Lessons From Dating That Changed My Life

Simple ways to prioritize yourself, and your happiness

Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

Everyone in the world wants to have a great relationship. The problem is, very few people are genuinely willing to go through adversity & heartbreak to create a happier future.

If you’re anything like me, you’ll hope of someday bumping into your perfect spouse at the grocery store, and living happily ever after in the beautiful suburbs of your favorite city. But unfortunately, this very rarely happens in reality.

Throughout my life, I’ve made a lot of mistakes. But instead of dwelling on the past, wishing things could be different, I try to learn from my actions to prevent the same error from happening again. In the words of the Japanese writer, Haruki Murakami:

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.”

Below are several lessons from dating that changed my life. Each of them enabled me to upgrade my mindset, improve my confidence, and gain clarity on what I want from a relationship. Hopefully, they will do the same for you, too.

You Set The Standard For How Other People Treat You.

Most people have a tendency to put the needs of others before themselves in the hope that kindness will be reciprocated. But often, this practice results in your partner believing that their needs are more important than your own.

For example, I always used to make myself available for anybody who wanted to meet up during the week because I was afraid of letting others down. But over time, this ended up in me not having control over my schedule due to an unwillingness to protect my time.

We all have a desire to meet the needs of our partner and to care for other people. So instead of adopting the typical stance of blaming other people, a better strategy is to look within ourselves. Because the truth is that teaching others to respect you begins with you, not them.

As Marcus Aurelius once so, eloquently said: “It’s silly to try to escape other people’s faults. They are inescapable. Just try to escape your own.”

Changing Your Life Begins With Changing Your Habits.

I’m a big fan of scrutinizing your daily actions and questioning if they lead to achieving your long-term goal.

If you’re looking to find someone to date in your city, spending the entire day watching Netflix isn’t going to get you very far. In contrast, talking to new people at a bar downtown could prove to be more productive. In the words of Will Durant:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”

I’ve learned that if you want to improve your life, changing your habits is the best place to start.

Growing up, I had absolutely no idea how to approach girls due to having social anxiety. But instead of merely hoping that things would change, I decided to learn how to become more confident, so I could ask out my crush on a date.

So I started learning how to stand up straight with my shoulders back, walk with a confident stride, and maintain eye contact, so I wasn’t continually looking down at the ground.

Although it took longer than expected to implement, practicing these habits each morning allowed me to approach my crush with confidence, and develop the necessary courage to ask her out.

If you want to find your ideal partner, you first need to consider the type of person that they would find attractive. Because those are the characteristics that you (probably) need to implement if you wish to be with them.

I’ll give you an example.

My ideal girl is somebody who likes to travel, reads a lot, and has a high degree of emotional intelligence.

So if I want to be In a relationship with somebody like that, I need to travel frequently, read more books, and practice emotional intelligence in my daily life.

Now, it’s your turn. Take a few moments to consider the characteristics of your ideal partner, and write down the features they’d look for in a relationship.

Got some ideas? Great, you know what you need to do.

To repeat the quote from the Roman Emperor-Philosopher, Marcus Aurelius: “We all love ourselves more than other people, but care more about their opinions than our own.”

Most people don’t prioritize themselves, hence why they live their lives for other people.

Do the opposite. Make a conscious decision to prioritize yourself, your happiness, and watch your life change.

Starting now.

I write for people who want to live a happier life in the modern world. Let’s chat: Mattlillywhitemedium@gmail.com

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