Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 11-07-2018 Comments: 0
This time of year, your social media feeds might be flooded with advice of the season: adopt an attitude of gratitude if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Easier said than done, especially if your love life isn’t quite where you’d like it to be.
But here’s why gratitude is important, and that this isn’t just silly new-age advice: when you practice gratitude on a regular (daily) basis, it actually changes your perspective and mental health. Numerous studies have shown the positive effects that a gratitude practice can have on our level of happiness and fulfillment, so why are we resistant?
Many of us tend to get caught up in a cycle of blame and victimhood. It’s much easier to point at what’s lacking in our lives than to try and change our perspective to focus on what we ALREADY have.
When you’ve been on a string of bad dates, this is especially true. It’s hard to muster a positive attitude when it feels like “everyone” you meet falls short of your expectations. But this is exactly what you can do in your low moments. This doesn’t mean you should sugarcoat your lackluster experiences, but it does mean that it’s time to check yourself with a reminder that you have many things to be thankful for.
Instead of getting caught up in being a victim of circumstance – because let’s face it, that is pretty easy to do when things don’t go your way – try challenging those thoughts. Your life is more than a few bad dates. In fact, there are so many more inspiring or joyful things to notice and remember.
Think about the beautiful morning sunrise you witnessed this morning, or the delicious cup of coffee you look forward to grabbing on your way to work, or the happy hour with close friends you adore who you’ll be seeing tonight. If you’d rather think big picture – be thankful for the people and experiences you’ve had that made you who you are today. Your heartbreak and struggle gave you the strength to persevere.
Gratitude is necessary to a healthy mental outlook and perspective. Cultivating it every day can change your thought patterns, your outlook, and yes – even your overall level of happiness. So why not try practicing it with your dating life?
Here’s how to practice dating with gratitude to increase your chances of finding love:
Practice looking for the positive.
When you’re on a first date, your normal reaction might be to look for faults or potential red flags. We’re all guilty of scrutinizing our dates – because let’s face it, dates kind of feel like interviews. But what if you took the judgment out, and focused on what you enjoy about the person?
When you focus on the present moment – specifically what you like or enjoy about a person, you encourage good feelings, and chances are you will have a better date. And the bonus? The more you let go of your judgmental feelings toward others, the less you judge yourself. This creates an environment in which you can connect.
Treat your date how you’d like to be treated.
Romance is fun, but mutual respect is WAY more attractive. When you’re on a date, offer to pay for a drink. Take turns talking AND listening. Start the date with an open mind – be curious about your date’s story and don’t make assumptions about who he/she is. Most importantly, start the date with an attitude of acceptance, because we all have our faults but we also have our amazing qualities. You want your date to feel that way about you despite your mistakes or awkward moments, right?
Do a brief recap of positives.
Instead of rehashing your bad date stories with friends, why not try a different approach? After a date, make a list of the things you enjoyed. Did you find him attractive, funny, smart, or interesting? Did you like the place where you met? What did you talk about? Think about any positives you experienced, even if the connection wasn’t there. It will help you reframe your experience to see the positives in people you meet, and more importantly – to see someone’s potential.
When you practice gratitude while dating, it might feel weird at first, but ultimately it will lead to a happier and more fulfilling dating experience. And better yet, when you have a healthier approach to dating, you attract the right people to you!