How to unlock your heart for love
If love knocked on your door, would you fling the door open and welcome it in with open arms, would you peer at it suspiciously through the letterbox, or somewhere in between? I ask because I know from experience that looking for love and being ready for love are two different things. We may be dating online, sending messages and meeting for coffee, but we may be doing so with walls of steel around our heart. So how do you unlock your heart and prepare for love?
These five steps will help you to unlock your heart:
Make space for love
Is there room in your life for a partner? Is there room in your schedule? Is there room in your head and your heart?
You can begin to explore these questions by looking at how long you spend dating online and in person. Is dating an afterthought at the end of a busy workday or week or is looking for love a priority in your life? Do you put minimal effort into your profile or the messages you send, or do you invest time in creating an appealing profile that does you justice?
Giving your love life the time and energy it deserves signals to God and to your future partner that you are ready. Try creating some time in your schedule for online dating and perhaps take yourself on the date you’d love your future partner to suggest, be that a country walk or a gallery visit.
Next, ask yourself if your romantic slate is clean. Have you let go of ex-partners or do you still send them messages or hold a candle for them? It’s hard to welcome a new love when we are holding on to an old one. Let go of everybody you need to let go of.
Work through your stuff
Let’s face it, we all have stuff, baggage, challenges, wounds and hurts that sabotage our romantic lives. You can unlock your heart by committing to working through our issues in whatever way suits you best, perhaps with a trusted friend, a ministry team, a counsellor, therapist or coach.
By doing so, we’re each able to dismantle our defences, end the cycle of self-sabotage and find and form the relationship we deserve. We also give our relationship the best chance of success because our old relationship hurts will inevitably surface as we form an intimate bond with someone else.
The key is to proceed mindfully, with self-awareness, a sense of wholeness and having healed some of our hurts. Watch out for signs that you are dating with a craving for love, affection or validation. Dating with a deficit is dangerous.
Get clear on what you’re looking for
One of my coaching clients recently shared that she’d never thought about what she wanted in a relationship. She had drifted in and out of partnerships, without considering any criteria.
We don’t want to have too fixed an idea of our future partner – from my experience, the person we think we want to be with isn’t always the person we need and God may have a surprise in store for us – but it’s helpful to have a broad-brush idea of the relationship we desire, along with the values that are important to us.
It’s also helpful to know the qualities that we’d struggle to accept in a partner. Doing some thinking around this will help us to be more discerning as we date.
Work on creating a joyful, contented life
Our romantic life is just one piece of the big pie. It’s an important piece, yes, but if we focus on it to the detriment of all else, we won’t be an attractive prospect. Whom would you rather date – a person with a full life, a healthy social network and some interesting passions and hobbies, or a person who is solely focused on finding a romantic partner or who is devoid of joy and purpose?
If we continue to create a life that we truly love and pursue our passions alongside dating, our profiles will shine and our eyes will too.
To help unlock your heart, keep it light
Throw off the heaviness, resist the pressure and stress and have fun with dating and relationships. I remember being so stressed when I was dating. It felt so important to get it right, to not make a mistake, to make the right choice.
I carried the weight of the world on my shoulders, until I relaxed, took the pressure off myself and off my then boyfriend (now husband) and decided to trust the process and enjoy the experience.
If you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders or you feel anxious about making the right choice, take a moment now to sit or lie down, take some deep breaths, smile and perhaps even laugh. All is well. God has your back.
Try these five steps to unlock your heart and listen out for the knock on your door.