Why is it that the search for love is a long and painful one for some while others seem to find their dream partner without too much effort? For those among us who struggle many questions emerge. Why am I unlucky in love? Why do others seem to find more success? Why not me? When will it be my turn?
Sound familiar? I often wish I could make it better for people and offer quick answers to these often painful questions. The truth is that I can’t all the time. Just as we are all unique individuals, so too is our unique journey to finding our own key to love.
The good news is that much can be done to quicken and smooth the bumps out of the journey. What I can offer is guidance and suggestions that people tell me dramatically enhance their search for loving relationships.
What is it you ask? What’s the big secret? Why isn’t what I do working? Here are five key areas to work on that will supercharge your ability to find the partner you want.
1. Develop a safe level of vulnerability
2. Set boundaries and stick to them
3. Love like you mean it
4. Check in with your feelings
5. Move past the ‘other people’ roadblocks and look inside
6. Connection is key
Find a safe level of vulnerability
The first, and possibly the most important, thing to consider is simple: it comes down to good old (sometimes scary) vulnerability.
Part of what “vulnerability” means is being “capable of or susceptible to being hurt”. That’s the slightly scary part we’ve come to believe we need to avoid. Being vulnerable evokes images of pain and wounding. No wonder many are so cautious in love!
The important questions include how do we manage vulnerability? How do we stay open to the possibilities of love and joy while risking being hurt and what can you put in place to protect yourself?
Boundaries are important in all relationships. They delineate what is OK and not OK and they represent the line between emotional security and safety and create barriers against risk or unwanted experiences. The first key is to determine your sound personal boundaries and stick with them. When you suspect the boundary is being crossed then remove yourself from the equation in this relationship and move on to the next potential person to love.
Love like you mean it
Staying open to love while protecting yourself in the process is the crucial key to success in finding love. My partner calls it “loving like you mean it.” Loving like you mean it is when you are in the presence of a potential love with an open heart. It means that you will suspend judgements, tune in to what you are feeling rather than ticking off a checklist and allow both yourself and the other just be two “good people” with all your own flaws and limitations. Too often people tend to run when something doesn’t fit their image of how a relationship should be. It may be that someone drives a car not quite up to scratch or has a job that pays less than you would expect from someone you fantasise about “being” with. This causes you to close the door on a potential love that could make you feel like you could reach the stars!
Check in with your feelings
What’s most important is to check in with how you feel with this person. Is it safe? Can you be yourself? Can you be open and not feel judged? Do you feel acceptances coming from the eyes you are looking into? These kinds of experiences indicate you are open and vulnerable and if it feels OK then give this person an opportunity to love you.
Move past the ‘other people’ roadblocks and look inside
Don’t think about whether mum or dad will like him or her, don’t think about the fact that they may stumble over their words sometimes, just tune in to how this person makes you feel. Most importantly ask yourself do I feel safe? If the answer is a definite yes you are probably on the road to unlocking the key to love.
Connection is the key to love
Finally, as we set about our individual journey and head for the doorway through which we can unlock the key to love, always keep in mind that a key motivator for all of us humans is the deepest need (and longing) is for us to be connected.
True connection can only happen if there are permissions between the two of you to show your true selves and be vulnerable. Yes vulnerable! Being open to being hurt. Of course be choosey and if it doesn’t feel right don’t do it (remember those boundaries) but if you can be open and feel safe tune in to this person for a while. If they remain consistent it’s a great sign that you may be able to be vulnerable and offer them your heart.
For more tips and information about love, relationships and happiness visit my Facebook page Melissa Ferrari - Psychotherapist & Relationship Expert.