"I see everyone else getting what they want; what's wrong with me?"
"I just don't see what I am missing."
"If I have to watch one more happy couple get married, I swear I will scream."
Do any of these statements sound like they're coming from you? Two of our relationship experts, Kate Michels and Lisa Shield, have some insight as to why this broken record is replaying over and over in your head.
During wedding season, says Michels, she hears these statements constantly. Another big one she hears is, "Wow; it is miracle they found each other." A "miracle" sounds like something that just happened, instead of something that required action and steps toward creating. She also often hears clients complain that "It’s just not fair," as if there is some conspiracy out there in favor of those lucky devils who have found love.
There is nothing wrong with you, says Michels; you are only missing a few action steps that will make the difference. Love doesn't happen to some people because they are just born lucky, (think: "lucky in love" or "just lucky, I guess"). Most likely, those lucky ones took some concrete steps toward being where they are today. She calls this the "C-ing that makes a difference." Instead of seeing what others are getting, start C-ing for yourself what really matters.
There are five steps to C-ing that help make miraculous differences: clarifying, communicating, caring, committing and connecting. Using these five steps will take you from seeing what you are missing to C-ing what you are getting. These are real actions that will make a difference in your love life — and in other areas of your life as well.
It isn't what you are seeing that matters. It is what you focus on. The difference comes when we stop paying attention to the bad Cs — complaining, comparing, conniving, controlling and crumbling apart — and put our focus on the good Cs that will make positive changes. When you take these steps, things will shift, align and you will see yourself being more of who you naturally are, getting more of what you really want. To further define the five Cs: clarifying is knowing what you want. Communicating is asking for what you want. Caring is showing up for yourself and for others. Committing is keeping your word. Connecting is being in a natural attitude of gratitude.
With these five concrete steps toward success, miracles really do happen. Once you are clear on what you want, communicate, show up and keep your word, gratitude will naturally occur.
Imagine that you will meet the type of person you have been looking for; it will be easy to care for them, and your commitments to each other will be honorable, coming from what you truly value. You will naturally feel connected and be grateful for being with someone; someone who is truly what you wanted and asked for. Someone who showed up and kept their word.
Eventually, yes, you will be that "lucky duck." People will watch you transform into someone confident, happy and loved right before their eyes. And possibly, after following the five C's, you might just be "C-ing" a ring appear before your eyes.
Lisa Shield also believes that your attitude is what makes or breaks your success in dating, but she reminds us not to blindly follow what we believe are healthy instincts. Instincts, she explains, are not always right.
For example, whether you're a woman or a man, hormones are powerful forces that drive your decisions, and they do not always — if ever — lead to good ones. If you let them, hormones can derail your dating and cause you to connect with the wrong people for the wrong reasons.
She also talks about "preconceptions that lead to misconceptions." Many people have a laundry list of qualities they are looking for in a partner. The problem with this attitude is that we get blinded by our must-haves and forget what's truly important. For example, if your preconception is that you are looking for a strong man, the fact that your date comes in with kindness and gentleness may cloud your ability to see that he is also strong — perhaps in unexpected ways.
Keeping your eye on the prize seems like a good idea, but Shields warns against this as well. Dating with a specific goal in mind — marriage, children, security and more — is another behavior that can cause you to override your instincts. Because you are so focused on getting what you want, you can fail to see that the person you're dating really isn't right for you in the long run.
Of course, our bad habits can stop us from seeing the light, too. A lot of what you might think is instinct could actually be habits that cause you to make the same unhealthy choices over and over again. These repeated behaviors include running from conflict, attracting the wrong people and being overly judgmental. Our habits are deeply ingrained and they can be hard to spot.