Who am I to give relationship advice? I've never been married, I don't have kids (thank God), but I am a man who has done wrong and been wronged in a relationship. I have no doctorate in "love," not even a masters. I'm a bachelor without a bachelors so once again what makes me the best candidate to give relationship advice? I'm not the best candidate, but I am just like you. A nobody looking for love and personal growth along the way. It wouldn't hurt to listen to someone who isn't selling you a dream or married the woman he cheated on his first wife with so hopefully that is enough for you to want to keep on reading.
It's no secret that we all want honesty. That's not a lie... okay I'm done with the quips. That's not for sure, but what is certain is honesty is the number one rule in all forms of relationships. When you are honest with someone they will (should) give that honesty back because that is how trust is formed. Before we get into any relationship with someone we must be able to date ourselves first and a big part of successfully "dating" yourself is being honest with yourself. Just like any relationship with someone else, communication is key when dating yourself, but you need to know what needs to be understood. What goals are you setting for yourself as it pertains to your personal development. Most importantly before you get into a relationship with someone ask yourself what do you want your next relationship to be like. That last step just isn't for your possible mate, it's for yourself too.
A common mistake I and others have made while brain storming about our next relationship is forgetting to do all of the steps and acting as if we're perfect beings. Well if that was the case, why are we single? Why is there at least one person we've dated/married wishing they've never met us? Why is one of the best days of their life the day we separated from them whether it was our decision or not. I'm not saying blame yourself because your relationship ending with that person may not have been your fault. Whatever the case is, it is NEVER not a good time to improve yourself. This isn't me going Hollywood and subliminally telling people to get work done on their body. It's no secret that the most beautiful people on this planet and to have blessed this planet are people with the complete package. Mind, body and soul. The mind and soul almost being one, but your thoughts (mind) should be used more as your personal tool. Daily, hourly, weekly affirmations for yourself. Goal setting and other things that entitle you to take some alone time and reflect on yourself. You're soul will see the positive effects of that, and so will the other beings on this planet because a beautiful soul has the power to attract other beautiful souls and the power to inspire others to work on their total package (mind, body & soul). Why we start with the mind is because that is where our thoughts come from (duh). Our feelings develop from our thoughts and then our life becomes the byproduct of our feelings and thoughts. This is especially true when it comes to our body. Your self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. I did not Google that definition, but if you want to double check with Google, be my guess. It's your time reading this book, not mine. Thanks for reading, but I mention self-esteem because it stems from how we feel about our self and we feel that way because of what our mind is telling us (what we are telling our self). Simply put it here, if we're not happy with who we are on the outside that can drastically effect how we feel about ourselves on the inside. All of this is only possible when we are being honest with ourselves. It's not easy. Within the process of finding "self" you will find somethings that are not so pleasing such as character flaws you never wanted to admit to or don't want to have. There's a reason why the term "growing pains" is a thing, but anybody who has experienced them will tell you it is needed for personal development. And if nobody you know has ever told you that, let me be the first and hopefully not the last. You really need new friends in your life if nobody around you is growing. Just saying.
Dating yourself is pretty basic because all it entitles you to do is to be yourself and love yourself. That should be easy now that you've mastered the honesty aspect. Before I go any further I feel like I should explain what I mean by "mastering" any subject. When I use the term "mastering" I mean you are able to do it at a level that feels comfortable to you. So much so that it's like you don't even have to put forth any thought while doing whatever you're doing. Your comfort level will likely be different from everybody else's comfort level which is why I don't advise you to make decisions that entitle you to move step by step on someone else's path. Their path may be shorter or longer than your path. Their pace may be faster or slower than your pace. This is why I say you have to master your own path at the level you're comfortable with so you're moving at your pace in the amount of time it takes you to move forward to the next step. Once you feel like you've comfortably mastered the first step that is when you can move on to the next.
Be the type of person you want your future lover to be. That does not mean every interest you have your partner must have. It does not mean you two have to dress the same or match colors. Dating yourself simply means having someone with the same morals and goal(s) as you do. That within itself is difficult like dating a vegan or vegetarian and being a carnivore, but it can work. The one thing that brings two people together is the same thing that brings billions of people together. That thing is compassion/understanding. Being understanding is a moral attribute within itself and only good could come from that shared quality with your partner or person of interest. Other relationship advice books will tell you opposites attract but I assure you that only works out for good cop, bad cop couples. Good Cop, Bad Cop Couples are couples who are polar opposites when it comes to their personalities and pretty much everything else, but like your favorite cop duo they have the same goal in mind despite their totally different method's of achieving that goal. So yes, opposites do attract, but that's only when they can find common ground somewhere. When you see two people with different morals and different goals it's probably the sex keeping them together, or unfortunate circumstances like unplanned pregnancies and self-esteem issues. Before anybody gets on me about couples having children that weren't planned I'm saying that can become a problem if the male or female did not want to have children nor did they want to go through the process of abortion, either. The dilemma there is people are forced or feel forced to stay in a relationship with someone because another life is involved. I am not saying couples who bring life into this world unexpectedly are making a bad decision or are going to have a hard time raising the child, but you go head and make a baby with a man or a woman who doesn't want to have kids. See how easy it is for you to maintain that relationship. If it worked out for you, praise be! All power to you and yours. Please don't come to my book signing and douse me with baby piss because you are offended by something I said. To make it clear I am not encouraging people to abandon their responsibilities because they may not want to be a parent or they don't want to be with the child's mother or father. You laid down and made that baby, you must help take care of that child whether you're with the man or woman who is also responsible for the child or not. I'm just saying do not force a relationship with someone you don't really have feelings for.
Dating yourself does not mean you have to find someone just like you, but if you're lucky enough to find someone who is just like you, by all means DON'T do it! Relationships are meant to be challenging. Life is meant to be challenging. If your twin from another kin doesn't challenge you and vice versa you're literally dating yourself and that is not what I am advising you to do. The troubles that could come with that are far worse than any disagreement you will have with your partner because you two have different diet plans. When you're in a relationship with someone just like you, the room for improvement is very small and very dark. You want to learn from the person you plan to spend time with especially if you're planning to spend a lifetime with that person. If you ask me, it is impossible to spend your life with someone just like you who you will eventually grow to hate. Only two possible instances can come from that realization. 1) You'll finally see the light shining through the window. You crack it open and more light begins to fill the room. Because there is light beaming through you began to realize that small dark room you and yourself (your partner) have been huddled up in is actually bigger than what it seemed to be and now brighter. You now have the power to help your partner through the growing pains so they can see the light and shine. Growth is a beautiful thing which is why everyone should experience it, but on the flip side growth can not be forced. It is possible that you see the light and room for improvement, but the person you are with may not. There is a possibility that person is complacent with staying in the dark, or does not want to go through the growing pains of "The glow up stage."