Many believe in myths about romantic love.
The first one is that your mate will make you happy.
Lots of websites are promising everything you are looking for down to looks, financial status, etc. ”I’m looking for someone to make me happy”, read an ad from a woman. Can someone really make you happy?
Can someone really make you happy?
….Is there anything that you can work to attract, and then you will be happy ever after.
My experience has been that in order to attract the love you need to do inner work: you need to learn to be kind to yourself and respect yourself. Kindness and respect are the space in which love lives and expands.
Love is not a noun, it’s a verb. It’s a DOING that springs from the core of your being when you are connected with your real self (not from your personality). That connection is the powerful springboard that propels you to help others. A doing that looks at the needs and desires of the other with the same compassion that you have acquired for yourself. Compassion is not pity or feeling sorry for yourself or others: It’s the space in proper action springs to diminish the pain of others or to help them to complete an important task that will help others.
Only to the extent that you love your real self can you love another and be in a relationship that is grounded on gratefulness that deepens intimacy. A relationship that has the basis in love will never be boring or frozen in hatred. In fact, loving see every moment as it is, ever-changing yes, but not contaminated by judgments and criticism.
Love is not a fairytale that you might have heard as a child…
Some prince will find you, you fall in love, and with the big celebration, the movie ends leaving the impression that now you will be happy ever after.
Instead, after the big celebration and some time to enjoy the gift from nature: the state of being in love, The real work to keep love alive starts.
Sometimes it takes courage to get to know yourself in a new way. Deeper issues are usually covered up by other issues that are “safe” to deal with. Laura is one example. She was unhappy that her boyfriend often did not keep his word with her. “I keep my word with him, why won’t he keep his word with me?”, she thought.
She took this as a sign that he did not love her, and she was afraid and that he would blow up in anger and her relationship would be destroyed if she tried to talk about it.
Ashamed to express her feelings about this, her sadness and anger, she expressed it in indirect ways, like finding excuses to avoid intimacy.
She was tempted to ask for ‘a talk’, which she knew courageous women do, but she did not have the courage to do so. Mulling over these uncomfortable thoughts covered up her deep love like a wet blanket.
Through our coaching sessions, it came out that this pattern was present in her family, as well. Mom “demanded” her dad to keep his word, and dad responded with angry outbursts that Laura hated and feared.
Laura decided from what she witnessed that men do not like to listen to complaints. She decided that “all” men behave that way.
She had read that the best time to talk about a problem to a man is usually after a sex, but as she was unable to access the deep love she felt for him, she couldn’t make love to him, either.
Laura knew about “the human needs”, one of which is the need to feel you count; that you are significant. A woman who loves herself needs to value herself enough to ask for what she wants. Laura seemed to value herself in many ways. She ran a successful store selling the newest, most elegant women clothes, which she herself chose for each season.
Yet she often had problems finishing things that she started. It wasn’t long working with her that the memories of her father’s broken promises surfaced.
Laura’s father had promised to take her to her favorite restaurant if she helped him out with an internet problem. And, being a whiz kid, she was eager to impress her father with her talents and go out on a father-daughter “date”. However, he never took her. The first excuse was work, and a series of different excuses followed after that. Feeling hurt and betrayed, Laura stopped reminding her father of his promises and eventually forgot the incident. But not before making up her mind that you just cannot trust men.
The last “victim” of her unconscious belief that she cannot trust men, was her boyfriend. She thought of her mother ‘asking’ her father and her father’s response, and asked: ”Could it be that I confused asking with demanding?” For so long she thought they were synonymous.
Asking, for her meant demanding. When she saw that clearly, her eyes opened wide and she said: “I’m seeing the difference now for the first time”.
During the coaching, Laura got to see that she needed to attract someone like her boyfriend in order to deal with her anger and let go of her rigid control.
She became more flexible with situations that triggered her need of consistency and safety. She found the courage to express to him what she had discovered about herself. She also found the right words and tone of voice to request a weekly get together to check in with the intention to open to more opportunities to deepen the transparency in the relationship. He agreed and kept his word.
This was the turning point in the relationship.
Her inner work continued. She made sure that nothing got pushed under the rug and instead remained alert to what her feelings were pointing to. She found that with time it became easier and easier to do so.
When she transformed her negative belief about men into “some men are trustworthy, make sure to stay open to see the truth”, she not only she freed herself from expectations, including sexual expectations, which sometimes interfered with her satisfaction.
Her passion revived, she could now put extra energy in her work. She also healed the mistrust in her “masculine part” to be able to finish any worthwhile project.
When she called me 6 months after we completed the coaching she told me that she came to enjoy when stuff came up, in fact, she used it as an opportunity to learn to love herself and her boyfriend.
If you relate to this, you may be ready to reach out for help. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what keeps you from a fulfilling relationship. I’ve been helping clients with all types of challenges to clarify what they want and support them to get there.