Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 04-23-2019 Comments: 0
Many of us have been obsessing over the new Netflix series with Marie Kondo, which is based on her best-selling book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” In the series, she helps several families deal with emotional pain, relationship issues, and even grief by cleaning out their homes.
The centerpiece of Marie Kondo’s method is simple: hold each household item or piece of clothing in your hand and ask yourself if it sparks joy for you. If not, then let it go.
Studies have linked our physical surroundings to our moods. The more clutter that surrounds us, the worse we feel. A 2016 study from the University of New Mexico examined how “clutter compromises an individual’s perception of home, and ultimately feelings of satisfaction with life,” as reported in an article in Psychology Today.
“Clutter is often an insidious and seemingly harmless outgrowth of people’s natural desire to appropriate their personal spaces with possessions […] However, when clutter becomes excessive, it can […] contribute to personal distress and feelings of displacement and alienation,” noted the authors of the 2016 study.
Because of the wild popularity of Marie Kondo’s method and the emotional and mental relief her fans feel from tidying, people are starting to apply it to other parts of their lives, including relationships. It seems we all benefit by taking an assessment of our lives and asking ourselves: what truly sparks joy for me?
Taking a page from Marie Kondo’s book, we have outlined three steps you can take to “Marie Kondo” your love life.
See for yourself: who sparks interest for you?
Marie Kondo taught us that each item in our homes has a particular energy and connection to us – and it either sparks joy or it doesn’t. But in order to know, we have to hold each item in our hands and feel it for ourselves. There are no rash or careless decisions when it comes to her “KonMari” method.
You can apply the same practice to dating. You don’t know if a date sparks joy from a text message. You only know for sure when you spend time together, in person and face-to-face. Say yes to getting together in person rather than messaging endlessly. Only then you can decide whether you want to get to know your date better – if she sparks interest. It takes effort, time and consideration on your part, so be prepared. If you’ve only been mindlessly swiping and are tired of the results, it’s time to change tactics and commit to meeting face-to-face.
Thank your exes, then let them go.
One of Marie Kondo’s practices is to thank your personal belongings for what they provided you before you toss them. After all, they served a purpose in your life, and got you to where you are today.
What if you practiced this with your previous relationships? If you still have emotion surrounding a breakup, it’s important to hold reverence for the bond you had, no matter how short a time period, how hurt you feel, or how volatile the relationship. You learned from this person and the relationship, even the painful lessons, and thanking them for playing an important role in your life allows you to part in peace.
Honor your dreams and priorities, and make sure they have a place in your life.
One of the most important parts of the KonMari method is organizing your home so that every single item has its own space and can be easily found. There are no forgotten items stuffed in the corners of drawers or closets. If you want an item in your home, you must honor it with its own space.
Let’s translate this to our relationships. If you want a loving partnership, you have to make time for it in your schedule, room for it in your home, and space for it in your life. Practically speaking, clean out your closets to make room for someone else’s things. Clear your schedule to make time for dating. Create that to-do list to prioritize actions that are most important to you, and that usher in new, positive energy.
You must adjust your life to make room for the things you want – there are no shortcuts. If you’re a workaholic who doesn’t have time to date, reconsider your priorities. Be honest with yourself. Do you want to make time for a relationship, or do you just like the idea of it? If you want to usher in love, do the work of making that intention a part of your life now.
Bottom line: know what sparks joy for you, and know what you are willing to compromise or change, and then take action. This is the way to “KonMari” your love life.
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.