What Is The Secret To Improving Your Relationships?


Have you ever wondered what the secret to improving relationships is?

Here is one method that is sure to make an impact across the board.


Just as he is about to dive into his apple pie a la mode, Cody hears, “So, what’s new in your dating world? Meet anyone exciting lately?”

Clunk, down goes his spoon.

”Way to turn a sweet treat unsavory,” Cody thinks.

He knows his sister is just trying to be sociable and show some interest in his life. But really? Did she have to bring up dating? Now?

Before he can answer, his almost-tween-aged niece pipes up with, “I think you’re awesome Uncle Cody. You should date yourself!”



Out of the mouths of babes


”Okay, now she’s just talking crazy. Of course she would say something like that, what does she know? That doesn’t even make sense.” Cody muses.

As the three of them laugh off her comment, they hoist their spoons and the apple pie a la mode becomes delectable once again. The conversation smoothly veers down other avenues and the evening sails on with nary another bump in the road.

Over the next few days though, his niece’s comment keeps popping back into the forefront of his mind.

“I think you’re awesome Uncle Cody. You should date yourself!”

Why will it not leave him alone?

True, his latest dating stint did not work out the way he had wished it to. It left him grateful for the fun times that were had and appreciative of the honesty they shared though feeling blue for the too-soon ending of something that seemed so right.

And yes, he felt many emotions roll through him on his journey of parting ways, but he learned to take those emotions for what they are, feel them, sit with them, and let them go, so the ending was not as devastating for him as it had been the time before.

However, Cody would be lying to himself if he did not admit that it left him wondering if something was lacking, or insufficient within himself; or wondering when he might find someone who really gets him.


“I think you’re awesome Uncle Cody. You should date yourself!”

”Okay,” he thinks, “is there more to this than meets the eye? Is that why this won’t leave me alone?”

Cody begins to really reflect on his niece’s words.

He is not sure that he would come right out and say he is awesome, but he does feel pretty confident in himself these days, standing deeper in his truth and engaging in the world around him; definitely more awesome than he felt a year ago anyways, so he appreciates his niece’s appraisal and recognizes his progression toward fully embodying it.

Now, about that ‘date yourself’ part…

Where is that going? What truths are there in that? Or revelations?

His niece meant it as, ‘You are so awesome, you are the perfect match for you. You’d be so happy just hanging out with yourself’.

Is he? Is he happy hanging out with himself?

Good question.

Until recently he had not really had a lot of time to ‘hang out with himself’. Having been in a long-term relationship, and then the shorter, most recent one, he was used to having his time occupied with the everyday doings of a couple.

But now, now he has all the time in the world for himself.

What does he like to do? What are his interests? What fires up his soul? How does he like to be? Where does he like to be?

It has been so long since he put himself first that he actually struggles to answer his own questions.

How can he be happy hanging out with himself if he does not even know himself?

Which leads him to the next level of this reflection: might he get to know himself better if he really did ‘date himself’?


“I think you’re awesome Uncle Cody. You should date yourself!”

He thinks about it.

What do you do when you date someone?

You meet them, spend time with them, and get to know them: their passions, their likes, their dislikes; things they find humor in; the things that touch their heart; the things they cannot abide by; favorite foods and movies and places; being an adventurer/traveler, peaceful stay-cationer or somewhere in between.

You try new things out together, and sometimes are led to new experiences you would not have thought of doing or not have even known are available, were you not open to exploring the world outside your usual realm.

You pay attention to them.

You pay attention to yourself: how you speak and behave, look and feel when you are around the other.


Woah, perhaps he should ‘date himself’!


Do things such as…

Ask himself questions and listen to his answers.

Try new things that catch his eye or breath or imagination!

Follow his heart toward or away from opportunities that present themselves.

Notice the amazing things about himself, as well as the not-so-amazing.


These would help him clarify who he is, what his passions and dreams are, what routines he enjoys in his life, and what he would like to tweak or shed.

These would enable him to feel more connected to himself - less adrift during the down-times of dating when there is no one else to help define him.

These would empower him to consciously love himself. Not that he does not already love himself because, sure, he thinks of himself as a pretty decent human, but now he would be aware of his reasons for loving himself.


Seeing the light


As Cody contemplates this process of ‘dating himself’ he is drawn to another level of reflection:

What might happen when I know myself better?

“I think you’re awesome Uncle Cody. You should date yourself!”

Well, when he knows himself better he is more comfortable and confident.

He has more to offer in any kind of relationship, be it family, friends, work, or partner, because his being and actions are coming from a place of clarity, connection and love.

He does not need another person to define him and provide his happiness, but he welcomes other people to join him and add to the awesomeness that already is.

And who can resist that?

‘Maybe, just maybe,’ Cody ponders, ‘Dating yourself is a secret key to attaining ideal relationships.’


What do you think?

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If the sun is shining, my Crosstrek is calling me to fill up her tank, throw open her sunroof, and head for the back-roads. With wind in my hair, I smile at everyone I see. Grace smiles back at me (even through the trees).