How to cultivate a relationship mindset when you’re single

How to cultivate a relationship mindset when you’re single

Posted By: Niki Payne Date: 07-28-2016 Comments: 0

Have you ever noticed how some people LOVE to complain about dating? Whether you’re standing in line at a coffee shop or having dinner with friends, you’ve likely overheard or been part of a conversation at some point in time involving the topic of relationships. But if you were to present these same people with an obvious solution to all of their dating woes, you’d quickly find that most of them don’t really care enough about their problem to do anything about it, much less something different than what they’ve already been doing (which is clearly not working).

Dating has become one of those things people love complaining about, but they aren’t really looking for a solution so much as they are social validation. They wear their complaints like a badge of honor because they can’t accept the reality that they themselves are the common denominator of their greatest relationship challenges. In other words, they have a relationship mindset that is not at all congruent with their desire for a meaningful let alone lasting connection.

What does it mean to have a relationship mindset?

Some people date with the intention of settling down, getting married and having kids because they have a mindset of “that’s just what people do in life”. Others date with a mindset of a biological time clock ticking or being really set in their ways after a series of failed relationships. None of these mindsets really address the fundamental elements needed for a successful relationship.

Dating coach Jonathon Aslay explains that most people enter into relationships under this false notion that “love conquers all”. As a result, they tend to value attraction and chemistry above all during the mating selection process without any forethought on compatibility. He believes that attraction-based dating driven by lust and chemistry is the worst indicator of relationship success, which is why he created a new program called “Improve Your GPS (Guy Picking System)”.

“Very few people focus on developing a friendship as the foundation of a strong relationship,” says Aslay. “Sex is definitely an important part of the equation, but it’s not the driving force that keeps two people together for the long haul.” He defines having a relationship mindset as being conscious and evolved, or ‘dating like a grown up’.

“Grown ups make grown-up decisions when it comes to their love lives. That means not dating based on how good someone makes you feel, but on how much in alignment that person is with your values and lifestyle,” he says. He explains that the best relationships are grounded in compatibility, which boils down to two primary factors: shared values and being able to blend your lives together.

Values-based dating wins the game.

Without shared activities, mutual hobbies and similar interests, attraction and chemistry will only take you so far in a relationship. Sure, you might be able to find someone equally as attractive as you who also wants to get married and have kids, but what if you have conflicting ideas on how to raise children? Does she really want to be a stay-at-home mom? Does he really want to be the sole breadwinner for the family? How congruent are your lifestyles relative to each of your goals and unique vision for the future? These are questions people should be asking before getting overly invested in a relationship, but they conveniently forget until it’s far too late in the dating game, usually after they’ve already physically and chemically bonded.

Once you’re in a relationship, Aslay identifies four essentials to a healthy relationship: friendship, teamwork, easy conflict resolution and intimacy. The friendship creates a solid foundation for mutual respect. The teamwork aspect ensures that you’re both getting your needs met in the relationship. But if you can’t resolve conflict easily, the relationship will start to deteriorate. When that happens, the first thing to go is usually intimacy. A relationship requires a certain level of intimacy – unique to every couple – if it has any hopes of standing the test of time. Intimacy, both physically and emotionally, is just as important as the friendship itself.

4 simple habits for cultivating better relationships

Now that you know what it takes to have a successful relationship, how can you start developing the mindset required to get one in the first place? The key to cultivating all-around better relationships in your life starts and ends with you. Here are four simple habits you can start practicing today so that people will start seeing you as relationship material.

Take initiative. Most singles tend to be reactive daters, meaning they respond to dating app notifications, endlessly text with matches instead of meeting in person, and wait for the right person to appear out of nowhere to say and do all the “right” things. When it doesn’t happen, they blame their dates instead of looking at what they could be doing differently. Your dating life is really up to you – so take control. Opt to be more pro-active by putting yourself in situations where you’re most likely to meet the kind of people you want to meet.

Practice personal integrity. Do what you say, and say what you mean. Not only will this help you build self-trust, but it will also help other people trust you too. Trust is an integral part of a relationship. Nothing deepens or erodes trust more than your ability to make and keep agreements with yourself and others.

Say please and thank you. This demonstrates respect and gratitude, both of which are necessary components of a relationship rooted in friendship. It’s also common courtesy. If you have a specific request, like asking someone to pick you or call an Uber for you, say please. If someone complies with your request, say thank you. Show your appreciation for others, and they will appreciate you too.

Let curiosity be your guide. The way to do this is by asking questions. Discover where a person has been, where that person is at now, and where that person is headed. This will help you determine if there’s compatibility beyond the physical. How well do your lives blend together? Are you both heading in the same direction or opposite directions? Ask questions, that’s how people get to know each other. Need help? Try these 36 questions as a starting point.

You can be a pro-active dater, but you may have a hard time connecting from the heart if you’re not genuinely curious about the people you encounter. You can have integrity, but if you’re rude or inconsiderate, people might not want to date you. You can be respectful and courteous, but you may lose someone’s interest if you’re too passive and don’t take enough initiative to sustain the relationship. You can be an interesting person, but if you lack integrity, people might have a hard time trusting you. But if you incorporate and balance all of these habits into your way of being in the world, you’ll have a stronger chance of finding and enjoying the relationship you desire.

Supplement your dating efforts with a little matchmaker magic in your life.