It’s that time of year again. Spring has sprung, summer is upon us, and we’re hoping — no, we’re determined — to find that summer love that can take us into the fall, the holidays, next year and beyond. We’ve already gotten well into our New Year’s resolutions and promises. We vowed to make it happen. We set goals, created a plan to lose weight, go to the gym, go back to school, get a new job. And don’t forget golf lessons, learning to fly, and traveling to the Far East.
But at the top of the list is that one goal so many singles have — the one that says we’re going to find love. “This is it!”, you say. “I’m ready!”, you say.
You’re right about one thing — it is all about readiness. Readiness is not just about wanting to find that special someone. It’s really about objectively identifying your readiness issues and pursuing the relationship of your dreams with clarity and purpose. Readiness Issues? Me? Yes, you! Sorry, but most people have them.
So what’s the difference between saying you’re ready, even believing you’re ready, and knowing that you’re ready?
Try this three-step approach.
1. Are You Ready? Identify any readiness issues by honestly asking yourself, “What do I want to change? What baggage am I carrying that will hold me back from having the relationship I truly want?” Do you find yourself saying things like, “All men are dogs,” or “All women are gold-diggers”? You’ve got baggage. Baggage = issues. Ask yourself, “Would I want to date me?”
Do you need to improve key areas of your life before you will be ready? Perhaps it’s your financial situation, your health and fitness or your emotional or mental state. Do you have low self-esteem or depression? Do you need to make a change in your job or living conditions? Do you think finding a partner will make you happy? Are you looking to be rescued? Be honest with yourself.
Once you have identified the changes you need to make, ask yourself, “What is my plan for affecting change and what are the actions steps I need to take to make it happen?” This is really about identifying and cleaning out what isn’t working in your life and beginning with a fresh, clean slate. Unpack those bags.
2. Determine What You Want. Sounds easy, right? Not so easy. It must be done with honesty and authenticity. A good place to begin is by first assessing what you DON’T want. Take a look at your prior relationships and objectively analyze what went wrong.
Make a list, going all the way back as far as you can remember. Be fair and objective – remember, it almost always takes two. The important thing is not to just figure out what went wrong … but WHY. And, what have you learned? Go through all relationships they’ve had in their lives, not just romantic relationships, but friendships, too. Be sure to list who ended the relationship, and why. Are you seeing any recurring threads? Is history repeating itself?
Look closely at the positive aspects of all your relationships as well. What works for you? When have you been happiest and most fulfilled? What does it take for you to be happy? Are you being realistic?
In determining what you want, you must know your relationship requirements. Requirements are not things such as, “I want someone who is tall, handsome, with blue eyes who likes romantic restaurants and walks on the beach.” Requirements are your deal breakers. They are black and white, never gray. They are very clear, never blurry. And they are the things, that, if missing, would cause you to walk away from a potential relationship. And, they are always values-based.
How do you define your requirements? By being clear on what you MUST have in a relationship including how you expect to be treated by your partner. What is non-negotiable? A good example of a non-negotiable requirement is children. Let’s say you want them, but your potential mate does not. Hello! You can’t have half of a child – this is a non-negotiable requirement and, thus, would be a deal breaker for you and a reason to not pursue the relationship.
Know your values and be clear on your life vision. Huh? How clear are you on your vision and your values? (No, this is not a corporate exercise.) Again, make a list. Your life vision and values play a critical role in assessing compatibility with a potential partner.
Your values must be reflected in the way you want to live your life with your future mate. The love of your life must honor, cherish, and share your values and vision. Values cannot be compromised if you’re to be truly happy. A recent study indicates that 69 % of all marriages fail because the couple had different life visions. This is a crucial insight into what makes a successful partnership.
3. Finally, Act With Positive Intention. Be a successful single! Don’t put your life on hold while waiting for your partner to show up! Get involved in new activities, pursue your interests and build fun into your life.
Try to be positive and be grateful for what you DO have, rather than focusing on “Everything will be OK once I find someone.” Is the glass half full? You have the choice to be positive, or not. Remember, like attracts like.
Your happy, positive attitude will attract others who are happy and positive. Believe that love can and WILL happen for you and make the decision to find that special someone. Create a relationship plan! Plan how and where to meet new people. Be proactive. If what you’re doing isn’t working, do something different! Most of us spend more time planning our vacations than we do our love lives. Look yourself in the mirror and say, “I’m going to Disney World!”