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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

So You're Looking For Love



As I'm online writing with my social media windows and apps open, I'm seeing a lot of this sort of talk around New Years and let me tell you, I hear it fairly often with my clients. I hear things like:

"I want to find the guy/girl who's right for me this year"

Or

"I can't seem to find the right person for me"

Or

"The only guys/girls who are ever interested in me are jerks/losers/etc."

I want to challenge you to look past that egotism this year (no, that's not a dirty word, we all exhibit egotism). I want you to ask two questions of yourself this year if you're looking for love:

1: "Is this person right for me?"
2: "Am I right for them?"

It's easy to look for someone who is right for you. It's not so easy to turn a critical eye inward and to decide whether you are also right for the person you're interested in or to set that simple intention, going forward when looking for love. Relationships are a game of balance. They are not all about you, nor are they all about the other person. So look for someone who's right for you, but I also want you to look for the person you are perfect for. When you notice red flag behavior, don't ignore it.

Examples of red flag behaviors (be on guard for these behaviors in yourself and in others):

•You or the person you've just met immediately start talking about the ex or the one that got away
•One or both of you weaves a thrilling tale about how life sucks and how you feel victimized by life and/or those in it
•One or both of you start talking politics or religion early on (sure, that'd be okay if you met each other in a Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton forum, but odds are, you didn't)
•One or both of you brag about, complain about or otherwise bring up money and/or financial status outside of "let's split the check." Talking about finances, bragging about your fabulous wealth or complaining about your chronic poverty is not okay. Someone who does bring these subjects up needs to understand that it's unfair to the other party and that their financial matters are not the other person's concern.
•One or both of you confess your deepest sexual fantasies, your fear of clowns or your allergy to cats. Again, it's not the other person's business to know what your deepest desires are or to receive a treatise on exactly how and why Cookie the clown scared you, growing up.
•One or both of you start talking about how people always use you
•One of both of you mention your "crazy" ex/(es)
•One or both of you bring up exes at all before the third or fourth date or hangout.
*By the by, date vs hangout should be defined if you're looking for a relationship (or if you're not--in fact, the burden lies more heavily upon those of you who are not looking for a long term relationship to let the other party know that in a clear and upfront manner that leaves no room for misunderstanding) and it's okay to make that distinction yourself or bring up the topic by the third or fourth hangout or date. This does not mean that you're putting the other person on notice--or vice versa--that if you continue to see one another after this point, you have now entered into an unbreakable billion year contract and you'll be breaking out the tin can e-meters to judge their level of honesty in all forthcoming conversations. This simply means that you're open to discussing a potential for a future relationship as things progress. Love doesn't have a sell by date. It doesn't go bad after three dates or a week or a month. Take your time. You wouldn't buy a car (I compareloveto car buying, not because I believe it's a transactional process--it's not, but because a car will likely be with you for the next decade of your life unless you're fabulously wealthy) without doing some thorough shopping to find the right one that fits you and that you in turn fit well within, so don't make that mistake when it comes to love. Someone who genuinely likes you is not going to up and disappear after a certain date is reached and you haven't negotiated your marriage dowry yet. Relax and take your time.


Examples of balance:

•You both make similar amounts of money
•You're in similar physical condition (with certain allowances)
•You have similar political viewpoints
•You have similar, but not perfectly similar opinions
•You have similar ideas about family
•You have similar relationship goals

*Granted, it's going to take a bit of work to get to know one another to decide whether the above examples of crucial character similarities in fact apply between the two of you, but it's well worth it if you're looking for a relationship. Don't settle or give anyone a chance if you're not feeling them. That goes both ways of course. Don't expect a chance from someone who isn't that into you. I promise it is not a blanket indictment on your character, nor is it a summary judgment and rejection of everything that you are. Sometimes two people simply don't click and that's okay. Would you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who wasn't that into you? Don't grudgingly allow someone a place in your life if you're not genuinely interested in offering them one. That's something that's absolutely not okay to say or do. It is however okay to tell someone, "no thanks, I'm not interested" without further explanation or fluffing. It's okay to follow your gut and your brain and your heart and to say enough's enough. I'm not feeling this.
 It's also okay to give someone a chance if you don't genuinely know how you feel about them yet. What's not okay is leading someone on when you do know, but keeping them around serves you in some other way. It's okay to continue to get to know someone without a written contract or blood oath that you'll definitely stay in their lives forever and vice versa. It's okay to have relationships that don't work out. It's okay to have feelings that aren't returned. What's not okay is forcing someone else to respond to those feelings in a way that pleases you if they are not returned. Love is a game of balance, so this year, I hope you'll not only ask the question "is s/he right for me," but "am I right for him/her?" I hope you'll factor that into your desire, intention and action steps as you move toward finding one another. You're going to find a lot of jerks on your journey. That's a given. But don't let that stop you from making room for the possibility of someone who is just right for you, who you are right for in return. Be safe, be happy, be well and Happy New Year!