"If you are looking for love," wrote the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC-17 AD), "you should spend your time in the stadium and the theatre, since it is in public places where you are most likely to find a companion to your taste. Bees know that, for making honey, they need to keep close to the flowers."
Five steps to improve your relationships
The details to reach the place where you want to be have changed, but not the principles. Today, as in Ancient Rome, personal initiative generates opportunities. The following five points summarize the teachings of The Art of Love. These are the sort of recommendations that each of us can apply. These five steps may improve our relationships in any environment or situation.
1. Make up your mind
Decide what kind of social life you want to have. Your determination will greatly contribute to your success. In this sense, meeting new people, making friends, or dating are like any other venture. If you have gone through divorce, have you decided that you are going to start looking for a new partner? Make a firm resolution and give it the priority that it deserves.
2. Ignore negative comments
In particular, you should ignore all unfair criticism of your goals. You can always find reasons not to do something. If you let people, they will name you more obstacles than you can ever imagine. Life is already difficult enough without paying attention to discouraging remarks, so don't.
Avoid in particular comparing yourself to someone whom you might consider luckier. The world is made of all sorts of persons. If you are looking for love, all you have to do is find one good match for yourself. Shrug your shoulders at comparisons and look for the type of person that suits you best.
Your time on earth is limited. You only have one life to live. Move forward with it and don't get stuck in pointless arguments. Let people have their own opinion, but choose what you consider optimal for yourself. Opt for what is rational, even if that alternative lacks popular support.
3. Decide how you want to play
When it comes to developing an active social life, our century offers infinite possibilities for meeting people. If you live in a mid-sized town, there are clubs you can join and entertainment locales you can visit. The internet is, of course, the largest venue of all.
Ignore fashion and follow your own values. For your search of companions, select times and places that match your interests and disposition. Your background and constraints are unique. Your present course of action should be in line with your vision of the future. Never rely on chance to solve your problems. Take action from which success can be expected.
4. Run the race you have chosen
Do not let discouragement hold you back from taking action. Make entrepreneurship a habit in business and personal relationships. Stay alert and seize opportunities as they come along. Change the way you think. View life as a market that offers infinite possibilities.
No matter how you decide to play, you will increase your chances of success if you do it regularly. You might have to invest many hours to develop a satisfactory social life. Meeting people, making friends, and dating are similar to looking for a job. First, you have to detect the opportunity. Then, you have to seize it.
5. Find a bird that can fly
Entrepreneurs who wish to purchase an existing business often explore dozens of possibilities before they finally make a deal. They are not looking to buy just any company. Their interest is attracted only by businesses with high growth potential which also match their personal taste. They want to catch a bird that can fly.
In the field of personal relationships, you should be willing to discard what doesn't work. Don't hang around someone who is not a good match for you. You are looking for an individual who will make you happier than you already are.
If you are serious about finding a love companion, single-mindedness will move you closer to the place where you want to be. You can never predict the moment when the opportunity for a great relationship will come across your way. Search persistently and keep your eyes open.
Choose the wisdom of rational action
In business, love, or friendship, discard speculative advice and choose the wisdom of rational action. Your personal initiative is the decisive factor to enhance your well-being and improve your prospects for the future.
Let others debate if the world should be this or that way. Focus on specific actions that you can carry out to ameliorate your own situation. Make a pause from time to time, assess your progress, and correct your mistakes. Move on and redouble your attempts to reach the place where you want to be. Personal initiative is the key to achieve more in life. Let your actions speak for themselves.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
[Image by Mara 1 under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us]