I’ve been told by people in creative professions, that the creative process is messy.
Thinking about your relationship journey in the same way can relieve the pressure and expectation – and free you up to explore and enjoy. I suggest three actions you can take to free yourself up on your relationship journey.
It’s not a linear process like running a business meeting, or submitting a sales report. There are bursts of work, followed by times of frustration, and then steady progress, before perhaps restarting the whole thing again from scratch.
Adapt but Don’t Compromise
The step by step nature of the journey, and learning to enjoy it aren’t the only parts to this. Artists have a vision of what they’re creating – but it can change over time as they take action. They adapt their vision, but don’t compromise. As a Star Wars fan, the story of George Lucas bringing his vision to cinema – with all its story adaptations along the way – is something I find inspiring. There are lots of examples of this from all areas of life.
Consider that your relationship journey is nothing without the destination. If you’re not clear about where you want to end up – or even the direction you wish to travel – then no amount of action will make any difference. But as you meet more people and go on dates – so you learn more about what inspires you and what you’d like to create. This refinement along the journey makes the destination clearer.
Take Consistent Action
I’ve had people I’ve coached say they’ve gone from meeting no-one, to lots of guys in a short space of time. Other people share that they keep meeting the same kind of guy – and it’s frustrating. Consider that the most important part is making progress – and that only happens with consistent action.
That action doesn’t have to be big, significant things. It’s the small things that make a difference. Jerry Seinfeld talks about writing a little every day as a way to enhance his creative process and make better jokes. It’s the same with your relationship journey – giving a guy a compliment, or accepting an invitation to friend’s party at the weekend – each step makes a difference.
Learn to embrace the awkwardness
During a self-development course I participated in, we were required to make collages. I’ve kept up the practice as I’ve found it useful for expressing myself in image and colour. The really interesting part for me, was that I’ve learned to trust the process. I might start with a vague idea and collect specific colours. There then follows moments of awkwardness as it all seems like it’s going wrong, I can’t find what I need, and I feel as if I’m not making progress. The important point for me is learning to trust that something will happen…Sure enough, I do find the perfect colour or image and it comes together.
Hindsight is perfect – I can always see how I could have done it better – after I’ve done it! But learning to trust that the perfect thing will happen at the perfect time? That’s tough. Steve Jobs called this “connecting the dots forward” – we can’t see how it will all end up – but embracing the ups and downs and trusting the bigger picture allows us to keep going and find what we’re looking for. It is very challenging, but ultimately incredibly rewarding.
A relationship journey can happen in much the same way. For all the awkward dates, stumbled conversations, and misunderstood compliments, the bigger sense of progress emerges. Learn to embrace the awkwardness and trust the future.
- Create your destination, and then refine it – set aside 30m to think deeply about what a quality man means *for you*. Write your thoughts.
- Take small steps every day to make progress – give one guy a compliment this week.
- Learn to embrace the awkwardness – start to consciously re-frame from things that ‘go wrong’ to ‘learning’
Have you ever asked yourself ‘Why can’t I meet good men?’ Discover your ‘Natural Dating Strategy’ and find out the answer.