Why Finding Your Perfect Mate Starts with Finding Yourself
Being one half of a healthy couple requires you to be comfortable with who you are. Whether you're currently single or in a relationship, dealing with your personal issues is a foundational step for building a lasting relationship with “the one.”
Let Go of Past Hurts
The experiences you've dealt with up to this point in your life shape the person you are today, but that doesn't mean you have to dwell on the pain. Whether your troubles stem from failed romantic relationships, traumatic childhood experiences, poor family dynamics or abusive situations, working through them is an important key to being part of a healthy relationship.
Unfortunately, if you don't deal with these past hurts, they'll color your other relationships, including romantic ones. On the other hand, making peace with your life history can positively influence the way you relate to coworkers, friends and lovers.
If you are having trouble leaving the past in the past, seek help from others. A therapist can help you work through these issues, so you can move beyond them. Group sessions can be beneficial for finding support among others who have been in similar circumstances.
Develop Fantastic Friendships
Susan Fremont, PhD, at the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and Mental Health Center advises that no one relationship can meet all of a person's needs. Even if you're part of a couple, it's important to maintain other friendships.
In fact, isolation is one of the biggest traps that single people get themselves into, according to Nancy Saunders, PhD. Whether you end up with “the one” or stay single, don't let this be you. Good friends keep you active, engage your brain and expand your experiences.
Therefore, invest in the friendships you already have and also take time to make new ones. If finding and keeping good friends seems like an uphill battle, be intentional about getting involved with new groups and being social while you're there. For starters, try an art or cooking class, an exercise group, a religious organization or a book club.
Be Content on Your Own
A University of Toronto study discovered that fear of being single leads people to fall into the trap of relationship compromises. People often enter into poor matches or stay in unsatisfactory relationships in order to avoid being alone.
The study found that the more intense those fears about your future relationship status are, the more likely you are to settle. So instead of worrying about staying single, remind yourself of all the ways you are great all on your own.
To do this, you have to know yourself well. Take inventory of your values, talents and passions. What are you good at? What is most important to you? As you work through these questions, you'll discover that you're a pretty amazing individual all on your own.
Next, craft goals and dreams for your life. These shouldn't be relationship-based, but should be things that you can do whether or not you're part of a couple. This process will help build excitement about your future, no matter what your relationship status is.
Finally, for more encouraging information about the perks of being single, check out WebPsychology's “What Do You Know about the Benefits of the Single Life?” quiz.