Spring is finally here! Many people look at spring as the time to give their house, car, or office a good cleaning. They get rid of the clutter and debris, and throw away what is no longer necessary. But this is also the time of year to do the same sort of spring-cleaning in your dating life! You don’t want to let things fester, and you shouldn’t just push the disappointment or frustration down, hoping it’ll all go away! Instead, you want to clean out the negative habits and thoughts, and start anew with a dating life that is refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are 4 strategies to spring-clean your dating life:
1. Clean out your emotional closets.
Expending energy on a past love can be deadly. My studies show that men and women who say, “I don’t feel much of anything for my ex” are more likely to find a new relationship and be happy. Now that spring has arrived, move forward from the past by journaling, exercising, getting outside in the fresh air more, joining a group activity to meet new people, or writing a letter to your ex so you can get all your emotions out on paper but then don’t send the letter. Also, if you look around, you’ll probably find at least one or two mementos from your past still lurking around in the present. Get rid of them.
2. Air out your annoyances.
A lot of people sweep little annoyances and pet peeves under the rug. Over time though, small everyday irritations can add up and affect your health and emotional well-being. Sit down with others in your life – at a convenient time – and talk constructively about some of your differences. Get the points of view on the table and off your chest. You may not change one another’s opinions on things, but expressing your thoughts will serve to clean out any debris, like the “stuff” that often accumulates when you just sweep things under the rug.
3. Focus on the positives.
Many singles concentrate on what is going wrong or not working in their dating lives. This spring switch your approach and begin to focus on the glass half full – what is working well in your life and the interesting people you’ve met. Not only do studies show that a positive optimistic approach is what people find most attractive – a positive attitude will also boost your odds of finding a new life partner. Use some “positive brainwashing” techniques. First, make a list of five things you love about yourself. You might list things like “your sense of humor,” “your height,” or “your ease with which you can talk to others.” Revisit the list regularly and practice self-affirmation.
4. Refurbish and renovate.
Once you have conducted a thorough cleaning and gotten rid of the clutter, you want to refurbish your dating life with something new. Take one area of your life or you – and give it a makeover. Are there qualities or traits about yourself that you’d like to work on, change, or become more comfortable with? Is there a new, better “you” hiding inside, just waiting to come out? For instance, do you ever find yourself thinking: “Why am I so shy? I wish I could be more confident and outgoing, especially when I meet someone new.” Or, “I know I’m a planner, and I like that about myself, But sometimes I wish I could just be spontaneous!” Commit to one change or “me-based” goal and work on it. This exercise is not about your children, family, parents, boss or friends – and it’s not about what you could or should do for anyone else. The one change you make in yourself this spring should be a change you want to make for yourself! Every person needs a little refurbishing or redecorating over time, and spring is the perfect opportunity to do that!
Dr. Terri Orbuch (aka The Love Doctor®) is a relationship expert for OurTime.com, as well as a professor, therapist, research scientist, and author of 5 best-selling books, including “Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship.” Learn more about her at: DrTerriTheLoveDoctor.com.