1. Develop your talents and hobbies
This serves two purposes. One, it gives you something in your life that will satisfy your passions outside of a relationship. A life of empty of passions, in loneliness, means you’ll risk thinking that someone else can fill in everything that you lack (which is impossible).
The other added benefit of this is an increase to your attractiveness. If you meet someone who is doing their own thing, enjoying it, and excelling at it, they will seem more alluring to you than if those qualities are absent.
It’ll become clear when you get to know someone how much they have going for them in their inner life, and it’ll affect how strongly you feel towards them.
2. Focus on your health and career
Make sure to have a healthy sense of responsibility and sustainable, long-term goals for yourself. You don’t need to be making six figures or a CEO. But you probably do need a full-time job, and presumably one you’re at least moderately enthusiastic about and feel pride towards.
It’s very unlikely that you’ll attract the best person for you without these basics handled. You should take care of your health for your own sake, but it also adds to your attractiveness.
A recurrent theme here is that anything you can do for yourself outside of a relationship will make you more attractive to others in romance. No one wants to enter a relationship with someone who needs to be fixed. If you do have health or career concerns, it’s best to be transparent about them from the start.
3. Have your share of bad dates and relationships
Plan to have at least a few of these, if not many. This is part of the learning process of more serious looking and finding. Whether it’s you that is dumping, or them, it’s basically par for the course.
There are very rare exceptions (where love happens perfectly the first attempt), but they’re quite improbable and shouldn’t become a part of your expectations and dating M.O. Those relationships have their own problems anyway at some point.
Just accept that you’ll have some uncomfortable, disappointing match-ups and may even shed some tears in frustration (or worse, heartbreak). Having bad dates and failed relationships is worth it in the end, if you can find the right one.
Looking for love means you’ll get hurt. Accept that as a premise and you’ll become more entitled to the kinds of rewards in store for you as well.
4. Vow to not change who you are for one person
There’s a problem with meeting someone you’re very attracted to, then realizing that you’re not quite what they want. Maybe they seem casually interested but not infatuated the way you are.
So, you then manipulatively change yourself in order to match what they seem to find desirable. It can work (people do it), but I’m not sure for how long that can truly last. I wouldn’t recommend this because it’s destined to cause problems down the line.
Specifically catering to what another likes, such as assuming their own desires and values as your own, is bound to backfire later on when they put together that it’s not genuine.
And it’ll only help you develop a deeper-seated inferiority complex in the process, as the person you’re with didn’t fall for you as you naturally were when you met. If you feel you have to try too hard to insincerely win someone over, it’ll make a long-term power differential in the relationship likely.
I have been through horrible relationships that ended in depression, anger, regret. Plenty of bad dates and failed attempts at romance. Years of grasping for straws on dating sites and elsewhere. Feelings of hopelessness, frustration, and loneliness that’s difficult to put into words.
Then out of nowhere, as I was almost ready to go through another cycle of giving up, my wife said “hi” to me on Zoosk (the last dating site I tried, which no one has heard of). We met, coming from opposite ends of the world, very different cultures, working in totally different fields — to find each other one sunny day.
We’ve been together for over five years and have a son who is nearly two. My wife and I are still very much in love, and it’s the best relationship either of us has ever had. If we did it, so can you. Maybe not in precisely the same way, but there’s someone out there if you keep looking.
This post was previously published on medium.com.
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