We’ve gotten through the first month and a half of the New Year. Anything feel different? The beginning of any new year always seems to be accompanied by a certain amount of pressure to come up with goals, plans, resolutions, or new intentions.
As we approach longer days and hibernation mode tapers off, we can look at our lives with a fresh set of eyes. Have you wondered why you keep attracting the same type of partner? Someone who doesn’t quite feel like a match, but you keep thinking that going with what you know is better than nothing? Do you set out on JDate thinking you know exactly who you are and what you have to offer, only to stare blankly at the profile screen, wondering how to sum up the total of all your awesome parts into one limited advertisement?
I think it goes deeper. We spend ample time dreaming up our perfect mate to fit into our almost perfect world, but when it comes down to it, do we stop to think about what we really have to offer?
What I will neatly outline below should not be news to any of you, but it can be a polite reminder of what we already know.
- Have Confidence
Ever been around that person who says, “I’m sorry” over and over again? Have you ever been around that friend who is always complaining about how they look? Does it make you want to shower them with compliments and hang out with them a lot? Um, no. Something I noticed about the guy I last dated was that I liked him best when he liked himself. There’s a reason for that. It’s just not fun to be around people who have zero confidence. How about you? Ever do anything just to get a reaction from someone else? Watch yourself. Think about what you’re attracted to. Probably a mix of confidence and humility, right? Do you want a relationship that requires you to single-handedly build someone else’s confidence because they have none of their own? As social worker, I am innately built to observe humans and the way we interact with people around us. Here’s what I have noticed: the happiest couples are made up of people who really love the person they are outside of the relationship itself. They don’t depend on the other person for their self-worth. If you need to grow in this area, don’t worry, you are not alone.
- Don’t False Advertise
Saying you’re adventurous or spontaneous when it really scares the daylights out of you, ordering just a salad when you really want a burger, pretending you like sports just because he does. I like to call these actions “Dating Fraud.” Dating Fraud consists of putting out an image of yourself that just isn’t true with the intent of garnering approval from a potential mate. Just BE YOUR SELF! Ever sign on to a job and find out that it is NOT what you thought? Yeah. Me too. Same goes for relationships. Start out, from the get-go, really, truly authentically being you. If you are dating, you have the opportunity RIGHT NOW to show who you really are. Isn’t that what you want? To be accepted for YOU? Then act like it.
- Find Your Passion
If you don’t love what you do for work, find something that fulfills you. Not all of us are fortunate to love what we do for a living. Maybe we went into our careers young and ambitious, but over time, realized that either the work (or the people who hold you accountable for your work) starts to feel like a vampire’s lair. So, whether through a sports team or a musical endeavor, find something that gets you excited! People are drawn to that positive energy, and you will feel more empowered by how full your life becomes!
- Don’t Be Obsessed
Ever go on a date and all the guy/girl can talk about it is work? Or their dog? And you realize after a few dates that every time you think about this person, you only think about that one thing they’re obsessed about. We are way too complicated and versatile of human beings to be defined by only one thing. Find out who you are… all of you.
- Leave the Past Behind
Sounds ridiculous, huh? We have all had experiences, which could render us scared to be vulnerable again. I don’t know a single person who walks around the world excited to be exposed and at risk of being torn open and apart. But, being a gamer, a sweet talker, or someone who goes on dates wearing mini boxing gloves on the inside isn’t gonna get you very far. We must let the past go in peace, and remind ourselves that just because something has hurt you in the past, that doesn’t mean this will always be your experience. This is not as “woo-woo” as it sounds. It’s only about honoring a new experience for what it is, new.
Maybe this won’t guarantee that you will be the object of every woman/man’s desire immediately, but that isn’t really the point. This is about you being the best, most authentic version of yourself. And here’s the thing, if love is a two way street, what are we doing with our own side? Are we cleaning up the left over trash from our own side of the street? Maybe this is the time to take a real, honest and courageous look at what we are putting out there, whether it is in cyber space, in the neighborhood hot spot or in our own close relationships. Do you like what you see?