A new year always brings new possibilities. It’s an opportunity to learn from past relationship mistakes, put bad relationships behind you and to love smarter so you can have a more fulfilling relationship.
In order to obtain something new, you must try something new. Here are five ways to invite—and keep—love into your life.
1) Find your tribe.
Think about how much effort you put into planning your favorite vacation. You get down to the nitty-gritty details to make sure each moment counts. Approach your dating life in the same way. Look at it as an adventure. Have fun and be specific in your dating activities to increase your odds of meeting like-minded individuals. MeetUp is a great site to use to find people who are interested in all types of things. Be very specific with the activities you choose to participate in. Doing activities that you naturally enjoy increases your chances of finding someone who is compatible for you. But more importantly, when you get more specific, you get closer to finding your tribe.
2) Focus on doing what you enjoy.
Dating can be fun when it’s going well, but let’s face it; dating can also be challenging and frustrating. If you’re going to embark on finding love, do it with the goal of having some fun along the way. Get active and participate in co-ed activities. Search specifically online and by word of mouth for co-ed leagues that do the activities you want to normally do but in a group setting. Not only does this allow you to stay active, but you’re doing what you enjoy making it more likely you will meet someone you’re interested in who shares similar interests and hobbies.
3) Lose the mindset of “your type.”
When I hear “she or he is not my type” I want to scream. This is a common catchphrase of many of my clients. When I pose the question to them, “How is that working for you?” it is often met with dead silence. Sometimes you think you know what your type is, but when the focus is so succinctly on someone fulfilling those specific 10 or 20 qualities on your list, you may miss out on meeting someone who you’re still compatible with.
If you don’t believe me, ask your friends who are married or in long-term relationships if the person they ended up with was the person they would have thought would have been their “type.” I promise you will be surprised by their answers. Often you don’t end up with the person you envision in your head. Sometimes someone much better comes along who may be in a bit of a different package. Be open to people outside of your type.
4) If you don’t like to swipe to the right, this tip is one that will work for you.
Online dating has its advantages because you can meet a lot of people you wouldn’t usually come into contact with on a daily basis. However, online dating can be impersonal and overwhelming for many. If you’re not a fan of online dating, here are a couple of ways to use the medium to your advantage. Participate in architectural tours. Each local city has some good ones. National liquor store chains like Binny’s Depot offer some great continuing education seminars around wine, beers, history of wines in specific regions, etc.
Technology can help you get your needs met too! There are dating groups specifically designed with the introvert in mind. A couple of cool ones I found on MeetUp were Active Lifestyle Nerds, Nerds Just Want to Have Fun and Introverts Who Aren’t Total Hermits. You can start slower and ease into it at your pace, even if you are an introvert and feel socially awkward.
5) Lose your screen dependency.
Put your phone down and look around. Seriously! I get it. Your phone is freaking entertaining. And this is why it’s easy to get lost in your mobile device and lose contact with other humans for hours on end. But some amazing things can happen when you’re looking down constantly at your phone. You are missing out on so much that is going on around you.
Try this instead. Promise yourself you will take small incremental breaks from your phone and instead use that time to interact with 2-3 others and engage in casual conversation with them. Being more observant of nature and others around you will increase your chances of not just engaging more with others, but also to appear more receptive to meeting potential dating partners.
No one said finding love was easy, but these five tips will put you on the right path to doing so.
Elizabeth Overstreet is a relationship coach, speaker and author. Her book, “Love You & He Will Too: The Smart Woman’s Roadmap to Happy, Healthy Relationships,” is available at all major booksellers.
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