If you, like me, have #2016lovegoals, we need a plan to make this year different from the previous ones. I’m not saying this because my dad reminded me of it last weekend—though sometimes I think he can read my mind—I had drafted this post two months ago. Here are five things that I’ve started—or will start—doing to increase my chances of finding love in 2016. I’m even setting reminders on my phone to make sure I do them!
Regularly and sincerely pray for a spouse (in progress)
Over five years ago I shared that I felt odd praying for a spouse, even though it’s what my dad did and it worked for him. In that post I used the word resentful and it’s true: I resent that something that seems to come easily to others has been a challenge for me. But then I think of the things I have that others have been praying for for a long time and I’m humbled. I forgive myself for the very human behaviour of fixating on what I don’t have.
My faith has been tested in this area, so sincere and earnest prayers it is. More than I would like to be married, I want God’s will to be done in my life because what’s the point of getting married, if only regret follows?
Be the best Jummy (in progress and will be forever)
I had a great talk with a friend a couple of months ago and she told me she’s determined not to ask for more in a man than she’s ready to bring to the table. I’m with her 100%, but this line of thought can be dangerous if you have a tendency to be hard on yourself (ahem). You might end up thinking along the lines of “Oh, that’s why I’m still single—I have too many flaws to take care of and I’m so far away from being my best self!” You end up feeling defeated by all of the work you think you need to do before you can be worthy of being someone’s spouse—this is all mindset stuff that you need to fight.
Most married people will tell you that marriage involves lots of growing and learning. So just because you want a man with super-strong faith doesn’t mean you have to live in the church 24/7: maybe God’s plan is that your husband will be the one to help strengthen your faith, while you’ll strengthen him in other areas. Or if you want a spouse with a body to die for, you may not have to be Ms. Supertoned 2016 because he may like a different physique—you get the point.
There are some bad habits that creep into your life that you can work on: if you’ve lived on your own for a while, you may be used to doing things your way and you may need to accept that there’s more than one way to do everything. Or, maybe you’ve become a little selfish, used to putting your needs first all the time. Maybe you need to learn to truly listen (without waiting for an opportunity to talk about yourself) and learn to empathize with others…these are the kinds of things that you can decide to prioritize, rather than seeking perfection.
Help others in this situation (keeping my eyes open for opportunities)
I’m tired of people telling me that I should give up on marrying a fellow Nigerian, as if I have a line of non-Nigerians trying to date me who I’m turning away—not the case, my friends! There are Nigerians like me age-wise and location-wise who want to meet fellow Nigerians to marry and we should be able to support each other, especially if everyone else around us is discouraging us—I blogged about this six months ago. I want to play matchmaker for others (and I won’t say no if it’s reciprocated!). If you’re in the position to play matchmaker for someone I say go for it! I always feel good when I choose to help someone rather than wallow in self pity (though sometimes I’m guilty of wallowing!).
Online dating? Again? Really? (need to decide on the website and the duration of my membership)
There’s nothing like joining an online dating website, particularly a paid one, to make you feel like you’re being proactive, even if nothing comes of it. The last time I paid my good money for a website was in 2014 and it was a total waste of money, and I was passive on the site. The next time I try online dating I intend to participate fully, searching for profiles that look interesting and doing the online equivalent of giving a “come hither” look (I can’t do it in person so maybe I can manage it online!).
If you want tips on preparing to date online, you should check out Queenette Nwobodo at Love Amaka. Queenette is a relationship coach that I met not too long ago and she caters to smart, savvy women who are looking for love. What I like about her style is she starts with your mindset first, before working on strategies to get you closer to Mr. Right.
Network hacking (I need to finishing drafting an email and press “send”)
I’ve tried this before without success but it’s worth another try. Network hacking for love involves telling people whose judgement you trust that you’re open to being set up or introduced to a potential suitor. If you’re the potential matchmaker, check out the thought-provoking comments left by some of you and my big tip in the comments of Talking to single friends about being single.
The major disadvantage to this option is having nosy people who want regular updates on how things are progressing. If you’re in this situation you need to have the confidence to respectfully say “I appreciate your interest and I promise that you’ll be the first to know when things get serious or when they fizzle” and stop there. it’s your life and you don’t owe anybody anything for connecting you! After all, they won’t be in your relationship, for better or for worse, so you need to protect whatever level of privacy you need.
If you know anyone who was single for a while but is now married, what did they do to bring about the change?