dating advice for boomersDoes anyone else read the back of the shampoo bottle while showering? As a dating coach, I see everything through the lens of dating and relationships. So when I read the tag line on the back of my Pantene Pro-V shampoo bottle, “KNOW the hair you have, to get the hair you WANT,” I immediately thought, “Great topic for a blog post!” Only I would change the tag line to, “KNOW the person you are, to have the relationship you WANT.”

To attract the best relationship, I believe it is essential to know and love yourself first. Many people find this first step to be the most difficult, so I’ve created an exercise to help you get clarity about how special you are and what qualities you should seek in your ideal mate.

Who are you?

1. Think about all your wonderful positive character traits, gifts, and talents. You might have trouble coming up with that list. Most of us were brought up to be modest and not boast about ourselves. Unfortunately, our self-esteem was squashed in the process. There’s a big difference between being cocky and being self-assured. So, if you’re one of those who has been programmed to feel uncomfortable talking about yourself, feel free to ask your friends and family members what they love about you. Write it all down. This is not a narcissistic act but an act of self-love. It is an essential first step in acknowledging what makes you special, and why someone would want to date you.

2. Think about areas of self-improvement. Are you actively working on yourself? What are you doing to continually work on the parts of you that need support? Maybe you’re quick to anger, or perhaps you take things too personally. Do you find it difficult to speak your needs? Are you feeling stuck and want to break out of your comfort zone? What have you been resisting or afraid to try? What triggers you? Make a list.

3. Take a look at both lists. Which one is longer? If there’s something on your self-improvement list that you want to work on, begin as soon as possible. It’s easy to resist the areas in life that are difficult or make you uncomfortable. Change can be challenging. But the benefits far outweigh the risks. When you take the baby steps to improve upon the stuck areas in your life, you’ll move forward. Step-by-step, you’ll become the highest quality woman you can be, which will attract your best relationship.

Who is he?

Now it’s time to think about what kind of man would best suit you. Picture yourself in a relationship with the man of your dreams. Go all out, no holds barred. Forget about “reality” for a moment and dream big. Who is he? What are you doing together? How do you feel when you’re together?

Think about the common goals you’d like to share and the complementary traits that would work best with your personality. Write these down. This will be your “my ideal guy” profile.

This last list, the “my ideal guy” profile, will be a living document. It will change a bit over time as you get more clarity about what you need in a relationship. Every date will be a learning experience, bringing you closer to what works and what doesn’t work for you. Keep the list handy and add to it or subtract from it after each date.

Armed with these two lists, you will begin to “KNOW the person you are to have the relationship you WANT.”

What makes you a great date? Please share your comments below.

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