Here is this month’s coach nibble:
“I’ve been trying to improve myself for, it seems like, forever. I’m still trying to build good habits and routines to support my goals, which include fitness, creativity, and career. I’m also single and in my late-30s, and I would also like to find a romantic partner. I feel like I should get my personal stuff together before I make a concerted effort to date, partly as procrastination because I don’t enjoy the process of dating. And yet, I’m getting older and would like to find a partner before we’re too old to enjoy each other. How can I prioritize finding a partner when I don’t want to do the work and I have other work to do?”
First of all, don’t think of dating as work! I wrote in a newsletter the other week about letting something be easy instead of turning it into a project and over-thinking it. I talked about trusting yourself “to do what you need to do when you need to do it” and take things one step at a time. Just take it one day at a time. Maybe one day you want to browse a bookstore and try to make eye-contact with another customer. Maybe one day you’ll go to a meet-up event. Maybe one day you’ll decide to write an online dating profile. You don’t need to have a whole game-plan to make an effort. Follow your own interests and you will meet someone who shares your interests.
Also, working on one goal might move you forward in multiple areas. As a fitness project, you could sign up for a class at the rec center and you could meet someone there who could introduce you to an eligible partner. Moving forward on our life path will help meet all of our needs. Trust that what you are working on will help build your entire authentic life, not just attain a single goal.
Secondly, your goals don’t need to exclude each other. Waiting to seek a partner after your life looks a certain way is just delaying your gratification, saying you’re not worthy of love until you meet certain conditions. We are all flawed, and yet we are all deserving of love and affection because of our flaws, not in spite of them. Do you expect your future partner to have all of his/her stuff together before you meet? That would be boring. Of course, it would be nice to meet someone with emotional maturity and some retirement savings, etc., but we don’t expect perfection in a partner and you shouldn’t expect perfection in yourself. Meet yourself where you are with compassion; cultivate self-love and self-respect and you will inspire love and respect from others.
It’s not simple, and I can totally relate – I have goals I’m working toward and I like to plan things. I feel more comfortable with a plan but, to get new results, we need to get out of our comfort zones. We’ll just keep getting the old results if we don’t make any changes. You can’t plan for what you’ll see outside your comfort zone, because it will be new and strange, but that’s where me make discoveries, in the unfamiliar terrain.
What little change can you make to step out of your comfort zone and try something new?
Check out the coach nibble information page if you’d like to submit a topic for a future coach nibble. All suggestions are entered in a monthly drawing!