Wellbeing Wizard

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Dating & Relationships
Written by Catherine Davis   

It's a good idea to look at yourself before looking for a new relationship. If you've broken up with someone, give yourself time to clear out your emotional clutter so that you can leave the past behind and move on. How long this takes depends on you of course, and only you will know when you're ready.

By sorting through your feelings and becoming as emotionally whole as possible, you'll gain the inner strength to break old relationship patterns and meet someone new. When you've reached a healthy equilibrium, you'll attract similar 'together' people rather than those looking for a quick fix.

The first step is to work on building up your confidence. One tip in the early stages is to 'fake it till you make it'. It's often the case that by acting more confidently than we feel we actually become so, just as feigning a smile can sometimes produce genuine feelings of well being.

An improved appearance can vastly boost self confidence, and looking well groomed also shows that we care about ourselves. It may mean revamping your clothes or hairstyle, going on a diet, embarking on a new fitness and exercise regime or visiting the dentist. Make the best of yourself so you feel comfortable with the way you present yourself to the world. The next step is to go and do just that.

Socialise and open yourself up to opportunities. Meet new people and try new things – hobbies, sports and activities. Join a group or society or take an evening class. Pursue your own interests and goals. Not only will this be rewarding in itself, it will also increase your confidence and introduce you to people who share those interests. By being positive, decisive and taking control of your life, you'll develop self esteem and self sufficiency – qualities that other people find attractive - and which you probably find attractive in turn.

Ask yourself what other qualities you're looking for in a partner and then put those into practice too. If you want a date who is thoughtful and compassionate with a good sense of humour, then start displaying these qualities towards the people you meet. This is a great way to draw more positive people into your life as well as sending out the message that you are ready, willing and able to build a relationship.

DATING AGENCIES

If you choose to meet potential partners through a matchmaking service, internet dating agency or speed dating, here are some tips that may be useful:

Before joining an agency, find out more by reading testimonials and feedback from other users.

Be truthful in your personal profile and choose a recent, flattering photograph. By being honest and realistic with yourself and others, you're more likely to meet people with whom you're compatible.

Be flexible about the kind of person you're prepared to meet and set aside your wish list. The more dates you go on, the more relaxed and natural you'll be because you won't burden each one with expectations.

Trust your instincts. If a relationship doesn't feel right, have the courage to say so and walk away. If you're the one being walked away from, try to stay positive and accept the fact that this is a normal part of dating.

Even if you don't meet a possible future partner, dating can lead to new friendships. It's also a chance to dress up, show yourself in your best light, have a drink and a chat and practice your social skills.

By being more active and outgoing you've already made positive changes in your life. Tell yourself that you will be happy with or without a partner and remember there are better ways to feel good about yourself than someone else finding you attractive.

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