This chapter is all about recognizing your emotional baggage and aligning your outlook on dating in order to help you “date with a clean slate”, if you will.
The first section details the different types of baggage you have, and weights them according to the level of impact they have.
Bag 1: Negative Attitude
This one is fairly self-explanatory. We’ve all had that “Debbie Downer” outlook on life and relationships at some point. And if we want to move on, we need to get past that, and change our perspective from “I can’t” to “I will.”
Bag 2: Transference
We’ve all had our bad experiences with past lovers. But just because the new guy has some similar traits doesn’t mean that he’s Mr. Wrong either. Instead, give him a chance…and if what he does really bugs you, then talk to him about it.
Bag 3: Sense of Inadequacy
Words can hurt…just as much as actions. No doubt, an ex or potential date has said something to you to make you feel horrible–and it was probably an attack that lowered your self-confidence. Well, forget them. It may not be easy to do at first, but chances are, their attack was in order to make up for their own deficiencies.
Bag 4: Comparisons
Oh yes, there are those guys out there who seem to be ideal, and maybe even perfect, for you. But you can’t hold everyone up to the same standards that these role models have. That doesn’t mean you should compromise, though. And the true litmus test is your close friends…if your partner passes their test, then you’ve got a keeper. Do not use your parents as a gauge.
Bag 5: Fear of Loneliness
No one wants to be alone, let alone die alone. If you can’t spend time by yourself, then you need to get over the loneliness complex. Yes, we may be social creatures by nature–some more than others–but that doesn’t mean we need to spend every waking moment with people. You might come off as desperate by doing so.
The next section outlined six traits that every happy person should have.
Trait 1: Faith
Never give up. The journey may be long and difficult, but stick to it and you’ll reap the rewards of your tenacity.
Trait 2: Tenacity
Similar to faith, there may be situations or obstacles that seem to get in your way. Well, they aren’t insurmountable. Instead, confront them head-on. For example, if you move to a new area with no contacts, don’t just stay at home and wallow in your loneliness. Go out and meet people. Start with work functions or public events. Join a club or rec league. There’s plenty to do.
Trait 3: An Open Disposition
Be friendly, welcoming and conversational. Don’t be afraid to open yourself up.
Trait 4: A Sound Notion of What You Want
Seek out those whose interests align with your own. Yes, you’ve got standards, but you’re looking for Mr. Right, not Mr. Perfect.
Trait 5: Strong Sense of Self
Your own confidence will attract others. And sticking to your values will help you find the person who is right for you.
Trait 6: The Ability to Trust
Be willing to give others the benefit of the doubt. There are always two sides to every story–be sure to hear the other person out.