejection as one of the most challenging parts of dating. And rejection can feel like a personal reflection of self-worth. However, if you enjoy the outdoors and discover your date does not it is nothing personal you are simply not compatible in that area. And you get to decide what works and doesn’t work for you with your attraction and common interests. However, the process of selection is made less painful by being honest with yourself and with your romantic partners. When you are authentic with the other party about compatibility and what you desire moving forward it not only provides clarity but demonstrates integrity.
It is a big risk to put yourself out there. And it can feel daunting to do it over and over and over again. These tips should help you put your efforts out there in ways that are smarter not harder as you work towards your goal of the relationship you desire.
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