Dating 101

Young couple holding hands with sun-flare.

Finding and maintaining a fulfilling relationship partner requires the same set of skills as it does to achieve success in any other area of life.

The core ideas are to constantly improve your social skills, the way you present yourself to others, and cultivate a supportive network of friends. Don’t dwell on negativity, take action and reflect on your sticking points to improve on them. Learn skills that provide value to yourself as well as others. Compatible partner matches will enjoy the things you do. Learning skills that bring you happiness also add value to your relationships.

Most people don’t treat their relationships the same way they do as other important things in their life such as graduating from school or finding a good job. Relationships are much more personal and it’s easy to think of them without much reflection. If this is you and has worked out, great, but if not you will have to bring your skills and abilities up to a level that gets results. Without making a plan and constantly improving you are like a leaf floating down a river destined to end up where the water takes you, not necessarily where you want to be. Analyse what you are doing well and not so well to improve with each interaction.

Also you may not be sure of the specific type of relationship you want until you meet a variety of people and try experimenting with different activities.

Finding a partner:

  • Communication skills including conversation and body language are a big part of first impressions. Watch for bad habits like nervous ticks, unnecessary words, and bad posture. This can help with introductions when meeting new people. Often a first impression will stick with you and be hard to change. Meeting new friends is a great way to advertise the kind of relationship you’re looking for. Most people like to play matchmaker if they know someone they think would be compatible with you.
  • Confidence in at least some core areas of your life means that others will see you as someone that can be trusted and relied on to make decisions and function independently which is a great quality. Not being needy or dependent on others signals that relationships will be about fun and sharing not hard work and commitment like a job.
  • Clothing that looks good and fits well signals to others that you are aware of how others see you and are competent in at least that area of your life. If you are unsure about your wardrobe asking others for honest opinions is a good way to get another perspective.
  • Physical fitness is an attractive quality and making even little improvements will make you feel better and live longer. This makes it easier to enjoy life and relationships. Demonstrating control over your body also reflects positively on the way you treat other important areas of your life. Having standards for yourself can demonstrate to others that you have standards for them as well and in turn improve the strength of your connections.
  • Hygiene, It’s an easy thing everyone should be aware of and makes a big difference.

 

A lot of people believe that they are not worthy of a rewarding relationship because of personal attributes that can’t be changed. If you are self conscious about the way you look, or how much money you have first start developing skills and personal qualities that will bring more interested people to you.

If it’s hard to imagine yourself being successful in relationships it can be easier to start by seeing in others the qualities that make them attractive. It could be a positive attitude, social likeability, humor, style, posture, etc. Once you can see qualities you like in others it can become easier to imagine yourself improving in those areas.

Don’t worry about the things you don’t like about yourself that can’t be changed. They are often likable attributes to the right people. Fear can be paralyzing and prevent you from acting when you otherwise could.

A lot of people think certain qualities are universally attractive or unattractive. In almost every instance the qualities that most people find attractive change over time and immediately in the face of something different they haven’t seen before. Some people don’t work on improving their attractive qualities because they say they are ugly when in fact they could become a perfect match for someone and end up missing out. Unfortunately for most people they have to see it in order to believe it. From my personal experience the people I am most attracted to and would rate the highest are very different from what others would consider.

 

Starting relationships are all about finding the people that are compatible with you. Relative to our historical past there is basically an unlimited number of resources for meeting people. Just to name a few: Social activities, online dating, meetup groups, Facebook, etc. Hosting and entertaining is a great opportunity to share time with friends and meet new people.

When working on improving yourself remember to find things you will enjoy doing. Inspiration is what will give you the energy to follow through. A good partner will be interested in the things you like so don’t focus on learning things you think other people want.

Avoid negativity because it sucks the energy from an interaction. Relationships and meeting new people are strengthened by positive high energy.

If you are not comfortable in a situation, date or meeting new people you are not enjoying yourself by definition but the other person will pick up on the discomfort and have a negative reaction. It’s a double whammy. When stepping out of a comfort zone and trying new things it is okay to be bad at it at first. That’s the best way to learn and is far better than staying where you are and never progressing. Once you can become comfortable in new situations that’s when the synergy kicks in and you will see real results.

 

If you are in a relationship there are a few keys to keep it healthy. Over time people change what they like and don’t like. If you give up the things in your life to suit others then you will be happy and if the relationship doesn’t work out your skills will have atrophied.

Build equity in yourself and regardless of what happens to any other person you can be happy and moving forward.

Maintaining a fulfilling relationship:

  • Maintain the things in your life that were important to you before your relationship. This includes time with friends and hobbies. Trading one form of happiness for another won’t make you fulfilled.
  • Stay healthy and active. Making time in the short term will pay off in the long term.
  • Try new things. If you become complacent and settle into a routine it can become boring. Over time our interests and needs change and it is important to explore new activities to discover and satisfy ourselves.

 

Be honest with yourself about what you really want. If you don’t know what you want or what you have to offer a partner you will find it hard to find someone or know it’s right for you when you do. This may involve reflection and acceptance of qualities you currently don’t like about yourself.
Take action with Incremental steps. It can be hard to make big changes in the way we approach relationships. Small steps help acclimate you to big ones by getting comfortable with individual parts as you build on them. Also take time to reflect and appreciate progress that you make along the way.