How to become your own best friend

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Be your own best friend

When it comes to taking on the world of online dating, it always helps to have a best friend on your side. Rebecca Perkins shows us how we can all be our own cheerleaders

Online dating takes courage, and even more so when you’re midlife. You may have not dated in decades and the thought terrifies you. Or you might be a seasoned pro, yet keep finding yourself mulling things over in your mind. We’ve all done it. We’ve all spent time giving ourselves a hard time for that text we sent, or the dire date we just went on, believing we’re hopeless at this dating thing.

When I was dating, I decided that I needed to become my very own best friend; I needed to be my own cheerleader. Let’s face it, the relationship we have with ourselves is the longest lasting relationship we will ever have and the most important.

Here are my 7 top tips for becoming your own best friend:

  • Ask yourself this question, ‘would I speak to my best friend the way I often catch myself speaking to myself?’ I bet the answer is no. There’s no way you’d give your best friend a hard time when she’s in need of a hug, some TLC and a mug of tea.
  • Praise yourself; celebrate when things are going right for you and acknowledge that you’re giving it your best shot. Don’t wait for others to do this, you jump in first and feel that pride.
  • Watch your self-talk! That inner critic that is so often playing at full volume needs to be silenced. Take time to focus on all that you’ve got going for you, give yourself some self-care: run a bath, go for a walk, smell the roses, whatever helps you tune back in to you.
  • Ditch the comparison to others. We spend so much time bombarded by social media updates that seem to show others living ‘perfect’ lives, but remember that it’s all a sham. I love this quote by Steve Furtick, ‘the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.’
  • Spend time in solitude getting to really know yourself and focusing on all that you love about yourself. This might take some practice, but it’s important to get in the habit of appreciating what’s great about you.
  • Be nice to yourself daily. How about making time in your diary each and every day to do one thing that you love or that shows you how much you love yourself? Think of it as a random act of kindness to yourself! Buy a bunch of flowers, lay down on the grass and look up into the sky watching the clouds go by for no reason, or buy a new pair of socks – you get the picture!
  • Shift your focus from the negative to the positive. This won’t happen overnight because you’ve become an expert at only noticing when you mess up. Firstly begin to notice, then choose to let it go, and turn your thoughts to something much more positive. A great question to ask is, ‘what would be more helpful for me to believe about myself right now?’

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