I got a new girlfriend recently.
We’ve actually been dating for a little while already and she’s already gotten the approval of my parents, which is great as they all seem to get along nicely.
She's actually the first girlfriend that I've had in a very long time, because I'm a single dad and I've been focusing on my son and just making sure everything's good with him. But now he's getting older and I figured it was time for me to get back out there.
Luckily, I think I found somebody who will be a very good match and that we can help each other build and grow together. She’s already helping with this site and editing the content you’re consuming, so she must be great to put up with me in that regard already. ;)
What really kind of struck me about all this though, is that when I started getting back into dating after so long, it caused me to look back on my romantic life in general and see my successes and failures and it struck me how it really does kind of relate to most other personal development.
For my first real relationship, and I will fully admit I was a late bloomer. I ended up marrying the first girl I really dated, which was a mistake, but I put my all into that relationship and I mainly did it because I thought, okay, that's what you're supposed to do.
You're supposed to grow up, have a relationship, get married and have kids. You just go through that whole thing. That's what you're supposed to do. And I went into it full of romance and idealism. And the thing is, she wasn't really a great match for me. Definitely not for where I was in my life at the time (or now either to be honest).
And being that she wasn’t a great match for what I was at the time, after about four years of being together, we ended up getting divorced. I won’t go into all that, but it’s something that looking at it from the beginning, I should have known where it was going to end. So after that, we start going through the divorce, I moved out of the house, and then start looking for another relationship, probably too quickly.
That’s what you’re supposed to do. One relationship ends and another should begin. And honestly, I wanted to have somebody there with me.
So I get into my next relationship, and basically did the same thing, except this time I didn’t get married.
I was with that next person for another four years. Again, probably not the best person for me to date, she was not a good match for me. But I hadn’t learned my lesson yet.
I had gotten a little bit better after that relationship and I had pulled myself back up and gotten back on my feet, but still those old things were holding me down, and I made the same mistakes, just in a different way.
I did that a couple more times after that too. Not for as long of periods, as I was finally starting to get the lessons through my head and starting to learn from my own mistakes.
I took some time off, and like I said, I’ve been focusing on my son and on myself, and have been trying to get everything lined up in order, so that when I do finally meet somebody good, I can take my time, get to know her, and make sure that we’re a good match for each other.
And that’s exactly what I’ve done. I’ve done a number of things to build myself up over the years. I’ve gotten out of a lot of debt (about $50,000 of credit card and other debts), got a steady job and built my confidence back up through reading a lot of books and taking action, slowly at first, and increasing over time. I’m now a lot less scared of things and more willing to go on adventures.
Am I perfect? Not at all.
I still have many flaws, and I still have many things that I want to do, but I’ve positioned myself to where I can have a good relationship and not just a relationship out of need.
So now, like I said, I believe I’ve found someone good, someone that matches me and compliments me and I do the same for her, and we’re looking at how we can build and grow together.
I must say, that’s an awesome feeling.
So what are the lessons that I’ve learned out of all of this?
Well the first one is pretty common, “Keep Trying”.
Just like anything else that’s worthwhile, you’re probably not going to succeed at first. From a female perspective, this would be the phrase, “You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find your prince.” But the good makes the bad worth it when you do really find that one who you sync with, and I’m sure a lot of you who are out there who are married or who are in good relationships know exactly what I’m talking about.
The second and complimentary lesson to the first is, “You’re Not Done Until You Don’t Get Back Up”.
I’ve had friends that have just completely given up on their relationships because they’ve had so many bad ones. The thing is you can’t give up. You have to keep moving. You have to keep looking, and you have to be smart about who you put your time and your effort into.
So even though it might seem a bit contrite to look at relationships as personal development or as goal setting or achievement or any of those, there really are a lot of similar areas. You can take the same lessons, like those that I listed above, and apply them to your love life.
How can you do this?
First of all, get some clarity for what you want and where you are now. Ask yourself these questions:
Why are you looking for a relationship?
Do you know what you are looking for in a mate?
What are some issues that you won’t budge on in your next relationship?
Secondly, look at what might be getting in your way of finding the right person.
Do you even have time for a relationship right now? (for years I didn’t)
Are you the type of person that the person you want to date would date?
I had an idea of the type of woman I wanted to date for years before I found her. But when I honestly looked at myself, that type of woman wouldn’t want to date me. I had to make myself better first.
Lastly, when you do talk to people or go on dates, just simply ask yourself:
Will this person help or impede my future success?
Will I help or impede this person with their future success?
It’s a two way street. You have to be good for each other otherwise one of you is just a leech.
So what did we do here? We set a clear goal, looked at our obstacles, and evaluated our options. Sound familiar? It’s just normal goal setting tweaked for the dating world.
Of course there is love and attraction and everything else here as well, but if you can add some objective thinking to it, both you and your future mate will be happier in the end.
So just keep trying and don’t give up!
It really does work!
Hi! I'm Nick!
I've worked in both IT and Sales over the past 20 years and have had to study human psychology and personal development to help with both. As a manager, I've used these skills to help grow my team from what I've learned myself and helping others to grow over my time in these two professions. Now I'm here to help you!