Maintaining love optimism can be challenging. Don’t get me wrong, the single life is great, but because it’s so great it can also be the most challenging time to stay optimistic about having a good relationship. Think about your single life (or past if you’re taken). I bet you feel Tina Turner awesome. Your friendships, golden. Your social life, golden. Your level of uninterrupted sleep, platinum. We are often our best selves when we’re single and don’t even realize it because we’re too busy focusing on the one area in our amazing life that doesn’t fit. We attract the wrong mates, the wrong situations, and every annoying romantic contrast to our otherwise amazing lives. It’s tempting to simply throw our hands in the air and think “ugh, forget it, I’m never going to find anyone,” but it’s this very attitude that may be preventing us from finding an amazing partner. Here are a few things I’ve learned being single that have significantly improved the quality of my dating prospects.
1) You Attract What You Think
If you think you’re not smart, attractive, or successful enough, you will attract dumb, unattractive, and unsuccessful partners. If you think guys are jerks, you’ll find yourself dating a lot of them. If you reek of desperation, you’re gonna get desperate, needy guys. Start improving your thoughts and you’ll dramatically improve your prospects. One thought that you should really ask yourself is, “do I even want a relationship?” This is the question that really changed everything for me. For a long time I said I wanted to find love, but my thoughts reflected someone who wanted to stay single. When I thought about where I wanted to be in ten years I pictured myself with a beach house, owning my own business, and traveling a lot…by myself. In fact, I realized a lot of my future hopes and dreams didn’t contain a significant other. Consequently, I attracted a lot of noncommittal guys who liked to travel and were ambitious. It was only when I started bringing a partner into my thoughts that I started attracting the right guys. Your life is often a mirror for your thoughts. Clean the mirror by cleaning your mind.
2) Scarcity is a Fake Mental Game. Don’t Play It.
There are too many people in the world for anyone to believe that there “are no available guys/girls out there” or that “all of the good ones are taken or married.” It is not possible for every attractive, single guy/girl to be taken, especially if you live in a big city or metropolitan area. Would you rather settle for stale french fries or wait for the fresh ones? I don’t know about you, but I hate cold french fries. I’d rather have no french fries than cold ones…and I freakin’ love french fries. I often hear people say “well once you hit [insert random age], the quality goes down”…my response…date younger. I’m convinced it’s far better to be happy and single than unhappy in a relationship out of fear that there won’t be anymore good fries left. It’s America. There are plenty of damn french fries.
3) It’s Better to Be With the Right Person for the Right Reasons, Than the Wrong Person for the “Right” Reasons
My coworker shared this article with me the other day as I was working on this blog post. It really hits every nail on the head. For women, the biological clock is often a case for settling, but as the author of the article says, “I’d rather adopt children with the right life partner than have biological children with the wrong one.” I’m a product of divorced parents and the last thing I want to do is get divorced. You are going to spend the rest of your life with this person, don’t let biology, societal expectations, or any other seemingly “right” reason be the reason you settle down with the wrong person. Weddings are expensive, so is divorce.
4) When Shit Happens. Improve the Heck Out of Yourself.
In dating, shit happens. The day after I got back from Costa Rica, feeling super zen and amazing, I met a great guy who I really liked. I was really excited. A couple weeks later, a girl from his past came back into the picture and it was over just like that. Was I disappointed? Definitely. Did I give up on dating? Hell no. In fact, that experience made me more convinced than ever that I was on the road to meeting the right guy. I used that remaining good energy to improve and love myself. I grew my business, started a book club, learned Qigong, and created Happiness Camp (which I hope you guys will attend). When shit happens, redirect the good energy you felt with that person into other positive areas of your life. Just because it ended badly doesn’t mean the overall experience was bad. In fact, because it was good, it probably means you’re that much closer to the right person.
5) Social Media Isn’t Real Life
This is a big one. It might seem like everyone is getting married, buying houses, and having children, but is that really true? No. And if it is true for your friends, is Facebook/Instagram their real life? Probably not. In fact, chances are you’re not even good friends with most of the people getting married and having children on Facebook and if you are friends with them, you’re either happy for them and their relationship is a model for what you want, or unhappy for them because you know their relationship is exactly what you don’t want. Don’t let Facebook/Instagram be the measuring tape for your life. You’re exactly where you need to be. Oh and unfriend those non-friends. Just because you met first year in a college dining hall, doesn’t make you friends now. Oh and that asshole that thought you were a loser in high school. You can especially delete them. Or stay friends with them because your life is probably better. Karma.
6) Cultivate Self-Care
When I was in a relationship I found myself saving my vacation time in order to go on vacations as a couple. The only problem was, we never went on vacation. Fast forward a year and I had 150 hours of use or lose vacation time and was completely burnt out. So what did I do? I went on vacation. I always wanted to visit Costa Rica and I intentionally chose a trip without distractions, where I could relax, try a bunch of new things, a meet a lot of cool people. And it was fantastic. I met such amazing people, tried a million new things, and left refreshed and ready to return to work. Costa Rica showed me that when you cultivate self-care, enjoy your independence, and stay open to new things, your life will bring you amazing new opportunities and experiences. Not only will you feel great, you’ll also be prepared to present the best version of yourself. Find ways to take care of yourself. Others will take notice.
7) Live in the Now
Don’t live in the future or relive the past. Your mate will come. When you truly appreciate yourself, your gifts, and enjoy the heck out of your life, it’s impossible for him/her not to come. Take pause and look at your life, I bet you’ll find that the now, at this very moment, feels pretty damn good.