How will 2022 be different for you?
Please know this – no matter your relationship history, experience or age, and especially if coming to the end of another year is adding stress – you are in the perfect place at the perfect time right now.
Together let’s use the next 3 weeks to set you up to experience great joy in dating in the New Year. It’s not just about setting resolutions, it’s about setting yourself up to manifest enriched romantic relationships. That takes a process, and I’ve adapted mine from Marie Forleo’s Year in Review. She provides the Q’s, I suggest how you can discover the real A’s.
Get a clear handle on where you are now. If you want more joy in your romantic relationships, give yourself the attention you deserve; luxuriate in thoughts of these last few months and ponder these first 3 questions:
1) What did you do last year that you’re proud of?
Set aside an indulgently-long chunk of time to think back to all you’ve accomplished. This isn’t the time to rehash past mistakes or regret missed opportunities – seek only the good!
Choose the prettiest journal and pen, brew a fragrant, delicious pot of tea, sit down in your comfiest chair, pull up a soft blanket and luxuriate in the last 12 months like you’re soaking in a warm bath full of silky bubbles.
Now, let your thoughts wander to all the good – and trust me, there was good last year, even amidst all the trials.
What did you create? What did you enjoy, what did you learn, how did you grow?
It might not even be things that you set out intentionally to accomplish, just ask yourself – what went well – and then when you’ve got that fabulously loooong list ask – of all these possibilities, what am I proud of?
2) How can you relate it to romantic relationships?
Out of my entire list, the thing I’m proud of is – I cooked for our Neighbors’ Friendsgiving celebration. Why in the world is that the thing I’m most proud of?
It’s been ten years since I’ve cooked a turkey and I remember how afraid I was then because I undercooked it at first and had to put it back in the oven when everyone was already at the table.
That fear threatened to derail me, the voice in my head suggesting this time would of course be a repeat of the last. I didn’t know what I was doing, I’d done it wrong, wrong, wrong and what could possibly be different now?
How can I relate this to romantic relationships? When you’ve had interactions with men that didn’t go the way you’d hoped, whether they were dates, relationships or simply early-stage chats, it’s easy to start to believe that’s the entire story of your romantic journey.
It’s easy to let the disappointment you felt then resurface now, and that disappointment will affect the way you show up just the way my fear at first affected my willingness and ability to cook a turkey.
Know that you are the mistress of your own destiny and that your past does not dictate your future. Declare each man you meet unique, consciously choose to not compare him to anyone else you’ve ever met. Look for the green flags.
3) How can you break this pattern that’s keeping you from love?
Two things I know for certain are, your past only dictates your future when you let it, and you don’t get what you want, you usually get what you expect. You have got to find a way to create a belief about dating that is based, not on the disappointments of your past, but on the possibilities of your future.
So, how did I do it differently this time?
I got professional help. I researched instructions from reputable chefs. I made sure I had the oven set to the right temperature and continued to monitor it the entire time. I used a good thermometer. I prayed and coached myself through it with the support of a dear friend. It turned out delicious and all was well.
The only way to break a pattern is to stop doing whatever it is that you’re doing that isn’t working. You may think you know what that thing is, but chances are great that you don’t. Like with me and the turkey – I would have told you it was my lack of experience in cooking since I’d only done it once.
Sound familiar? Do you think it’s your lack of experience with men or dating that’s holding you back and if you just keep putting yourself out there someday it will all just magically click?
Magical thinking only works in fairy tales. If you want to create real change in your real romantic relationships, you need to learn how to do what you don’t yet know how to do.