By Janeen Diamond for Hope After Divorce

“There is a difference between loving, helping and accepting others, and actually letting them be a part of your precious life.”   

These days, we all seem to talk a lot about our kids or our friends or our spouses going off to “find themselves” when things aren’t going quite right for them. But the truth of the matter is, it isn’t really possible to “find” ourselves. If we are going to be successful in our relationship and love life, we must “make” ourselves into the person we want to be. Consider these two pieces of dating advice: First, remember to have realistic expectations, and second, know that you can choose to be happy with yourself. I love the following quote by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz: “People often say that this or that person has not yet found himself. But the self is not something one finds. It is something one creates.”

Related Link: Kindness No Matter What

I have had experiences with a few loved ones who seem to bounce around, waiting for life to suddenly make them happy or turn into something that will completely surprise them. But, in my opinion, they will wait a lifetime. If we want certain things in our lives, we have to go after them. We can’t expect something magic to happen or believe that, if we wish for something to happen, it will eventually just appear. This is especially true when it comes to dating.

Expert Love Advice About Realistic Expectations

Along those same lines, getting married and expecting the other person to turn your life around for you is completely unrealistic. My expert love advice is to remember that marriage is about two healthy people bringing their best selves into an important relationship and love with the plan to contribute in every way possible. I am of the mindset that we are each responsible for our own happiness and for the things we accomplish in this life. If you are friends with or married to a person who drains you and drags you down, only you can do something about it. Here’s some dating advice for how to decide what that something is going to be:

  • Give as much as you can to the other person; it will facilitate your own happiness and help you enjoy life on a higher level.
  • Keep a positive attitude and try to encourage your partner or friend to get outside themselves.
  • Keep working on the person you want to be — your own happiness and security will make all the difference in the world.
  • If nothing changes and you are still feeling drained, consider letting go.

Related Link: Is Your Life Working?

How to Have Positive Relationships and Love in Your Life

I have reached a point in my life where I am willing and able to move on from relationships that are negative. I once told a friend that I could no longer be her friend because it was simply too difficult. It was an amazing experience to be able to kindly release myself from something that wasn’t right for me. I became a stronger person at that point and someone who has been able to be more selective about the people I let into my life.

There is a difference between loving, helping and accepting others, and actually letting them be a part of your precious life. I believe we can help those who need guidance without letting them influence us in a negative way. If you have relationships in your life you need to reconsider, take some time and think through what needs to change.  Part of creating the person we want to be is surrounding ourselves with like-minded people who can influence us in the way we want to be influenced.  Don’t be afraid to do a little housecleaning!

For more information about Hope After Divorce and their relationship experts, click here.

Cupid's Pulse Article: Dating Advice: Create The Person You Want To BeJaneen Diamond, author of Save Your Marriage in 30, was a newscaster for KUTV News until 2001. Since that time, she has been actively producing commercials and special programming through her company, Your TV Spot. She has hosted several television and internet productions and has been a spokesperson for several products and companies. She is a leader over the youth in her church and takes a special interest in helping kids stay on track with their lives. Janeen is currently co-creating “Teen Impact TV,” a website for high school students to give them a creative and emotional outlet. She is a contributing expert for HopeAfterDivorce.org, DivorceSupportCenter.com, FamilyShare.com, and CupidsPulse.com. Follow her on Twitter @janeendiamond and www.facebook.com/janeen.diamond.