03/01/2012 11:22 am ET Updated Apr 10, 2012

Training To Get Married

If you want to marry the best possible person for you, start with being the absolute best you can be. The best guys are not looking for an adoptee. They are shopping for a good deal. If you have been thinking about making some personal changes, it's time to get started. Now is the time to make you, your attitude, happiness level, clothes, kids, friends, family, home, work, and work place what you want them to be.

The following guidelines will help you self-market. First, do your best to change whatever needs fixing. Second, whatever isn't fixable, don't let it show until the man you are interested in is interested in you. Every human on the planet has bad attributes as well as good and many of us have faced some major challenges along our life's journeys. Sometimes we have not dealt with those challenges well. The key is to not present those qualities or bad situations as the definition of who you are. If you tell someone that you are a problematic person or not worth their love right up front, they'll probably do you the courtesy of believing you.


Do what you need to do to achieve peace of mind.
Procrastination takes its toll psychologically. It keeps your mind cluttered and robs you of a sense of accomplishment. Do what needs to be done, take it off your list, or at least get started. Schedule time for personal, educational, and spiritual development and periods of R&R. Revel in the time that you provide for yourself and know that you are worth it. Change keeps you interesting and gives you draw. Harried is not sexy. Overwhelmed signals that you really don't have the space in your life to be a good partner. A relaxed attitude is attractive and also sends a clear and lovely message that you have time for a husband.

Pretend you deserve it.
If you feel unworthy of the trophy, accolade or diamond, pretend to be the person you want to be and they think you are. Fake it till you make it. Believe in your own worthiness now. Behaving as though you are deserving helps shape your future with the added benefit of making you more cheerful in the present. Again, people will believe who you tell them that you are.

Evaluate criticism.
Determine if the critique fits you. If so, you have been given a gift. Make use of it by making changes that can only benefit you. If a criticism doesn't fit, there's a strong chance that your critics are describing themselves or their envious natures. Do not accept critiques from toxic sources. It is useless negativity. On the other hand, be grateful for words of advice from the healthy people who care about you being the best you can be.


Improve it.
It's your nest. In it you can do pretty much anything you want, so make it a place you want to be in -- for playing, praying, exercising, cooking, and relaxing. Fill it with wonderful aromas -- heat up some apple cider and cinnamon sticks and let it simmer. Play music sweet to your ears. Create comfortable spaces for yourself and guests.

Reduce clutter.
Give or throw away what you don't need or love and organize the rest. It's good for you, and depending on where you donate it, it might be tax deductible.

Compliment yourself.
Focus on what you do. Listening with interest qualifies, so does successfully driving home without bumps, dents, or finger gestures. Be aware of your large and small accomplishments and give yourself credit. Being less judgmental with yourself will make you easier on the people in your life as well. People who accept themselves are less likely to be judgmental toward others. This will help you draw positive people into your life.

Develop internal support.
You don't need permission to do things. Sometimes you can just announce your plans and goals to yourself and take action. No trial by jury or excessive approval needed for your every action -- this just slows you down in reaching goals.

Relax about relationships.
Not every relationship requires analysis. Don't fix what works. If there are problems, speak up and admit them. If they are immediately solvable or of true importance, come up with solutions. If not, emulate the Scarlett O'Hara school of crisis management and "think about it tomorrow," or drop it altogether. In happy relationships, at least one partner is good at differentiating little from big.

Turn off the phone.
Don't answer when you need uninterrupted time for yourself or for building intimacy and make time for intimacy a regular feature in your home. Date time should not be interrupted by cell phone calls from work, friends, family, etc.


Your time is precious.
Reduce the amount of time you spend with people who believe happy people are unrealistic. They feed on the suspicion that happiness is unnatural. Happiness is an attainable state of mind. Collect people who agree with this concept and you are doubling your chances of maintaining it.

Divorce difficult friends.
Almost everybody is occasionally hard to handle and so are you. Leave behind the people who are hard all the time. They will hinder you in reaching your goal and in the future be a stress in your marriage.


If you don't have a ready supply of humor in your life, buy some. Go to a comedy show, read amusing books, tapes, slogans, and posters. Then share what's funny with others. Laughter is infectious, lifting the spirit and clearing the mind.

If you don't do this a lot, practice on small mammals and furniture. Add people you know. Proceed to people you don't know. The one and only exception? Life-threatening situations.

Turn down the volume.
Electronic media promotes negativity. Do stay current and informed, but select a news source that screens out gratuitous violence and keep noise level at 30 or below to decrease noise pollution in your home.

Limit your drug time.
Turn off the plug-in drug -- television. Books, music and physical activities are generally more uplifting and conducive to good sleep habits. Lower your intake level of alcohol and other simple carbohydrates. They are depressants. Water, vegetables, protein, and fruit combined with exercise do produce a cheerier you.

Reduce expectations.
Double the time you give yourself (and others) for tasks. Forgive mistakes regularly and rapidly.


Get perspective on depression.
Much of it is circumstantial. When the loved family pet dies, you've been cruelly rejected, or your best friend moves to Portland, sadness needs to be felt and experienced, not shoved into your emotional bottle. Unexpressed feeling lasts longer, can get worse, and may come out much later in ways you could regret.

Be revealing.
To those you feel you want to know better and who are capable of understanding, reveal yourself through stories of your childhood, teenage experiences, and current feelings. Answer honestly when caring people ask how you are or if they can help.

Use emotional intelligence with effective communication.
Which sentences are more effective: "When you yell, I can't listen because I get scared and defensive," or "I hate it when you treat me like this." "Would you help me" or You never help me." "Thank you for taking out the trash" or "It's about time you took out this mess." The first choices open connection. The second choices shut it down and doom you to getting less of what you are asking for in the future.

Practice imperfection.
Don't even try for perfection. Excellence is a great goal that you are less likely to achieve if you are attempting to be perfect. Choose some areas to just be adequate -- package wrapping, thank you notes, returning all calls, for example. Life is much more livable if you don't try to be good at everything. Set daily and weekly priorities and regularly ask yourself if you are currently doing what matters to you.