Your intent to find love will make all the difference in your success.
So here we go again! We’re past the halfway mark in January and the talk now is how to re-start or maintain resolutions. The pressure is still on to “make a change!” Is it hard to not buy that? After all, it is well intended. I mean, who could argue with the goal of self-improvement or finding love? And so most of us willingly go along and declare, “this is the year that I finally stick to my resolution.”
But is this what you really want? Is finding a partner about you or something else?
Lots of us crave love from a romantic relationship and make finding one a goal for the New Year. Reasons range from another year gone by to getting older or feeling like it’s now or never. The thing is a relationship may be doomed from the start if the intention behind it is out of fear, angst or loneliness. My thought is, the purer the intent, the better the outcome. If you intend to date with the intention to bring love, value and family into someone’s life, the result is more favorable than, say, having someone to sleep with on the weekends.
Your intent must align with the outcome you want because this will guide your actions behind it. For example, what if your goal is to find a long-term relationship that will lead to marriage? Should you hang out at a club or bar hoping to run into a fine hottie with confidence and strong family values? Maybe, it has happened. However, if an LTR is your intent with someone you can love the rest of your life, you’re more likely to find that in a community setting or through a professional service. Of course, if you intend to find endless hookups this year, there are plenty of dating apps readily available.
As we move towards the end of January, lets consider our intent for a relationship this year. Consider the role it will play in your life and why it holds importance. And by all means, if you realize that you’re not ready for a relationship, i.e. exclusivity, honesty and commitment, refrain from attempting to go on dates with people who are. It’s not fair to them and ultimately, not fair to you either. When your intent is to be better it affects not only you, but also everyone you bring into your orbit.
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” - Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
For the last 50 years, since the assassination of Dr. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., the narrative in America has been focused on his dream for the totality of human rights. Equality, prosperity over poverty and the right for people of color to have basic human dignities afforded to those in positions of privilege. As we settle into 2018, the nation celebrates #MLKDay with the issues Dr. King fought for still at the forefront of minds all over the world.
As a day of remembrance and observance, I echo the thoughts of many who have sought support and empowerment through established and new civil and human rights movements. Take pride in work if you are employed and have a job you must tend to. Dr. King, and others, worked hard for your right to work with people of all races across industries, across the country. If you have a day off, take part in an act of service.
For the love of service, find an organization and give your time. Or, if already connected, share your volunteer initiatives with others. Research or join a local agency that aligns with the causes you hold dear and lend a hand to someone who may need your help today. Service is just another word for love. When you give both, you build bridges that unite the world. No small feat, but worth the effort it takes to make a positive impact on change,
Everyone knows that relationships take time, effort and commitment to work. The end results are often times not what we expect them to be, yet a select few are pleasantly surprised. So tell me, why do you want a relationship?
Ok, I know. It's a hard question to answer, right? Why do you think that is? Have you even thought of asking yourself that question before? Probably not because it’s too much thinking and processing to manage, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
First, let me be clear, I’m not asking what you want from love. I’m asking what you want from a relationship. Love and a relationship are two different things. They are not interchangeable or synonymous. One is a feeling, an emotion that is based on inspiration from within. The other is an external partnership based on an emotional, physical or mental connection that is bound by trust and commitment. Love is internal and inspires thought and action. Whereas interpersonal relationships are a byproduct of love.
When we seek a relationship we look for someone we can relate to, a person who will understand who we are without judgement and/or expectation. We want a person to be close with who will make us feel comfortable, safe, wanted and loved. The level of comfort we gain from a romantic relationship is rarely found in other parts of our lives. For that reason, relationships or the search of one, dominates a large portion of our lives.
The question is why?
If you are single and actively seek a man or woman to share your intimate self, what role will that relationship play in your life overall? Is it a situation that you really need, or is it a familial or societal pressure you’re trying to quell?
Does a relationship move you closer to the goal of being married, being a parent, or is it for financial reasons?
Consider the elements of your life you will subsequently change if, and/or when, you enter into a relationship. Are those elements of your life (that you’re willing to give up, or alter) just to accommodate a relationship, things you refuse to give up even when you find the relationship you want?
Ultimately, what will a relationship do for you and is there any other way for you to get what you want without it?
Dissolve your resolutions and create some goals for dating and relationships this year! Make a solid case (to yourself) for the decision, write it down and get started.
We're three days into 2018 and your resolutions are still alive...barely! Have you been active in the gym the past few days? Given up that morning muffin for avocado toast or cut back on one glass of wine after dinner? Whoa, that's a lot! How long do you think you can keep that up? Well, more power to you because you have about three more weeks (MAX) before you give up entirely, and then it's back to last year's bad habits.
But, maybe, just maybe you're gonna prove me wrong. Honestly, it all depends on your goals. For example, the number one goal every year seems to be to lose weight. Nothing wrong with that. However, why? Are you unhealthy and want to feel better, build confidence and a lifestyle change? Or, do you want to create a new self image, look good and buy new clothes?
If you're goal is a new relationship, I bet you've sat down and thought about why you want to be in a relationship, right? Made a list of the characteristics you want him or her to have, what energy and influence they'll bring into your life...even how much your family will (or should) love them! Probably not. Your best bet is to dissolve your resolutions now, especially when it comes to love.
The New Year sparks such a desire to change any element of life that makes us unhappy. But life changes are goals to be considered and processes to be worked. I know what you're thinking...goals, process, work! Words like that imply time, effort and patience (which so many have so little of). I understand, but when it comes to two people coming together, you have to start with the intent (goal) choose a method (process) and go on dates (do the work). Make sense?
Grab some paper, a pen or open your fav word processor and write down what you want in a relationship in 2018. It's not a resolution, dissolve that! It's a map to achieve your relationship goal(s) for the year.
As soon as you decide to get serious about dating and relationships, you embark on a Love Lifestyle. Believe it or not, you start doing things that change who you are into who you want, or hope to be, in a relationship!
I talk to my clients a lot about the "Love Lifestyle." They often ask what that means and here's my definition: The Love Lifestyle is the way you live before, during and after dating. This includes mental, physical, emotional health and accompanying behavior that surrounds a romantic partnership. Individuals spend various amounts of time, energy and money when they decide to pursue a relationship. Broken down by two main categories, dating and relationships. Think about your past attempts to date. Can you assess where you've made significant effort to either participate in or continuously live in a state of romantic endeavor?
Dating - this includes searching (dating apps, websites, matchmakers, networking) for the sole purpose to meet someone you're attracted to and start a relationship (albeit mental, physical and/or emotional). In addition, going on dates, investing interest and communication with someone in the hopes that you build, primarily, an emotional and physical connection.
Relationships - the act of being in one or more relationships (simultaneously or separately) in an effort to feel or reciprocate love, desire (lust) and/or validation and appreciation.
Health, wellness, beauty and fashion are major areas of effort. For example, how many people do you know change their diet, work out routine (or start working out), fashion and perspective (on various topics) when they get interested or experience interest from a potential romantic partner? Lots of people, myself included, right? Those changes are exactly what the Love Lifestyle is, a change in mental or physical behavior to satisfy the emotional response to a potential romantic relationship.
Countless areas of enterprise benefit from this lifestyle! From the food industry (restaurants), to entertainment ('date night' movies...'Netflix and chill'), technology (aforementioned dating apps and sites), wellness (couples massages) and travel. Ways to embark on and capitalize off of romantic partnership is everywhere. I consider it a 'lifestyle' that is growing with technology and our increasingly innate desire to be romantically involved.
What do you you think, is the process to look for, maintain and find love a "lifestyle" choice?