5 Things You Need To Change To Find Real Love
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If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Come on inside, let’s ruffle some feathers today.
Before you get too wound up over the title, I’m not here to suggest that you begin changing fundamental pieces of your identity or personality in order to attract a mate.
In fact, for the past 10+ years I’ve been publicly proclaiming that you should never do any of these things.
However, like anything else in life, certain goals require certain skills and action steps required in order to reach them.
Dating and relationships are no different.
If you’ve found yourself hitting dead ends when it comes to dating, here are some adjustments you just might need to make:
1: The places you’re spending your time.
One of the main complaints I get these days is “I just cannot meet anyone new!”
Which, let’s be real, is understandable. We are all increasingly involved in our phones, many people are working from home now, and, to be hyper-timely, most social events and venues are just now opening back up.
However, this complaint existed long before the pandemic.
It’s hard enough to make new friends as an adult, let alone find an actual human you’re interested in building a relationship or life with.
But, naturally, whenever I hear this complaint I dive deeper into the real question at hand: “If you’re not meeting new people, where are you spending your free time?”
Inevitably the answer(s) come down to:
Well, I go out to dinner with friends on the weekend.
While this is fun, it rarely provides an opportunity to meet random new people because you’re socializing with your own group for the whole night.
I go to the gym a lot.
That’s great! A healthy lifestyle is important. But, if you’re focused on your workout with headphones on the entire time until you go home, it’s not an ideal location to meet anyone new.
Um, nowhere really…
The biggest challenge really comes down to lack of variety, which equals lack of opportunity to meet new people.
Really be honest about what your daily routine looks like. For most people it includes a commute, some time in the office, maybe the gym, maybe a drink after work, and going home to do it all again the next day.
Then the weekend comes around and we do something with friends or just want to relax because of how stressful Monday through Friday has been.
So, really, when is it that we actually expected to meet new people?
If dating is a priority of yours, you’ve got to be proactive about how you approach it. Spending more time on dating apps (ugh, I know), saying hello to random people in public (seriously, try this out more), and really exploring the things that make YOU happy.
Are you interested in art? Start going to more galleries.
Passionate about a cause? Attend a fundraiser or charity event.
Music? Live music venues.
Cars? Car shows.
You get the idea — start doing things that you are passionate about, and you’ll automatically be surrounded by people who share the same interests.
2: The people you’re spending your time WITH.
Whew, here we go…
Listen, I’m sure that your friends are amazing people and they’re all very nice. This isn’t personal.
This is a reflection on whether or not the people that you’re spending social time with are moving you closer to your goals, or further away.
This goes for every area of life — not just relationships, but we’re staying on topic here.
Do they enjoy going to clubs and bars so you just go with them because there’s nothing else to do?
Are they all happily single and have no interest in settling down, so they project that energy onto you?
Are they negative and jaded and immediately suspicious of everyone who talks to you?
Are they supportive and in alignment with your goals in this phase of your life?
Do they share the same interests and are they willing to go new places and try new things with you?
Do they truly have your best interest at heart and encourage you to pursue your own passions?
We’ve all heard the saying “You become like the top 5 people you spend time with,” but this also extends into the type of lifestyle you live.
I have a client who has recently begun distancing himself from some of his friends because all they want to do is go to clubs and party. They push him towards types of women who are not aligned with what he’s looking for, and they poke fun at him for being single.
Not exactly a stellar group who’s going to help you feel good about yourself, if you ask me.
Remember: Your loyalty to your own happiness must be stronger than your loyalty to the people who take away from it.
3: How you’re projecting yourself.
“I always attract the wrong people!”
Alright, well…if that’s true…we need to figure out why.
First and foremost it’s important to realize that you’re going to attract a wide variety of people. Some jerks, some losers, some academics, some athletes, some CEOs, some janitors, and somewhere in there — Mr. or Mrs. Right…it just comes with the territory of actively dating.
The question in that scenario simply becomes “Who am I going to give attention back to?”
But to address the issue at hand, perhaps some tweaks could be made to how you’re projecting yourself in order to better attract someone who aligns with your interests.
Whether we like it or not, the reality of humans is that we judge people based on what we see initially. This especially goes for social media and online dating.
If you love traveling and want to attract an adventurous partner — but all of your photos are in your house, the message isn’t going to come across.
The truth is that you don’t attract what you desire, you attract what you project. This includes how you dress, walk, talk, treat others, and carry yourself in public.
The reason why big brands spend millions of dollars on marketing is because they understand the importance of messaging. They need to send the right message in order to attract the right customer.
They know exactly who that customer is, and therefore, how to speak directly to them.
The same goes for dating.
4: What you’re focusing on in a partner.
I once had a client tell me that she wouldn’t date a man who was under 6’2″.
“Alright,” I said, you’re attracted to tall men. I get that.
But — as we got deeper into the conversation, the underlying reasoning was that she wanted to feel safe and secure in her relationship, and she figured a man with a big stature would provide her with that.
I asked if she’d feel safe with a guy who was 5’9″, but a trained black belt or a Marine.
Of course, the answer was yes.
The point is: She was focusing on the wrong things.
She was looking at the want and not the need.
The want is simply the vehicle that the need takes to get to you.
Why is it that you’re looking for specific qualities in a person? Are you really, truly clear on what you’re really seeking? And if not, how can you expect to find it?
In point #3 I mentioned that brands are clear on their messaging because they know exactly who their customer is. Imagine if they didn’t.
Imagine if the marketing team just sat down one day and said “Well, we’re not really sure who we’re selling to, so let’s just throw some stuff together and hope it works.”
The same happens if you’re not super clear on who you want to be with and the real reasons why.
Figuring this out first will empower you to approach #1–3 much more effectively.
5: Your beliefs around what you deserve.
Here’s the kicker: Nothing anyone ever tells you will ever work if you don’t first believe that you are deserving of love and happiness.
If you don’t hold a deep inner appreciation for your self worth, you will consistently choose people who fail to meet your standards.
You will even fail to meet your own standards because you don’t actually believe you’re capable of it.
You’re jaded, and frustrated, and maybe deep down inside you don’t actually think your “person” is out there. So, you skip the social events, delete the dating apps, binge Netflix, and stay home all the time. What’s the point in trying anyway, right?
If we allow this impulse to consume us, the only natural result is…nothing.
Shifting your inner narrative about who you are and what you deserve is the cornerstone of building a happy and thriving life, no matter what your relationship status is.
The truth is that the most attractive thing you can ever do is live a life that you are passionate about. Pursue the things that you love. Work on yourself and get super clear on who you are and what you stand for.
That is how you create real love, both within yourself, and with those around you.
The most important relationship you’ll ever have is with yourself. If that one isn’t healthy, none of your others will be.
This article was originally published on Medium.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.
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