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How to get in a relationship

By Laura Woodland and Dr. Dave Schramm

Touching hands

One of the most wonderful and difficult things to find when dating, is to find someone that you like and who likes you back. From that mutual feeling you can build a healthy relationship that has the potential to grow into a lasting and loving relationship. So what do you do in the meantime? Here are a few tips of how to appreciate and make the most of your time as a single while preparing yourself for a wonderful relationship in the future. 

  1. Be grateful for your time of being single. Gratitude is not only scientifically shown to increase your well-being and happiness, but being happy makes you attractive to other people. Even if others don’t immediately want to date you, they will want to be your friend, and the more friends you have, the easier it is to discover and maintain a satisfying and healthy relationship.
  2. Focus and develop your strengths and become the kind of person you want to find.  It is vital to recognize and develop your strengths while managing your weaknesses. Then turn outward and use those strengths in helpful ways to become the person you have the potential to become. At the same time, strive to become what you want to find in a potential partner. If you find it attractive when someone is musically talented, practice an instrument. If you want to find someone who is physically attractive, make sure you have good hygiene habits and take a few minutes to get yourself ready each morning. Research has shown that the idea that opposites attract is a myth. The happiest relationships develop when couples have more core similarities than differences.
  3. Beware of negative self-talk. The best salesmen know their product and they know how to show others why their product is best. Some discouraged daters may be tempted to think “There is nothing to like about me!” That thought comes from what therapists define as a distorted cognition or an untrue thought that our brains create. Recognize that just because you tend to notice the negatives in yourself does not mean you are not worth loving. It may just mean that you are lacking validation or are choosing to not believe the validation that is given to you.
  4. Be patient. Finding the right relationship is often about a healthy mentality and an accurate and loving perception of others and yourself. You are not as behind as you think you are, and those who are dating are not as far ahead as you think they are. When the relationship comes to you, it can change your life quickly.

Dating can be difficult in a good relationship, but it feels either impossible or miserable in a relationship that is forced. As singles focus on developing the character traits mentioned above, the chances of them increasing in confidence and attracting someone they are also attracted to will increase significantly. But don’t take the researcher’s findings for it. Give it a try and see what happens.

Additional Resources

Take some time to discover your own signatures strengths by completing a free science-backed assessment at www.viacharacter.org