This man above is just polishing his boat for the third time today – anything wrong with that? Well, there comes a time in a single person’s life where they realise they are becoming stuck in their ways. What if there was something you could change to improve your chances of having a happy relationship? What if it’s you who is making it difficult to meet someone or have a relationship? Below are my 3 most common habits that get in the way of finding love;
1. You are not proactive
For example, you do want to meet someone, but you have a busy life and don’t have much spare time. You have tried internet dating but had no luck. It just seems too difficult to meet people. You feel like giving up. And you don’t have time to fit dating into your schedule. Really? If a relationship is really a priority, you spend time on it. Sure it’s healthy to take breaks from dating, but not for too long.
2. You expect too much
You have been on dates but no-one is quite right. You know you are picky, but no-one seems to be able to ‘tick all the right boxes’. If you keep potential partners at a distance by finding fault in everyone you meet, this is fear disguised as an over-inflated ego. You are not being flexible enough with your expectations, so the likelihood of finding someone who will exactly fit your criteria is around a billion to one. If you have a list, at least have a ‘deal breaker’ section of musts and a longer ‘preferred’section that lists your ideals.
3. You are looking for the wrong things
You look for someone who has to like cats, or only like dogs, or has to love swing dancing as much as you, or must enjoy jazz music, or hip hop, or travel on cruise ships, or has to go to a gym, or must get along with all your family, or has to be a vegan into vipassana meditation, or must practice bikram yoga! Whatever your preference is, there is something far more important than any of these activities – that’s who the person is. Having similar hobbies is great, but similar lived values is more important. It’s the things that we look for that can actually prevent us from finding the right person, so make sure you look deeper than hobbies and interests.
4. You still haven’t decided if you want a relationship
If you act too casually, you may miss opportunities to meet someone who is very compatible with you. Some people just say they are ‘playing the field.’ They don’t think they need to settle down, they believe they have plenty of time left. Be careful of the excuses you make for why you fear committing to anyone.
5. You are not used to sharing or having someone hold you to account
People who are single for some time, especially those who live on their own, have particular ways of doing everything, which makes it difficult for anyone to fit in. If you are too fussy and obsessive around the house, it leaves your potential partner with having to fit in with your ways or not have a relationship with you. Again, this is not flexible enough. You don’t want to be too difficult to get along with, or too easy, but somewhere in between. Would you be able to put up with yourself if you were in a relationship with you? If not, then why should anyone else?
So yes people can be single for too long when they have become stuck in their ways and haven’t given themselves a chance to grow personally – as the saying goes ‘a river that stops flowing becomes putrid’, and a person who stops growing has quite a similar outcome.
The solution to this lies in your ability to adapt and learn. Ask yourself “Am I making it easy or difficult for someone to love me?” Be honest in your answer, and then see what you can change to make it easier for someone to love you. Examples may include improving your communication skills, having more flexibility in your timetable, being more emotionally self aware so that you have more of yourself to express to a partner, and learning to accept that just because people have different opinions and preferences doesn’t always mean you are right and they are wrong. If you think you are always right then your ego is not tame enough for a relationship that involves a strong emotional connection of equals.
If you would like to read more about emotional connection, ego and relationships, then take a look at Peter Charleston’s book Closer- find happiness in your life and relationships with the 7 principles of connectedness, available in bookstores and on booktopia and Amazon now.