Everyone knows that fall is a time for reinvention. And if the thing you’d like to reinvent is the fact that you’d like to have someone to watch the leaves turn with, I totally understand. Sure, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being single — but there also isn’t any shame in wishing you had a partner.
As someone who’s spent the majority of my 20s in relationships and who’s now in the happiest partnership of my life, I have a few tricks I’d recommend for opening yourself up to love and happiness this fall. They worked for me, and I hope you find them useful, too.
1. Go Out Alone — And Don’t Look At Your Phone
Sounds terrifying, I know, but it works. Make that neighborhood bar or restaurant you’ve always liked Your Place. If it sounds too scary, consider going somewhere that has live music you can watch, or bringing a notebook if you like to draw or write.
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While I’m shy, I’m one of those social smokers, and have also found that taking my vape out on the town makes me much more likely to strike up conversations with strangers — and makes a good conversation starter. (Here’s my list of romantic dates to take yourself out on alone to get started.)
2. Find Your Meditation Of Choice
This can be traditional mindfulness meditation, but it can also be doodling, journaling, long walks, talking to yourself in the mirror, dancing naked, getting stoned and just thinking — you name it. Whatever it is, in order to find that special friend, it really is true that you have to make real friends with yourself first. Give yourself ample time to reflect on what you want — both in yourself, and a partner. Which brings me to…
3. Make A List
Make a list with four columns: What Makes Me a Catch; Ways I Could Still Grow; What Hasn’t Worked In Past Relationships; What I Want In a Partner Going Forward. Be honest but brief — this is not a place to chastise yourself or others, or to go on epic rants. It’s just a matter of gaining some clarity around why you deserve love, how you can keep evolving personally, and what you need in a partner. If you lay it all out, you may find it’s easier to weed out people who simply aren’t a fit on first dates — or to give certain people a chance.
4. Donate All The Clothing That Makes You Feel Anything Less Than Happy
Those pants that cut into your waist, that dress you’re saving for when you lose weight, that shirt your ex told you was worn and that you just wear out of spite. Pare things down, and try to only leave room for the clothing that makes you feel attractive and that feels like you now. (If you’re not sure how to figure that out, this happens to be one of my absolute favorite stoned activities.)
5. If You’re Online Dating, Be Completely, Brutally Honest
In answering any questions for dating site algorithms, you’re doing yourself zero favors if you simply answer the way you think you “should.” Similarly, if you present your profile or pictures in a way that feels in any way disingenuous, you might get some dates, but you likely won’t find a partner. If you’re not sure how to do this, ask your best friend to come over one night and do an honesty check with you.
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I’d online dated to only moderate success for years, and it was only when I was going through a breakup and made the most brutally honest profile of my life (stoned, again,I might add) that I ended up finding the most compatible partner I’ve ever had. Those algorithms work — but they only reward honesty.