The author lives in Utah, USA.
The New Year is here, and with it comes a renewed hope that propels many of us into enthused goal setting, one of the most common being to find love. I’ve seen tremendous success stories over the past seven years of being a matchmaker, so here are my top five tips to effectively finding a real, sustainable, loving relationship this year.
Take Action. Many singles feel frustrated with their dating options yet rule out most of the viable ways to find good candidates, stating they don’t enjoy singles activities, are unimpressed by young single adult or mid-single adult wards, feel hesitant about online dating, and cringe at the idea of being set up by friends or family. So that leaves meeting someone to chance, fate, or—as some will often incorrectly presume—divine intervention. Just like missionaries don’t sit in their apartment waiting for converts to come to them, the Lord expects us to do our part in dating and marriage, even if the process isn’t always comfortable.
Be Honest with Yourself. While many singles have a list of the qualities and characteristics they are looking for in a spouse, not all are focused on developing those qualities themselves. And while it would be nice if everyone was attracted to us, the reality of this mortal world is that physical attraction does matter to most people when it comes to dating and marriage. Given this truth, it is wise to determine through analysis and feedback whether you are a good match for the kind of person you are focused on finding. If not, are there changes you can and want to make or can you adjust your expectations to find a more realistic match instead?
Recognize the Spirit and the Adversary. As a faithful Latter-day Saint, you may not be likely to break covenants that keep you from eternal marriage, so the adversary focuses on creating fear, doubt, and confusion to steer you away from achieving your righteous desires. When these mists of darkness appear, recognize them for what they are and know that there are brighter days ahead. Make a plan for how you will handle the down times and pull yourself up again.
Negative feelings such as self-doubt, nervousness, or pessimism are often misidentified as the Spirit warning us to break up or not to date someone. While there are circumstances where this might be the case, most often when the Spirit is speaking to us, we will feel peace in our heart.
The process of receiving personal revelation for ourselves is to study it out in our minds, make a decision based on the information we have, and then ask the Lord if our decision is right (see D&C 9:8). It is through this process that we can learn to trust Him and ourselves in making the most important decisions of our lives, including eternal marriage.
Be Confident and Vulnerable. One of the most desirable qualities that both men and women desire is confidence. To be vulnerable takes confidence and courage, and as we open up to someone we trust, it can lead to true connection, which is a huge part of romantic chemistry. In fact, most people agree that no matter how physically attracted they are initially to someone, it either increases or decreases based on the level of emotional connection they feel as the relationship builds.
To accomplish both connection and vulnerability, it’s important to learn how to share what you think, feel, and need in a way that matches the stage of the relationship. It’s not about sharing all your secrets or baring your soul on the first date. It’s important to learn the art of what to share, when, and with whom, in order to create the kind of connection that will deepen a relationship.
Give the Spark a Chance. Many men and women expect to feel amazing chemistry on a first date or before they will even go out with someone. It is very common for men and women not to feel incredibly excited on the first (or more) date. I have encouraged countless couples to keep going on dates unless they know the other person is not compatible. Many of these same couples have ended up dating long-term or married and have wonderful chemistry. Feeling a spark immediately is often an unrealistic expectation. True connection and chemistry is built over time through effort and sacrifice.
So give dating a new approach this year and apply these keys to finding your forever match. Here’s to a more enjoyable, dateable you! Happy New Year!