There are a whole lot of folks acting like they’re married when they’re only dating, but the purpose of dating is to determine what it is that you like & don’t like, consider what’s worth compromise, and make changes that will move you closer towards the goal of actually getting married. In the spirit of progress towards positive change, it’s important to be proactive instead of reactive in your personal relationships. In a perfect world, someone that you like would warmly welcome you into their lives & actively nurture the relationship. A man would ask a woman to dinner, offer to help her with everyday tasks, initiate stimulating conversations and be thoughtful on a regular basis. In short, that woman would be embraced so that she would begin to feel comfortable with a new person in her life. Unfortunately, most people we date are usually far from perfect (just like us)! So when things don’t work out & you passively wait for them to tell you what they don’t like about you, you may be waiting a while. Not knowing what went wrong & what role you played can cause self-doubt, insecurity and a desire to withdraw. Withdrawing may cause others to view you as aloof or disengaged and you may miss out on interpersonal relationships or even professional opportunities.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all on you for initiating & cultivating relationships but you cannot always sit back and wait for someone (namely an ex) to reach out to you and tell you what went wrong. Instead, you should proactively seek feedback from those who know you best.
For me, it’s hard asking other people what’s wrong with me. Of course, I don’t want to hear such grave honesty, even though it’s meant to help me in the long run. Needless to say, I’ve been scared to find out why my relationships haven’t been successful thus far. I’ve even asked myself why.
As a generally outgoing person, I’ve realized that it’s hard for me to connect with people who are socially awkward, don’t share my politics or just plain shy. So, I’ve had to adjust my expectations of men. I recognize that some men just need to be around the right woman in order to be the best man that they can be. The same goes for me. Sometimes just being with the right person can help to develop positive & healthy relationships.
I also can’t be afraid to ask people for their advice either. It could be something general or something quite specific, but it should be something about how well I relate to other people. And you know how people love to give advice on other people’s lives! Asking for advice does not make me weak or; it just communicates my desire to determine how I can better myself.
I also have to open myself to others. People are in my life for a reason (good or bad) and have something to share with me. I have to open myself up to them so that I can receive what it is they have to share with me. These conversations should be approached with the thought: Why is this person in my life and what can I learn from them? When I act & think in a spirit of openness and hopefulness, it shifts the energy of my interaction and I may end up pleasantly surprised by what others may have to say to me.
Each of these steps can help you move from a reactive stance to a proactive stance where you can initiate advice, mold your relationships and monitor your own interactions based on your relationship goals. Using your personal power to move forward in this way will help you feel more empowered, open up networks of opportunity and help strengthen your professional relationships.