The classic hashtag #RelationshipGoals has been circulating on some of our favorite social media posts. A relationship requires patience, self-awareness, personal growth and of course, entertaining time with a date.

The truth is, most people fail to prepare themselves for a real relationship. You know. The one that makes you look at personal demons and change. Of course, for good.

The next time you sign up for a dating app or accept a blind date a good friend has planned for you, pay attention to this advice. The New Year is the perfect time to take control of your life.

1. Build a Full Life

Relationships mean different to both men and women. The old school thinking that a woman needs to give up her goals, passions, a ‘girls night out’ or traveling does not work in today’s society.

Men want to be with a woman with hobbies and activities; it is a great conversation starter. Plus, a man will be inspired by a woman’s pursuits.

A man should also not lose himself in a woman or partner. Maintain friendships and relationships with family. Tell your girlfriend at least once a year a ‘guys trip’ can create a healthy relationship.

2. Fix Yourself First

The sad part of relationships is people think a partner can erase their issues or fill a void of loneliness. It is far from the truth. The right partner adds happiness to your life.

It is a big responsibility to expect another person to eliminate a personal sense of lack. Lack can be self-esteem, self-worth, inner happiness, understanding one’s truth.

The best way to fix yourself is to hire a life coach, therapist or counselor. If resources are lacking, speak to a mentor or an elder in the community you can trust.

Once you are at least half or the best version of yourself, a relationship can flourish naturally in the right direction.

3. Write a Perfect Partner List

Whether you desire a casual or long-term relationship, a list will help to avoid dating the wrong person.

For example, maybe your ideal casual relationship includes a person with a life, attractive, athletic and healthy diet. For those seeking a long-term relationship, a partner that wants children, offers constructive criticism, travels, lives a carefree lifestyle or eats organic food are examples to add on a list.

Without a list, it can be easy to lower expectations of the kind of partner you desire in a relationship.

4. Think Outside of the Box

What does this mean? If you live in a small towing, dating someone outside of your city or town opens up more opportunities. Putting yourself in an environment to meet a higher volume of people (I.e., joining meetup groups). Or, changing an age group requirement to younger or older prospects.

You can meet anyone at any time of life; at the grocery store, in the library on a dating app or through a friend. Don’t limit yourself to the confinements of society or cultural expectations. You might be limiting the chance to find an amazing person.

5. Get Rid of Negative Friends

Getting rid of negative friends can be life-changing. We’ve all heard the saying that the people we associate ourselves with could negatively or positively impact us.

If all your friends are players, it is unlikely a life partner is on your radar although it is something you desire. Friends that bring out the best in you with solid, mature, strong romantic relationships are good. If you ever need advice, these people can help you without a hidden agenda to tear your relationship apart.

Be careful with the advice you take. Sometimes friends and family can ruin a good relationship. Trust yourself, and the answers from within will appear when you least expect it.

Makeda Waterman
Author

Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with clips from CNBC Make It., Huffington Post, Glassdoor.com, Elite Daily, Fast Company, among others. She owns an online writing business and enjoys traveling in her spare time. You can learn more about her on her website freelancewriteredmonton.com