Janet Blair Page, PhD, author of Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do”, is a psychotherapist with more than thirty years of experience in private practice in New York and Atlanta. She teaches at Emory University and has been in the New York Times, Glamour and on CNN, FOX, Good Morning America, and The Early Show. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information please visit http://www.drjanetpage.com.
1. Stop whining
Lost and rotten relationships are last year’s mistakes now. You have or haven’t erred. Or the only thing you may have learned is who to avoid. It’s time to curb the learning curve and stop analyzing your love past. There is no need for review, regret, or remorse. You have amassed enough object lessons in 2011. It’s time to get going.
Place a moratorium on blame. Make a new year’s vow to set break time from the friends and family who help keep you mired in guilt and sorrow.
How terrible they were or pitiful you were is yesterday’s news. Re-injury by reliving your nightmares only gets in the way of your dreams.
And even more importantly cease fire on all negative self-talk. Your biggest enemy is you. Mental reviews may be your biggest problem. You are the ultimate captive audience the one from whom you can neither run nor hide.
You may not be in a relationship or dating a possible dream mate but at least you can be at the start — facing forward not backward or anchored in a go nowhere relationship. No baggage is a good beginning. So eliminate deadwood as a new year’s gift.
If the man of the moment is not someone you would marry or who would marry you (and, yes, you do know the difference), dump him now. You’ll be less depressed. Ask yourself “do I feel better about myself when I’m with him, is he _______ (your top 3 and only 3 requirements for a husband), and does he seem interested in marriage or at least on the path to eating out of your hand”?
If so, good – proceed.
If not please say goodbye.
3. Re-order your schedule and your life
Take a long look at your time commitments and plans for the year ahead. Are they to please others or yourself? Do they further finding the love of your life and/or dating someone who might be? Whose life are you leading?
Remove time gobblers and anything you dread that truly is not necessary.
And keep your regrets brief. A simple “I am sorry I won’t be able to keep that appointment but thank you” can keep you out of trouble with anyone r anything that that doesn’t align with your priorities.
At least three times a week schedule meeting opportunities that will make the man of your dreams that much closer by no more than three degrees of separation. You need to be where a number of single eligible men might show up, someone who knows single, eligible men will be or someone who might know single, eligible men will be. No other venues will do. Your fairy tale is possible but he won’t drop from the living room ceiling. You don’t know where he’s coming from but you must network and have some visibility to let him find you.
If your new year’s schedule looks bleak, take heart — a blank slate can be a good thing. Use the time to schedule preparation time for the future you want to have — take a class that is feel good, achieves a personal goal, or provides opportunity to meet eligible men or hunting buddies. Write into your schedule what will make you better, fitter, prettier, more informed, social adept, or happy-
4. Visualize your dream
This is your movie. Write your script. Replace thoughts and feelings of what you don’t have with thoughts and feelings about your life and love relationships, as you want them to be. Feel how good it will feel to have life as you envision it and the man you want to love. Experience the joy — why wait when your images of the future can make you smile now.
Remove yourself from any who have a pathetic view of you or your future and draw closer your fans and supporters who can see you as you want to be imagined: happily and successfully in love and married. Their energy can help when yours falters and they can be your scouts on the look for your future mate.
5. Take action
There are steps to making a dream a reality. If you want to be with your dream mate in a year, you need to set your goal and your schedule to match it now.
Plan now for having the time to be married which means time for courting and time for dating and probably means sacrificing something in your current agenda. Even if you only eliminate the sitting around and sulking time, some Facebook, work, TV, obsessive texting, or spurious reading has to go. You need to schedule and protect time to date, to meet that date, and be date ready. Your mood and appearance scream either “I would like to meet you” or “don’t even think of approaching me” and if you fall in the grey area, you are losing. Don’t leave home without your friendliest version of yourself.
You need to dress your attitude and yourself not only for a date but to get a date. You have the double pleasure of looking and feeling good and having more draw, so go for it. Looks aren’t everything. I’ve seen many the woman with a sparkling personality who could make a greater beauty seem like wallpaper. But some attention to looks signifies the desire to attract — a primal basic of mating. You don’t have to knock yourself out, just don’t be scaring away potential suitors.
Planning is the key and planning should start day one of the year. One thing you know is that what you were doing last year didn’t work. This is your year for change. If love is what you want and are missing, other goals and obligations stay on your radar but he becomes the top of your agenda.
© 2011 Janet Blair Page, PhD author of Get Married This Year: 365 Days to “I Do”; Re-printed here with permission of author.