I’m 22 and have always been independent, into music, travel and lots of girly hobbies. Relationships were never my priority, especially as my parents had a very bumpy relationship and I seemed to spend an awful lot of time thinking about coming out from inside my bedroom. But I am worried I have missed the boat with regards to meeting someone. After what seems years of going on bad blind dates and internet based liaisons.
How many of us would respond “I am content with what I have” when questioned about our lives, and if so, how would that be received? I’m not sure it’s what they’re looking for on dating sites, but it should be ranked higher.
There can’t be a better way to change your fortunes than to learn to settle not for less, but for enough. It’s the easiest way to revolutionise our lives for the better. In pursuit of that elusive sense of gratitude for what, on good days, I recognise to be a pretty brim-full cup. So, let me share my little annual tradition with you. For several years, on New Year’s Eve I’ve written, in the present tense, an imagined dream scenario 12 months hence – what I hope my life will be like when I sit down to write again.
It’s easy to while away a whole lifetime never feeling you’ve moved forward, always fretting about what you’ve failed to achieve. Our cultural embrace of conspicuous consumption means we feel eternally short changed, convinced that one more thing (or person) will lead to happiness. Looking back on my lists, usually penned under pressure as I prepare for a glass of bubbly and the drone of “Auld Lang Syne”, I’m horrified by the prose but surprised by how much of what I’ve described has insinuated itself into my life. Whether it was a move to a new apartment or a meaty job I could get my teeth into, much of what I secretly longed for has eventually, in circuitous ways and over extended periods, come to pass. Writing down my desires helped to take them out of my hands and, more importantly, my head. Committing my hopes to paper and describing my dreams helped me to work out priorities, to feel thankful for what I have achieved, and to focus on what I want to do next.
So, imagine the partner you wish for, place him or her in a tableau that encapsulates your dreams, and commit them to a page in your notebook. Then stuff them and your imagined world where contentment reigns, in a drawer or box. Giving oxygen to your desires is important, and this tradition will help you to keep track of them as they start to manifest in your real life, too.
Finding a partner when you’re happy with your career and your life is not just easier, it’s far more likely. It also gives solid ground on which to build a future together. Whether their online (your catchment area is global, so I wouldn’t dismiss its potential), down the local pub or about to knock your newspaper out of your hands on the metro, this person is out there. Give them space in your imagination, get on with your life, and I know they’ll materialise. Just let me know when they do, okay.