Valentine’s Day has been and gone with all its plastic hearts and promises of romance. But many of us crave love every day of the year. Here I reveal four key “secrets” to find The One, whether you’re single or already in a relationship. Curious? Dive in! 💝
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Get out and do things
This isn’t really a secret, but it works! Simply head out for a walk, or sign up for events on Meetup, Facebook or your local area’s “What’s On” page. This has a triple benefit:
Meeting new people
Prince(ss) Charming usually doesn’t come knocking on your door while you’re watching Netflix unwashed and in your pyjamas. Going out and pursuing activities that interest you vastly increases the odds of meeting someone with similar interests and values.
Even random things just up the odds of meeting new friends or romantic partners. I wouldn’t have met my fiancé if I hadn’t accepted my grandmother’s invitation to visit her sister in a care home where he was (morris) dancing!
Please, please, please don’t sign up for something only because it makes you look good “on paper”. Nevertheless, pursuing interests and hobbies makes you an interesting person, with things to talk about!
Learning more about yourself
If you go out and do things, rather than spending your time at home swiping through Tinder, you might actually have fun! And by having fun, you might learn about what makes you tick and become more comfortable with spending time with yourself… the person you really need to marry. 😉
Review your expectations
Many of us have an image of how we would like our ideal partner to be. So here’s a little exercise you can try to see if your expectations are fair and realistic. It works whether you are looking for someone new or trying to assess whether your current partner may be The One.
Take a minute to list the attributes (e.g. muscular and wealthy) and attitudes (e.g. regularly gives me massages / writes me love letters) of your ideal partner. Brain-dump your list, then check back here.
Done? Have a look at your list: how many of the items do you conform to? Are you muscular and wealthy? When was the last time you did any of the things you listed, e.g. give a massage / write a love letter?
This quick mental exercise allows you to realign your expectations with reality. You can now rewrite a new – probably shorter – list. Focus on what is important and essential, and be open to revisiting your other criteria (e.g. dark hair and a six pack).
Give up on finding The One
The title of this blog post is kind of misleading, as you create as much as you find The One. What I mean by that is that there isn’t one person out there who is the only right partner for you. Imagine for a second it were the case: there’s almost 8,000,000,000 of us on the planet. Even if you’re maybe only interested in people of one gender, you’re still looking at around one in 4,000,000,000. I can’t remember much from statistics at school, but it’s not looking very likely is it? They could live on the other side of the world. It makes very little sense. As Tim Munchkin bluntly puts it, there are several people out there who could be your “One”.
You get to decide to meet more people and to choose which ones are right for you. As Brooke Castillo says, your circumstances (meeting someone) provoke thoughts (he’s / she’s alright!), which then create feelings (first flutters and later comfortable caring) and then actions (marriage and baby carriage, etc.). But, as un-romantic as it sounds, you can work on your thoughts and direct them in a certain direction. Listen to her podcast for more insight on this.
Be honest and vulnerable
If you want to “find” The One, you should limit the amount of games you play. Without necessarily sharing the names of you future children on a first encounter, you should be upfront about your intentions when you start regularly spending time with someone.
If this is something you struggle with, maybe consider reading Brené Brown’s books on vulnerability (watch her TED talk here). There is a lot written about the importance of communication in relationships, and that’s because it is important. Don’t “hang out” with someone for months, only to be surprised that they don’t really have feelings for you or see it going anywhere. Do yourself a favour and work on your relationship skills, then apply them! This is always a work in progress of course, and no one is ever “done” learning to be a better partner.
- Look up events and activities in your area (on Meetup, Facebook or elsewhere). Then put them in your calendar, wear something that makes you feel confident, show up, stand tall and smile at the other people there (not in a weird way).
- Get rid of unrealistic expectations. Obviously keep an eye out for actual red flags, but be flexible on the details.
- Think about how you’ve behaved in past relationships and with people you’ve been interested in. Check out the resources I’ve linked to above to up your emotional intelligence and communication game.
What do you think? Anything I’ve missed out from the list? If these tips work out for you, feel free to name your first child Jessica!