Break the patterns that hold you back.
If you find yourself in a pattern of unsuccessful relationships, then you may have a relationship dynamic pattern that is familiar to you, but not working. Sometimes this is unconscious and causes us to act out with behavior of which we are unaware. In order to get ready for a relationship, you need to address any self-destructive habits that are holding you back.
Is it time for you to get ready for a relationship?
Consider the following ways to make a positive, lasting impression on new people in the dating world.
- Consider how the vibes you send out are being received by other people. If you are trying to get ready for a relationship but feel inadequate, unattractive, or have low self-esteem, other people will pick up on how you feel. It could cause them to lose interest in you because they sense the validation vacuum. Find ways to boost your confidence and work on your sense of self-worth. Productive methods include exercising, decreasing stress, pursuing counseling, maintaining a healthy diet, getting a haircut, buying clothes that flatter you, etc. Stand tall and think positively.
- Stop comparing yourself to others. If you always compare yourself to other people, it sets you up for constant failure, because no two people are alike: everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. You are a unique individual with desirable traits to compatible people. If you really want to get ready for a relationship, you will need to remember what it is that you have to offer. Maybe you are incredibly compassionate or committed; perhaps you are adventurous and easy-going. While not everyone will be a good match, knowing what it is about you that is most attractive can help you focus on making that more apparent instead of worrying about what it is others are doing.
- Put yourself out there by experiencing new things. Take on new hobbies or travel to new environments such as church, dating sites, meet-up groups, etc. to meet new and interesting people. There’s an old mantra that says, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” Mix up your life a little and get passionate about what interests you. Passionate people are attractive; they have a light in their eyes and purpose in their lives.
- Laugh and smile more often. In addition to being attractive and magnetic, laughter and smiling elevates your mood and keeps your body healthy. Take a deep breath right now and relax your facial muscles. Soften your eyes and smile. Take another breath. Let your shoulders drop and make sure your arms and legs are not crossed. This is an easy and practical way to come across as more approachable. When your face and posture are open, you are issuing an invitation to get to know you better.
- Don’t spend your entire holiday season with married or coupled families and friends. Make plans to socialize where singles are more likely to be. Host or go to a “friends-giving” or look for singles’ events. It may be uncomfortable initially, but the discomfort fades into camaraderie when you meet new people who are feeling the same way that you are. Even with those we love, it is possible to be lonely so finding your own thing can ultimately give you confidence and help you bond with someone special.
- Get clear on what you are looking for in a partner. Maybe you are dipping your toes into the dating world after a significant relationship or perhaps you’ve been “in the game” for awhile. Either way, it is only fair to yourself and those whom you may date for you to know what you want. I’m not talking about a list of cosmetic non-negotiable traits. Rather, think about whether you are dating casually and openly or if you are looking for something long-term and exclusive. What kind of things are most important to you in a relationship? Are you all about fun and excitement or low-key bonding? Get ready for a relationship by considering what a healthy relationship means to you when it comes to conflict resolution, communication, and other aspects of the relationship. Just as importantly, be ready to communicate those things so that you and those you date are on the same page.
- Off-putting patterns can be so ingrained that they may need to be addressed with a professional. Relationship choices are based on habits that were created in our childhood and were repeatedly reinforced growing up. We often have patterns that cause heartache and frustration instead of the kind that lead to successful, happy relationships. Begin to understand where your relationship patterns comes from, what they look like, and then choose to do something different. The support of a compassionate and experienced therapist can help you uncover issues and build healthier behaviors through counseling.
To get ready for a relationship, you must look inward and become the best YOU. Only then can you attract and be a good partner for someone else.
To learn more about the author or book an appointment with Jennine Estes, MFT, visit her website at estestherapy.com or call (619) 558-0001.
About Jennine Estes, MFT
Think of me as your relationship consultant, I'm your neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and help you figure out what's really going on. I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in San Diego, CA. Certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. Supervisor. I write relationship and self growth advice for my column Relationships in the Raw. Creator of #BeingLOVEDIs campaign. MFC#47653