Do You Need To Figure Yourself Out Before You Can Find A Life Partner?
Many of my clients come to me with the belief that they need to have their own lives totally figured out—and all their own inner work complete—before they will be able to attract a loving partner and sustain a healthy, long-lasting relationship. They often ask me, "Do I need to be totally healed before I can attract my beloved?"
There are three false beliefs going on with this question:
1. The concept that we can be completely healed is false.
Healing is an ongoing process that actually has no endpoint. There is no "getting there." Any time we are taking responsibility for our own feelings and are open to learning about loving ourselves and others, we have "healed moments." But whenever we are abandoning ourselves by ignoring or numbing our feelings with various self-judgments or addictions, we are acting from an unhealed, wounded part of ourselves. And we all do this to varying degrees.
2. Seeking out a perfect, healthy person is a fruitless endeavor.
We attract at our common level of woundedness or our common level of emotional health, and it is unrealistic to believe that there is a perfect, evolved healed partner out there. We are each a work in progress.
3. Being in a relationship will inevitably draw out all the unhealed parts of you.
No matter how much healing you do as a single person, everything unhealed comes up in a primary committed relationship. Our deepest level of woundedness occurred in our first relationships, and our deepest level of healing can occur with a partner—if you are both open to learning and on a healing path.
What you actually need to do to attract a loving partner:
You do have a better chance of attracting a loving relationship if you are doing your own healing work. The more you heal your self-abandonment—which is all the ways you are unloving to yourself—the better chance you have of attracting a partner who is also doing healing work on learning to love themselves.
Attraction occurs primarily on the energy level. The Law of Attraction states that "like attracts like," which means that like frequency attracts like frequency. We are in a low-frequency state when we are anxious, depressed, angry, insecure, shamed, empty, jealous, and so on, and we are in a high-frequency state when we are peaceful, secure, fulfilled, kind, compassionate, and loving. When we abandon ourselves, we cause the low-frequency feelings, and when we are loving ourselves, we are creating the high-frequency feelings.
Find your match today with eHarmony. Free to join.
In other words, the more you learn to love yourself, the better chance you have of attracting a loving partner.
Loving yourself means that you learn to compassionately attend to all your feelings and learn what they are telling you. When you feel painful emotions, it's your body and heart telling you that you are abandoning yourself or that something involving a person or a situation needs your attention. Peaceful and joyful feelings, on the other hand, are letting you know that you are loving yourself.
Loving yourself means treating yourself as you would treat a beloved being. This is the most important choice you can make to get ready to attract your beloved.
Likewise, the most important quality you need to look for in a partner is whether that person is open to learning about themselves and about you. Two open people easily resolve conflict and keep their hearts open to sharing love. You can have great chemistry and lots in common, but if one or both of you are not open to learning in conflict, it won't take long before you abandon yourself and then try to control the other person into giving you what you are not giving to yourself. That means the most important action you can take to get ready for a loving relationship is to practice being open to learning with your own feelings and with others.
You don't need to wait to be "healed" to start being open to love.
If you're waiting around for yourself to be completely done with your inner work before you start opening yourself to romance and connection, you'll be waiting forever. The process of understanding yourself, bettering yourself, and loving yourself happens both inside and outside relationships—and if you've found it difficult to do this in your past relationships, they likely weren't healthy ones or simply weren't the right fit for what you need. That's OK. It doesn't mean relationships aren't for you, nor does it mean you're not ready for relationships. It just means you have room to grow, and if you do want a relationship, you can certainly have one—you just need to find someone who is willing and excited to be growing with you.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D., is a best-selling author, relationship expert, and Inner Bonding® facilitator. She has counseled individuals and couples since 1968. She is the author/co-author of nine books, including the internationally best-selling Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by You?, Healing Your Aloneness, Inner Bonding, and Do I Have to Give Up Me to Be Loved by God? and her recently published book, Diet For Divine Connection. She is the co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® healing process, recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette, and featured on Oprah, as well as on the unique and popular website Inner Bonding.