Young woman looking in the mirror

How to find someone to love

How do we find someone to love? For many years, this question baffled me. I had no idea. None of my relationships worked out and I spent many single years wondering where all the available men had gone. Eventually, though, I found my answer. I’ll be getting married in a few weeks, at 48.

In my final blog as an unmarried woman, I’d like to reassure you that you have your answer too, although I appreciate it might not feel that way. As a relationships coach, I speak to many people who are baffled by dating – dispirited, lost and confused. Is that you? I know how it feels. I’ve been there.

Where are all the single men or women? Why can’t I meet someone I’m attracted to? Why do I keep falling for people who aren’t ready to commit to me? Why don’t I like the people who like me? Why does nobody respond to me on dating sites?

I often hear the complaint that all the good men or women are already taken. I used to say the same myself. But I believe this is a red herring. It certainly was for me. I was looking in the wrong places, dating in the wrong pool, searching for the wrong kind of person. And I was terrified to risk my heart.

What worked for me may not work for you. We are all unique. But I’d like to share some suggestions to see if they might help you to find someone to love:

Make sure that you are ready for love and open to it

We may think that we are ready for love. We may think we are open to a relationship. But from my own experience and the experience of some of my coaching clients, when we look deep inside, we find that we’re not quite ready. We find that we’re actually scared to fall in love. Or that we have blocks that are standing in the way of a healthy relationship. Or that we haven’t let go of a past love yet – we’re still holding on. In order to fall in love, I had to face many fears that were buried deep inside, beneath my confident, sociable exterior. I was afraid of getting hurt; afraid of feeling trapped or suffocated in a relationship; afraid of making the wrong choice and not being able to change my mind; afraid of being rejected or abandoned. So look inside yourself. Examine your fears. Talk about your fears. Allow them to heal. Surrender them. And replace them with faith.

Get excited about being in a relationship

I speak to lots of people who say they want to be in love but they’re not clear on the benefits of being in a relationship. Instead, they have a lot of negative opinions about relationships, sometimes based on their parents’ relationship. So they date ambivalently, as I did. They sign up to dating sites but don’t send any messages. They chat to people online but never meet them face-to-face. If this sounds familiar, try writing about the benefits of being in a relationship. If you don’t have good memories of relationships from your early years, look around you at couples who are doing relationships well today. What are the positives? Get clear on the upsides so that you can get excited about dating. Then, to overcome any ambivalence, commit to taking a few actions every week towards finding love. You could send a few messages to potential dates, sign up to a singles event or try a new activity that’s going to expand your social circles. You might also want to think about enlisting a friend, a dating buddy or a coach to keep you accountable.

Know what you’re looking for in a relationship

For years, I was looking to date someone like me – a carbon copy of myself. I’m driven, ambitious, outgoing and sociable. I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie who likes to live on the edge (although I’m growing out of this). I used to date men with a similar personality to mine, but it never worked out. And then I realised the person I thought I wanted to be with wasn’t the person I needed to be with. I needed someone to counterbalance my extremes of personality. I needed someone who was calm and steady, rather than anxious and up and down like me. Once I understood that I became open to different types and I eventually fell in love with a man who isn’t like me at all.

Trust your feeling and not your thinking

As an over-thinker, I used to think my way into relationships and analyse my way out of them again. I used to size people up, trying to figure out if they would get along with my friends or if their career was compatible with mine. But over-analysis leads to paralysis. I found fault with everyone. It was only when I began to pay attention to my feelings that I was able to fall in love. So when dating or entering into relationships, ask yourself the following questions: how do I feel when I’m with this person? Do I feel at peace? Do I feel at home? Do I feel calm? Do I feel safe? And then trust your feelings. If you think it’s right but it doesn’t feel right, then it’s probably not the relationship for you. But if it feels right, even if you think you’re not compatible, I’d suggest giving it a shot.

And remember, you have your answers. You really do. Deep inside. So get to know yourself. Make friends with your feelings. Connect with your truth. Ask God to guide you. And trust yourself.

It worked for me.

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