One of the most common reasons people give as to why they stop dating or close themselves off from love is, “I just never seem to find anybody right for me.” Spending time and money on online dating, speed dating or even just the emotional spend of meeting people through friends or family can get old fast when you feel that it just “never works out.” If you feel this way, I want you to know that I completely understand where you’re coming from. It’s in our nature to avoid doing something if we know it didn't work out last time around. But, should we really be treating finding love the same way we treat finding the right hobby or sport? You guessed it, friend. The answer is a resounding, "No!"
Something I talk about quite often is that, in love and life, it’s so incredibly important to keep an open mind and open heart. Lately, I find that I can't say it enough! While it might sound corny, I truly do believe that things happen for a reason – and always in their own time. There are some things that we simply can’t force, rush or make happen simply by planning. Love, and I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this, is one of those things.
So, how are you supposed to stay open to the idea of love when things haven’t been going your way? Why should you say “yes” to love if you feel that you never meet anyone right for you? These are both incredibly valid questions. In fact, they're the reasons I’m writing this post today. I want to give you some real, actionable ways that you can begin opening yourself up to the possibility of love starting today. I think you’ll find that when you open your mind and heart, that’s when the real magic starts to happen. So, let's jump into it!
1. Leave the Story in the Past, but Take the Lesson with You
Everyone, at some point, has experienced a bad relationship. It may have been romantic. It could have been a friendship. Or, it could even have been with a coworker. When it comes down to it, something went wrong and things didn’t turn out. What I really, really want you to do is to leave that negative experience in the past and not carry it with you on your journey forward.
While failed relationships can offer great opportunities for learning, it’s important that you recognize the learning for what it is and only take that forward in your life – and that you leave the rest in the past. It’s natural to want to protect yourself and to put up walls or barriers, but when you start building more and more of these walls you eventually become entirely closed off. And that makes it even harder for fantastic, new people to make their way into your life.
2. Be Ready for Love by Loving Yourself
I’ve written before about the concept of “like attracting like.” If you’re self-critical and so focused on all the reasons why someone else wouldn’t like you, you’re not opening yourself up to meeting someone – and certainly not allowing for a relationship to truly flourish. It’s been said time and time again, but you honestly do have to learn to love yourself before you’ll truly be comfortable putting yourself out there and saying “yes” to love with another person.
I’d encourage you to browse through some of my older posts to read the different ways you can foster greater self-acceptance and self-love. I believe you’ll find that when you are your happiest, most authentic self is when you’ll attract the right people into your life.
3. Give Yourself a Break
Something I know can be tough to deal with is societal pressure – and this absolutely includes pressure from friends and family. This "pressure" that I speak of may come in the form of them asking about why you’re single. It may come in the form of a comment like, “If you want a family then you better settle down soon!” These types of comments aren’t always meant to be hurtful. In fact, the people saying them usually have no idea the negative energy the words can carry. These types of thoughts have been engrained into people’s heads by way of societal pressure and what society defines as “normal.” The thing is, there is no real “normal.”
We live in a world that’s evolving faster than ever before. More women are building careers and working full time than ever before. Industries are changing, booming and collapsing at rapid speeds. People aren’t living in one place for all their lives and are traveling more than any previous generation. Everything, and I mean everything, is moving faster and in new and different ways and we're all just along for the thrilling ride. There are so many factors at play that didn’t exist in the past. And yet, for some reason, the expectation as to what a “societal norm” should be really hasn’t caught up. And, hey, that's really not a bad thing. Norms aren't a healthy, beneficial way of thinking - so let's leave that all in the past and push forward.
So, friend, I challenge you to kick any and all pressure you've been feeling to the curb. Rushing into a relationship with someone who may not be a truly genuine fit for you, just because you want to start a family by a certain age or tick things off of a "to do" list, likely isn’t going to fill your heart with joy in the long run. Given that we only have one life to live, I encourage you to give yourself a break. Just slow down, take a breath and allow yourself to make the most out of this crazy, incredible life you’ve been given. And when that true, overwhelming love finds its way into your life, the rest will fall into place from there.
4. When You Feel a Spark, Fan It!
The last point I want to share before I close off today’s post and let you return to your much-deserved weekend is that, when you feel a spark, you mustn't be afraid to fan it and see what happens. Don’t let yourself get caught up with what “might” happen – good or bad – and just go with it. We, as humans, tend to spend a lot of time over-thinking and analyzing things. What we need to remind ourselves to do, however, is to let go and really allow ourselves to experience and feel. So, I'm encouraging you to do just that!
To your authenticity,