It's unbelievably easy, doesn't require anything of anyone else (least of all the person you're dating), won't cost you a dime and it will work for ANYONE. My secret?
Documenting everything I liked/loved about everyone I've ever dated--yes, actually making a list & writing it down.
Here's the premise: what we focus on expands. And I've noticed that among those of us entrenched in the dating world, there's a tendency to keep telling the same stories about the relationships that didn't work, the awful dates, the weird energies, the bad communication & the non-existent chemistry. And while the stories may be funny and/or entertaining, the reality is--they just give more energy to exactly what we're trying to avoid!! So one night a few months ago, I sat down at my desk and made a list of every relationship I've ever been in plus the names of anyone I've ever gone out on a date with.
And you know what? Regardless of how the relationship ended, it made me realize that many of the qualities I really love have been right under my nose all long. Did I include the ex that cheated on me? Sure did--he was first on the list! Because beyond the rough times we had a lot of good times, too and that relationship set me up to move back to Atlanta where I launched my career so more than anything, I'm grateful. And what I choose to remember about him instead is how he was always very thoughtful about giving cards & gifts of appreciation, that he loved planning weekend trips and was a devoted father (among other things). The guy I recently dated? He ultimately wasn't a good fit but I can still acknowledge that I loved and appreciated how he was 100% present when he was with me--no checking text messages or taking phone calls, he enjoyed taking the lead and had a fantastic sense of humor. Were there things I didn't like? Of course! But this list gets me closer to what I want by documenting all of the ways I've already experienced it, versus rehashing all of the ways we weren't compatible. Whether I was in love with each person or not, I wrote what I LOVED about them because they are traits & qualities that I DO love! The level of our commitment has nothing to do with his exercise. So I read my list (which is now 3 pages & counting) a few times a week right before I go to bed and you know what? It feels really good. Because the reality is, the majority of the men I've dated have been great guys...they just weren't great guys for ME.
Overall, this list feels and sounds like everything I expect my next relationship will be. And it reminds me that each man I've dated had something special that attracted me to them & they each helped teach me more about what I like in a relationship--not by how they DIDN'T treat me, but how they DID.
And here's the cool thing: I went out with someone recently and a few days later I pulled out my list & added a few of his characteristics/mannerisms that I liked. And as I looked back over the list that I'd created so intentionally, I saw that I actually AM getting closer to what I want, because the new guy had many of the same qualities that I liked in the previous guys, too. They were good things...important qualities, like being devoted to family, having a great relationship with money, feeling very safe & protected in his presence, being a deliberate thinker and asking fantastic questions. << THESE THINGS are what I really want more of, and by focusing on the wonderful qualities that I'd already experienced, the Universe brought more of those exact things to me. The list is working, y'all.
So if you're still in the dating pool & want to give my method a try, here are my tips.
- Make a list
- Add at LEAST 3 personality traits/mannerisms or positive feelings you felt for each partner
- KEEP IT POSITIVE
- Whether you were in love or not, remember what you loved about them with specifics (great sense of humor--very witty, kind heart--thoughtful of others, hard worker--extremely disciplined & dedicated to his work, loved to read)
- Read your list at least twice a week. This isn't something to stress over, just focus on what you love(d) and then release it, knowing that all of that goodness is coming straight back to you.
For those of you who give this a try, I'd LOVE to hear your results!! Feel free to email me or comment below...and happy dating!!