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How To Stop Dating The Wrong People and Find Your Soul Mate

June 13, 2014

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For a single lady (or guy!) looking for a relationship, the absolute worst piece of advice that you without a doubt again and again is: “Stop looking. You’ll find the right person when you least expect it.”

While I don’t discredit the underlying message of that advice, I think the framing is completely wrong. Instead of focusing on ending the search for your mate, turn your attention to your journey to becoming your own perfect person. I sincerely believe that you cannot build a healthy relationship until you know who you are and what you want not only from a partner, but also in your life.

Know how you like your eggs.

I’m not ashamed to say that I had a major “A-ha!” moment when I re-watched Runaway Bride during my early 20’s. If you haven’t seen this movie, there is a scene where Julia Roberts makes every kind of egg dish to figure out which is her favorite, because she’d never taken the time to think about her own preference before. This was her first step to finding her true identity outside of a relationship. Many women end up defining themselves by their relationship, which causes them to lose their sense of self and can lead to resentment from either partner. It also makes it much, much harder to be single! Instead of worrying about when and where you’ll find the person you should be with, spend your time getting to know yourself. Of course, figuring out whether you like your eggs poached or scrambled might seem trivial, but it’s a good place to start!

Create a 5-year plan.

Qualification: create a 5 year plan that doesn’t include a relationship, marriage, or children. Come up with a plan for yourself that has you excited about your future, relationship or no relationship! This could be moving to a city you’ve always wanted to live in, embarking on a new career path, or even starting your own business. As a women in particular, it’s so important to find a way to have confidence in your ability to support yourself and create a life that you truly enjoy, regardless of your relationship status. If you do this, finding a partner is just an added bonus to your already happy life!

Decide what you don’t like…and don’t settle.

We’ve all heard the saying “You’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince.” Think of all those awkward first dates as your frogs. Instead of feeling nervous when you go out with someone new, use first or second dates to figure out what it really is that you’re looking for in a partner, and also what you aren’t looking for. Rather than thinking about making a good impression, remember that you’re learning just as much about them just as much as they are about you. Even if you never make it past the second date with this person, you can walk away confident that you learned a bit more about the characteristics that you’re looking for in a partner.

Once you spend some time with yourself figuring out who you are and what you want, chances are you’ll start going to places and participating in activities that are more likely to lead you to the person that you want to be with. 

What about you? Do you have any advice on how to find the right relationship?