When you’re single, it’s wonderful to be able to suit yourself, but you can get into quirky or self-indulgent habits. When it’s time to start out on a new relationship, and there’s someone else to consider, you have to exercise some tolerance and flexibility.
Single life has its advantages. It’s up to you whether you want to leave the washing up in the sink, watch 10 successive episodes of Desperate Housewives, eat a whole tub of ice cream or slob around all weekend on the sofa in your favourite old tracksuit. But when it comes to a new relationship, you need to make sure that your life hasn’t become too idiosyncratic. You need to take a good look at yourself, set yourself a few rules and exercise a little discipline … and you could soon be making someone very happy.
A little self-assessment
Whether you’re fresh out of a relationship or have been on your own for a while, it’s worth taking stock of things before looking for someone new. “What matters is your attitude to yourself and to what is important to you,” says Parship psychologist Sabine Wery von Limont. If you don’t understand yourself, then looking for someone to love can become something of a random process. Establish where you are coming from and what you want. If your feelings are still tangled up in a previous relationship, maybe you are not yet ready to break free from memories of your ex and you need a little more time to work things through. But if you feel ready for something new, then it’s time to take the next step.
Time for a clear-out
Every now and then it makes sense to take a good look at your behaviour and your habits and to consider getting rid of some dead wood - this is an especially good idea when you are thinking about making a major change in your life. “If you’ve put people off with your quirks, you can end up trying to justify the situation by telling yourself that you always knew that things wouldn’t work out. That kind of thinking doesn’t get you any nearer finding a relationship, though.”
Compare your behaviour as a single person with your behaviour in your last relationship. What has changed since you’ve been on your own? Do you go out more? Do you spend more time at home listening to loud music? Do you buy expensive clothes, or have you stopped think much about clothes at all? Have you become tidier - or sloppier? More communicative or more withdrawn?
Your next step should be to determine: i) where you think you gain by being free and single, and ii) to identify aspects of yourself that you would like to develop further. If there are elements of your behaviour that you don’t think are getting you anywhere, then it’s time to knock them on the head. When you are making your evaluation, you should think about yourself in the light of the behaviour you would expect from a future partner.
It’s all in the profile
Once you have become more closely acquainted with yourself, your needs, and the positives - and negatives - of the way you are, you will be on the right path. Self-knowledge is essential to the creation of a successful Parship profile and especially an ‘About me’ page that does its job effectively. In business, a brand is successful if it is perceived as both authentic and credible, and you should apply those principles to your profile too, making use of the conclusions you have drawn about yourself.
“When you are presenting yourself, the principle is a bit like applying make-up - if you lay it on too thickly, the effect is spoiled,” advises Sabine Wery von Limont. If you stay close to the truth and show yourself as you are, you raise your chances of long-term success. But you shouldn’t assume that any prospective partners should immediately know as much as possible about you. Keep something good up your sleeve as a discussion point for the first date - and beyond.
Increase your flexibility and your levels of tolerance
The success of a relationship is determined to a substantial degree by two characteristics that will maybe require some work on your part - particularly if you have got used to life as a single person: flexibility and tolerance.
“After some time on your own it can be quite a challenge to start adapting to mutually convenient arrangements and to compromises,” says Sabine Wery von Limont. Vital though flexibility and tolerance are to a relationship, it would unreasonable for anyone to expect you to make an immediate about face in your attitudes. That being said, it’s worth assessing your responses to the behaviour and needs of your friends and family. How much does it really bother you to have to listen to your best friend telling you at length about his or her job? How are your tolerance levels? Do you maybe even react by telling him or her exactly what it is on your mind at the moment? Instances like this can help you get into the good habits required of a caring partner - and also show you where your limits lie.
Ready for a relationship
Now you have moved on from your singleton’s mindset, you are all set for the first date. And, if things go well, remember to take the cushions off the sofa and hoover up any pizza crumbs that may still be lurking from those old, self-indulgent days …