How to Find Love

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“A strange passion is moving through my head. My heart has become a bird which searches the sky. Every part of me goes in different directions. Is it really so that the one I love is everywhere?” ~Rumi

Are you searching for love?

Perhaps you are single or perhaps in a committed relationship. But you long for love.

I think one of the loneliest places is to be in a relationship in which you still long for love. When you are single, wishing for love is acceptable because you are unattached. When you are in a relationship, it is assumed by most people around you that you dwell in love. But that’s not always true. You may know this yourself.

Either way, a desire for love is one of the core principles of our existence. And the desire is not only to feel loved by another but to share love with another — to give and receive in equal measure so that both people can thrive and live to their fullest potential. That is the essence of a mature, loving connection.

If the desire for love is elemental to the human condition, why is it so hard to find love — and even harder to sustain it? Relationships are failing left and right, and certainly one of the main causes for this is that we enter them for reasons that can’t sustain us.

  • We are looking for security.
  • We fear being alone.
  • We feel an urgency to have children.
  • We desire to fulfill something missing from our parents.
  • We want to stroke our egos.
  • We don’t know what we want.

Years ago, some of these reasons may have been acceptable for entering into and staying in a marriage — especially for women. But this is no longer the case, or at least it doesn’t have to be.

Entering into a relationship for any motivation other than love and mutual respect is a recipe for eventual discontent and potential disaster.

You cannot create a loving relationship within the context of fear, ego-based desires, and unmet childhood needs. Nor can you sustain a relationship without the mutual willingness to place your love and respect at the forefront of your life together.

Of course this is often easier said than done. Our lives and emotions are complicated and potential landmines are everywhere. Finding and sustaining love is a work in progress — a shifting, undulating canvas that requires the steady hand of commitment to its ongoing creation.

When you are committed to love, to real and mutually-fulfilling love, it will find its way to you, because nothing less will be acceptable. It will require some inner work on your part, and it may require some pain and heartache. But once you prepare yourself to find love, you may well discover it at your doorstep.

For those who are single and seeking love . . .

Understand what constitutes a soul connection. Often we just don’t know what real love is. It hasn’t been modeled to us by our parents. We believe that having our needs met constitutes love. We think that romance will sustain us. You wouldn’t enter any important commitment without doing research and gaining understanding. Learn about love so that you know the elements of a deeply loving relationship. (See the resource list below.)

Resolve Issues and Patterns. Examine your own life to recognize what might sidetrack you from finding real love. If you have fears and insecurities, identify them and seek to overcome them so they don’t drive your love decisions. If you have wounds from your childhood, seek help to deal with these so they don’t wreck havoc on your relationships. If you have hurts from past relationships, address these fully and learn to recognize your negative patterns so you don’t repeat them.

Become whole on your own. The healthiest and most loving relationships begin with two people who are emotionally mature, have solid self-esteem, and who have created full lives of their own. One of the first steps in finding love is loving yourself and savoring life. Work on becoming the person you want to be for your beloved.

Acknowledge all of the love around you. Love is everywhere around you, and somewhere in that love your beloved is preparing for you as you are preparing for him or her. Rather than feeling jealous of another person’s love or sad because of your lack of it, bask in gratitude for the love you have. Keep loving feelings at the surface of your mind and heart. Show love to your family, friends, pets, and others in your circle. Feel love for the world around you, for nature, for God if you believe.

For those who are in a relationship and seek love within it . . .

All of the above. If you haven’t addressed the points above, you can still do this within the framework of your relationship — but involve your partner. Even if you began your relationship with the wrong motives or have stepped on the landmines of old patterns or past wounds, you can work together to create a new, more soul-fulfilling relationship. Of course this necessitates the commitment and work of both partners.

Draw from your early feelings. Hopefully you started your relationship with some foundation of real love. Over time, as romance and chemistry fade, our wounds, expectations, and negative patterns chip away at our feelings and respect for each other. Our intimate connection is weakened as we build defensive walls around ourselves. But you can find your way back to those early feelings of connection if you try. Remembering the powerful feelings that brought you together in the first place can potentially reunite and heal you.

Know when to say goodbye. When you open yourself to real love and a true partnership, you may discover you must say goodbye to your current relationship. You may come to recognize that your initial motives for the relationship aren’t enough to sustain you any longer. As hard and painful as this may be, it is a courageous and healthy decision. Remaining stuck and lonely in a partnership for reasons that serve your ego rather than your soul will ultimately lead to despair.

If you would like to find love and want to learn more, here are some of my favorite resources:

Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples, 20th Anniversary Edition

Getting the Love You Want Workbook: The New Couples’ Study Guide

Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide

The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts

Finding Your Soul Mate – the joy of great sex, true love and lasting intimacy

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert

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Comments

  1. What a great post! Now, I have a question…

    The man I was dating this summer (we’re not dating any more, but are still activity partners) mentioned that it is almost impossible for a man to maintain physical attraction (and thus physical intimacy) with a woman when they have been together “for years and years” because she is older and no longer as attractive. He said he thought the proliferation of ED commercials was a sign of that lack of attraction, and that if the men found new (presumably younger, more attractive) partners, they wouldn’t need the ED drugs.

    After my shock and disgust dispelled, I decided to conduct an informal, unscientific poll. I asked everyone I know (over the age of 50 and in a long term relationship) if they thought being in a long-term relationship with an older person was a reason for ED. Shockingly, 4 out of 6 men said yes! 2 out of 6 women said yes.

    I’m single and 53; is this what I have to look forward to, or do I need to hang out with a better group of people???!!!

    • Barrie Davenport says:

      Hi Meg,
      That’s an interesting informal survey! I’d hate to think that’s the truth for all men. I doubt it is. A loving relationship is so much more than sex, and that is the foundation for a good intimate life. If there is some sort of attraction problem for men or women, I think the couple need to examine the quality of the relationship first. :) Just my two cents.

    • Hi Meg,

      I just had to set the record straight as a guy.

      Firstly, I am 31. But I do not agree with the view that if men found new and younger partners, they won’t need ED drugs. There are many reasons for ED, but attractiveness shouldn’t be one of them. A relationship, as Barrie rightly pointed out, is so much more than just sex. Open and honest communication is very important. If I cannot trust, love and be open with someone, I would not be with her in the first place. If I can do all these things, then ED will not be a problem unless it is due to some other health or medical reasons. This is simply because a deep and truly meaningful relationship will always make you attracted to your partner on a deeper level than just the physical.

      Looks fade with time. But what is truly important is not outward beauty alone but inner beauty. All we have in life are moments. It would be very sad if you had to keep on changing partners and starting from ground zero each time just because they were no longer attractive to you. What kind of truly deep and meaningful relationship one can find under such conditions is beyond me. All I know is that the more trials and adversity you weather with the person you love at your side, the stronger, deeper and more lasting the bond will be.

      I personally think you would benefit from finding better guys out there. They are rare, but not extinct. You just need to know what they are like before you commit. My favourite method of finding out is through divination. ;)

      Irving the Vizier

  2. i’m very lucky to have a fiance i love and loves me back, and supported me through my depression
    thanks for the post. it reminds me i have to appreciate him and my early feelings for him when we do argue :)

  3. Hi Barrie,

    Relationships are hard work. But anything that is worth it is worth working hard for. Indeed love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It can be our greatest strength or our greatest weakness so we must be careful and give this much thought.

    Indeed we cannot go into a relationship expecting our significant other to fulfil all our needs and make us whole. We need to be whole ourselves and able to stand on our own two feet before we find that someone special to share our lives with. A saviour martyr relationship isn’t a great foundation to stand on. Ideally it should be 50-50 and if there are some fluctuations from time to time, it would be best to return to 50-50 as soon as possible.

    You have made many great points on love for those who are single and those who are already in a relationship. I just want to add that for those who are in a relationship it is best to help each other to grow and development for life is about continuous learning. By being committed to mutual growth and development, your love will grow naturally as well because you grow and change together. Change is the only constant in life. A relationship that never changes and remains stagnant is in danger.

    Thank you for sharing this lovely article!

    Irving the Vizier

  4. Very wise words and good energizing thoughts. Thanks.

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