Expert Author Susan Leigh
Most of us want to find someone special to share our lives with and, once found, want to keep that relationship protected.
Being a farmer can make the process more complex as the need to work long hours, being unavailable, sometimes for days at a time, due to the vagaries of the weather and various farming commitments, can reduce the possibility of finding a relationship with a non-farming person.
Some farms are miles from anywhere, leading to isolation and loneliness. Those farmers may report not seeing another soul except for their co-farming mates for days or even weeks at a time.
But it's not just farmers who sometimes struggle to find a relationship. Everyone has their own combination of stresses in life, things going on that distract or preoccupy them. If you want a special someone in your life it's important to appreciate, accommodate and work around each other's issues.
Making a relationship a priority allows the other person to see that you're committed to the process and prepared to really try. Here are some tips for when you're ready for that to happen.
- Decide that having a relationship ranks high on your list. Whether looking online or going to a local sports, social or young farmers group, turn up regularly. Be consistent. Walk the walk and demonstrate that you're serious, but not desperate.
- Invest in your appearance. Is it time for an update? Maybe visit a different hairdresser or barber and be styled by a fresh pair of eyes. Invest in new clothes from a high street store, modernise your fragrance. Make sure you look smart, show you care about yourself and about who you're wanting to meet. After all, I daresay you expect potential dates to look clean, smart and attractive!
- Invest in your conversational abilities, listen to the radio, watch popular TV, be interested in what's happening locally as well as further afield. Then you can join in conversations and see your confidence blossom.
- Listen. Be keen to know about the other person, their interests, what's happening in their lives. And remember what you've been told so you can follow-up next time you meet.
- Invest of yourself. Sometimes you may be too tired to go out, be preoccupied, have lots going on. But if you want a relationship you have to make the effort and suggest meeting up, even if it's for a quick drink, a simple coffee, and that way you'll get a break too. Suggest dates that you'll enjoy, perhaps a film or something quite different to your daily endeavours, like a quiz evening, especially if you're aware that you're letting your relationship focus slide.
- Communicate your struggles and let the other person know what you're going through. Don't hide your challenges or pretend to be something you're not. You may even end up with a supportive ally in your life.
- It's not all about you. If you regularly make excuses, have stopped making an effort and find yourself saying things like, 'this is me, take it or leave it!', don't be too disappointed if you get left behind! Being authentic is important, but so is finding some balance and not being too jaded to enjoy life because you're constantly giving your all to work, leaving nothing for the rest.
If you want a relationship you have to be prepared to put in the time and commitment. Reaping the benefits requires you to first sow and tend the seeds.
Susan Leigh, counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She's author of 3 books, 'Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact', '101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday' and 'Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain', all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.