In your quest to find your dream girl/dream guy, I’ve always been a believer that it’s more important to BE Mr/Ms. Right rather than FIND Mr/Ms. Right. I’m promoting this concept because otherwise, we just have a bunch of ill-prepared men and women with high standards but not the same qualities to offer in return.
When you focus on being the right kind of person more than you focus on attracting the right kind of person, you empower yourself because you are focusing on something within your control (self improvement) instead of something that is not in your control (when and where you meet the right person).
Also, in the process, you build confidence because you know you have something to offer that would be valuable to someone else.
Be gracious to the flaws of yourself and others, but strive to make yourself the kind of person someone would be lucky to have. And remember, the point of relationships is not to be with someone perfect/ideal, but to have someone to share this life with. It’s all about companionship. Don’t lose out on companionship because you are looking for perfection. Companionship trumps perfection any day.
At the same time, don’t settle for someone who will make you more miserable and lonely in the long run when you could be better off single. Don’t sacrifice the important stuff because you are afraid you won’t have companionship.
Now, what can you do while you are single? A lot actually. The season of singleness can be very productive. Here are a few things you can do…
1. Get out of debt.
Ok, confession. I went into my marriage with debt. I think I had $3000 in credit card debt, a car to pay off, and student loans. Guilty:( Did you know that single women are the most likely to have credit card debt?
Ideally, that’s not the way you want to start off your marriage. While you are single, while it’s just you you’re responsible for (no kids no hubby/wifey etc…) take the opportunity to get out of debt and start building savings instead. Don’t do what I did, getting into a marriage with something to pay off instead of savings to bring into it.
Whatever you have, your partner is going to have to deal with after you get married. You’re either going to have a partner who is (usually silently) disappointed you have debt, or (visually and verbally) elated that you have savings! “OMG you have $10,000 in savings? Wow! That is awesome!” Which do you want it to be?
2. Learn how to massage.
Seriously. This is a skill that any partner will appreciate immensely! Most people LOVE massages, and you probably know how expensive it can be to get one. (upwards of $60 an hour) What a great treat to have a partner who knows how to massage.
Imagine your partner coming home super tired, having had the worst of days at work, his/her shoulders tense from all the stress, coming home to you, the brilliant, massage expert. You could help out by talking, OR you could simply give your partner a great big hug, lead them into the bedroom and tell them,
“Here honey, relax. Unwind. Let me give you a rubdown. Tell me about your day or not. But either way, take the load off.”
I know how to massage really well and cannot take any credit for it. Honestly, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to massage. My parents brilliantly taught all of us kids this skill at a very early age.
I think the reason why we are all super duper close, and can tell each other anything, (I can tell my brother about my sex life!) is because growing up, we were all very affectionate. A lot of this has to do with the fact that we all massaged each other.
Now, whenever I see my parents or siblings, even in the airplane, we will take turns massaging each others hands, back while we catch up on events and happenings. It’s just the way we roll. And I highly, highly recommend it to create a strong family bond.
3. Learn how to cook.
Just like #2, you are never going to run into a situation where a potential partner is not happy/elated that you can cook. You both have to eat, at least 3 times a day, 365 days a year. Someone’s gotta do it. Believe me, you never tire of home cooked meals the way you tire of eating out. You also have the added benefit of knowing exactly what is in your food.
And what about when you have kids? Someone’s gotta feed those little boogers too. Learn how to cook using the best of ingredients, the best of what money can buy. I don’t believe in having a food budget. I am willing to budget everywhere else, but I want to feed my family and myself with the best there is out there, wholesome, clean food, devoid of nitrates, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs.
AND I’m a foodie. I want to enjoy the best of what is out there. I figure, I would rather make food my medicine now and put as much good stuff in my body rather than pay high medical bills in the future. (Of course I know some diseases you have no control over, but MANY diseases stem from a lifetime of poor eating choices).
Cooking isn’t difficult. Seriously. You will run into bad recipes, have disappointments, but you will move on. You might even make a recipe so bad, you toss it into the garbage can before your partner gets home, feeling ever so frustrated and guilty that you wasted time, effort, and money. (It happened to me) But, you will have those moments where you are so absolutely PROUD of your creation, you feel like inviting the whole neighborhood over to sample your feast.
Did you know you can toss just about any vegetable in olive oil, salt and pepper and bake it in the oven? It always turns out great. I want to be healthy, but I’m a really lazy cook. I don’t enjoy the process like some people, BUT I love to eat, I love to eat well, and I want to feed Nate well too, so I make the effort.
I think the secret is to start off with the freshest produce and ingredients, listen to what your body wants, go find a simple recipe with great reviews and make stuff. Then do it again in a couple days once the leftovers are gone. Nate says it’s never a treat for him for us to eat out because he likes my cooking more and is always disappointed when we eat out! Success!
4. Figure out what you believe about God.
There’s a commandment in the Bible that says, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?(2 Corinthians 6:14)” because your BODY is where God dwells. It is the temple of the living God. Crazy huh?!
It’s so important to have your spirituality figured out before you get married, as it can be a huge burden on the relationship if you don’t both believe the same thing. Even if you’re not Christian, it’s so much easier and more satisfying to be in a relationship where you and your partner agree upon matters of faith.
It increases your intimacy, strengthens your bond, and gives you hope for whatever you believe about life after death. How sad would it be to believe your partner isn’t going to join you in the afterlife?!
I know some couples who don’t share the same faith and work it out nonetheless, but I think given the choice, they would prefer if their partners went to the same church, synagogue etc…If you don’t figure out what you believe about God, you can’t really be equally or unequally yoked with anyone. You have to know what you believe first before you can find that in a partner.
5. Develop a fitness program you can live with.
Skinny girls beware. You will not have your metabolism forever. Ask any woman in her 50’s. Best to learn how you like to move your body while you are young and strong and brave enough to try new things. I’m not a fan of the “no pain, no gain” mentality when it comes to working out.
In general, I’m the kind of person who likes to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. That’s one big reason why I waited until I was married to have sex. I knew it was the best possible option to maximize the pleasure and minimize the pain (emotional).
I knew my life would be simpler and less stressful on my emotions and overall well being if I had I one sex partner for life, and I didn’t want to deal with all the drama of becoming intimate with one guy who I wasn’t sure was going to stick around.
Anyways, back on topic. I think you maximize pleasure and minimize pain by finding exercise that is enjoyable and sustainable for the long haul instead of exercise that is hard and a quick fix. If it’s hard and not enjoyable, eventually it will end. And when you don’t use it, you lose it.
I have found that I can tolerate the elliptical trainer, enjoy long bike rides on a scenic trail, walks with friends, and dancing hip hop.
The key is to find a workout you don’t dread, and even better to find something you look forward to doing because it’s fun. This is why I invest in hip hop classes every week.
And on those days when all you want to do is stay curled up on the couch with a good book or beer and American Pickers, remember this:
What you want now is to be lazy, but what you want most is to be healthy, attractive, and maintain or improve your quality of life. Even when you find the activities you enjoy, it will still be hard work some days to make it happen. That’s why you should set yourself up for success and begin with choosing activities you enjoy to make it easier.
I have found for me, I feel my best when I get an hour of exercise 5 days a week, anything goes. I just make sure I move my body every day for an hour. It gets me out from behind my computer, and gives me energy after the afternoon slump.
It’s important for me to do something every day for my body(exercise), my mind(reading and playing word games), my spirit(praying and reading the bible), and my soul(spending time talking on the phone with friends or hanging out). This makes me feel balanced.
And if you still aren’t convinced you need an exercise plan you can do for life…
What are you accomplishing in your single years? I’d love to know:)