(Photo credit: http://brideacious.wordpress.com)
No matter who you are spending the day with, one thing cannot be forgotten is the love you need to have for yourself. Cliche as that may sound it's true. How are we as humans capable of being kind and loving towards others if we are not in a positive/happy place in our own lives? Without letting your ego get too big, be sure to give yourself credit for the hard work you put in each day and the milestones you have reached thus far in your life. Be easy on yourself because being hard on yourself tends to be easy to do. Being in a relationship is no easy task either (see below for Tips), so if you are single take this time to focus on yourself and improve your lifestyle, health and mindset before you begin a relationship with someone.
If you are actively looking to find the right person, or if you are exploring your options there are many outlets available. Networking events such as "Young Professionals," "Network After Work," or "First Thursdays," are great options to meet and greet others in a more professional setting who can potentially share similar interests.The bar scene can get old rather quickly, so trying new places that are tailored more to your personality yet offer socializing opportunities are a great way to meet new people.
Lounge type atmospheres such as Minneapolis new hotspot, The Tangiers, or The Living Room & Prohibition are classier yet fun places to try. More often than not, the crowds that visit these types of venues tend to have many elements in common. Either they are new to the city due to work travel, or they are locals looking for a quieter spot to enjoy happy hour and new faces without the riff-raff or bass from the speakers blaring in their ear. And of course, if you are one of the many individuals who live a fast paced life, and don’t have much time or interest in stepping out to meet a potential partner there is the advanced world of technology and online dating available at your fingertips. More and more singles are now turning to social media and online dating than ever before. Social media, texting and online resources have quickly become the “norm” to connecting with others.
New location based dating services such as CupidRadar make is easy and convenient to find people of interest, literally! The neat thing about CupidRadar is their anonymous and secure profile accounts used to "scan" your surroundings based on your current location. You can message people or "go invisible." For example, if you are at a coffee shop and curious to see who is down the block or across town you can log into your account/app and scan your customized radius. CupidRadar will also send you notifications based on your interests. Thankfully, there are no monthly fees to be obligated to, and all account holders are individually verified to ensure legitimate accounts.
If you are in a relationship you know firsthand that personal time and time together are both valuable elements in a partnership. While you may be head over heels with your companion and want to spend every waking moment with them, it is important that you have a little "me time" here and there. You may have heard the phrase, "distance makes the heart grow fonder." It can certainly hold true if we demonstrate it. Whether you are in a cohabitation or long-distance relationship, the time spent apart can be difficult at times but it will make the reunion with the other person more valuable and enjoyable. We are all individuals, so we need our space from time to time, but that time spent together should also be meaningful and quality time spent. For those that need a little reminder or a few tips & tricks to re-connect or re-evaluate your mindset, check out Dr. Phil's Advice.
I'm not a professional therapist, but I have found that there are a few basic fundamentals for any relationship (business, friends, love) that need to exist in order to make it successful:
1) Trust and Respect. 100%. No relationship will work if there is not a mutual level of respect and 100% trust. Lies are lame, so just don't do it. You can't expect to have a healthy and happy relationship if you "somewhat" trust the other person. It's either Yes or No. If you can't be respectful then you're foolish to demand respect back. Basic FYI- no name calling. Seems juvenile to hear, but some people need reminders in that department.
2) Compromise. Life is a 2 way street. You cant always give, and you can't always take. Not everything will go your way, so instead of fighting it just be open to discussing options on how to best "meet in the middle." Also, he a good helper. If you're not sure what to do to meet half way, just ask the other person "how can i help?" This question is more important that you know!
3) Communicate! For goodness sake, please always communicate. Speaking (tactfully) your mind is essential, and listening is just as important. Share stories, express how you feel (happy, sad, frustrated, etc), say I love, say I'm sorry, say Thank You, ..manners tend to go out the window for some when there is a certain level of comfort established. Praise the other person on their outfit/hair/new purchases/accomplishment. However, when you communicate please don't nag :) It's annoying, and both men and women are guilty of it.
4) Keep things interesting. Sometimes we fall into the same old routine or habits because they are comfortable, but it's going to be a long life together if it's the same thing day after day. Spice things up in the bedroom, switch out roles in the household for chores/cooking, go on "dates" with each other, surprise your partner with an impromptu gift or flowers from time to time. Embrace new things, have fun, and stay positive.
So no matter if you are in a romantic relationship, professional setting, friends, family, causally dating or embracing the single life just remember that it's important to deliver and expect trust/respect, compromise, communicate and have fun along the way. As for February 14th, enjoy the day regardless of who you spend it with...and if anything, remember that chocolate and treats will be on sale February 15th! :)