as a therapist, I can tell you that reflection is an important part of getting where we want to be. For example, when someone who is hyperventilating wants to calm down, the best thing they can do to get calm is not to try to calm down, but to actually focus on the outbreath.
Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, take some time to focus on the outbreath. The rhythm of winter is actually much slower than the fast-pace of the holiday push. The seasonal rhythm with it’s shorter days and colder weather, is actually a good time for singles to take inventory of what’s important to them (this goes for people in relationships as well, but that’s for another column).
That’s why the holidays are an ideal time to do for yourself what us matchmakers help our clients do - refine your priorities, and I’m not talking about making an extensive list of what you’re looking for, and making sure every potential match meets the whole list.
While list-making is a tempting, tempting thing to do, and at times, a useful thing to do, it’s too much information to keep in mind when you’re out there scanning all the dating sites and every club, bar, holiday party, or coffee shop. The goal of dating is to have fun, be in your heart, and meet the person you want to be with. If you’re sitting across from them judging and evaluating each quality on your list on a 1 to 10 scale, you’re not leaving room to get to know them. Instead, take the holiday season to really mine your heart for your top three priorities and deal breakers. This makes you really clarify what’s important to you. When you’re out there scanning, or after you meet someone, look at whether they meet the general picture of who you can see yourself partnering with, and then ask yourself “Do they meet my top 3 priorities?” See if this helps you feel more confident in those priorities (maybe they were perfect, but chemistry was lacking), or less confident in them and indicative of you needing to revise these priorities. If they don’t, move on. And, if they embody your dealbreakers -- say, you want kids, and they are pretty sure they don’t -- also, move on. (More help on how to do this “moving on” part to come in next week’s column.) Remember, having someone in your life is great, but having the right person is long lasting.
Love Lesson: After reading this post, take some time to write out what you’re looking for. Then, closing your eyes with the piece of paper in front of you, ask yourself for your top three priorities, and write these down. Also write down a few deal breakers, and try the steps mentioned above as you’re out there in the dating world. As you are out there dating this month, keep your top 3 priorities and dealbreakers in mind.
Lauren Korshak is a San Francisco-based Marriage and Family Therapist, Meditation Teacher, Dating & Relationship Coach, and former matchmaker. She has a BA in Psychology from University of Southern California (USC) and an MA in Somatic Psychology from California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS.) In her free time, Lauren can be found dancing, meditating, adventuring outdoors, making music, and spending QT with loved ones.