Your parents may have told you that money does not grow on trees. But what they may have failed to mention: Great relationships don't grow on trees either.
For many of us, finding and keeping a successful relationship takes work. And sometimes a lot of it. Although we could "get lucky" in love and just fall into it-and stay in it seemingly effortlessly enough- we more than likely have to do some things to get to and stay in that happy place.
For instance, if we are single and want to date someone we have to get out of the house and go on an actual date. Next, it'd be helpful if we take actions that will help increase the chances of a first date leading to a second.
In other words: We can learn how to be a good date by not violating the ultimate Dating Donts- while practicing the Dating Dos- that I talk about in this video I filmed last week with matchmaker, Lisa Clampitt.
Mostly, I believe that we should ask ourselves how we want to feel in our love life and then make the time and monetary investments that will yield the most gain.
You want to be happy in your love life? Well, you can actually plan to be happy. I have.
Recently, I started routinely asking myself: What can I do that will give me the biggest impact on getting what I want in this important area of my life?
Sometimes, the answer is as simple as a day at the beach. Because that makes me happy, and being happy raises my vibration and ability to manifest love. Makes sense right? A little relaxation and change of scenery makes me feel more radiant, and I therefore come across as more radiant and attract more romantic options....
Other times, for me, its about realizing I should be open to the possibilities when it comes to work, relationships, and family. Maybe it is about meeting a guy who isn't my type thinking outside the box with my dating strategy, or umm, considering a sperm donor.
One thing I want to say that applies to everyone-no matter who they are and what their relationship status is:
Yes, we have to work out relationships, but we don't have to be be trapped in an identity within them. We can't change the culture of the entire dating scene anymore than we can change the other person in a relationship.
If you think about all of the "work" that I have just mentioned here-from learning dating/relationship etiquette to taking charge of your life by making a plan to becoming more open- the common denominator is: The WORK is, very much, on ourselves.
Because that is the best work we can do.......
If you thought you were destined to a life of single-hood because you believed that you had some inherent flaw that made you undesirable--would you ever even go on a date?
Do you ever get sick of constantly acting "in character"?
Does doing all of the "right" things in love and life bore you?
Do you want to wear purple glasses instead of those same ol' brown ones?
In reading this eye-opening new book that was recently recommended to me by both a friend and a speaker at The International Matchmakers & Date Coach Conference last week, I flirted with the notion that it is sometimes good to think totally outside of the box.......
Until it leads you to do something ridiculous! Just because.
In that spirit of just doing something to do it-and perhaps knowing that it could change your life forever- I give you permission to:
Take care of yourself first!
My notion of doing something ridiculous does not mean spiraling down into a hole of self-destruction. Rather it means learning to put your own oxygen mask on first--whether you are flying solo or in a relationship. As I am constantly reminded in both my personal and professional life: Relationships are not perfect. If you are with someone who annoys you and challenges you in ways that make you uncomfortable-but clearly still cares about you and loves you-congratulations! You are in a real and imperfectly perfect love relationship! It's the best kind to be in, as it can challenge you in ways that will make you grow into who you are meant to be.
You can grow in a relationship and you can grow being single, but you will never grow unless you take care of yourself first. Because that is YOUR job--to take care of you and not constantly put others' needs before your own. Although it is actually ideal to be in the type of relationship where you both sometimes take care of each other first, there has to be an emphasis on self-care, because attracting this type of dynamic has a pre-requisite in which each individual must pay attention to his or her own needs.
Sometimes, this is about the little things. Like yesterday, it was a gorgeous day in NYC. Last week around the time, I was preparing to speak to a group of matchmakers-and fabulous colleagues, pictured above- at this conference on the importance of self-care for matchmakers. (It is such an important topic in an industry where we matchmakers are often taken on an emotional roller coaster ride with our clients in their experience of dating to find "The One") As I was commuting to work yesterday, I was thinking about how so many people think self-care is about getting pedicures and going on vacation twice a year! Don't get me wrong: That's alllllll good, but it is also about taking care of your most basic needs and preferences on a daily basis. For example, I decided to take the bus to the office so that I could have sunshine and this nice view instead of being on the dreaded R train, because that's what felt right. Taking the time to do things that make me more comfortable and happy in every day life has benefited me-and my clients-tremendously.
Self-care isn't selfish, you guys! Don't buy into the myth. Find a way to take care of you today!