Helping Others In Relationships Helps Your Own

women drinking coffee

Let Operation Beautiful inspire you—help a friend be happy in love and you just may be, too.

When you've been single for a long time, it's easy to worry that you've forgotten how to date. Since the best way to learn about relationships is by being in one, we wonder what we can do (besides reading this website) to keep ourselves from looking like complete rookies when the next potential boyfriend comes along. 

Earlier this year, blogger Caitlyn Boyle began "Operation Beautiful," a movement that encourages women to tack inspirational Post-It notes onto the mirrors of public bathrooms. By reminding other women that they are beautiful, the movement's participants transformed the way they saw themselves. That simple act of kindness got us thinking—can helping people with relationships improve our own love lives? 4 Ways To Improve Your Relationship Karma

We're not saying you need to play the village matchmaker, steering hapless singletons toward their soul mates. We mean that spending time and sympathizing with people who are in relationships adds dimension to our own love life. Whenever I'm single, I find I gravitate toward other happily single people while emotionally distancing myself from friends who are married or in serious relationships. I don't do this on purpose. It just takes added effort for me and coupled-ups to relate to each other's priorities. When they share their relationship drama with me, I do my best to give helpful feedback, but I have to resist telling them to dump the guy and join the singles club, as if breakups are that easy. I've gotten so gung-ho about being single by choice that I've nearly forgotten how to live any other way. No wonder getting back into the dating scene seems daunting.

We often think being invested in someone else's relationship means entangling ourselves in other people's problems, and while that can happen, simply being sympathetic—putting yourself in your friend's shoes while she's talking—helps us become less self-involved and pompous about our own relationship blues, be them single or otherwise. 5 Things Single Women Love To Hear

So go ahead and get involved in other people's love lives! Help them find the happiness and fulfillment in their relationships—be genuinely happy and sad when they go through ups and downs—and then see if you don't find your own dating life changing, too.