It is true that dating is the opportunity to build a loving, caring and supportive relationship.  However, one mistake you should avoid is expecting the other person to shape your life for you.  You have the obligation (and opportunity) to make the necessary changes in your life that will make you the ideal mate well before going on any dates.  So what should you do? First, you have to look inside yourself to figure out why you are the way you are and why you may have had unsuccessful relationships in the past.  This does not necessarily mean wallowing in self-pity because you think you have so many negative qualities.  Rather, you need to take time to see your positive and negative traits (you can call these your strengths and your weaknesses if you like).  For example, if you see that alcohol tends to bring out some of your more negative traits, then you should try to see you keep bringing this negativity into your life.  Or maybe you have a food addiction that has contributed to your rapid weight gain?  Every problem has a cause – fortunately, every problem also has a manageable solution.  Recognizing these roadblocks and making active plans for change is a difficult but rewarding step.

Second, you should look at your relationships with other people before you consider dating anyone.  This is important because the state of your current relationships may be a good indicator of how your dating life will progress.  For instance, did you have a problem getting intimate with previous dates?  You should track down the cause of that, because it may sabotage any future relationships you hope to have.  Maybe the cause is that you once had a steady relationship with someone you deeply cared about – but that person cheated on you so you had to break off the relationship.  This kind of experience can be traumatizing and get in the way of future intimacy.

Third, you should figure out what gives your life purpose and meaning right now.  Is it your religion that you seem to get the most support from?  Do you support charities with advocacies that you strongly believe in?  Are there people whom you consider as mentors and want to emulate?  Are there people who depend on you and who may want to emulate you?  Questions like these can help you find out what you really find important – and allow you to build much more meaningful relationships later on.

If you are able to manage your life well then you may find that your true light will shine through in the way you behave on a daily basis.  The importance of this goes far beyond finding the right date – your life will progress better, the people who you are closest to right now will value you even more, and your life goals will seem more achievable even if they are complicated.  When this happens, you may find that you are indeed ready to consider dating someone new and bringing that person into your life.