When it comes to finding success in romantic relationships, the advice we often hear is to look for the right person. While this is true and important, it’s just one-half of the equation. Often, who we are is just as important as the one we choose to be with, if not more important. What use is being with Mister or Miss Right if our thoughts and behavior sabotage the relationship, both consciously and unconsciously?
If you want to have a healthy relationship or marriage one day, who you are is just as important as who you’re with. Here are some pointers for preparing yourself for a healthy and functional relationship in the future.
Be complete and happy as a single person
If you don’t find happiness and contentment in being single, you won’t find it in a relationship. Suppose you are looking to date and find somebody so that you can fill some void in your heart and life. In that case, you will constantly be sucking your future significant other dry, setting the stage for a toxic, codependent relationship.
If you genuinely want to be happy with a romantic partner one day, then you need to be secure in who you are—this means knowing your inherent value, with or without a boyfriend or girlfriend. It means loving and accepting yourself for who you are.
It means being satisfied with your own company. Knowing that if a wonderful person comes along, it will just be a bonus, not a requirement for lifelong happiness. Cultivate this mindset, and you will be a giving and loving person to your future significant other, instead of someone who constantly has to seek validation from them.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there
Once you have learned how to love yourself and find confidence, now is the time to choose to put yourself out there, whether virtually or physically. You can opt for online dating, meeting new people through other friends, and even go through professional matchmaking services. Whichever option you choose, stepping out in faith means that you are opening your doors to the possibility for love to bloom.
If you choose to live your life with openness, that’s when you can practice being social and building rapport with new people. Every dating relationship does not have to end in marriage, but you will have some practice until the real one comes along. Dating will help you learn your must-haves and preferences in your relationship. It will also teach you how to treat another person in a way that honors them and how to communicate effectively.
Sort out your relational issues
If you have been burned by toxic romantic relationships before, you might have some blind spots in how you view romance. Many of us have gone through relational trauma and may not even know about it. This same lack of awareness can cause our wounds to spill over to others, especially those who are most intimate with us.
If you have experience with betrayal, neglect, abuse, and other relational issues, don’t be afraid to seek professional help for them. There is no shame in asking for support when we need it, especially from specialists who have studied these issues for a very long time.
A relationship counselor or therapist can help you get to the bottom of specific relational dysfunctions in your life, and it doesn’t just stop there. They can also help you build the tools to recover from the cognitive distortions you believed for years. They guide you to channel the pain into lessons that can help you be the healthiest version of yourself when the right one comes along.
Build a healthy life outside of your desire for a relationship
If you are currently single and looking, now is the best time to cultivate the following:
- A strong support system through a community of people you trust and you know have your best interests at heart. This means strengthening friendships and family ties, especially with people with whom you share healthy connections.
- Passions, hobbies, and interests that make you happy and feel good about yourself and your abilities
When you allow yourself to be a whole person while waiting for your soulmate, you would have a life filled with so much love, friendship, and fulfillment—and there’s nothing more attractive than people who have it together.
You don’t have to be perfect because no one is, but it would do you a world of good to experience significant layers of healing before you start a relationship. The future you and your significant other are worth it.