Like any single woman who spent her New Year d r i n k i n g merlot with her cat, I placed an ad on a Wiccan dating site. In today’s Internet age of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, meeting someone online is just as common as meeting someone at a party – and quite a hopping one in January. According to The Huffington Post, Match.com had as many as two million signups the first week of January.
Besides joining the gym and organizing their closets, singles have made the resolution to find their dream partner. Along with all of the other ridiculous goals you’ve listed for yourself (is going white water rafting while on the juice cleanse really a good idea?), perhaps you should take time to reflect on what you want from a partner, what you can offer them and, most importantly, how you view relationships.
Our culture loves to shove love in our faces, but it never tells us the range and meaning of the word. If you’re looking for love and don’t know what kind of love you’re looking for, you’re going to be filled with misunderstandings and heartbreak, both for you and the other person. A few common perspectives are: The Jerry Maguire: You want someone to complete you., preferably from the moment they say hello.
Without a paddle: A relationship is a mysterious journey. Two people come together, face bears, bad guys and hippies without a map. Bridesmaids: You view a relationship as a timely investment and go to the ends of the earth to prove how much you love your partner, until shit hits the fan and you throw a huge cookie.
All views have their benefits and their drawbacks, but knowing how you look at relationships will make sure your next doesn’t crumble. After I typed whimsically in my “About me” section about running through a field of daisies, I started getting a lot of messages, which then lead me think more about partnerships.
Looking back on 2013, who have you dated? Did they have the same personality? Were they more physical relationships? Did you dive in, or were you too cautious? Did you have the same values? The new year is a time for new beginnings, but we should also look back on our romantic lives to provide some clarity about where we want to go in the future. In fact, you should make a Venn diagram of traits you want in a partner and traits you have in yourself. In the middle section, do you have a lot of similar traits, or none at all? In kindergarten we are taught to shoot for the stars, but if you’re offering a half-eaten peanut butter sandwich and some Playdo, the relationship won’t be very satisfying. I’m not saying you can’t get it, but nobody likes to play with the weird kid who smells like pee.
The most important thing about choosing to start a new relationship is focusing on a relationship that fits you – who you are right now, not who you want to be. You could go on a first date in a cashmere sweater and talk about your Saturday horseback riding lessons, but if you’re usually found sitting on the couch in a T-shirt watching “Family Guy” on Saturday nights, you’re going to mislead your date and could miss out on a special someone who would bring Doritos. Of course, we all want a relationship that will grow with us like a tree and a partner we will fall in love with over time the way leaves fall to the ground. However, I believe that if we meet the right person, we will automatically grow into someone bigger than who we were before. Whether that relationship is meant to be for a year or fifty all depends on the way your life unfolds. The key is to build a relationship with yourself.