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Whenever I'm hanging with my favorite goal-gettin' ladies, the conversation always ends up shifting towards one thing: men.
Why we can't find them.
Where all the good ones are hiding.
And why they're not totally in love with us. (obviously)
As a self-proclaimed helpless romantic, I've definitely been one to put a ring or wedding dress on my vision board in hopes that my beau of the moment would propose in some grand gesture and I'd be in tears because I never saw it coming. #classic
This year was the first year that I did not set some form of relationship goal.
For the first time in my adult life, I am at peace with my love life and whatever future that comes in my relationship.
With parents and grandparents asking where your husband is, married friends flaunting their amazing husband at the holiday party and people showing off beautiful engagements and magical weddings on Instagram...
How does a single lady stop thinking about finding (and keeping) love?
Here's exactly what I did that lead to finding peace with my current and future love life:
Get out and start dating... again.
Being single for a while makes it super easy to get comfortable with the idea of being alone.
You enjoy doing your own thing and hanging with your friends. You're a sucker for a great Netflix binge session or a great book. It's easy to enjoy the quiet but if you're ready to take a chance and meet some people you'll have to (dare I say it?) talk to people.
You can start small (really small) by downloading a dating app and simply swiping right on a few people you think are attractive.
Meet people in person.
Swiping left or right is a great first step, but to seal the deal, you'll have to take one giant step of meeting them in person. Yup, that's right. You gotta get dressed and leave your home and meet them face to face.
Actually give people a chance.
Have you ever been on a date and looked at the person wondering why they weren't as cute as your ex or didn't hold the door open the way he did or didn't (insert other wonderful thing your ex did here).
Try going into the date without any hopes of who the person might be and instead seek to enjoy the person they are. Ask them questions about themselves and make a solid effort in getting to know them. Ask about their family and goals. That will help you really get to know the individual sitting across from you.
Envision your life without a partner.
One of the most powerful things I ever did for myself was asking the question "what would my life look like if I never found someone." That's something I never asked myself before. As a child, it was ingrained in me that my life was not complete until I met someone. In my life's narrative, I always imagined a man being apart of that story.
As I got older and realized that it's was totally possible that no knight in shining armor was coming at all. What would happen then?
What followed was a clear understanding that I would be 100% happy with what my life would become. I would still be fulfilled in my life's journey. This gave me the comfort to be happy with where my life was (and more importantly - where my relationship status was).
If you're struggling with your worth (because I sure was) or wondering "what's wrong with me?" this might be a great activity for you to do.
Get rid of that guy that... sucks.
Are you currently dating someone that you know (like 100% without a doubt KNOW) you need to get rid of? These would be the guys that have other girls calling and Face-timing them, always lying about something or frustrating you beyond belief... but you keep letting them back in when you get bored. (Just me?)
If you want to lock in some real #RelationshipGoals, you're going to have to get rid of that guy to make space for someone that wants the same things you do.
Date... a lot.
I always thought that love was easy. Guy meets girl. Girl meets guy. They fall in love. The end.
But of course that's not how it works in real life. In reality, there are several options and we're all here on this earth looking for the right fit. Someone who matches our personality that we can have fun with, share values and (at some point) a future with.
That might take a while to find. And if you only date one person, you'll never experience alternatives to be able to truly know what you want - or appreciate what you have.
Re-build your confidence.
After being on several dates that didn't work out for one reason or another (in my case I didn't want kids and many of the guys I dated did), I started to beat myself up. I would show up on dates thinking
"Welp, this guy won't like me either."
"I'm sure this is a waste of my time."
I would even try not to disclose the fact that I didn't want kids until it was explicitly asked. #TheStruggle
Finally, I decided I only wanted guys who wanted me and started to be 100% unapologetic in everything that I am. Oddly enough, that's when they all started beating my door down.
What I Learned
There really is someone for everyone.
First, that no matter who you are, what you like, what type of personality you have - someone out there will find you AMAZING.
Rotational Dating is necessary.
Because I got over my fears of dating more than one person at a time, I learned to enjoy meeting people and appreciating people for who they were. I was no longer looking for each person to be THE ONE.
When you're dating multiple people, you get to learn what you want slowly over time. Someone becomes "the one" because you've chosen them, not simply because they were the only person you were dating. (And to be honest, knowing I always had options made me feel powerful. #truth)
If it's meat to be, it will be.
I'm currently in an amazing relationship with someone who I had the space, time and energy to choose. We often talk about deciding on what success looks like - and during this journey I realized that I could also do that in my relationships.
On the contrary, I learned that just because I've chosen him (and he's chosen me) today, that doesn't obligate either of us to continue to choose each other forever. And if we grow apart, I can go back to step 1, because now I've found the beauty in love, from beginning to end.
Chantl founded Thrive Lounge to give women the kick in the pants they need (lovingly, of course) to uncomplicate their goals, stop making excuses, get productive and start living the life they always wanted. Her workbook, The Vision Board Planner, gives women a step-by-step guide to create a super effective and life-changing vision board.