Find Happiness By Getting Out Of Your Own Way

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to ask myself, “Will this be important in 5 years? How about 10?”  I had heard this expression before when it came to my career. However, when it was brought up in the context of dating I suddenly felt confused on how it would apply. Of course I had a checklist in my head of what mattered most to me (everyone does), but it made me question if the things on my list really mattered…and more importantly, if they would matter 5 or 10 years from now.

As a professional matchmaker, I meet with people all day, every day.  I hear about their hopes, loves, and disasters and there are certain patterns that I easily recognize. Unfortunately, a lot of people repeat the same patterns when searching for their mate. Here are some tips on how you can make sure you don’t stand in the way of your own happiness…

1) If you are hung up on something, ask yourself if it will matter in 5 years.

It can be scary to put yourself out there on a date. Sometimes it’s easier to find something negative to focus on to feel like you have control of the situation. However, people can get fixated on the most trivial issues. For example, you meet someone who lives more than 10 minutes away and dismiss the romantic possibility because you think it's not worth the drive. Or, if you’re an avid beach goer but you won't give someone a chance because they can’t swim. These are not the characteristics that matter in the grand scheme of life and love. If you find someone wonderful and you share a connection, then those other things will fall away and work themselves out.

 2) Meet in person before making assumptions about their personal story.

Let’s be honest, we have all been guilty of stalking someone on Google or Facebook. You find out their name and start searching online.  Suddenly, you find photos or stories and an image of their lifestyle starts to form in your head.  Whether you know it or not, you are already forming a preconceived idea of them. This can be sabotaging and you haven’t even met yet!  Try to stop online stalking and enjoy actually getting to know someone face to face.

3) Understand the things you CANNOT change.

There are certain elements about a person’s character that will never change and are inherent to who they are.  These can include how they treat their family and friends, their religious or political beliefs, their thoughtfulness towards others, or how they treat people outside their inner circle.  These things are rooted in a person’s core beliefs.  Sometimes, we can get caught up in a person even if we feel fundamentally opposed to one of those core beliefs.  We try to overlook, make excuses, or even attempt to change that person.  If you see a red flag in their character, there is no way you will change them.  Once you recognize this, you can decide whether it is something you can live with or if you need to move on to make room for someone who you connect with better.

4) Understand the things you CAN change.

One of the biggest complaints I hear is that people get caught up on the idea of what their future significant other should look like.  Maybe you want the guy to be preppy and well groomed or tall and masculine. Or you prefer the girl to be petite and dainty or a Bohemian that loves yoga.  If a potential mate doesn’t fit your ideal look, perhaps you shouldn’t dismiss them too soon. Sometimes these characteristics can easily and naturally be changed.  Maybe his clothes are dated, she wears too much makeup, or he is too skinny or out of shape.  These things can all change over time. These elements should not be confused with deal breakers.  How many times have you met someone and found that their personality made them more or less attractive?  Remember to focus on finding a connection… and that comes from the inside!

5) Be Yourself!

Your unique qualities and differences are what make you special.  You don’t need to hide qualities about yourself or stretch the truth to fit an idea of what you think another person wants.  A healthy relationship develops from two people who know and appreciate each other, which includes the quirky, silly, and even weird sides of personalities.  The confidence you carry when you can be yourself is one of the most attractive qualities a person can have!