Relationships can be hard. You’ve heard that said a million times. But finding a great relationship can be equally as hard…and frustrating, especially if you feel as though you’ve been looking FOREVER for that special someone and they’re nowhere to be found.
But what if you tried another approach?
If you’ve simply been looking for “someone” you’ve uncovered half of your problem. Fortunately, it’s a fairly easy problem to tackle, and it starts with the way you approach the initial relationship process.
If you fail to plan, plan to fail
Instead of obsessing over past relationships, hoping you meet someone you actually like, or randomly browsing through dating apps, giving more focused consideration to your relationship process can dramatically improve the outcome.
Much like looking for a job, saving for a vacation, or crafting a successful marketing campaign, getting into a relationship should include a plan. Without one, you could end up facing more failure, heartache and frustration than necessary.
However, those negative outcomes can be alleviated, if not fully eliminated, by creating a plan and establishing a positive, concrete vision to work towards. With this newfound clarity (a plan and a vision) you’ll be less distracted by or attracted to the wrong things – or in this case, people.
If you haven’t had success finding ‘the one’ or retaining a solid relationship, try implementing the below three relationship hacks to turn your love life around.
Much like looking for a job or crafting a successful marketing campaign,
getting into a relationship requires a plan.
Gotta’ Have Goals
In over 100 articles and resources about what successful people do that the rest of us don’t, including an online article by the Harvard Business Review, you’ll find this item near the top of each list: ‘set goals’.
If a friend asked you to go for a drive, what’s the first question you’d ask? My guess is, ‘where to?’ If you were looking for a job, where would you begin? Most likely by performing a search based on either your experience, an industry of interest, and/or a list of criteria that meets your current or future wants and needs.
But when it comes to relationships, most people don’t consider the details or final destination, they simply say they want to “be in one”. Even more vaguely, they say they want to be in a relationship with “someone”. In order to increase your chances of finding and maintaining a successful relationship you need to start with a goal.
Establishing a goal means you first need to identify a positive vision of the future. Psychologically, framing a goal positively – I will be more patient vs. I won’t be so impatient anymore – increases your success rate by as much as 75%.
You also need to choose something that is achievable, doesn’t undermine the rights of others, and is something you will commit focused energy and efforts to seeing through. Sample relationship goals could be:
- Get married
- Exclusively date one person
- Casually date multiple people
The point is to identify the outcome you ultimately want to achieve.
Making a (specific) list, checking it twice…
The second step to finding and locking down a great relationship is to be extremely specific. Specificity means you attach measurable metrics and/or attributes to each goal along with establishing a clear understanding of when the goal has been achieved. The 3-column list is a great template to help nail down specifics.
Specificity is important because it allows you to weed out what you don’t want while zeroing in on what you do want. If you’ve ever been faced with “should I date him”, “should I go on a second date with her”, “is this person right for me” confusion, getting specific will help to clear those questions up. It also helps you understand your values and priorities.
Drop it like it’s hot
If you’re struggling in your relationships, chances are you’ve got something you’re holding onto that you need to drop like a bad habit.
Whether it’s from childhood, a previous relationship, poor social skills, a negative outlook on life, or an actual bad habit, you need to make like Elsa and let the baggage go.
Not sure what your hangups are? Take a look at the reasons for past breakups or valid criticisms you’ve been told repeatedly (operative word here is ‘valid’). Close friends or family members may also be able to help you identify areas where you could improve. However, it does take a willingness to listen and be objective on your part.
Play it again, Sam
In summary, the three tactics to employ before you begin swiping or picking out that first date outfit are:
- Set a goal – establish a positive vision for the future
- Be specific – get clear on exactly what you do and don’t want and what’s important to you
- Take care of any negative baggage – improve yourself
Have any additional tips for would-be relationship seekers or keepers? Leave ’em in the comments below. Need help with a specific relationship issue? Login to your member account and ask a question or get whyzze.