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The Best Mindset to Find a Relationship in the New Year

Around the New Year is when people everywhere decide they would like to make positive changes in their lives. 

Maybe you can relate. You want next year to be different. You want to find a trustworthy, marriage-minded man and you want to experience the kind of love you desire.

If this describes you, you are definitely in the right place because in this post, I’m going to share about getting in the right mindset to improve your opportunities to find a relationship.



A Little Story From My Own Life

Over the last several years, I’ve been working on improving my eating habits. I never thought I would get stuck and unhealthy dieting patterns, trying this nutrition plan or this diet and that one, but that is exactly what has happened over the last several years—and I’ve always been feeling like I’ve been blowing it and can’t stick to anything. Many moments, I have felt as if I have zero self-control.  

One day as I was doing some chores around the house, a thought popped into my mind: “Stop saying, ‘I can’t.” This was a surprising thought because I haven’t been verbally saying “I can’t.” I’ve just had more of an overall feeling of “I can’t” . . .an overall feeling of defeat.

In that moment, I realized I had been stuck in non-productive health patterns, not because something outside me has true power over me, but I was giving my power away. I felt as if I was being controlled and couldn’t make good choices, that I couldn’t stop eating junk food  or eating too much, even though I wanted to.

This simple phrase, “Stop saying, ‘I can’t” brought me face-to-face with my internal condition: I felt like a victim—and I was reminded that I do have power over poor eating habits. It was such an obvious, liberating revelation!

I no longer had to feel that there was something outside me making me do what I didn’t want to do. I no longer had to feel that I was being controlled because I am entirely in control of my choices and what goes in my mouth. I am in control of this part of my life so nothing can control me unless I allow it.


So what does all of this have to do with being single or with finding a trustworthy marriage minded man or finding that committed relationship that you've longed for?

It has everything to do with it because lots of times as we age, many singles feel that there is a lot they can’t control.

They feel as if we tried everything and nothing has worked out, maybe they have experienced multiple failed relationships or rejections, and so they feel stuck in singleness even though it's not what they want.

A key to getting what you want in your love life or any other area of life is to determine what you are in control of and what you are not in control of.

For me, getting what I want has everything to do with realizing that I am in control of what goes in my mouth. I am in control of whether or not I exercise. And once I recognize that I am in control, I can no longer say “I can’t.” Now, instead I have to say, “I won’t.”

What You Can't Control in Your Love Life

There are certainly some things that you cannot control in your love life.

For example, you can't control other people.
You can't control if a man is patient or if he is kind towards you.
You cannot control if a man is responsible.
You cannot control if You get asked out on a second date.
You can't make a man be interested in you or fall in love with you.

You can do things to encourage these situations to happen. You can create circumstances in a relationship to encourage commitment, but you can’t control all circumstances or men.

But there are things that you can control in your love life. And that's what I want to focus on right now to help you start the new year off feeling empowered and hopeful.

What About "I Can't" and "I Can"?

Okay, to get started, I want to focus on the phrase, “I can’t.”

There are some things we may say we can't control that we can control because saying that we can control them is uncomfortable. “I can” will require something of you. I can requires change. I can will make you start to focus on solutions and ways you can change your attitude, your dating strategy, dating patterns, or dating decisions.  

On the contrary, “I can't” will let you stay right where you are without making progress, without changing yourself, without improving your internal world, without taking risks, without facing the fear of opening your heart, and without getting what you really want.

If you use the phrase “I can't” what you’re really doing is allowing yourself to be controlled by outside circumstances, by limiting beliefs, or by others.

For example, perhaps you have felt “I can’t” have the relationship you want because there aren’t enough men in your small town.  Okay, granted. Maybe there aren’t a lot of men around. That said, when you acknowledge the true condition of your situation, “there aren’t a lot of single men in my town” and you couple that with “I can” meet more men, now you will be open to alternative solutions, dating strategies and plans.

“I can’t” will keep you stuck. “I can” will empower you and help you take ownership over what you can control.

I can make a dating plan. I can develop a new relationship strategy. I can take risks. I can get coaching. I can do something different.

When you have opportunities to make a good relational change in your life, but you find yourself saying “I can’t” or coming up with reasons why you’ll always be alone, you’re allowing yourself to be controlled. And wherever there is control, there is fear.

It takes courage to say “I can put myself out there,” “I can make changes to meet more men” “I can sign reach out to Shana for coaching” “I can check out More Than Matching.”

Saying “I can't” is easier than embracing “I can” because when we say “I can” we must take ownership for what we can control and that means we often also must take on what we can't control and that can be scary because the unknown can be scary.

Here’s what I mean:

Let's say you want to get married getting married requires I do from two people and one of them isn't you. You can't control someone else but you can control yourself.

What You Can Control in Your Dating and Relationship Life 

  • You can control your approach to dating.
  • You can control your health both emotional and physical to a degree so you're better prepared for a relationship.
  • You can learn about yourself.
  • You can learn about what motivates you to make the choices that you do in your love life.
  •  You can learn about the opposite sex. You can change your unhealthy dating patterns and find out what those are you can learn how to recognize a potential mate. You can learn about red flags. You can drop unproductive dating patterns that you may have.

    When you start to embrace "I can" and start to say "I can" and you start to make changes to move towards your end goal to get married to find that trustworthy marriage minded guy who adores you, you are also embracing the "I can't" of "I can't control someone else." And that can be scary. It takes courage to say, “I can”

What Do You Really Want?

So you have to ask yourself, “What do I really want?” What do I want the next 12 months to look like? Do I want to do something different?

What I mean is is that right now you decide to say, “There are some things in my love life that I can control and that means I can do something about those things. That means I’m going to stick my neck out there and own my desire. And that’s scary because maybe someone I am interested in won’t be interested in me. That means I could get rejected. That means that it might be difficult. That means it might hurt."

So, how do you get the courage to say “I can” which will cause you to take ownership of what you can control and should cause you to act?

First, stop identifying with the bad things that happened in your past. Yes, you may have experienced rejection. Yes, you haven’t had a long-term relationship. Yes, you may have sabotaged relationships with good men. But these things are not you. They happened to you. You chose them.  But you are not defined by your past.  

Next, admit what you really want. If you don’t admit what you want, you can't go after what you want with intentionality.

Not admitting that you really want a relationship will cause you to say, once again, “I can’t” which is really another way of saying, “I won’t," especially when you know what’s in your control.

Admitting that you really want a relationship will empower you to move forward. When the desire for a relationship trumps your fear of getting hurt or making a mistake, or being abandoned, you’ll be able to move forward and improve your opportunities to get a great relationship.

Okay, I get that this is difficult, because unfulfilled desire can feel so difficult. You can almost feel that you are going to be emotionally destroyed with want. But  if you don’t keep your heart open, you could miss a relationship that could be good when it comes your way.

Next, prepare yourself for internal resistance. Once you start to say, “I can,” you decide to actively make some changes and control what you can control if your love life (you move, you get coaching, you sign up to have a conversation with me for morethanmatching.com) you might start to feel internal resistance. A part of you doesn’t want to make a change. It’s easier staying where you are.

So you might retell yourself the narrative that you have been telling yourself for a long time: 

“I’m stuck and I’ll always be stuck.”
“No one is ever going to want me.”
“I can’t handle the risk of heartbreak.”
“It hasn’t worked for me now, it’s never going to work.”
“There aren’t any good men out there.”

These non-productive narratives may feel like they are keeping you safe, but they are really supporting your “I can’t.” And "I can’t" is about being controlled rather than taking ownership of your love life.

When you start to say, “I can,” you start to take ownership for what you can control in your love life, and you admit to yourself that you want someone special in your life, you’re more likely to meet someone who is on the same path, someone who is also saying “I can” who is taking ownership for what they can control in their love life, and admitting to themselves that they want to find someone special.

Let me give you an example.

When I started coaching Linda, she told me that she wanted a relationship and that she realized she was stuck in the same dating patterns that she'd been stuck in for years. And, she started to recognize these are holding me back from getting the committed relationship that she wanted.

She didn't say “I'm stuck and I can't change.” She didn't say “I'm stuck and that's who I am.” She didn't make excuses about why she was stuck or why she was going to stay stuck. She didn’t say “I can’t.” Instead, she said, “I can” and when she did it opened her up to look for solutions.

She also didn’t ignore her situation. She said, “I’m stuck and I can get unstuck. I can change but I need help doing it.”

So we started working together and she implemented a plan to meet more men online while we worked on the internal challenges she had that were holding her back. 

She met lots of men, had lots of first conversations, and some second conversations with some of them.

Then she met Michael. He was nice, they had great conversations, he was a professional like her, and they shared the same faith. All things that were very important to her. 

Michael said he wanted a relationship, but there was a problem. He was still telling himself “I can’t” rather than take ownership of his dating and relationship life. “I can't have a relationship because I have commitment problems. I can't ever seem to pull the trigger and commit.” even after he had several opportunities in long-term relationships with women who wanted to marry him.

Mike was being held back, not because of what he couldn't control. Not because of things outside of him that were making him have an unproductive love life.

Instead, things that were in his power of control, his own personal growth were holding him back.

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute, Shana. Fears are a very real thing.” Indeed they are. Love can feel scary. But fears do not have to control us. We can learn how to master them by getting help and learning about why we are afraid. We can learn coping skills.

For Mike, there was another good woman, Linda, who was standing right in front of him. She was interested. He got in his own way and ended it with her. He was being controlled rather than taking control.

But Linda knew that she could. She kept saying, “I can get past my unproductive dating patterns.” I can change and I will because I would like to find a great relationship.

Linda could have said, “I can’t find anyone. I am stuck. I have always been stuck.” But she didn’t.

When she met Paul a few months later, it was immediately evident that he was interested in finding a special woman for a long-term committed relationship. He told Linda after the first conversation that he would like to meet her in person.

Paul wanted to find someone; he admitted it to himself and he was doing the things that were in his control in his dating life to find someone. He was intentional in his relationship with Linda.

Paul and Linda both decided to say, “I can” and do what they could instead of say, “I’m stuck. I’ve always been stuck. I can’t change anything.” And now, they are in a happy, serious, committed relationship.

When you decide to be intentional and serious about finding someone, you improve your opportunities to find someone because just like Linda did with Mike, you’ll “weed out” everyone who doesn’t have the same relationship goals and isn’t serious about finding someone.

When it comes to love there are a lot of things you can't control.

You can't make someone be interested in you.

You cannot make someone change their opinion of you, and you can't control it if a guy has commitment issues but there are a lot of things you can control.

You can control your emotions. If you live somewhere where there aren't people you can move to somewhere where you can meet more candidates.

You can get out more on the weekends.

You can say yes when somebody who wants to set you up on a blind date.

You can say yes to learning about how to date productively.

You can say yes to coaching or to other programs like More Than Matching that can help you reach your relationship goals.

But when you start to say “This is who I am. I am rejectable. I am stuck. I am not lovable” then you’re saying “I can’t.”

And as I mentioned, “I can’t” will let you stay right where you are. It requires nothing of you.

But “I can” will help you find solutions around prior relationships and dating troubles, just like Linda found solutions.

If you keep doing what you did in 2021, what will the result be?

Be encouraged! It's time to take the bull by the horns and go after what you want and take the risk to love. It’s time to stop telling yourself stories that are keeping you trapped. It’s time to start saying, “I can” and start finding solutions.

I hope you've been encouraged by this I hope that you know that 2022 can be different for you.

The dream you have to love—and be loved—is possible! 

Your coach, 


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