Dating is a huge time investment. We don’t get any time back, and I’ve learned the hard way how painful it can be when you realize you’ve given away your time to someone who didn’t deserve it instead of nourishing the relationships that feed your soul.
This year has been stuffed with personal development activities and reflection practices to find positivity and maintain my momentum while stuck at home. As it turns out – this may have been the most transformative habit I could have started for my own well-being and for finding success in my love life.
If you are in your single season and stuck at home, you have the perfect opportunity to do the deep work required so that when you meet the person of your dream, you are receptive to that love and possess the skillset to build a healthy, lasting relationship.
I should start a running tally about how many times I reference philosophy on this blog. Already it has become in a nutshell “read archaic books they will change your life” – but hey, I might as well share the transformative knowledge I find in stuffy old books!
Before you begin the dating process – know why you’re are dating.
What do you want out of the experience?
You will most likely have to filter through a few options before you find your person. Leading with intention can help to streamline the process and better understand if someone is a good fit in the early stages. Dating apps may gamify the dating experience, but it’s important to remember that Bumble is not Candy Crush. You can really hurt someone if you have different aspirations for dating and don’t articulate that early on.
I appreciate it when someone communicates what they are looking for out of the dating experience, even if it’s not what I want. It keeps me from getting overly emotionally invested in someone who isn’t a good fit for me and helps me to open up that emotional space for someone else.
Before you start dating, take some time with your journal or talk with a good friend. Why are you want to start dating, and what are you looking for?
Here is a journal prompt to help:
What do I hope for when I go on a date?
- Finding new friends
- Something Casual
- A short term relationship
- Long Term Relationship
- Life Partner/Marriage
Honestly with yourself is key.
What is your love language?
Dating – like finding your best friend is a process. So, don’t get demoralized if you are having trouble finding your fit. Great partners, like best friends, are rare to find. Stay positive and don’t internalize the relationships that don’t work out. Just because someone was not the right fit for you isn’t a critique of your personal character. If you invest the time in yourself and do the emotional work to be receptive to love, you are much more likely to find it.
Dating yourself is really fun. Finding out what you’re actually interested in and enjoy makes it easier to tell if you’re truly compatible with a person.
Understanding how you receive and give love is a key part of the process.
Discovering my love language has been transformative. It has enabled me to understand why relationships in the past have not made me feel complete, what I need in a partner to feel loved, and how I can show up to be a more supportive and loving partner in future relationships. Knowing your love language enables you to communicate your intentions (if you have any) in a manner they’ll understand.
The little things are what truly makes my heart melt. My love language is mostly acts of service and then quality time. I did the quiz before starting dating because my friend insisted (brilliant idea) and then, through the process, became hyper-aware when someone did something that aligned with my love languages as a result.
The more I learn about psychology, the more I understand that many of our adult beliefs and tendencies stem from childhood. Love is no different. How I understand love as an adult is a mirror image of how my dad treats my mom. It’s how you were shown love as a child that you perceive as love as an adult.
I highly recommend you take the quiz or read the book to discover your love language so that you can understand why you fall for certain “types” of people and what you need to feel loved when building a healthy relationship.
If you are in your single season this year – I understand it’s been challenging given the lockdowns. Stay positive! Even if the dating landscape has changed, it is the perfect time to do the internal work to cultivate healthy, lasting relationships in the future.
Good Luck Everyone!