Go to Choose To Be Happy Table
Beyond Fear of Rejection and
G. Stevens PhD
* Is fear of rejection or
loneliness an issue?
Do you want to improve your ability to form new relationships?
Do you fear or dislike being alone?
Has a relationship ended and you want to feel better about it?
* Do you feel lonely too often?
* Are you too worried about pleasing others?
* Loving and taking good care of yourself is the first step
to self-confidence and respect from others.
* Replace loneliness
thinking and self-depreciation thinking with positive thinking.that makes you happier and more attractive to others.
IS FEAR OF REJECTION AND FEAR OF BEING ALONE?
AFFECTING MY FEAR OF BEING ALONE
IS THE RIGHT PERSON FOR ME?
FACTORS ARE IMPORTANT FOR RELATIONSHIP SUCCESS?
DO I ATTRACT A PERSON WHO IS RIGHT FOR ME?
STOPS ME FROM APPROACHING SOMEONE?
CHANGES TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES
and ACTIONS TO OVERCOME FEARS OF REJECTION
YOUR RELATIONSHIP RESUME'
FEAR OF REJECTION AND FEAR OF BEING ALONE?
Do you feel uncomfortable in situations such as meeting new people, speaking
in front of groups, dealing with someone who is upset, having to tell someone about
a mistake, or divulging your inner feelings? Fear of rejection may underlie
all of these situations. If you really value other people and how they feel about
you, it is natural that you would feel some fear of rejection. Whenever there
is the possibility for actual rejection, most people feel some fear. Fear of
rejection is increased by the importance of the other person to you, by your perceived
inexperience or lack of skill in dealing with the situation, and by other factors.
However, some people suffer more intense levels of rejection for longer
periods in their life than other people. Deeper issues such as those listed
below may be increasing your fear of rejection.
FEAR OF REJECTION AS FEAR OF BEING ALONE
Underlying your fear of rejection
might be a fear of being or living alone. You might fear ending up all alone in
the world with no one who really cares.
FEAR OF BEING ALONE AS FEAR OF NOT BEING ABLE TO CREATE YOUR OWN HAPPINESS ALONE
The thought of being all alone in the world is not in itself something to panic
about. While some people panic at the thought--others delight at the thought. If
you believe that you can take care of your own needs well and be happy even if you
are alone, then being alone is nothing to fear. If you believe that you need others
to take care of you and "make" you happy, then you are too dependent on others and
their absence is something to "panic" about.
PRACTICE: Examine the degree to which you can create your own happiness--even
when alone. Examine how too much dependence on others for happiness can undermine
your feelings of confidence with others and lead to fear of rejection.
FEAR OF REJECTION AS NEGATIVE FEEDBACK ABOUT WHO YOU ARE
If your self-image
is too closely tied to what others think of you or how well you relate to others,
then fear of rejection can be a threat to your whole self-image. That in itself
can create a lot of anxiety. If you are used to defining the core of your Self or
your future as "popular," "married," "well-liked," "a leader," or the like, then
you threats to any of these self-concepts may create a great deal of anxiety. Or
you may view your life script as being married, having children, or having a number
of close friends. To the degree that any of those expectations are threatened,
and you cannot see how you can be happy without them, then you will experience anxiety.
How can you overcome fear of rejection due to threat to your self-image or life
script? You must define yourself and your essence in a way that does not depend
upon what others think. For example, if you define yourself as someone whose main
goals are to seek happiness for yourself and others; treat others kindly, honestly,
and assertively; be a person of integrity; and not worry about other's reactions
to you, then meeting your primary goals will not be dependent upon what others think.
Your happiness will be in your control, and you will feel much more secure.
On the other hand if you define yourself primarily as someone who must be loved
and accepted by others, then your happiness will be in their control and you will
always fell insecure and anxious at some deep level. For more help on self-esteem, Go
to Chapter 5 on self-esteem in You Can Choose To Be Happy .
PRACTICE: (1) Make a list of at least 10 important general characteristics
of yourself. (2) Examine items on that list which are "interpersonal" in nature.
How would you feel about yourself if all of these were threatened at once. Could
you still love, respect, and take good care of yourself and still be a happy person?
If not, then try to re-examine what changes need to take place in your beliefs about
yourself to become less dependent upon others and their view of you.
Return to Index
=> Visit Dr. Stevens' web site for many more free brochures and
free on-line chapters from his book, You Can Choose To Be
Happy. You may also take a free self-assessment of many factors that may affect
your relationships, success, and happiness at
AFFECTING YOUR FEAR OF BEING ALONE and ATTACHMENT TO OTHERS
(The higher your "attachment," the higher your fear of rejection!)
The more emotionally "attached" you become to someone--the more important you
believe they are to you--the more anxiety you will create about losing them. One
of the best ways to control your fear of rejection is to not get overly attached
to someone. The following factors are especially important sources of attachment
that is too much, too soon.
1. HOW "SPECIAL" THE OTHER PERSON IS--the more you want to be wanted by them,
the more anxiety it will cause. Many people develop a fantasy or script about what
love should be like. For example many people expect to marry their "first love,"
or the person that they have called their "soul mate." Letting yourself develop
and fantasize about the future with a person increases attachment and anxiety about
the expectations or plans not coming true. Any little event that makes the
plan seem likely makes you feel elated; any event that makes it seem unlikely makes
you feel devastated. You can get on an emotional roller-coaster, dependent
upon these little signs of success or failure in the relationship. You may
then drive the person away by being too emotional or needy.
To prevent this emotional roller-coaster, don't develop the expectations prematurely. Don't
fantasize and plan for the future prematurely. Always know that it may not
work out and have alternative plans that you know you can be happy with.
2. BELIEVING ONLY ONE PERSON IS RIGHT FOR YOU vs. many are right. The fact is
that many people who thought someone was the only person for them and thought their
life was ruined because they could not be with that person later found someone else
with whom they were much happier. Remind yourself that, no matter how much you may
feel that is the only person for you, you can be wrong!
3. HOW CONFIDENT YOU ARE IN YOUR ABILITY TO HELP CREATE A HAPPY RELATIONSHIP
The less confident you are that you can create a happy relationship or get a person
like you want, the more likely you are:
(1) to pick someone with whom you will not be satisfied. Or you may wait for
others to approach you. People who tend to use or dominate you may be the
very type of more outgoing people who will seek you. Then you may later wonder
why you keep getting into relationships with people who don't treat you well. Learn
to be active in the process of meeting others and getting involved in a relationship.
Keep the initiation of mutual activities closer to a 50-50 level, and don't just
go along for the ride when you are seeing red flags.
(2) to pick someone who "needs" you to take care of them, because they
do not take care of themselves well. Frequently in a codependent relationship, the
codependent partner believes his/her "weak" partner is so dependent upon
them that they will not leave them. The codependent partner may also believe that
he/she is not very attractive and believes he/she could not attract someone as attractive
as this irresponsible partner if the other was not so needy. They are not willing
to risk finding someone who is not needy, who would only want them for how much
they enjoyed being with them.
They are afraid no one they would want would really be attracted to them or stay
with them. If you are one of these people, it is important to test that assumption.
You probably have many other desirable qualities another would love that you don’t
appreciate about yourself. See the section below on "stereotypes". Also,
if you really believe that you do not know how to create fun and happiness for yourself,
you may want to work on that. That could make a difference in attracting a more
fun loving, happy person if that is the type of person you want.
4. SHARING EVENTS--ESPECIALLY CONVERSATIONAL AND PHYSICAL INTIMACY
life events increases attachment. Just being together in a variety of circumstances
seems to build some degree of closeness. However, sharing important life events,
sharing of one's innermost feelings and thoughts, and physical intimacy are powerful
forces that can lead to very strong "attachment" (to the degree that these
events are positive). If you have gained a high degree of intimacy, that is great! However,
it does not mean that you can't find it with someone else. On the contrary,
it means that you have learned how to be intimate, and your chances are very high
that you can find at least that much intimacy again. Most often people move into
better--not worse--relationships after one has ended.
SUMMARY: Some "do"s and "don't"s to keep from getting too attached too early.
Constantly remind yourself, "I want to control my anxiety and fear of
rejection. Don't get too attached too early."
Question thoughts like, "This is the only person I can be happy with."
� Don't fantasize about the future with this person.
Avoid sexual involvement that is too early (before strong, reciprocal
relationship factors are satisfactory).
Don't focus all your thoughts and fantasies on this one person--especially
before you have established a strong dating relationship. Fantasize about
a variety of people (even movie stars, or imaginary people) so that you
relate to this person as a real person--not as a fantasy.
WHO IS THE "RIGHT" PERSON FOR YOU--WHO WILL REALLY WANT JUST YOU?
RELATIONSHIP INTIMACY HIERARCHY
There are many levels of closeness and intimacy with other people. Examples include:
marriage, closest family and friends, close friends, friends, friends for specific
needs (eg. work, bowling, church), acquaintances. There are many differences between
different levels of intimacy. The amount of physical and communication intimacy,
time spent together, commitment, sharing, helping each other, etc. will vary with
Every person you contact in your life has some maximum potential level for achieving
intimacy with you. This maximum level will depend upon many factors. Many people
have the potential for lower levels of intimacy (such as acquaintance), but few
have the potential for the highest levels (such as marriage). The fact that a person
only achieves a certain level does not mean that the relationship "failed"--it merely
achieved its maximum potential level of intimacy and could go no further.
IT'S OK THAT MOST PEOPLE YOU MEET AND DATE ARE NOT THE RIGHT PERSON
people out of 10,000 people in the appropriate age and sex group would you really
want as your "significant other"? How many are really right for you? Most people
you meet/date will not be a good enough match, so why beat yourself up when the
relationships end. The relationship was almost certainly a mismatch.
Instead, try to understand the reasons the relationship ended. To what degree
was it due to differences between the two of you? If the reasons partly include
that you haven't acted in ways consistent with your own standards for yourself,
then change your thinking and actions for the next person .
THERE ARE MANY "RIGHT" PEOPLE
If you believe that only one person is "right"
for you, then you will become extremely dependent upon that person. Putting a person
on a pedestal like this will most likely lead to dependent feelings and behavior
that actually causes both of you to be unhappy. You may try so hard to please and
keep that "person you can't live without" that you end up losing your sense of freedom
to be yourself and giving up your own happiness. In turn you will become increasingly
unattractive to your "pedestal" person.
THE MAIN FACTORS CAUSING A PERSON TO WANT
TO BE WITH YOU ARE INHERENT IN WHO YOU ARE!
Even though this may seem obvious,
this is a very powerful statement! The factors that affect how much one person is
attracted to another include the following:
General beliefs and values: cultural, religious, moral, political, family,
Background: culture, family, career, education, organizations, etc.
Relationship factors: previous history, control style (dominant-submissive
or assertive), problem-solver, conversational style, empathy, independence-dependence,
emotional expressiveness, playfulness, romantic style, liberated-traditional
sex roles, etc.
Interests: career, cultural, music, sports, education, romantic, etc.
Personal characteristics and habits: honesty, responsibility, ambition, achievement,
caring/understanding, openness, emotionality, independence, self-esteem, positiveness,
cleanliness, orderliness, stability, assertiveness, adventurousness, sense of
Personal problems and bad habits (big TURN-OFFs to almost everyone): addictions,
dishonesty, cheating, withdrawal, suspiciousness, irresponsible, cruel, aggressive,
extremely dominating or needy, emotionally out of control, etc.
The above factors are the kinds of factors that will be the major determinants
of whether you and another person will be happy together. Most of these factors
are determined by parts of yourself that are highly stable over many years. You
probably don't want to change most of these aspects of yourself. If you just act
naturally, you will reveal these true aspects of yourself to your partner (and vice-versa).
Your partner will accept or reject you on the basis of how well these factors match
their own factors (and vice-versa). Therefore it should be clear that nature tends
to bring people together or apart on the basis of who they really are, so why try
Research and clinical experience shows that overall, the more alike partners
are-especially in aspects important to the partners-the more likely the relationship
will succeed and be happy.
If your partner is "right" for you, he/she will like you as you really are, and
they will be attracted to you. Out there somewhere are probably many potential
partners who are a lot like you! These are the people who will be naturally
attracted to you. Think about it for a minute. How would you feel about being
with a partner who is a lot like you in most important aspects?
YOU ATTRACT A PERSON WHO IS "RIGHT" FOR YOU?
CREATING A HAPPY YOU CREATES A CONFIDENT, ATTRACTIVE YOU
Learning how to create
your own happiness alone is a key part of building self-confidence and overcoming
fears of rejection and loneliness. As long as you do not believe that you can create
your own happiness and enjoy life alone, then you will be less confident and more
dependent on others' creating your happiness. This dependence makes being in a relationship
much more important, and therefore increases anxiety about being alone and increases
fears of rejection. For example I have had many clients who thought they could only
be happy if they get married and have a family. Yet some were fearing age would
overtake their ability to have children, and no partner was in sight. They developed
a terror of not having their happy family dream come true and living their lives
alone. That fear caused a desperate need to marry. They became very "needy,"
manipulative, and scared potential partners away. As their desperation rose, their
They escaped the catch by learning how to be at peace with the thoughts that
they might never be married and might live alone the rest of their lives. They learned
how to take care of themselves and how to be happy alone. The irony is that once
they didn’t need marriage so much, they were much more likely to get married.
Because now they were less fearful and "needy" and more confident and
How to become happier alone. If you don't have many interests which you enjoy
alone, it is important to begin exploring and finding more. If you have few interests
that you can do alone, because you have spent most of your life either with other
people or doing what others wanted you to do, then it is especially important for
your own independence that you explore new potential interests. You can learn to
like activities you currently don't like. Remember this, if many other people love
this activity there must be some fun in it. All you need to do is learn how to enjoy
Many activities are difficult to enjoy until you have learned the basics
about how to participate in them. Most sports are that way, but even music and
the theater can take some time to appreciate. Don't give up easily. Give the
new activity a chance over a reasonable period of time.
Many people hate to do things alone, so they refrain from activities. A common
reason is that they are afraid of what others will think about their coming
alone. However, if you continue to do activities alone, you can eventually desensitize
yourself to most of those fears.
Career interests, sports, music and the arts, reading, entertainment events,
hobbies, do-it-yourself projects, taking classes, walks, shopping, bike rides,
or taking oneself out for dinner are but a few examples of activities people
do to entertain themselves.
Initiating activities with other people and joining organizations are examples
of ways that you can create your own happiness with others without being in
an exclusive relationship.
Finally, if you are generally happy and enjoy life, your positiveness and
happiness can help them be happier as well. And that will make you more attractive
to anyone who wants to be happy themselves..
CREATING A HAPPY OTHER CREATES AN ATTRACTIVE YOU
You are attractive to another
person to the degree that that person perceives you as potentially contributing
to their happiness. You are not responsible for their happiness, you are only being
yourself and giving gift of your presence and actions. You are only hoping these
gifts will contribute to their happiness. Each person is ultimately responsible
for their own happiness.
1) List all of the characteristics you want in another person.
a "RELATIONSHIP RESUME" which describes
all of your personal beliefs, attributes, interests, communication skills, which
might be important in appealing to the type of person you wish to be with or marry.
3) If you want to better create your own happiness, add exploration of new interests
to your "to do" list.
=> To get a personal assessment on relationship and happiness factors go to:
Return to Index
STOPS YOU FROM APPROACHING OTHERS OR BEING YOURSELF WITH THEM?
1. EXCUSES--also see External vs. Internal Control (Chapter
6 in You Can Choose To Be Happy, Dr. Tom Stevens)
Self-labels that prevent action. "I'M TOO...shy, heavy, boring, quiet, intellectual,
much of a loner, afraid, conservative, inexperienced, clumsy, nervous, emotional,
demanding, afraid of intimacy, ETC.
PRACTICE: Make a list of the labels that stop you from approaching others or
being yourself. Then take each one and decide the degree to which you intend to
change it or to accept it as it is. Keep in mind that there are many happily married
persons who fit all of the above descriptions and realize that, you are looking
for someone who would be happy with a person just like you.
External events or commitments that keep you from pursuing a relationship now.
The difference between an EXCUSE and a CONSCIOUS CHOICE is whether or not you are
being honest with yourself about all of your underlying motives. If you are avoiding
involvement primarily because of fear of rejection or failure, then that is very
different from saying that you are doing it because you are too busy.
It is ok not to be in a relationship or looking for one. You may want to be alone
now. If you want to pursue other parts of your life and develop yourself into the
person you want to be, that can be very healthy for building your own self-esteem
and relationship potential. When you are ready for a relationship, you will be more
the person who will be attractive to the type of person you want. If you aren't
happy with yourself now, you might be wise to focus on that first!
PRACTICE: If you are not sure whether you are being honest with yourself about
doing what might be helpful to improve a relationship or meet someone, try getting
in touch with underlying feelings and beliefs, exploring new creative alternatives
and possible outcomes. Then make a conscious decision based upon your true underlying
2. STEREOTYPES OF POTENTIAL PARTNERS
Women's stereotypes. Women often say
they can't find a men who can be both (1) sensitive to their feelings, romantic,
loving, and fun and also (2) responsible, somewhat confident, and somewhat successful
in their education and/or career. Women often think that men are "only interested
in sex or the size of my breasts," "say they want an equal relationship, but are
afraid of successful women". These are a few of the more common stereotypes that
may fit many men, but also don't fit many others. Don't accept someone with whom
you can't be happy. After all, what difference does it make if other men are that
way if the man you're with isn't.
Men's stereotypes. Many men think that most women are primarily interested in
money, expensive cars, restaurants, and gifts. Or, that they only want a man who
is extremely good looking and charming with a good line (can make a good impression,
but would make a poor partner).
PRACTICE: Make a list of your stereotypes which prevent you from approaching
others or being yourself. Identify ways that you try to put up a front to make a
good impression based upon your stereotypes. For example you may believe that you
have to constantly be clever and funny because that is what you think women/men
are looking for. In fact you may be turning the other person off, because you are
being "phoney" and not intimate about who you really are. You are making the mistake
of underestimating the person you are with. You think that they can't handle honesty
as well as you.
Treat potential partners as if he/she were as mature as you and as if he/she
were the kind of person you would want.(Then you will probably be more attractive
3. LOW SELF-CONFIDENCE EVALUATION BIAS
The low self-confidence evaluation
bias means underestimating how well people like you. A research study at the
University of Oregon had single women evaluate their conversations with single men.
The women evaluated the men on a number of variables including if they would like
to go out with them. To their surprise low-frequency dating men performed just as
well as high-frequency dating men in actual ratings by the women. However, the low-frequency
dating men UNDERESTIMATED how well the women liked them, and the high-frequency
dating men OVERESTIMATED how well they were liked. This became a SELF-FULFILLING
PROPHESY. The men who overestimated how well they were liked would go ahead and
ask the women for a date, while the ones who underestimated how well they were liked,
Conclusion: If you have low self-confidence in how others perceive you, then
you are probably UNDERESTIMATING how much they like you. As a result, you don't
approach people as much as you would like. If you start OVERESTIMATING their reactions,
you may approach more people and have greater success..
INTERNAL CHANGES TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES FOR A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP
FOCUS ON THOUGHTS SUCH AS THE FOLLOWING:
You can create your own happiness and take care of yourself-You don't NEED
(must have) anyone else to do it for you. .
Love yourself unconditionally the way you are. Even though you may never
be the person you would ideally like, learn to let go of "shoulds."
Instead (1) replace the "shoulds" with "wants," and (2) learn that
your basic self-worth begins with loving yourself unconditionally because you
are alive and a human being. You can love yourself despite any imperfections
and accept those imperfections as part of yourself. You can also believe that
someone like you could love you the way you are now (despite any imperfections),
you don't have to wait until you are prefect before you seek a relationship.
Go to self-esteem chapter.
Attempt to focus on being your "higher self" while dealing with other people
(vs. trying to be what you think others want you to be). Putting your higher
self in control means choosing to think and act out of empathy and love for
self and others, seeking happiness for self and others, seeking win-win solutions,
etc. Go to higher self chapter.
Seek those who will like you as you really are. Choose to be closest friends
with those who know all about you and like/love you the way you are. Reveal
your inner feelings and thoughts more honestly with potentially close friends.
This openness will show confidence and acceptance of yourself, reveal trust
in the other, and serve as a test to see if the other can accept you as you
are. If they can't accept you as you are, then they don't make very good candidates
for close relationships. (Don't be so open and honest with people you have reason
not to trust.)
If you have been successful before, you can be successful again. If you are
feeling discouraged about finding someone or feeling bad about yourself and
if you have had close friends, relatives, or relationships in the past, remember
that at least one other person liked you the way you are. You know you can develop
another relationship at least as good as one of those. If you have grown since
then, you will probably have a better relationship.
You may want to change for yourself. If you think you aren't yet the person
you believe will attract the kind of person you want, then perhaps you need
to make your first priority becoming that person. Focus on being the person
you want to be as much as possible.
The person you are or want to be will be very attractive to the type of person
who is "right" for you. Would you be attracted to someone else who also was
Return to Index
THOUGHTS and ACTIONS TO OVERCOME FEARS OF REJECTION and INCREASE CHANCES FOR
A SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP
Try following the happiness rule: Seek out people who
can contribute most to your overall happiness and support your being the person
you want to be. Many of these people will be similar to the type of person you really
want to be. Avoid spending too much time with people who take away from being that
kind of person.
Follow the self-selecting rule: Be the person you
really want AND tell others your true inner feelings and thoughts more assertively.
Even though you may fear that others may not like who you really are and reject
you, that is good. Being open separates those people who are "right" for closer
relationships from those who are not. For example, if you meet Sally (who is not
potentially a close friend) and hide who you really are from her, it may take her
a long time to find out what you are really like and reject you. In this case you
have both wasted a lot of time. If you present yourself honestly and openly from
the beginning, you will attract or repel people much faster. This saves a lot of
Incidentally, a bonus of this approach is that most people prefer honesty and
the self-love and self-confidence that openness reveals, so you may be more appealing
to more people.
GIVING WITHOUT EXPECTING ANYTHING IN RETURN
Focus on your actions not their
reactions. An important lesson about anxiety is that when we focus on external outcomes
that are beyond our immediate control, we give up control of our emotions and will
begin to feel anxious and helpless. The same is true in meeting people, approaching
people, talking to people, trying to help people, trying to entertain people, etc.
If you focus on their evaluation or approval of you, spending time with you, giving
back to you, or any other reaction outside your control, you increase your anxiety
Therefore, focus on approaching people, being friendly, your talking and listening,
your openness and honesty, your assertiveness, and your thinking positive thoughts.
You can control what you think and do. The result will be that you are setting attainable
goals that you have control over. Knowing that can give you peace.
In the long run, you may not want invest much energy in a relationship if you
do not receive enough of what you want. However, in the short run, focus on your
actions as ends in themselves to "practice your act" and be the kind of person in
a relationship that you want to be. Eventually others will respond positively as
you get better at it and as you approach the right people.
Also, say this to yourself, "My gift recipients have the freedom to do whatever
they want with my gifts (my attention, help, etc.)--since it is now theirs." It
is OK for them to reject the gifts and you can still feel good because you gave
in the spirit of true unconditional, non-demanding love.
INVITATIONS AS GIFTS
Do you ever feel anxiety about inviting someone to do
something with you? If so, try viewing your invitation as a gift in the spirit just
discussed above. It is a gift in two ways: (1) it is a compliment to the other person
that you care enough about them and find them attractive enough to give the invitation
and (2) your time is a gift which is offered to them. Thus even if they reject the
offer to spend time together, they still have received the gift of the compliment.
Accordingly, start stating your invitations more as compliments." EXAMPLE: "Mark,
I've really enjoyed talking with you, I would really like for us to get together
again soon." This is a very effective and efficient way to give an invitation.
Learn the difference between non-assertive behavior ("I
lose, you win"--passive, indirect, avoidance); aggressive behavior."I win,
you lose"--dominating, controlling, selfish); and assertive ("win-win"-caring, calm,
understanding, diplomatic, honest, but direct and firm behavior). The most successful
relationships are assertive-assertive ones.
Learn how to be both an understanding listener who looks deeply into important
issues and someone who can communicate my own feelings in a direct, caring, and
diplomatic manner to others.
Go to the free self-help brochures
on Assertion training, intimacy, and communication.
Men and women often differ considerably in their knowledge
and expectations about romance. One survey found that 94% of romance novels are
read by women. Women gain a lot of knowledge and expectations from their reading,
watching romantic movies, and talking with each other. Many men could learn more
about what women want simply by going to romantic movies, reading some romantic
books, or just asking women what they think is romantic. Also, anyone can buy books
that give tips about how to be romantic.
Most men feel inadequate in the romance area, but won't admit it to anyone. Instead
many just belittle romance as being unimportant or avoid dealing with it by saying,
"I'm not the romantic type." However, anyone can add romance to their relationships.
Anyone can buy cards, flowers, give compliments, be affectionate, take someone to
a romantic setting, enjoy a sunset together, learn to dance, or go to romantic movies.
Above all, ask your partner what he/she wants and what he/she thinks is romantic,
and then be open for developing a more "romantic" outlook and actions. It can add
a lot of fun and intimacy to your relationship and make you more sexually desirable.
If you want your partner to be romantic, remember that he/she may feel insecure
in that area and be very sensitive to criticism. So use a positive approach as much
as possible. Tell your partner how important romance is to you, be specific about
what actions you think are romantic, and praise your partner for any romantic attempt
(never make fun of attempts). Say, "How romantic," not "its about time you bought
me some flowers."
Return to Index
-- It takes a little time, but a thoughtful one will really pay off!
Make your own relationship resume
each section, writing in some detail about who you are. Your friends and
romantic partners for lasting relationships will be people who (eventually) like
you for WHO YOU REALLY ARE. SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL LET THEM KNOW UP FRONT
(though you don't have to reveal all your most negative parts right away).
Of course you want to focus on the positives and especially the parts they would
be more interested in and the parts you want to share with them in a
relationships (activities, conversation topics, values, beliefs, interests,
etc.). It will help you become aware of
what you have to offer in a relationship as well as what you want from a potential
partner. It may also help you identify problem areas or areas you want to develop
(2) You can use this as a guide to make a plan of what you want potential
partners to know about you (as soon as possible) to help "sell" you to someone who
has similar values and criteria for what they are looking for. These can also be
useful for answering "dating ads."
(3) If you sometimes have
difficulty thinking of conversation topics, elaborate more on each of these
items below. Outline and/or mentally role-play what you could
say about yourself in each of the resume' areas (general and more detaild
statements, anecdotes, funny incidents, how you got started, highlights, etc).
ALSO, think of questions you could ask your partner about their
family, goals, interests, history, etc. relative to each area below. Even
record these (eg. on your smartphone) and check them for topics. It's
a good idea to have a conversational topics list
you carry with you for times you have trouble initiating topics.
For each category below, fill in aspects of yourself that relate to that category.
Name, age, ethnic, etc.
EDUCATION AND OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION
Accomplishments (Education, Work Experience,
Goals (major) and why
INTEREST, FUN, RECREATION
- Observer (TV, movies., cultural events, stereo music)
- Active (aerobics, tennis, dancing, golf, biking)
- Romanic (romantic walks, music candlelight, flowers, card, gifts )
- Parlor games (Trivial Pursuit, cards)
- Hobbies (photography, painting, computers, etc.)
- Intellectual interests (science, history, literature, philosophy, religion,
computers, psychology )
- Family (all about them)
- Friends & social activities, interests
COMMUNICATION SKILLS and HABITS
- - intimacy (openness, honesty)
- - affectionate
- - empathetic understanding
- - assertive (friendly, fair, diplomatic)
- - desire equality vs. traditional male-female
BELIEFS and PERSONALITY FACTORS
- -optimism/positive attitude and point of view
- -sense of humor
- -complimentary vs. critical
- -assertive vs aggressive or non-assertive
- -good emotional control
- -spiritual/religious values
- -material/monetary values
- -family or people-related values
- -career/education-oriented values
- -self-development values
- -giving vs self-centered
- -any addictions or bad habits
Add your own items
Fill in your own categories and items that don't
match anything on the above list here.
Be more aware and articulate
about who you are!
Being more aware and articulate about who you are, and what your
strengths are relative to how the person you are with will perceive you
can help the beginning of any relationship. The less time you have
to be with the person, the more important being able to summarize who
you are can help get off to a good start. Don't use a single narrative,
but drop in statements of free information about your goals, interests,
anecdotes that illustrate your strengths, etc as appropriate. Be
sure to balance these statements by asking them about themselves;
otherwise you sound self-centered.
You are probably looking for (and will
be happiest with) someone a lot like you on these same characteristics, if so
you're in luck--read below!
Research has shown consistently for many years that people with more
similar values, beliefs, interests, attractiveness levels, and
personality characteristics tend to be both more attracted to each other
and have happier, longer lasting relationships/marriages. Look
over this resume' list after you finish it. What if you met
someone who matched the same things you wrote about yourself?
Would you like to be friends or lovers with that person? If so,
then the good news is that they will tend to look at you the same way!
In other worlds if you do well on your own criteria and want someone who
also does well on them, then there is a very high chance that people
like that will want to be your friend or lover. Knowing these
facts is a self-confidence booster.
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