Love, Self

No Luck With Dating? Here’s What You Should Focus On To Get The Love You Want

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Dating Advice For How To Date Based On Attachment Style For The Relationship & Love You Want

Need some dating advice for how to date in a way that gets your the relationship and love you want? 

When it comes to dating and relationships, people often look back and think of what dating advice they would give to their younger selves.

Getting the love you want from a potential life-long partner is easier said than done.

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When we are just learning how to date, we still have a lot to learn and young women are often bombarded with unsolicited dating and relationship advice from society, the media, friends, and family.

As a result, a young woman can become muddled with what advice to follow.

What area should you focus on in order to be successful in the dating game?

The first step to learning how to start dating is to focus, first and foremost, on yourself. You must become the person you want to date.  

Writer Ruu Hawkins wrote in an article for xoNecole, you must "fall in love with yourself first."

Having a better understanding of yourself allows you to focus on your personal development and work on the aspects of yourself that will help you be the best person you can be.

This, in turn, will make you the best partner you can be.

As a result, you can, therefore, bring more to the table, ensuring that you are part of a relationship where both parties are contributing to its formation, continuation, and success. 

In order for this to be the case, you need to be in a place where a potential partner is an addition to your life and not someone who becomes your whole world.

Although you may think it is romantic to have Prince Charming come and sweep you off your feet, being dependent on someone else for your happiness will only be dissatisfying in the long run.

It also puts too much pressure on your potential partner and the inevitable cracks will appear.

Having a partner shouldering your emotional wellbeing as well as their own, alongside the stresses of life, would breakdown any relationship, even one where there is love there.

Getting the love you want is knowing what you want, understanding what you expect, and only accepting the relationships that fulfill this. 

It is important to remember that what we learn along the way about what it is we actually want from our partners is taken on board when we are moving forward in other relationships.

It is also beneficial to ensure that we have at least some boundaries that we want to live by.

This will prevent us from staying in unfulfilling relationships that stunt our individual growth and keep us chained to a relationship that may never progress anywhere.

However, there is a fine balance between having realistic boundaries that you strongly adhere to.

This ensures that you are not settling and slipping into comparing someone to unrealistic checkboxes.

When you do, you sabotage any chance you have for a healthy, balanced, and successful relationship. 

Moving away from the more emotional aspects, it is imperative that you evaluate people by their repeated actions and not always by their words.

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“Too often, people will tell you what they think you want to hear. But if you look closely, you may see their actions do not match their words. Whenever this happens, pay attention to their behaviors, not the words that are being spoken," wrote dating coach Elizabeth Overstreet.

People often look back and wish they could advise their younger selves to look at the bigger picture, in which case, focus on how someone makes you feel, whether you can rely on them, and if they are dependable and trustworthy.  

Often, we can get caught up in what we want to hear and end up basing our opinions solely on this.

 However, we must look at a person’s way of communicating with us as a whole and read the situation cover to cover, rather than just the blurb. 

Another factor we can become blinded by in new relationships is physical intimacy.

Individuals often cite that they wish they could inform their younger selves that there is a difference between love and lust and that the two aren’t always the same thing, nor do they always go hand in hand.

About lust and love, psychologist Dr. Judith Orloff says:

"It’s important to tell the difference between lust and love. Lust is an altered state of consciousness programmed by the primal urge to procreate. Studies suggest that the brain in this phase is much like a brain on drugs. MRI scans illustrate that the same area lights up when an addict gets a fix of cocaine as when a person is experiencing the intense lust of physical attraction. Also, in the early stage of a relationship, when the sex hormones are raging, lust is fuelled by idealization and projection–you see what you hope someone will be or need them to be–rather than seeing the real person, flaws and all."

It is also beneficial to know your relationship attachment style as an adult, as this relates to how you are in relationships and therefore gives you a greater understanding of what you need and what you may also need to reflect on.

Psychologist Lisa Firestone adds that “recognizing our attachment pattern can help us understand our strengths and vulnerabilities in a relationship." 

You can identify your own attachment style by gaining an understanding of the four main outlines of attachment in adulthood as affected by childhood attachment.

  • Secure Attachment: Someone has gained an understanding that you can feel connected and secure in their relationship while allowing themselves and their partner to move freely.
  • Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment: Demonstrated in the behaviors of an individual looking to be completed by a potential partner, with their main aim of a relationship being to be rescued.
  • Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment: Someone emotionally distances themselves from a potential partner, as they often feel defensive and shut down their emotions more easily. They often feel a sense of "Pseudo-independence" as they seek to be solitary yet it’s a pseudo-concept as all human beings need to be able to connect and build relationships.
  • Fearful-Avoidant Attachment: The person with this attachment style lives in a continued ambivalent state, in which they are afraid of being both too close to or too distant from others.

Having some level of understanding on this topic can assist in self-reflection and will also give you some reasoning behind your actions and how you may behave in romantic relationships, as well as doing the same for your partner. 

Confidence and self-esteem are also important when it comes to dating and relationships.

It is widely said that having confidence is key when it comes to dating.

However, it is important to remember that having confidence doesn’t necessarily mean you’re confident 24/7.

Rather, it is a state that you are in, where you are emotionally strong and have the self-assurance that you can face uncertainty.

Being able to back yourself in times of ambiguity, gives you the ability to stare fear and insecurity in the face and say no matter what the circumstances may be, you can get through this.

Having this attitude, helps you to focus on staying in positive and healthy relationships, rather than being held into a relationship based on the fear of being out of it.

It is better to be out of a bad relationship and single than to be stuck in the relationship with no ability to move forward.

There are still other potential partners out there. 

Although it is suggested that dating is a numbers game, it is important to remember that there is a balance there.

You are likely to be more successful in dating when you focus on quality, as well as quantity.

Of course, you need to get out there and meet people but ensure you don’t become a victim of "overchoice".

Remember to treat people with the same respect and humility that you hope others will treat you with.

The dating world can be intense but demonstrating kindness to all those you come across, including the ones you do and do not want to date, will only make your journey in dating a smoother one. 

However lastly but certainly not least, always remember to be yourself.   

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Dr. Georgina Barnett is a Clinical Psychologist. Over the past five years, she has dedicated herself to the area of relationships and matchmaking at Seventy Thirty, and continues to coach and write on these subjects.

This article was originally published at Seventy Thirty Exclusive Matchmaking . Reprinted with permission from the author.