For tips and blog posts on family, parenting and relationships (other than romantic), click here, and also read below (as this sh*t will help you in all relationships)!
I’m not sure why it is, but every conversation with my single friends* seems to end up circling around the subject of relationships or the lack thereof. If only singles knew, everything would come into place the way it’s supposed to, if they’d just choose to live happy with their circumstances – NOW. You know, the old adage, “Make the best of the situation”? That.
Take just one second to read the graphic photo here before moving on:
*If you are a single parent, though this may still apply to you, you may want to read this first.
Sounds easy enough right? Well, whether you’re a single person or not, you understand what I’m saying above. If you’ve dated at all, you know that when the rubber meets the road, it’s just not always that easy. Sometimes you meet someone and everything seems to be in place. You are attracted to them, they seem nice, and there’s even a little bit of chemistry – all before you’ve even kissed. It’s when you’ve invested the time and start to see things about the person that do not excite or interest you… or perhaps they turn cold toward you for some unknown reason. That when it’s not so easy to simply walk away.
Understand that I am NOT condoning playing games or doing things a certain way, in order to “get the guy” or girl. What I am saying is that most of us enter adulthood without the tools or skills to even know what we like, who we are, or what we want in a relationship. I’m saying if we work on ourselves first, and put these skills into practice with friends and family… even coworkers… before we look to date someone seriously – we’ll be equipped and in a position to recognize the person that will knock our socks off.
But let’s pick apart what I actually said above.
1) Be content to stay single (or get there) – rather than being with someone who’s wrong for you.
In the extreme sense, that means for the rest of your life.
That’s a big one! But how do you do that? Well, it comes from being in a great headspace… having a good, solid head on your shoulders, and being able to realize your worth. Once you’ve become the person you should be and realized what a prize you are to the beautiful people out there (as well as realized who out there may be a prize to you), everything else I’ve said in that graphic quote above will simply happen… You’ll be a prize to be well – prized … cherished! And you’ll raise the bar on who you allow into your circle. You’ll have good, healthy boundaries too. If you invest time in someone, it’s because you’ve chosen well and it’s reciprocal. If it turns out not to be, you move on. You won’t allow one-sided relationships into your life. But you see… all of this happens as you practice these things. And you must practice these things as a SINGLE. Practice them on your circle of friends!
2) Get out there and try new things…
Get some new hobbies and interests. Get involved in some different kinds of sports or fitness techniques, try a cooking class… whatever floats your boat…or maybe something you never thought would float your boat. Take risks! Treat life as an adventure! You won’t know how things will turn out until you try. If money is tight you may have to be resourceful. Get your cooking classes via YouTube and have a best friend over for dinner.
This is how you discover what makes you feel good. Some things you may already know, but diversify. Any number of people you meet will introduce you to new things, so be seasoned and experienced in a wide array of things as well – so you can share new things with your friends and new love interests too.
3) Get centered and in a healthy headspace.
a) having a deep, honest love and respect for yourself, and granting that same initial common decency and respect to others you meet and allow into your circle. That’s a tall order. It’s one thing to say you respect others, but how often do you say, “I’ll call you on Tuesday,” and don’t? So then, isn’t something even as simple as that an act of disrespect for both yourself (that your word may now mean nothing) and for the other person (who may have taken you at your word)?
Take away: These are the simple things that we so often let slide, and they aren’t always so easy to fix in ourselves. But NOW is the time, WHILE you are single! Practice, practice, practice, people.
b) only you can require that people do “right” by you. So, be careful not to sacrifice your wishes or your self. I’m not saying not to have compassion for those who lack. I’m speaking of situations where you have done the right thing, repeatedly – you have shown respect to your friends and others, but somehow, you don’t require them to show the same to you. The next time you’ve been cancelled on at the last minute by a friend who is repeatedly unreliable, ask yourself “What is it about me that continues to allow this in my life?” The only time something like that doesn’t bug us, is if we’re guilty of it ourselves. Tell the truth. Sometimes you have friends you’ve known for years and can pull “the flake card,” because hey… they’ve done it to you and they’ll understand. But this is an area that you’re going to have to put some thought and attention to. Pay attention to how you allow yourself to be treated among friends, brothers, sisters, co-workers, etc….Because it is going to follow you into every relationship. Change it now, or you will struggle a lifetime trying to be respected and heard.
Take away: Test your friendships. Those who are not able or capable to be “present” and invest in you at least as much as you do (or at minimum acknowledge their inability to be there for you, and rectify it)… well they must be moved to that outer circle of friends. It’s about BOUNDARIES.
c) Live and truly let live. Don’t try to change your friends or people. If they are doing something you cannot except (like disrespecting you, refer back to letter b above…) it may be time to move them to the outer circle. But in every relationship there are things we can “live with” that don’t necessarily float our boats. My beau and I have been together five years. We have a deep respect for each other. And guess what? We are not attached at the hip! Everything he does doesn’t make me sing “Halleluia!” However… it just so happens that I truly love sitting with him three times a week and watching pro sports. If I did not, I would be content to let him do his thing, and keep myself equally busy doing whatever it is I would like to do! I would not nag and complain, or get passive aggressive about his obsession with sports.
There are many things I do, that my beau does not… and yet, we have a fantastic relationship. And trust me… we each have habits, ways of life and behaviors the other doesn’t understand or love necessarily. But neither of us tries to change the other. We are free to express ourselves when these behaviors get to a boiling point for the other, but in the end, because we both have that freedom, we are open. The general outcome for us, because we’re so thrilled to be free to communicate openly, is that we often end up laughing over it.
Take away: It’s not the end of the world if the guy you love has to clear his throat five times during dinner, or if the woman you intend to marry talks quietly during movies. Why should it be? It may annoy the hell out of you, but you have to ask yourself “Why?” What is the big deal? Get over it. Let your partner be who s/he is, and enjoy your life in the process. But above all – realize this is not a “to do” list. Just stop trying and striving for something you don’t have, and focus on finding happiness as a single human being. The rest will fall into place.
There is so much more to getting healthy and in a good space before looking for Mr. or Ms. Right. I’ve written about many of these topics in countless articles. You can see some of them below.
For tips and blog posts on family, parenting and other types of relationships, click here.
In which I provide three very true and useful tips for relating to guys when things are brand new. Practice these ladies. Not to play games. To change who you are and begin to form some healthy patterns and boundaries within yourself.
Here I talk about much of the same things here, but with a twist… on the Huffington Post.
In which I dish out 10 of the honest-straight-talkin’ truths about what guys REALLY want. Some of them… scratch that… MOST of them you know.
Ahhhh… the guys were dealt such a generous hand in their “wish” article. I think I covered some good bases for the women here too. Read up guys.
Here I share a tiny slice of personal experience, from when I was still in high school. Just know this. No means no. Period. No matter who you are, male or female.