Our relationships with others can define who we are and can determine how happy or unhappy we are with many aspects of our lives. This can encompass romantic relationships, but it also includes friendships, parent/child relationships, and more.
Change for you can be just about anything, from wanting to be in a relationship, to wanting to form lasting friendships, to having a child or pet become a part of your life. As with previous posts, this is not designed to be the be all and end all of the topic, but it will hopefully get the ball rolling on some positive changes. Since this category encompasses so much, I’ve divided it into a few different parts, one for each type of relationship. We’ll start with romantic relationships and move on from there.
Whether it’s starting a relationship, altering a current one, or ending one, making the decision to change your current romantic situation can affect many aspects of your life.
Starting a Relationship
Let’s face it, there are some things that you can’t control. You can’t make Mr. or Miss Right walk down the street and bump into you. And you can’t make someone fall in love with you. But you can put yourself out there and make yourself available for the right person to find you. Before you can be ready for someone else, though, you need to be ready for yourself. Being happy with who you are is the first step toward being in a worthwhile relationship. Know who you are, be comfortable with your self worth, and know that you deserve to be in the relationship you want. An added bonus? Confidence is sexy and will make you more appealing when the right person does come along.
That being said, when you’re ready to find your second half, continue being true for yourself. If you’re not one for bar-hopping or clubbing, don’t start hitting the town to try and find your match. The people you find won’t be in line with what you’re looking for. At the same time if you’re a social butterfly, don’t look for your mate in the science fiction section of the closest Barnes & Noble. Think about the kind of person you are, the kind of person you want to meet and the qualities you hope to share. The possibilities are endless when it comes to places to meet your soul mate, and knowing what you’re looking for should steer you in the right direction.
When I was ready to be in a relationship, I realized that I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to meet men. I wasn’t into the night club scene. I didn’t drink. And I was self-employed, so I didn’t even have coworkers who could fix me up. I was a bit of a homebody, so even my friends were few (by choice). I was in a pickle. My choice? I went online. (If you decide to pursue this avenue, be careful. Don’t give out too much personal information, and arrange to first meet in a public place with other people around. Unfortunately there are a lot of crazies out there, and you don’t want to take unnecessary risk.) That was about 8 years ago now, and while it’s become more popular recently, I was still a little nervous. But online I was able to be picky about who I was and what I was looking for. I communicated with a couple of people before I met my husband. Some of the people I talked to were a little strange; some just weren’t a good fit. It actually didn’t take long for me to connect with my husband, and while I can’t say that it was love at first sight, we meshed well and the rest is history. But I would never have met him if I didn’t put myself out there or if I had looked in all the wrong places.
Meeting him wasn’t the end, though. To form a lasting relationship, I knew I had to be myself and accept him for who he was, too. Pretending to be someone you’re not, or expecting the person you’re with to be someone he or she is not, will only set you up for disappointment. Even if it got all the way to “I do,” it’s unlikely you’d be able to continue the charade for the rest of your life. And would you really want to? I can’t imagine that that would make you very happy.
So: start with accepting yourself for who you are. Think about what you’re looking for. And put yourself in a position to meet people who meet your criteria. Then, be yourself. Continue accepting yourself for who you are, and extend the same courtesy to the people you’re trying to connect with.
Now what if you’re in a relationship that needs help? We’ll go into that next…