Love And Life Toolbox

Love Fitness: Are You in Shape for Your Next Relationship?

As you jump into your workout, pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you are definitely on the right track—you are taking care of yourself, your body. This is an excellent step in becoming ready for love. As a certified matchmaker and love coach, I constantly hear the laundry list of what people want in a partner. More often than not, the list includes someone who takes care of himself or herself inside and out, is attractive, emotionally secure, thoughtful and interesting. After hearing their list, I ask “What have you done or are doing to be the best lover and partner you can be?” If you are lucky enough to find your most perfect partner, will you be prepared to be their most perfect partner in return?

The following are three vital secrets I begin with as I work with my clients to help them find and maintain a juicy, thriving relationship.

Fill up your inner joy.

Think of yourself as a rechargeable battery. When you are out of juice it is your responsibility to plug yourself into things that make you feel refreshed and renew your inner energy. Our society and ingrained belief systems often make us feel guilty when we choose to put ourselves first. If you don’t put yourself first, you won’t have the inner surplus and inner love to deeply connect with others. Think of a time when you were feeling totally happy and radiant. What was your body posture like? What was your mind state? When you are fully nourished, you are more self-confident. This is sexy. People are attracted to and want to be around people who know how to make themselves happy.

What makes you feel fabulous, stunning, creative, delicious? Beyond exercising, is it going to the beach, playing with your dog, doing something creative like painting? What about going on a hike or listening to music?  I want you to brainstorm on a list of things that really fill you up. Having them written down they will become an excellent reference for those times when you might be down and your creative mind is blocked. Use these activities and create rituals; then schedule meetings with yourself to take care of yourself. Literally, block that time out on your calendar and don’t cancel or postpone. Make yourself a priority.

By filling yourself up, you come to the relationship not expecting your partner to fill you up. Being at least 80% of the way to total happiness gives your partner the ability to be the whipped cream on the top. On the flip side, when gauging whether or not someone is going to be an excellent match for the long run, determine if they are expecting you to fulfill something that is missing in their lives. If yes, sort fast and move on… a relationship should never be a fix-it project. Plus, even if you could make someone happy or fix them, have you noticed they never really stay happy or fixed for long?

Cultivate a curious mind.

This is key to being interesting and interested. Keeping someone special interested in you, begins with your own happiness, self-confidence and whether or not you are an interesting person. So what makes you interesting? Do you have unique hobbies, are you learning about cooking or wine, have you traveled to foreign lands, are you studying a particular spiritual practice? Make the time to do interesting things and constantly grow as a person. As you do, you will become more engaging.

Be authentically interested in your date. On first dates, people are often nervous and nervous people fill up the pauses in conversations with rambling chatter. Become aware of the flow of conversation. Do your best to keep the dialogue flow at a 50/50 exchange. Be fully present and interested when you are listening. Do not assume anything about this person or their experiences. This is critical. If you keep your assumptions aside, you will be more curious and ask richer questions allowing you to get to know them on a deeper level quicker.

When you first connect with someone find things you have in common; direct the conversation to shared points of interest. Initially, stay clear of ways you differ. I’m always amazed at those who think they are doing some sort of good deed to get all the negative things about themselves on the table right away. I guess their objective is that if someone still likes them even after hearing all their problems then they will truly like them for who they are. Take it from a professional, this is one of the worst things you can do in the beginning. You must first find commonalities to see if someone likes you before they will want to take you with all your flaws. Always work on putting your best foot forward without being someone your not.

Do things that develop your self-confidence.

As Eleanor Roosevelt wonderfully challenged us: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Fear is one of the biggest enemies of self-confidence. Learn how to kick your fear to the curb. Trepidation and anxiety are not sexy. In fact they do damage to you and your potential for being the best partner you can be. When you have negative feelings and inner self-talk, they are transmitted through your whole being. It cuts you off from people and makes you feel isolated.

Learn how to dismiss your negative self-talk if you want to truly connect with people in a positive way. When you are nervous, your body language reflects it and you unknowingly make those around you uncomfortable. In turn that affects their body language toward you. It becomes a vicious downward spiral.

Be conscious of your thoughts because they affect the people with whom you are interacting. If you have judgmental or critical thoughts either about yourself or the person you are speaking with they will sense that and feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Shift the negative chatter to positive by thinking about something you really like about this person. Is it something they are wearing, is it the way they just told a story, or is it their humor? Hold onto the positive and look at them with appreciation, admiration and understanding. As Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” Approach people wanting to see them in their best light. Hold them in high regard and in turn, they will reflect that back at you.

Making time to develop your inner self—filling up your joy, staying curious about life, building your self-confidence—are all prerequisites for cultivating a long-lasting love in your life. We are a continuous work in progress. If we choose not to coast through life but to push ourselves out of our comfort zone, it forces us to grow into richer individuals. Taking care of your whole body, inside and out, not only prepares you to find a partner but is crucial to maintaining a thriving, passionate relationship.

What are you going to do today to become the best you can be?

Joy Nordenstrom, CMM, MBA

Joy Nordenstrom, CMM, MBA

Joy M. Nordenstrom is founder of Joy of Romance, Inc., a certified matchmaker, relationship coach, love story historian and a romantic event and vacation planner. Her MBA and undergraduate degrees are from Mills College in Oakland and she attended the Matchmaking & Behavioral Sciences Institute in New York City.

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