Valentine’s day is already upon us, which brings up a common New Year’s resolution that many people (myself included, to an extent) embark on: finding their soulmate.
But romance can be a tricky subject for many, with some wistfully dreaming about their Prince(ss) Charming and others bitterly avoiding the idea altogether, believing they’re just not cut out for love. With so many uncomfortable feelings surrounding the subject, I thought I’d throw in my two cents about the real (not so) secret to finding your soulmate – no matter where you are in the journey.
It Starts With You
The first step in finding your perfect person has absolutely nothing to do with them. It’s not about finding that one guy or gal with all the perfect traits. It’s not about going to the right places or writing the perfect online profile.
It’s about your relationship with yourself.
You see, gorgeous, you are one big bundle of love. All the love and romance you could ever want is already in your heart – right now, right this minute, even if it doesn’t feel that way right now. So often we make the mistake of attaching our love to something outside of ourselves – a man, a woman, a friend, sometimes even an acquaintance – thinking that that person gives us love. That we experience love, romance, or affection because of them. That without them, there is no love to feel, no romance to experience, and no comfort to sink into.
What if you could tap into that wild romance and that fairy tale love before you met your dream lover?
What if you could have that freshly-in-love glow any time – before meeting your partner or perhaps 25 years into marriage? Or even as a blissful single?
The truth is that you can. But first, we have to find out what keeps most people from feeling this love.
The Warped Concept of Love
Deep down, virtually everybody wishes for true, unconditional love of some form – even you bitter, down-with-love types. What usually gets in the way of most people experiencing this true, unconditional love – whether with a partner, parent, friend, or child – is a warped sense of what it really is.
With our childhood conditioning, whether from our houses of origin or our culture, it only seems natural. We learn from our parents, our films, our language even, that love involves obligation, sacrifice, manipulation, expectation, and most importantly, fear. Fear that someone will leave. Fear that someone will cheat. Fear that you will get hurt.
We also internalize a lot of fear and old hurt from previous relationships, subconsciously reliving the same stories with new lovers as time goes on. Soon we may give in to the belief that all men are cheaters, all women are liars, or something like that.
We’re also taught that romantic love gives us meaning, and that without it we are somehow deficient or that our story does not yet have validity. Just think about those Disney movies you watched growing up. From the meek Sleeping Beauty to the fearsome Mulan, their story more or less started and ended with the finding of (or rather, being found by) a stunning prince and winning his heart.
Think also about some popular English idioms about love – “my other half”, “you complete me”, “two becoming one”, and things of that nature. These would all seem to imply that having romantic love somehow makes us whole and real and that a lack thereof is some sort of state of deficiency. Many of us grew up envisioning a fairy-tale-like love, in which we found that one person to make us feel comforted, cared for, and safe until one of us died. That person, once bonded to us, would not or could not leave or change.
Experiencing True Love
In short, most of us enter relationships for the wrong reasons: either running to them to alleviate loneliness or satisfy social pressures, or running from them to avoid vulnerability and the risk of pain. We go into love with expectations, fears, and judgements, which prevents us from experiencing, or in many cases, even knowing unconditional love.
If you are raised in a desert, the concept of an ocean seems as unrealistic as a fairy tale. Sure, you’ve seen droplets of water here and there, but an entire body of these tiny droplets is difficult to ever conceive. And surely, even if you were dropped right in the middle of one, you wouldn’t know what it was or what to do with it.
Likewise, you can not receive or even recognize unconditional love from another person until you know what it really is. And the first person, the only person, who can awaken this euphoric, expansive love in you is yourself.
Before we can prepare to experience true love with another, we’ll have to learn how to experience it with ourselves.
And that’s going to a whole lot of fun.
What Unconditional Love Looks Like
So what does unconditional love look like?
- Choosing to be in relationship out of genuine care for the person, including all their little quirks and faults; not entering relationships just to not feel alone or out of some sort of obligation (s/he needs my help, s/he has no one else, etc)
- Feeling that this person adds to your happiness without being the source of your happiness. You both are able to have separate parts of your lives (friends, hobbies, jobs) without jealousy, anger, or manipulation.
- You also don’t feel like this person brings you down. It’s easy to feel understood, supported, and encouraged to grow with this person. They never do anything, outright or covertly, to undermine your success professionally or personally.
- You are able to do the same for him or her. His or her goals are in line with your sense of morality and growth and you feel excited to see him or her achieve them. Their growth and success is your growth and success.
- Neither of you feel the need to change anything about who you are when you’re around each other. There is no need to restrain yourself. In fact, you feel more yourself around them.
So often I see women (and men) adjusting or restraining themselves and putting up will all varieties of discomfort just to be in or find a relationship. They’re afraid of saying the wrong thing or making the wrong move and then scaring away their suitors.
Being the True You to Find True Love
In a true love relationship, you never have to do anything but be unapologetically you.
Sure, no relationship is perfect. You guys will have quibbles and misunderstandings, but true love requires being the true you.
Not some perfect proxy of you.
You already are perfect.
And understanding and believing (and knowing!) that is the first step in finding somebody that does the same. Call it woo-woo if you want, but I wholeheartedly believe that your outer world mirrors your inner world. You will only be able to find a partner that tells you the story you tell yourself – a powerful lesson I learned in 2017. As they say, water attracts its own level.
So how do you want a relationship to make you feel?
The trick lies in – you guessed it – showing it to yourself first.
If you’re a follower of anything related to manifestation like I am, then you know that in order to get what you desire, you must already act as if you’re already experiencing it. What does that mean in terms of your true love relationship?
It means already living and feeling as if you’re blissfully attached. Shower yourself in all the love, gifts, attention, and warmth you expect from your ideal relationship. Dress up and take yourself out to dinner. Buy yourself a dozen red roses and place them on your desk. Write yourself little love notes. Look deeply into your own eyes with care. Get a glass of your favorite wine and slow dance in your living room.
After all, your first relationship and the only one that’s truly, assuredly lifelong is the one you have with yourself. Who said you can’t have a wild love with yourself first?
Because true love does not come from a place of lack or loneliness. In truth, it’s only after your heart is already overflowing with love that you can share it with another person.
Which brings us to the juicy part: calling in the right person for YOU.
The Work: Calling in Your Soulmate
Now that your heart is full and your relationship with yourself is strong as ever, you’re ready to do the exciting work of calling in your perfect partner.
The truth is that you can have anything and everything you want in a partner. But the process of manifesting him or her is much like an internet search: the more detailed you make your request, the more likely you are to find your desired result quickly and easily.
So it’s time to grab your pen and journal and get to manifesting, sister. What do you want in your perfect partner?
Here it’s important not to focus too much on trivialities, but on how you feel when you’re around them.
So how do you want to feel?
What important characteristics will they have ?
- Emotionally available
- Fun / lighthearted
Consider other important compatibility points. Do you guys have similar or complimentary ways of handling finances? Do you guys agree on what you expect for child-rearing, if that’s what you want at all? Do you guys have similar world views? Goals and paces?
Spend some time thinking of, feeling, and visualizing your relationship. The more heart and power you put into it, the better off you are.
Now it’s time to put pedal to the metal and talk about just how to help bring them into your lives.
Being Found By Love
I use the phrase “being found by love” because it’s just that. As you know, no amount of manifestation or hard work can force romance, primarily because it would interfere with you being your truest self. It seems counterintuitive, but love comes easiest when you are busier working on yourself than on another person.
That being said, there are certain things you can do to more effectively and quickly pull in your other half.
We are, in some ways, like magnets. If we truly do have one best match, then it’s much like the attraction of the north and south magnets. A week north magnet will not effectively attract its south counterpart, even if they would be a dead match for each other.
Likewise, in order to pull in your other half – perhaps from the other side of the planet, perhaps under bizarre or unlikely circumstances, then you need to become one strong magnet!
The trick to doing that is to truly, deeply nourish yourself – not specifically to attract a mate, but to get that glow for YOU. You know that feeling when you’re just glowing from the inside out? You look great, feel great, have fantastic energy in body and mind? That light in your heart is what makes you drop-dead gorgeous – not just to your future lover, but to everyone.
Follow your passion – especially if you’d like to see those same passions in your future partner. Love languages? Take that Spanish class. Big fitness nerd? Hit the gym, girlfriend! Don’t wait until you have a +1 to act on those things that light your heart up. Plus, you never know who you’ll meet there! 😉
But again, don’t do anything specifically looking for a partner. The pursuit of love can be much like the old story about the farmer who, desperate to see if his crops are growing, digs up the very earth they’re growing in and kills them in the process. Simply plant the seeds in your heart, water them frequently with self-love and boldness, and have knowledge that it will soon bloom.
It’s about finding that even middle ground between complete passivity and aggressive force. Listen to your intuition for inspired action. Do you feel like going to the park for no reason? Act on it. Feel like opening up a dating profile, even if you never have before? Give it a shot. Take action without being attached to the consequences.
On Your Romantic Journey in 2018
No matter what your romantic history looks like, I think we can all agree it can be a winding and, at times, challenging road. I wish you the best of luck in 2018 and hope that you experience more love in all forms – towards yourself, among friends, with family, and, of course, with a special someone.
Where are you in your romantic journey? What has been the biggest success or stumbling block for you so far? I’d love to hear your story in the comments!