Some singles come to us wanting to find their life partner. Others come to us to “get outside the box” and date new people they would never meet on their own. Most singles out there are looking for love, regardless of how they label it. Mature adults are usually ready to settle down with the right person – and cheers to them, because everyone deserves someone significant in their life.
For a few, there is the hard push to find “the one.” The reality is that this takes time and careful consideration. In coaching singles, I stress that it is important to grow a relationship naturally and not force it to fit. Why are some so fast to label their growing relationship to an end all, be all partnership?
For some in the single population, fear is a factor. Some adults are fearful that they will never find the “right one,” so jump quickly into what they see as a perfect monogamous, long-term relationship. For any of you that follow my column or our business expansion, you know that I am all for people finding their life love. That said, fear should not be your motivating factor.
Don’t forget your non-negotiables when it comes to a relationship. Don’t force someone to fit the mold that you so desperately want to fill. Don’t judge someone on their “flaws” so fast, that you try to change who they truly are at their core, just to ensure this person fits your lifestyle. Don’t be afraid, and don’t settle to fast – there are plenty of people out there just like you, so don’t force it to fit out of fear of not finding someone as attractive/as fit/as financially stable as you.
Think about the time you spend alone: Do you pace in your apartment if without a partner? Do you want someone desperately to hold you after a bad day at the office? Do you envy, almost hate your friends that have found the love of their life? Jealousy is one of the ugliest traits a single person could display. In your alone time, think about what YOU have to offer a potential partner, not judge those in relationships around you. Insecurity seeps out of your pores if you are feeling lonely and jealous. Be secure in who you are!
Most people enjoy the security of being in a relationship – there is nothing wrong with feeling this way. That said, how much are you compromising to be in a relationship? Don’t disvalue what you have to offer and what you’ve learned from past relationships. Someone may make you feel secure and happy for the moment, but is this also the person that can make you feel happy and secure in the worst of scenarios?
Life is so unpredictable, so don’t forget the importance of wanting to feel secure and safe when things get rough (they inevitably will at some point). Forcing Mr(s). Right Now into a relationship may leave you sad and unsupported when you need him/her most.
Are all your friends partnered or married? Yep, I hear this often. If your friends are constantly setting you up or hosting dinner parties and inviting the one other single guy/gal they know, it might be a great scenario for you. The people you love most are looking out for you. But how often do friend set ups work out (or even happen, for that matter)?
Think about your plan, and the time you spend with other couples. You may envy their love, but what are you doing about your single status? Don’t envy too long, be proactive and think about other ways to meet people. Grow your relationship organically, and don’t force your new suitor into your circle too fast. Don’t let your friends or family members decide who the best fit is for you!
Listening to your biological clock? While many of us do, make sure to consider how your new relationship is progressing. Don’t force this person to be the perfect Mom/Dad you envisioned when you were 11 years old – be realistic. There is a lot of pressure to settle as we all aren’t getting younger; but remember not to push your partner into a parent role before you are truly ready and you’ve experienced enough of life’s ups and downs before kids become a serious topic of discussion.
Family (true relatives or your “urban family”) can also play a huge role in nudging you towards a relationship, when you may not be ready. You may inadvertently commit to or stay in a mediocre relationship just to have a steady date to dinner parties, weddings, events, galas, etc.
Just remember that if there are things in the relationship that don’t work for you, bring it to the table. Your future/life partner will be more than willing to address and discuss important issues you bring up. Others that see your relationship as temporary or “fine for now” won’t want to discuss the little things (that may actually end up bothering you the most). Don’t force Mr(s). Perfect into your life – (s)he usually doesn’t exist.
If you’ve done your homework, that is, reflected and responded to past significant relationships, you are just steps away from meeting the right person for you. Though I love nothing more than hearing about a couple happily in love and taking next steps to marry/move in together/be exclusive, don’t short change yourself and stay with the wrong person. Your time will come!