I am not a dating expert, but a human connection expert. After spending more than 15 years working with people and learning about how people work, I have gained some insight into what brings people happiness and joy. Connection and belonging are at the heart of joy and this is supported by Brené Brown, Lisa Nichols, Iyanla Vanzant, Buddha and Jesus. Needless to say, there are a lot of credible sources that would say that at the heart of joy is connection.
What is interesting is that in the current dating culture, there seems to be a focus on how you “should” be vs. who you actually are. What I have learned throughout my years of helping people, is that people rarely take time to figure out who they are and what they are looking for when dating. They typically create an online profile from a place of impulsivity, cross their fingers and hope for the best. Then come the frustrations, disappointments and funny yet sad stories of bad dates. Now I’m not saying that simply jumping in the pool is the wrong approach; I’m proposing that there might be a more intentional and self-honouring approach.
First step…..who are you?
If you don’t know who you are at your core, then how can you find a good match? Take some time and grab a journal or some paper and start writing. I know…. journaling sucks! But trust me when I say that journaling is one of the most powerful tools you can use in self-exploration when used with intention. Answer these questions (write them out, don’t just think about your answers) and be HONEST! Don’t answer these as you think you “should” answer them:
What values are important to you and why?
If you need to google a list of values, go for it. Think about what is important to you, such as compassion, honesty, integrity, loyalty, fiscal responsibility, personal time, etc. Your values are what you make you unique and it shows what you deem important in your life. Make a list as long as you want and then narrow it down! You cannot have a list of 100 values and actually practice them daily. Be realistic and honest.
How would your friends describe you?
And if you don’t know, ask them! Often the people around us know us better than we know ourselves because they see parts that we don’t pay attention to. Trust the people you trust and ask them.
What about you is not going to change?
For instance, are yo an early riser or not? Do you love to have a glass a wine each night? Is going out on a Saturday night a must? Is attending church a strong value of yours? Do you have a pet that you will not give up? Is travel important to you? Think about all the things about you that you will not change because it’s simply a part of who you are as a person. It’s okay to have things that you will not negotiate on but it’s important to know what it is and ask yourself if you’re being realistic.
What about you are you willing to change? Or negotiate on?
For instance, as a single person you hike 3 times per week, but in a relationship would you be willing to change that to accommodate a relationship? Would you move to a different community? Would you be willing to learn a new hobby? Is there somewhere you would want to travel to but haven’t yet? Open yourself up to all the things that you can be flexible about in your life.
What brings you joy? How do you foster that in your life?
Joy is something we are all chasing and yet we often forget that we can foster joy in our everyday simple life. If you are miserable, how can you expect to attract someone who is joyful and full of life? Joy attracts joy. It’s just that simple. So, find out what brings you joy and plan of how you can foster that with intention.
What challenges are you facing in your life right now that are forcing you to grow and learn more about yourself?
As human beings on this planet, we are all going through and have gone through difficult life transitions that have taught us something. It is in these dark times, that we can learn a lot about ourselves and our resiliency and strengths. Spend some time reflecting on your own resiliency and strengths from your heart and take note of them.
Now what? Now you can bask in knowing that you have a deeper and truer understanding of yourself. From this place, ask yourself: “what am I looking for?”. This question is not about wanting someone who is blonde or brunette! This question is a deep question that would be about your values, what you deem important in your life and what you will negotiate on. Let me know how this goes 😊
Next post…..Deal Breakers vs. Deal Makers