There are certain Do’s and Don’ts in staying sane and single. Through my own personal and professional experience, I have discovered certain do’s and don’ts that can support your sanity. Know this: There are NO guarantees in life, so expect an occasional failure even if you follow the rules, the reason being, that you don’t have control over another person’s behavior—only your own! Nothing is fool proof, but these rules can at least minimize your disappointments.
THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF SINGLE LIFE
Do #1 The Golden Rule
Remember what you learned in kindergarten?
The Golden Rule:
Do unto others what you would have others do unto you. It still applies. There are certain behaviors of decency that need to be integrated for your own self-respect and the respect you want from others.
Learn to appreciate everyone you meet, no matter the results of the date. Everyone has a positive intention, even if the results may not reflect the intention. Appreciative inquiry is a great way to begin any relationship. Assume that each person has a history that makes up who they are today. Some come with serious trauma, others with a lot of baggage or at least something that may interfere with their ability to sustain a long term relationship that you have projected for yourself.
Do #2 Friendship Log
MAKE A CHECKLIST
If you want to grow a garden, follow the path the gardeners take. Decide what you want in your garden and how to ensure it grows to become what you planted.
Make a check list. Write down the things you want, what you can live with, what you can’t–what you can live without, and what you can’t. This defines your needs and your values, an essential in knowing who you are and who your partner IS OR IS NOT. This is how you learn to weed out the garbage. Most people spend more time considering their needs and interests in purchasing a car than they do in choosing a life mate.
One of the most important ingredients in what people want in a relationship is a friend—someone who always has your back. If you ask one hundred people what they want in a relationship, most will agree they want a best friend. Then you wonder why most are sleeping with the enemy. This is why:
Each of us has a criteria for friendship. If you want to bake a chocolate cake there are certain germane ingredients you must have in order to get the desired results. If you have all the ingredients except the required baking soda, the smallest ingredient, your cake will be a flop. If you don’t have the enough eggs, your cake will not be moist. If you delete just the sugar, your cake will not be sweet. It takes ALL of the ingredients to produce the cake you want to make. The same is true for relationships. If you have just some of the ingredients, you will reap the results of only what you put in, or in many cases, what you left out. Therefore, it is important to define friendship. Each of us has a different expectation of friendship. Most people want the following: trust, loyalty, kindness, open and honest communication, dependability, reliability, thoughtfulness, sharing of activities, and someone who is willing to be vulnerable. That’s not much, yet is almost impossible to find, and takes time weeding out the garbage. So if you have all but open and honest communication, can you feel close? No. When you meet for the first time, it is important to learn about your date and his/her interests. Talk less about yourself and ask the questions that few people ask: What do you want? Or, what are you looking for in a relationship? (Instead of what’s your sign?)
Hear what they tell you and expect the same question from them. The question is, do they mean what they say and do they say what they mean? The ONLY way you will ever know is if you give it time to find out. And that’s the hard part. To exercise self-discipline and to be committed to developing a friendship, and not plucking the flower before it has a chance to blossom, requires major control–something that most of us don’t have. We are so anxious to jump into the relationship without going through the process of tilling, planting, and tending, that we never allow it to flourish. Consequently, we don’t really know the person. We come to find out that were just a projection of what we wanted, but not really who they are.
Do #3. Setting a good first impression
It’s important to make the best impression on your first date. Your personality is as important as your looks. Both set the tone for whatever is yet to come. If there is zero chemistry, just be considerate of the other person’s feelings. You can’t force feelings, however, many feelings develop over a course of time, so don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility of feelings evolving down the line. I have had many friends and clients who swore they could never develop the feelings needed to sustain a relationship and much to their chagrin, the feelings emerged after a friendship developed, much like Harry Meets Sally. If the person has all the ingredients except the chemistry, time may make a difference. Give it at least a second chance.
Dating services provide a cauldron for rejections. Anyone on a dating site has to be ready for a rejection. It’s part of the territory. If you are insecure and fearful of rejection, dating sites are not for you. Never take a rejection personally. It’s a total subjective connection. Usually, you will have many more rejections than connections. One never knows when lightning strikes!
A word to the wise about dating sites. In my experience, the most important feature is a good photograph. That catches the attention of members. Spend the money to for a good photo. Invest in yourself and get a professional photographer or glamour shot. Stay away from what you may think is a seductive photo. Men who go bare chested flexing their muscles can be as much as a turnoff as a woman flashing her semi-cladded body. You may get some hits but it sends a message you may not want to portray. Remember! Water seeks its own level!
A good profile comes second, however, a photo will usually trump a profile. Men tend to grab the photo first, checking out the profile next. Women are more interested in the profile, but the photo is important as well.
Make sure the photo is fairly recent and is YOURS! You would be surprised how many hackers steal photos as bait to scam a member. The last thing you want to do is show up having a photo that is 20 years old. The person you expected may leave before you even realize they left.
Read my next blog to learn some of the DON’TS that will help you discover who your potential mate really is and if he or she fills your prescription!