Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 05-14-2019 Comments: 0
We are so hard on ourselves (and our dates!) when it comes to love. Dating apps are a great tool to meet new people, but they’re also a source of stress. There’s so much pressure to be with someone that we’re made to feel inadequate if we’re single or struggling with dating. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
If dating gets you down, you’re definitely not alone, and there’s nothing wrong with you! Many people have grown frustrated with dating apps and messages that go nowhere. They have also become disillusioned with the process. How often do you wonder if you’re meeting someone without any clear intentions for what they want – is it a date or not? Does he want a relationship, or is he dating multiple people? It can be confusing and demoralizing to try and figure things out.
But here’s the undeniable truth: While you might crave companionship and love, happiness begins with you.
Whether you’re with a partner or not, you have the ability to bring joy into your life. Sometimes, all that’s required is a shift in perspective. Being single can often be an opportunity to help you bloom into the person you are meant to be, to create the life you want for yourself.
This is exactly the time to assess what is working, what makes you happy, and what you truly want. I’m not saying don’t look for love – but instead of approaching your search with hesitation or fear of the future, focus instead on the present moment and all it holds. In other words, here’s how to bloom where you are planted:
Embrace the love in your life.
This isn’t meant to sound cliché. We all have people in our lives who support us no matter what. If you are close with your family and they have your back, give them a call and say thank you! If your best friend is there for you through thick and thin, let her know how much her friendship means to you. Do you have a mentor who guides you? Acknowledge and honor the people in your life who stand by you and encourage you, because they are true miracles.
Be curious and explore.
If you’re feeling bored or disillusioned with your dating life, it might be time for a different approach. Instead of swiping through dating apps, take a break for a few days. Step away from social media and your digital life to explore other “real-life” interests. Sign up for surf or tennis lessons. Try your hand at painting, or volunteer at your local doggie daycare. We all get busy, but that’s no reason to ignore your interests and to only pursue things that can be checked off a to-do list, or that involve work. Make time to explore those things that call to you, because you don’t know where they could eventually lead.
Take on a new challenge.
We all get into ruts. It’s okay to go through the motions of the day, but after a while don’t you crave more? So why not challenge yourself to do something you think is impossible?
Here’s how to do it: write down five things that you’ve always wanted to accomplish (writing a book, running a half marathon, learning to play guitar, etc.). Pick one. Next, write the first step you would take to accomplish this goal. For instance, if you want to run a half marathon, start by getting into shape with a weekly exercise schedule. Then write out the next five steps that lead to your goal. Add them to the calendar. Give yourself a deadline for each step and if you need it, enlist your friends to hold you accountable.
And here’s the most crucial part: acknowledge when you’ve met a goal. Give yourself a pat on the back, a day off, whatever makes you feel good. The key to sticking with a challenge is to honor your progress and the journey itself above everything. So thank yourself, and keep striving.
Feed your soul with nourishing thoughts, not negative self-talk.
How many times a day do you make yourself feel bad with negative thoughts? Instead of counting all of the ways you might be lacking, start to take inventory of all of your great qualities. Are you a good friend? Do you take time to listen to both sides of an argument? Are you an adventure-seeker? This is the time to remind yourself of all the ways you are unique, brave, and wonderful. Write your good qualities down and look at it every morning, and you will see your perspective shift.
Blooming where you are planted is simple: it’s all about living in the present moment and recognizing all of the possibilities within it.
Kelly Seal is a freelance writer, dating expert, and author of the book “Date Expectations: A Guide to Changing Your Dating Life and Finding Real Love.” She got her start in the dating industry by hosting speed dating events around southern California and offering advice and encouragement to attendees. She now lives in L.A. and spends her free time hiking in the Santa Monica mountains and blogging at www.kellyseal.com.