1. Get Curious
If you are like most people, you probably have some clear theories about the cause of your romantic challenges. It could be because of your age, your busy lifestyle, your body, or the lack of suitable partners out there. Maybe it's because "all the good ones are taken" or "I blew my chance at love." Whatever your reason, if someone were to ask you the dreaded (and obnoxious) question: "Why are you single?" You would probably have a stock answer.
If you're feeling particularly hopeless, your self-esteem has likely taken a hit. In low moments, you might secretly wonder "what's wrong with me?" These feelings are incredibly common, completely unpleasant and ultimately counterproductive. As a professional matchmaker and dating coach, I can tell you -- without even knowing you personally -- there is nothing "wrong" with you a new way of thinking can't fix. There is something "wrong" with all of us -- it's called being a human!
For a moment, I want you to consider the possibility that you do not have the problem you think you have.
Even if you are 100 percent "right" about why you are single, consider that there is another way to approach your search for love. Instead of beating yourself up, or bashing men or women in general, take a step back. Ask yourself, "What are some things I can do to change my current situation?"
You might not have an immediate answer to this question. But the simple process of asking it, of considering the possibilities, opens you up to look for ways that your situation might change. To take it one step further, if you are really having a hard time not beating yourself up, ask "What if there is nothing wrong with me? What if I am fully loveable?"
This is my challenge to you: dig a little deeper. Get curious. Instead of "All the good ones are taken" ask "If there is someone out there for me, what kinds of things should I do in order to find him?" It's a small shift in perspective, with huge consequences! Try it for yourself and see how empowering it is to embrace possibility!
2. Get Feedback
One of the most powerful elements of the coaching and matchmaking experience is the feedback I get about the clients from their loved ones and also their dates. This process often reveals a common theme that the client herself might not even be aware of.
When I work with my clients I receive the feedback directly and sort through it to find the commonalities. You can mimic the feedback process for yourself, simply by sending an email out to two to four trusted loved ones (or ask a trusted friend to do this for you) telling them you are ready to get serious about your love life and you'd like their help. Show them this article if it helps! Explain to them that they can help you by giving you an honest assessment of what is amazing about you, what they see as the reason for your dating challenges, and how they see others react to you in social settings.
Like I said above -- consider that you don't have the problem you think you have. I've heard from dozens and dozens of clients' family and friends and none have ever given the same assessment of the client as the client gives me herself, at least not entirely. It's so powerful to get a new perspective and take a break from seeing the whole world through your own inevitably limited perspective.
The key to getting good and useful feedback is to seek it out only from those who love you, know you well and who will be honest while also being constructive. If you're feeling particularly brave, you can also reach out to any exes you are on good terms with and see what kind of information they have to share. Just bear in mind that your ex might not be able to be as objective as your best friend, so choose wisely!
It might sound scary to ask for feedback in this way. But if you are able to stay in curiosity mode and look for the commonalities of what the feedback reveals, you are in for a powerful awakening! Which brings me to my next point...
3. Get Uncomfortable
Comfort is the enemy of change. As long as you crave and expect comfort, the less likely you are to make any meaningful change in any area of life, your love life included. Comfort is comfortable, but that's not always good. If you're not getting out socially and finding new people to date, you might be unhappy with being single, but the addiction to the comfort of doing the same things day in and day out is winning out over the discomfort of making necessary change.
Don't let your addiction to comfort rob you of your dreams! Rather than resisting the discomfort of making new friends, choosing partners who share your relationship goals, flirting, getting on an online dating site, going to a singles event, hiring a coach or a matchmaker, accept that it's going to be uncomfortable and decide to do it anyway!
I always tell my clients who are challenging themselves to connect with others and date like never before -- if you feel uncomfortable, that's a good sign! That discomfort is where the magic lies. And besides, it won't feel uncomfortable for long. And when you find love, it will have been well worth it!
Francesca is a professional dating coach and matchmaker. You can see her as a regular guest expert on The Today Show and get free advice or schedule a free call with Francesca at www.francescahogi.com.