Here are some simple suggestions that can help improve your dating environment:
Look after your mental space
A key first step is to be mindful of what you allow into your mind or mental space. By this, I mean be mindful of what you read, watch and listen to.
When I was thinking about marriage (long before I was even in a relationship), I proactively read books and articles around marriage and relationships, learning about topics like what to look for in the right partner and what a healthy relationship looked like.
I also read a lot about working on yourself to become the right partner for a successful relationship. For me, it was important to prepare myself for the future I wanted and was praying for.
All of this allowed me to develop the right mindset around healthy relationships and marriage, and improve my dating approach. It meant that when the time came, I was able to discern what wasn’t right or healthy, and in the same vein, what was.
Being mindful of what you allow into your mind extends to what you feed your mind subconsciously, on a regular basis. The current age we live in has us constantly bombarded with information from different angles, but it is worth asking yourself if some of what you listen to or watch, or read, help create the right space for you to find a healthy relationship.
Review what and who are influencing you
Consider doing a mind health check by reviewing what you read, social media pages you follow, and what you listen to when it comes to relationships.
Are they feeding you the wrong information and mindset about relationships and marriage? Do they make you feel hopeful, or do they leave you feeling discouraged and even paranoid about future relationships?
If it is the latter, you may want to consider a mind health detox. For example, you may have to unfollow certain social media pages, if their content doesn’t align with the values that you have or want in a future relationship.
It may also mean that you cut off or spend less time with certain people, if those relationships are not building you up, or are unhealthy for you.
Think about the relationships around you
Speaking of relationships, the kind of company you keep is also very important when you are trying to get yourself in the right environment for a healthy relationship.
Are all your friends (single or not) sceptical about marriage? Have they had bad experiences that make them feel like a good relationship is just not possible?
Think about your friends in relationships and marriages – are theirs the kind of relationship that you want for yourself, or do they make you secretly thankful that you’re still single?
You want to be around relationships where there is love, joy, mutual respect, and healthy communication, among others. So, actively seek out and spend time around such people.
Change where you go and what you do
How about your physical environment? I’m never one to encourage church hopping but even I, went through a period of attending two churches at the same time when I was single.
My church barely had any young people (or men!) and I felt like I needed to go somewhere else to increase my chances of meeting someone. I soon realised it wasn’t feasible and decided to trust God that He could bring my husband wherever I was.
But this meant I had to try other things that were out of my comfort zone, like online dating, where I eventually met my husband.
You don’t always need to change your physical environment in order to find a healthy relationship, but you may need to create the right environment around you.
You could consider starting a singles group, or ‘hangout’. You could even ask if your church would organise a retreat for single people (if you’re feeling brave, why not take the lead and organise it yourself?) or have a guest speaker come and talk about what makes a good relationship.
All these can help create the right physical environment for you to find a healthy relationship.
Prayerfully consider bigger changes
You may have tried most of the above and still feel like your physical environment is just not conducive for finding a healthy relationship. If that’s the case, you may want to prayerfully consider changing your physical environment; whether it be the church you attend, or even the city or town you live in.
However, there’s much to be said for knowing that you’re where you’re supposed to be, or where God has called you to be.
Being careful about what we feed our minds, conscious of the company we keep and the relationships we surround ourselves with, as well as looking at how we can adjust our physical environments are just some ways we can place ourselves in the right environment for a healthy relationship.