We all want to find, receive, and give love in our lives. Love, connection, and intimacy with another human being give us meaning, strength, courage, and motivation. Love also grounds us, gives us calmness, and creates a net of safety and comfort.
On the flip side, if we lack real love – romantic love in particular – life can feel lonely, empty, and unfulfilled (especially if people around you are in a wedding frenzy). I'm not suggesting that having romantic love in your life will solve all your problems, but I AM saying that the desire to experience true love is something completely legitimate, important, and worthy.
The problem I see is that many of my clients get so bogged down by their fears of never finding love that their efforts become unnatural and inauthentic, which creates stagnation, stuck-ness, and frustration.
If falling in love becomes a chore, it’s no longer falling in love.
You can't force your way into intimacy.
If desperation and anxiety are your motivators, romance can't unfold.
I know what you're thinking: Easier said than done!
That’s why I want to share with you the three areas I work on with my clients in order to release desperation and fear, and instead invite real love into their lives. Not all of them are true for every person but generally these points address some very basic limitations people create for themselves.
Ask yourself these three questions:
1. Am I attached to a story of how “falling in love” will happen and what exactly my partner will be like?
Are you attached to the idea of falling in love at first sight? Are you attached to what your perfect mate will look like, what kind of job is acceptable, how you want this person to dress? Are you attached to where you will meet and how your first encounter will go?
While I'm all for creating positive visions for you life, I generally warn my clients about getting too specific on the “how” parts. Instead, I recommend focusing on how you want to feel. What physical and emotional sensations to you want to have when you look at your partner in the morning? How do you feel lying in this person's arms?
2. Am I a perfectionist?
Brené Brown once said, “Perfectionism is a self-destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.”
This quote is so insightful because it makes clear that perfectionism is a protective mechanism that's established as a result of fear of being hurt. As long as you hide out behind those glossy walls of perfectionism, you leave no room for spontaneous, passionate, and deep love. You're effectively creating distance between you and the world. What would it take for you to tear down your walls of self-protection and become more vulnerable? When two people can be vulnerable together, a tight and intimate bond can form between two souls, and that bond is what will last throughout life’s challenges.
3. Am I treating myself the way you want your partner to treat you?
I had a client who was serial dating the "bad guy." She felt really frustrated by it, but when we looked at how she treated herself – physically and also mentally – it became clear that she constantly pushed her body instead of treating it with kindness. She was also constantly beating herself up in her head and her internal world was dominated by feelings of insecurity and deficiency. Since she didn’t treat herself well, she was a magnet for "bad guys."
If this applies to you, here's what you have to know: The signal you're sending out by not treating yourself with respect and kindness is that you don't deserve unconditional love and caring affection. Expecting someone else to treat you well is outside of your realm of control. The only thing within you personal power is how you treat yourself. In other words: you need to role-model how you deserve to be treated by treating yourself well first and foremost.
Everyone deserves love and romance and that includes YOU! I know you can do this! Be patient with yourself and take on one step at a time.