You are at your most attractive when you are living your best life.
Happy people attract happy people.
Wellbeing is alluring, contagious and downright sexy.
Before you can be the best version of your ‘dating self’, you need to become the best version of your SELF. You already have all the ingredients you need to live an abundant, fulfilled, exciting and happy life – you just need to know how to access the recipe.
What does the science say?
Martin Seligman is one of the gurus of the positive psychology movement and he has spent years studying the science of wellbeing. He has uncovered the secrets to living a great life in a sustainable and rewarding manner. Seligman’s work teaches us that we can make a few tweaks to our current life and reap incredible rewards in our wellbeing, happiness, health and relationships.
When applied to the world of dating, Seligman’s model provides the perfect recipe for dating yourself.
1. Positive Emotion
How often do you experience positive emotions in your daily life?
I’m talking about more than just happiness, what about joy, pride, hope, gratitude, excitement, anticipation or adulation?
My first self dating tip is to take a moment every day to take stock of your positive emotions. Set an alarm on your favourite device once per day to remind yourself.
Take 5 minutes out of your busy day and simply reflect on the emotions you have experienced in the past 24 hours. Consider the frequency and quality of your positive emotions and give yourself an overall rating out of 10 for the day. By recording your emotional positivity each day you can track your progress and observe any peaks and troughs.
You may start to notice that certain life events or activities tend to lead to a trend in your positive emotion scale. This will give you important data to help you improve the quality of your life.
An app like Moodkit could be helpful to record your daily positive emotion score.
Psychologists often talk about the state of ‘flow’ and the importance of engaging in activities that bring you joy.
When you are absorbed in an activity you are passionate about, you often lose your sense of self, time and space and get totally lost in the moment. This state has been shown to improve mental health and wellbeing.
This brings us to my second tip for dating yourself. Find an activity that allows you to lose yourself – for you, it might be running, painting, surfing, watching a movie, reading or bushwalking. Whatever it is for you, make a commitment to yourself to do this each week.
You might make the decision to finally sign up for that course, take that holiday or move to a new city – whatever it takes for you to include the positive impact of flow in your life.
3. Positive relationships
Surround yourself with positive people.
We all know the difference between the positive and negative relationships in our life. At an emotional (or even spiritual) level, they feel completely different. Seligman’s research found that having positive relationships in our life significantly increases our wellbeing.
Tip number three is to seriously consider your Dating Support Crew. Who is currently in your inner circle? Who are the people you typically confide in about your dating highs and lows?
Ask yourself these questions:
♥ Do you feel completely safe to share your dating stories with them?
♥ Are you confident that they will not judge you?
♥ Do you believe they have YOUR best interests at heart and are free of their own agendas?
♥ Does it feel ok to open up and be totally raw and vulnerable with them?
If you answered No to any of these questions, it may be time to reconsider your cheer squad.
People who have a higher purpose in their lives have been shown to enjoy a greater sense of wellbeing.
This may be about religion or spirituality, or it may be something completely personal to you. By working toward goals that serve something bigger than yourself, you’ll bring greater satisfaction and contentment into your life.
So, tip number four is all about bringing meaning into your life. What do you stand for? What is most important to you in life? What are your core values? If the achievement of your goals were not for you, who or what would they be for?
This is probably to most challenging of the five tips. This involves some serious soul searching and personal reflection to get to the bottom of your WHY.
Start by simply asking yourself ‘WHY is this important to me?’ each time you consider a goal, choice, decision or activity in your life.
We all feel better when we have the opportunity to tick some items off our To DO List.
Seligman’s research supports this idea, and found that having an enduring sense of accomplishment does wonders for our wellbeing and mental health.
Tip number five is about setting goals. Not outrageous, toe-curling, world-changing goals, but stimulating, achievable, short-term goals. I recommend having between 1 – 3 goals running in your life at any one time. Ideally, set a goal for each area of your life that requires extra focus.
For example, if you notice that your finances are out of balance and your fitness has slipped, you might set one goal for each area of your life to be achieved over the next 3 months. Stay motivated by breaking the goals up into smaller milestone and celebrate your small wins.
The 5 Week Date Yourself Challenge
I’m throwing you the challenge.
Over the next 5 weeks, choose one of my tips and practice it for one week. Just 7 days. Your challenge will look something like this:
♥ Week one > Track your positive emotions each day
♥ Week two > Select an activity that gives you ‘flow’ and do it every day
♥ Week three > Review your dating support crew and make some tough decisions (if necessary)
♥ Week four > Reflect on your WHY and figure out the higher meaning of your life goals and choices
♥ Week five > Set yourself some meaningful goals to work towards over the following 3 months
I’d love to hear how you go with the challenge so drop by my Facebook page and let me know.