"So why are you single?"
It's the dreaded question all singletons get asked. And while it takes all the self control not to either A: roll our eyes and walk away B: scream "I don't know !" (with hands thrown in the air for extra effect) C: scull the glass of wine, wipe the dregs from our lips and divulge our entire life story of broken relationships; or D: answer sarcastically "because I prefer cats to people and secretly I hate falling in love and being swept off my feet, don't you?"... we instead smile through clenched teeth.
It seems that after a while, though, singletons start to ask themselves that very question and begin to wonder whether perhaps they are are part of the reason. As a dating blogger, people generally tend to tell me their entire love life story, and then often as my opinion as to why they haven't had a successful relationship yet.
Sometimes we are unaware of the patterns and choices we are making daily in our life that are essentially shaping our lives and relationship status, so it's time to stop and do a mental check:
1: You're dating the wrong person again...and again...and again.
Even I learnt this the hard way! We all have an ideal partner in our head, a checklist of their personality traits, physical features and exactly how they will sweep us off our feet. But is what we want the same as what we need?
It's important to identify the right type of person for you by making sure your values, paths and interests line up. It's equally important to date someone that is emotionally ready and able to commit to you and has an understanding of where you are at and what you want.
There are some awesome candidates out there, unfortunately half the time we overlook them because we are too busy focusing on (or trying to fix!) the ones that have let us down.
Start to get practical about your dating choices, don't mess around with the ones that you know are dangerous or don't want the same things. Date someone whom you are compatible with as well as attracted to.
Cut the drama before it even has a chance to begin.
2: You repeat the same bad habits and patterns.
It's easy to fall into bad habits as it is routine, so take a step back and have a look at the cycle of your previous relationships. What were you always fighting about? At what point did things break down? You'll probably be shocked to find a definite blueprint with each partner and that's a sure sign that things need to change from your end.
I identified that I use to say things just to get a reaction. This was all based around my insecurities and I realised that I needed to first work on myself to make sure that I could build new and healthy habits.
It takes discipline and time but it's worth the rewards of being a better partner in your next relationship.
What bad habits do you need to change?
3: You're holding onto the past.
It's time to let go of past relationships, baggage and people who hurt you. You can't keep re-reading the last chapter of your life if you are waiting to step into a new one. It's important to identify when a season or a relationship in your life is over so that you can close the door on it and start focusing on what's to come.
Letting go takes discipline of the mind and heart but it's essential to your healing and progression in daily life let alone love. Yes you've been burnt, disappointed and heartbroken. We all have. But if we lived our lives based off our failures rather than our triumphs we will stay broken and unfulfilled.
A good rule when you are dating is not to talk about your ex(s) on the first date. It's unnecessary information and a sure way to scare any good person away. If your crush wants to chat about it, my rule is to brush over it and change the subject. There's no need to talk about your past when something is so new.
4: You're waiting for them to complete YOU.
We all should know the golden rule by now: you must first be whole and complete without a relationship. That's right -- it sounds simple but actually takes a lot of work to be happy and joyful in every season of your life including the single one.
The thing is, when we start to search and get desperate for another person to complete our happiness, we can begin to compromise our values, standards and self worth just to for fill that desire. Life doesn't begin after you meet Mr or Mrs Right, it starts right now and you're missing out on it because you are too busy searching for a happiness that only you can bring about.
5: They aren't going to turn up on your doorstep!
Okay, so while you literally can order a bride or groom online, it's not really ideal. And neither is spending your Friday nights swiping left on certain dating apps. So that means we must be proactive in getting back out on the dating scene.
There are loads of ways to meet new people, whether it be online dating sites, mutual friends, social gatherings or group activities. Yes, it can be daunting and chances are it will take a few goes before you find a good match. But nothing ventured nothing gained. Get up off the couch (or stay there if you are using online) and start creating the romance in your world by initiating it.