You know the expression “Wherever you go, there you are”? It 100% applies when it comes to romantic relationships. Which is why if you want to get “there” (romantic partnership) from “here” (extended singledom), your mindset today is critical.
Here are 6 steps that will lead you to a happier relationship down the road, and a shorter journey to getting there.
#1 Prepare for change
This sounds elementary, I know. Hear me out. One of the biggest blindspots I see in people who’ve been single for a long time is regarding the ways in which their lives might and will change once they get into a relationship.
You’re used to doing things your way. You have certain rhythms and routines, priorities when it comes to your spending, how you spend your free time, when you go to bed and what you like to do when you get home at the end of a long day. You eat certain foods and drink alcohol at certain times (or not at all).
Guess what? Your future partner has their own set of routines and habits and priorities. No matter how compatible you are, if you want to have a successful relationship in the long term, some of your habits and routines have to change. And that change starts now - with your expectations of who you’re open to meet and how they fit into your well-established way of doing things.
I recently spoke to a single woman who told me she would only date men who could afford to keep up with her extensive foreign travel schedule. I asked her “What if there was a man out there who’d be an amazing partner to you, but can’t afford multiple overseas trips per year? What if being together meant you only take 1 trip per year?”
She agreed to consider the possibility. Which is a start!
If you want a relationship, you are seeking a huge change in your life. Spending your life with another person is among the biggest changes you’ll ever make. Start with changing your own mind, and make love happen that much sooner.
#2 Better your communication
Have trouble with difficult conversations? Expressing your true emotions? Letting go of anger or grudges?
Do you have frequent arguments of falling outs with friends, colleagues or family? Do you shut down entirely or lash out when you feel criticized or vulnerable? Even if you have great communication skills, there’s always room for improvement.
How you communicate matters. How you listen and consider other people’s perspectives and feelings matter.
Contrary to what rom coms have been telling you your whole life, all of your life’s problems don’t miraculously solve themselves once you fall in love. In fact, your communication challenges will only be amplified inside of an intimate romantic relationship.
Half of the communication in any relationship is on you - and a successful relationship can’t exist without effective communication. It’s up to you to begin to evolve and put in the work now to communicate more authentically and effectively. It’ll make things much easier with your partner!
#3 Make space in your home
I once had a client who made an offhand remark about not being able to bring any men to her apartment. I had never seen her apartment, so I didn’t understand what she meant. When I asked why, she revealed that she had an online shopping problem, and that her apartment was piled with stacks and stacks of boxes- many unopened. There physically wasn’t room for another person to be in her apartment at the same time. And yet she was consumed with her desire to meet a man to share her life with. Talk about self-sabotage!
That might sound like an extreme example, but it’s very common for single people to have homes that are inhospitable to the very outcome they want most in their lives. If you met the love of your life tomorrow, is there room for that person to spend time in your home? If you want to attract a man, but your home is an explosion of pink lace, how will he feel in that environment? What message does piles of clutter or heaps of dirty clothes send to you on an unconscious level?
If you expected to have a partner in the near future, how would you change your physical space today? Is there room for someone else’s toiletries? Do you have clutter that needs clearing? Is your decor welcoming (or at least neutral) to the person you hope to attract?
Your physical environment is a reflection of your inner state. So not only is an extremely cluttered home an unwelcoming place, but it can’t co-exist with the mindset of someone ready to receive another person into their lives.
#4 Start doing something you love
Some people will tell you to take up a new hobby where you’ll be likely to meet a new partner. I believe you should take up a new hobby in order to be excited about something, which makes you more attractive to potential partners.
If you don’t have anything that you do simply for the joy and satisfaction of doing it, I urge you to find that thing. It doesn’t have to be “practical”. If you love being an accountant, but also secretly want to learn how to DJ, learn how to DJ!
Excitement and passion are super duper sexy.
You know how you feel when you meet someone loving their lives, living their passions? Be that person! The more you love your life and have things that excite you, the more magnetic you’ll become. Guaranteed!
#5 Start clearing your schedule
This is a huge issue with many single professionals. You are so overscheduled and overworked that you barely have any time to yourself. You might even be “too busy” to date.
If you’re too busy to date, you’re too busy to get into a new relationship.
“Busyness” is an addiction and we’re all guilty of it from time to time. How many times a week do you say or think “I’m so busy” or “I have too much to do and not enough time to do it.” For many Avoiders, busy is a security blanket - if you stay occupied in every second, you don’t have to face loneliness, or take the time to make the life changes needed to make love a priority.
TIme is our most precious gift and it does fly by - don’t let your busyness take over and keep you single for years to come.
#6 Start thinking of yourself differently
I’ve saved the most important step for last, and it’s really at the heart of all the steps I’ve outlined above.
A phenomenon I’ve observed is an overidentification by many single women with being a single woman. Being drawn to artwork of lone female figures is one example. Making future plans based on the assumption you’ll be single forever is another. There’s an entire industry of clothes and knickknacks emblazoned with sayings like “Single and Fabulous” that are extremely enticing to a lot of single women.
Beyoncé might have made owning your single lady status cool, but you’ll notice when it comes to her personal life, Beyoncé actually identifies herself as “Mrs. Carter.”
Being single is cool, or at least it can be. There were times in my life when I loved being single, and frankly - I needed to be in order to grow up enough to have the kind of relationship I wanted and have today.
If you don’t want to be single, the choice to start thinking of partnership as an inevitability, rather than a fantasy, is the most important choice you can make in your love journey.