If you're desperately seeking the absolutely perfect relationship, call off the search!
Whether you're single, dating, married or divorced, you don't need to find a brand new partner — or a perfect partner at all — to be happier in love today. All you need to do is look at your current love life "bright side up," from a more positive perspective. By learning to appreciate what's in front of you, being grateful for the good stuff, and shifting the way you approach relationships, you can be happier right now. In other words, don't change your love life, just change how you see it. Here are five fresh ways from my book Bright Side Up that can help you feel happier with the love situation you're living in today.
1. Let the lemons in love help you appreciate the sweet stuff.
If you've never had a date go wrong, you wouldn't get as many fireworks in your belly when you kiss someone who's right. And sometimes it takes a bad relationship to open your eyes to see why you really deserve a good one. In other words, thank the lemons. Because as sour as they are in the moment, they're helping you appreciate the sweet stuff.
2. We all have a sweet spot. Find yours.
Tennis players know the sweet spot on their racquet and aim for it every time. Well, we can aim for those same "sweet spots" in love, too. When are you most affectionate? That's your sweet spot for date night.
When are you most patient and positive? That's your sweet spot for making plans for the future. What time of day or day of the week do you feel the most excited and hopeful? That's your sweet spot for first dates, when you're most open to having fun whatever happens. Harness the power of your sweet spot and you'll start hitting your whole love life out of the park.
3. Ask "What can I bring to the table?"
The condiments you pack in a picnic basket give you plenty of options to alter the taste of a meal, and that's how your love life is, too. If you're aggravated with your date or partner, ask yourself this: "What can I bring to the table that might change our connection?" Maybe you could be affectionate first, ask questions, or be a generous and understanding listener. Sometimes a little hot sauce can be just the thing to change the whole night.
4. Be grateful for your differences.
We groan about the differences or flaws in our partners, but thank goodness! You don't really want someone who likes the exact same food, music, books, and movies, and uses the same perfect towel-folding technique you do. The differences are what keep us learning, and the little flaws in one another are the unique parts worth loving.
You know what winning in love is? Finding happiness in the floor models of love: as is. So sit back and enjoy your date or partner for who they are, full of little imperfections and big differences. Whether you're with them for two hours or twenty years, the differences in love are what make life most interesting.
5. Hey, you learn something new in love every day.
If you had a bad date or a bad fight today, at least you'll know how to do things differently tomorrow. No rough moment in relationships is for naught if you gain wisdom and insight from the experience.
For more ways to see life's silver linings, check out Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to Be Happier Right Now and visit her blog TheLifeOptimist.com.