By: Michaela Zackett
Are you single and looking for a partner? Have you had bad relationships in the past? Are you worried you might never find the right person? If so, you are certainly not the only one. In the UK these days, more and more people are living alone, or as single parents, or with their parents or friends. The number of people who go through multiple divorces is also rising.
In spite of the depressing outlook suggested by the statistics, however, it is perfectly feasible to have a solid, happy marriage that lasts a lifetime. The key to making it happen is to create the right circumstances for it and to have the right attitude. If you have had relationships end badly or sadly, you can learn from your mistakes and break the cycle.
First of all, you must love yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t expect anyone else to. Yes, you have probably heard this before, but it’s true. If you are looking for a partner to make you feel better about yourself, you will end up feeling even worse than you do now. Either you will put people off by being so negative or you will attract someone who will take you at your own valuation and treat you like garbage.
The other drawback to feeling you “need someone” is that you will put too much pressure on the relationship and on the other person to give you what you need. A healthy relationship is one in which each party is whole in him or herself, not with gaps that the other is meant to fill. If you feel there are gaps in you, you are probably right – but that does NOT mean there is anything wrong with you. It means you have some unresolved issues from your past (as 99.99% of people on earth have) and you will find a happier relationship if you address these issues first, with the help of a counselor or psychotherapist.
There is no shame in getting some help. In fact, it’s crazy not to, when there is so much invaluable help available to us these days. If you were suffering from some physical ailment, you would go to the doctor. Why, then, do we feel we must ignore or repress our emotional pain? A therapist will give you not only the self-esteem you crave but also insight into how to avoid another destructive relationship.
Once you have come to realize what a capable, lovable person you really are, the next step is to make sure your life reflects this. Are you happy with the house/flat and location where you live? Is your job challenging and satisfying? Have you got supportive friends and interesting hobbies? If your life is not as you would like it to be, don’t put up with it, change it! You might be surprised what you can achieve if you take courage and just do it. Having a stimulating, fulfilling life of your own means that you won’t be looking to your partner to provide excitement and fun.
Now, the next question is, when you’re feeling positive and confident and ready for a partner, how do you set about finding one? There are several possibilities, including joining a dating agency, asking your friends to do a bit of matchmaking, putting an ad in the newspaper.
The principal benefit of joining a dating agency is fast access to a large pool of available people within a few miles of you. The big disadvantage to this – and to every other manufactured connection – is the pressure it puts on everybody to be what someone else wants.
The best way to meet “someone special” is by chance. Concentrate on fulfilling yourself in other ways – through work, through your hobbies and particularly through your social life. You do need to get out, you do need to make sure you’re always meeting new people, but do it with a view to making new friends rather than finding love as such. Join a club rather than a dating agency, go to parties, take a course, do whatever you enjoy and will bring you into contact with like-minded people.
As a final thought, the idea that there is someone out there for each of us is a myth. In fact, there are thousands of diverse people who could turn out to be a marvelous partner for any of us. If you’re waiting for the perfect person, you will be disappointed. What matters is commitment. Even though you will have the odd disagreement, if you are truly committed to each other, your relationship will work. So stop worrying! Focus on enjoying life and let love come to you in its own time.