I wasn't planning to watch the Royal wedding this weekend, I wasn't really that fussed, but as I sat amongst the hundreds of people in Greenwich Park cheering Harry and Megan say 'I do', I suddenly 'got it'. You see, this wedding is not only a symbol of unity, love and progress, it's also a symbol of 'quite literally anything can happen if you believe it enough'
I often hear people say 'all the good men are taken', 'I only attract unavailable partners', 'I'll be single forever' and while I empathise with people who have been hurt, feel lonely or unlucky in love, I just won't buy into that rational because there is always hope, you just have to see it!
Modern dating is fast paced, disposable and sometimes disheartening but it can also be empowering, fun and thrilling. Without turning this article into a feminist rant, women no longer need a partner to provide and pay the bills, coupling up and settling down has therefore become a choice and no longer a means to survival. For the first time in history we get to date on our terms and singletons are making the most of their freedom.
Being single, like most things in life, is what you make of it. If you see fear, pain and hassle, that's what you'll get but if you're willing to see opportunity, fun and keep an open mind, you might just end up having the best damn days of your life! Having said that, it's not unnatural to want, even crave, love and companionship but we must go about it in the right way. Wanting a partner to fill a void leads to codependence, insecurity and even irrational jealousy, but wanting a partner to share your already full and exciting life with, well that's just swell! So how do we go about attracting the latter when we've been so used to the former?
What do you want? As you would do when setting a goal or target for yourself, literally write out a list of the qualities you want in a partner and look at it daily. I'm not talking about the 'tall, dark and handsome' superficial sh*t we say to ourselves that we want, I'm talking about the real stuff, the stuff you want once the honeymoon period is over, the 'someone who will listen to me when I've had a bad day', 'someone who will make the effort with my family' 'someone who will tell me I'm beautiful everyday' It's important to really feel what you write, imagine that person coming into your life and making it better, not changing or compromising it. Now you have your list, this is your expectation moving forward and you don't settle for anything less than this!
What can they offer you? Dating (especially lots of first dates that don't lead anywhere) can sometimes leave us feeling self-conscious, second guessing 'what is wrong with me?' asking ourselves 'does he like me, does he think I'm pretty?' (Again, I'm particularly referring to the ladies here - sorry guys, it's what I know!) We forget that dating is actually a two way street, you're not there to win him over, no one person should ever have all the power! If you find yourself slipping into a pattern of giving more than you take, try asking yourself 'what is he offering me?' If he's cancelling dates last minute, not texting for days then it's time to ditch. We owe it to ourselves to demand the respect we give back in return, it has to be give and take or it's a big, fat BUH-BYE!
Who am I? In the same vein as the point above, dating can play havoc with our confidence so it's a great exercise to make a list of all your beautiful qualities, the things that make you uniquely special and badass girlfriend material. As well as knowing what you want from a relationship, it's almost just as important to identify what you have to give and knowing that you are SO worthy of that love when it comes around!
There's no best kept secret to the art of finding love but with a bit of patience, focus and above all else, hope, you might just bag yourself that Prince charming...
I raise my glass to you Harry & Megan!