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How to Improve Your Next Relationship While Still Single

How to Improve Your Next Relationship While Still Single

We’ve all been in a relationship that seems doomed. Maybe one person gives everything they have while the other just tries to take everything that they can. Perhaps both partners just stopped trying. Either way, there IS hope for those single Pringles to better themselves and better the quality of their love lives. Here are a few ways to improve your next relationship.

Instead of obsessing over your ex’s flaws, evaluate your own.

Most people only see their partner’s flaws and unintentionally neglect their own. This seems harmless; however it can result in bickering and one or both partners becoming dissatisfied.

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Remember in high school when the teacher asked us to grade ourselves? And in job interviews and evaluations, we are consistently asked to point out weaknesses and other “areas of opportunity.” The reason for this is because unless asked to do so, humans are typically reluctant to search internally for problems when faced with adversity.

Hopefully you’re not reading this and giving yourself all “A”s — try to honestly and humbly reflect and consider your partner’s complaints, and determine the validity of those concerns. When we accept our shortcomings, we are far more likely to seek improvement than when our partner (or boss or teacher) conjures a moment of reflection.

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Figure out why you want a partner and what you hope to get out of a relationship.

Everyone has their personal reasons for wanting a partner. Many seek emotional fulfillment, while others desire fulfillment physically. Some are simply afraid of being alone; they allow their definition of worth to be dictated by whether or not they have a significant other. Contrarily, some people simply find a partner for personal gain.

Whatever your need(s) are for a partner, it’s important to know them prior to entering a relationship. How can you expect a fruitful partnership if your definition of success has yet to be define? Utilize time in between relationships to determine what you like and don’t like and where your areas of opportunity lie. If you can’t figure them out for yourself, you can reach out to an ex and ask for them to candidly outline some for you.

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Work on your confidence and self-worth.

After any grieving period following a breakup, start your rebound by improving your self image. If weight and health are issues, work on your fitness and diet. If you’re impatient, learn to be patient. If you’re too jealous, learn to appreciate your worth so you know your partner has something to lose, and allow them the freedom of making a mistake before you smother them and treat them like they’ve already done so.

These flaws are relatively easy to work on if you’re truly committed to a better outcome than last time. Volunteer time with children to help with patience; keep at it and eventually it will come.

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Your personality is like a muscle. If you start with low resistance, you can gradually work your way up until you’re able to tolerate much more than you ever thought  possible. The same goes for jealousy. Learn to be proud of yourself by achieving goals such as weight loss, speaking to new people to improve communication, or joining a rec-league or a coed social league to improve social skills while putting yourself out there to meet new people.

Figure out what kind of person you want to be with and what your priorities are.

After you’ve figured out your reasons for dating and your self-esteem has improved, figure out what your needs are within a relationship. Think about what type of person are you looking for and what your relationship requirements are. If you’re in you mid-20s or later, can they offer enough time for you away from their career, kids, family, etc? What about maturity levels? Do you like going out or staying in? Do you want time for your friends or time alone? The more you know about what you need and what you need from your partner, the better armed you will be going into a partnership.

Featured photo credit: Boating by gagilas via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 3, 2019

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

10 Life Lessons You’d Better Learn Early on in Life

There are so many lessons I wish I had learned while I was young enough to appreciate and apply them. The thing with wisdom, and often with life lessons in general, is that they’re learned in retrospect, long after we needed them. The good news is that other people can benefit from our experiences and the lessons we’ve learned.

Here’re 10 important life lessons you should learn early on:

1. Money Will Never Solve Your Real Problems

Money is a tool; a commodity that buys you necessities and some nice “wants,” but it is not the panacea to your problems.

There are a great many people who are living on very little, yet have wonderfully full and happy lives… and there are sadly a great many people are living on quite a lot, yet have terribly miserable lives.

Money can buy a nice home, a great car, fabulous shoes, even a bit of security and some creature comforts, but it cannot fix a broken relationship, or cure loneliness, and the “happiness” it brings is only fleeting and not the kind that really and truly matters. Happiness is not for sale. If you’re expecting the “stuff” you can buy to “make it better,” you will never be happy.

2. Pace Yourself

Often when we’re young, just beginning our adult journey we feel as though we have to do everything at once. We need to decide everything, plan out our lives, experience everything, get to the top, find true love, figure out our life’s purpose, and do it all at the same time.

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Slow down—don’t rush into things. Let your life unfold. Wait a bit to see where it takes you, and take time to weigh your options. Enjoy every bite of food, take time to look around you, let the other person finish their side of the conversation. Allow yourself time to think, to mull a bit.

Taking action is critical. Working towards your goals and making plans for the future is commendable and often very useful, but rushing full-speed ahead towards anything is a one-way ticket to burnout and a good way to miss your life as it passes you by.

3. You Can’t Please Everyone

“I don’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure is trying to please everyone” – Bill Cosby.

You don’t need everyone to agree with you or even like you. It’s human nature to want to belong, to be liked, respected and valued, but not at the expense of your integrity and happiness. Other people cannot give you the validation you seek. That has to come from inside.

Speak up, stick to your guns, assert yourself when you need to, demand respect, stay true to your values.

4. Your Health Is Your Most Valuable Asset

Health is an invaluable treasure—always appreciate, nurture, and protect it. Good health is often wasted on the young before they have a chance to appreciate it for what it’s worth.

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We tend to take our good health for granted, because it’s just there. We don’t have to worry about it, so we don’t really pay attention to it… until we have to.

Heart disease, bone density, stroke, many cancers—the list of many largely preventable diseases is long, so take care of your health now, or you’ll regret it later on.

5. You Don’t Always Get What You Want

“Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

No matter how carefully you plan and how hard you work, sometimes things just don’t work out the way you want them to… and that’s okay.

We have all of these expectations; predetermined visions of what our “ideal” life will look like, but all too often, that’s not the reality of the life we end up with. Sometimes our dreams fail and sometimes we just change our minds mid-course. Sometimes we have to flop to find the right course and sometimes we just have to try a few things before we find the right direction.

6. It’s Not All About You

You are not the epicenter of the universe. It’s very difficult to view the world from a perspective outside of your own, since we are always so focused on what’s happening in our own lives. What do I have to do today? What will this mean for me, for my career, for my life? What do I want?

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It’s normal to be intensely aware of everything that’s going on in your own life, but you need to pay as much attention to what’s happening around you, and how things affect other people in the world as you do to your own life. It helps to keep things in perspective.

7. There’s No Shame in Not Knowing

No one has it all figured out. Nobody has all the answers. There’s no shame in saying “I don’t know.” Pretending to be perfect doesn’t make you perfect. It just makes you neurotic to keep up the pretense of manufactured perfection.

We have this idea that there is some kind of stigma or shame in admitting our limitations or uncertainly, but we can’t possibly know everything. We all make mistakes and mess up occasionally. We learn as we go, that’s life.

Besides—nobody likes a know-it-all. A little vulnerability makes you human and oh so much more relatable.

8. Love Is More Than a Feeling; It’s a Choice

That burst of initial exhilaration, pulse quickening love and passion does not last long. But that doesn’t mean long-lasting love is not possible.

Love is not just a feeling; it’s a choice that you make every day. We have to choose to let annoyances pass, to forgive, to be kind, to respect, to support, to be faithful.

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Relationships take work. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s incredibly hard. It is up to us to choose how we want to act, think and speak in a relationship.

9. Perspective Is a Beautiful Thing

Typically, when we’re worried or upset, it’s because we’ve lost perspective. Everything that is happening in our lives seems so big, so important, so do or die, but in the grand picture, this single hiccup often means next to nothing.

The fight we’re having, the job we didn’t get, the real or imagined slight, the unexpected need to shift course, the thing we wanted, but didn’t get. Most of it won’t matter 20, 30, 40 years from now. It’s hard to see long term when all you know is short term, but unless it’s life-threatening, let it go, and move on.

10. Don’t Take Anything for Granted

We often don’t appreciate what we have until it’s gone: that includes your health, your family and friends, your job, the money you have or think you will have tomorrow.

When you’re young, it seems that your parents will always be there, but they won’t. You think you have plenty of time to get back in touch with your old friends or spend time with new ones, but you don’t. You have the money to spend, or you think you’ll have it next month, but you might not.

Nothing in your life is not guaranteed to be there tomorrow, including those you love.

This is a hard life lesson to learn, but it may be the most important of all: Life can change in an instant. Make sure you appreciate what you have, while you still have it.

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Featured photo credit: Ben Eaton via unsplash.com

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