When I help people organize their lives, I help them organize from the inside out. In other words, I help them get in touch with their values, develop goals based on those values and then organize their time to carry out the goals.
Anything else in their lives is just clutter - it goes.Many of my single clients have strong family values. One of their major goals is finding Mr. or Ms. Right to have that family. But when we start talking about how to do it, some of them aren't willing to do what they must to make it happen.
They fill up their lives with relationships that are sort of, kind of what they want.
"Well, if he just would give up (fill-in-the-blank: drinking, lying, other women, being a workaholic) he'd be perfect."
People don't change for a relationship. They change because they recognize their behavior doesn't support their values or help them reach their goals. There is only one best formula for finding the right relationship.
Step 1. Identify what you want - all of it. Write out everything you want in the relationship, from values to love of travel and pets and on to such things as spending habits. Condense that to one page.
Step 2. Evaluate your current relationships. If they don't match what you want, get rid of them. There is no reason to hold on to a relationship just because it's all you've got. Holding on is one way to ensure you'll never get what you want. There isn't room physically or emotionally for anyone else. Your time and emotional energy are spent.
Step 3. Be willing to wait for the right relationship. Think of dating as an interview process. As soon as you find something that is a red flag to you, let go. That might mean saying no even when your feelings tell you to say yes.
For me, red flags are things like cruelty, lack of integrity and indecisiveness. Identify what you really can't tolerate.
Step 4. Make yourself available. The best way to meet people is through friends. They've done the screening for you. You won't meet anyone in your living room unless it's the Fuller Brush man or the Avon lady. Get out where people are. Force yourself even when you don't feel like it. You probably will go out with six turkeys before you get an eagle.
Step 5. Listen to your dates and believe them when they tell you what they want. Don't believe you can change someone's mind. If you want a monogamous relationship, say so. If your date says he just wants to have fun and play the field, believe him. When your goals or values don't match, let go.
Step 6. Think positively. At first you may find yourself going through relationships quickly. Rather than getting down on yourself for dating "losers," think of the time spent looking as your interview process. If you define what you want, you'll know more quickly what you don't want.