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The Art of Love

July 19, 2010

Sound familiar?

Relationships!  Ugh!  Who has the TIME?  It’s just so hard with all the drama…  Besides, everyone is so into themselves, it’s hard to find someone who cares about anyone else!

It’s just fate!  All guys/girls are jerks…  There aren’t any good places or ways to meet people.  It just isn’t worth my time.

I remember what it was like when I was young…  I don’t want to do THAT again!

And then there’s the thought that I could end up with the WRONG ONE again!  No more!  I just don’t want to be hurt like that anymore…

When will my prince/princess charming arrive?  I’ve paid my dues…  I just don’t understand.  If there is someone for everyone, why haven’t I found MINE?!

I just don’t want to make a mistake again.  How do I KNOW when I’ve found the ONE?

It MUST be me.  Maybe I’m just not good enough…

There is a better way…

According to Erich Fromm, “The art of loving is like any craft.  It requires patience, confidence, discipline, concentration, faith, and practice daily.”  Developing love requires mental effort.  It also takes tact, timing and the ability to tolerate some anxiety.  Love is a process that lasts a lifetime.

Anyone who genuinely wants an intimate relationship can have one.  It requires the preparation, maturity, and emotional effort of two loving adults.

Love isn’t something you find; it’s something you develop.  Love may be easier to develop with some people than with others only because their backgrounds are similar to yours, their looks more appealing, or their personalities more comfortable for you, at least initially.

Choosing a mate for life means knowing yourself first and recognizing a person with similar standards; it means not settling for less.  Those who succeed in love are certain they will succeed and they KNOW what they want.

Before a relationship goes too far, find out if you share common interests, values, and goals.  Have conversations with potential partners about all the icky, sticky topics in life; politics, dreams, finances, religion, aspirations.

Also remember that as you grow and mature, you learn about yourself and your actions.  You learn from your mistakes, many of which were made when you had less confidence and self-esteem.

Instead of trying to repeat the feelings of love that you remember from your youth, enjoy creating an experience from your more evolved, experienced place.  It’s only natural that our relationships would expand and grow, just as we have.

It’s best to develop your significant relationship just as you like with whom you like.  Ignore the labels and constraints of society.  The gauge of whether you should stay in the relationship or move on is how you feel about yourself when you are around him or her.  Do you feel admired, respected, listened to, attractive?

Whatever happens, don’t take it personally.  Ultimately, it has very little to do with you, no matter what it is.

Couples who thrive do so because they passionately desire and believe in their happiness.  They do not dwell on their problems and differences.  Instead they approach every situation with a spirit of goodwill.  They focus on creating a harmonious atmosphere in the relationship.

Manifesting a relationship is something you can focus on, but it is not something you can control.  For people who succeed, there is no frantic or urgent feeling about it.  It’s a knowing that they will meet the right person.  They just don’t know when.

As you work toward finding your partner, focus on building your life in all areas.  Don’t focus just on career because you’ve got nothing else to do.  Live your life and make whatever decisions you have to, large or small.  Balance it all out.

Seek beauty in your life experience whether single or coupled.  Pamper yourself.  Use the good china.  Have candles with dinner.  Your self-worth is not determined by your relationship status.  You deserve the good life with or without company!

Why’s it so difficult?

Historically, we have been conditioned to believe that being single is a problem or a burden, even something to be pitied or cured.  It’s pervasive in our culture; from bedtime stories and fairy tales to TV shows and movies.

Many of us look to our partner to save or complete us, to make us happy.  We tend to attach our self worth to how we see the relationship going.

The challenge lies in expectations.  You cannot expect perfection in anyone, including yourself.

On the other side, we tend to believe that divorce or break-up is solely the result of choosing the “wrong one.”  This line of thinking is a dead-end street that leaves you helplessly trusting luck.  It leads only to blame and hostility.  Male or female, we tend to attach the failure to our partner’s maturity, character, or personality in order to lessen the blow to our self-esteem.

If you truly and wholeheartedly want a soul mate, start by understanding that there are always two sides to the story.  When you focus only on yourself, you can’t possibly want what is best for someone else. You may want what is best for him or her when it matches our own personal happiness, but as soon as it conflicts with what you want, his or her desires are no longer important.

You are not dependent upon what your partner does or doesn’t do in order to be happy.  Having a reckless whatever-works-for-me, whatever- I-can-get-out-of-this approach doesn’t work.

At the end of the day, love is a creation.  Romance can develop with a lot more someones than you’ve allowed yourself to believe.  You have to be willing to date and love differently.

Here’s what’s next…

If you are in the beginning stages of the relationship, check in to be sure that you are really being yourself.

Are you pretending you like doing something because they do?  Or are you genuinely enjoying it?

Do hesitate when telling some stories because you are afraid that the other person might not like you or be shocked?  It may be time to check your self-worth.  Are you comfortable with your past and who you are?

Are you agreeing with their ideas when really you don’t?  It’s pointless to say “Me too!” when it isn’t true.  They will be attracted to someone who isn’t really you.  In the end, you will both be disappointed.

Is there something that you are being asked to give up that means the world to you?  Is that acceptable to you?

Are you thinking they might change?  If you find yourself thinking that way, sirens should be going off!  Check in with your values.  Something is out of line.

Recognize that the value of finding out what is important to you and conveying it to others is about creating happiness for everyone involved.  Find out what’s important to them, too.

You can’t really work out if you want to see more of someone or if they are right for you unless you have a clear idea of what you value in yourself.

When you know who you are and what things are important in your life, then you can find someone who either values or honors you for valuing those things that make you uniquely you.

If you find that you have more and more values, dreams and ways of living in common as you get to know each other, then great!  Pursue it…

Start by asking yourself these core questions:

  • What do I value most in life? –  This usually generates big, emotionally charged open ideas like freedom, security.  Be sure to define each word means for you!  It doesn’t matter what other people think it means.
  • What things are going on in my life that are very important to me to maintain? – Do you volunteer at a youth hostel every week?  Do you feed the homeless?  Do you pray every day?  Maybe you like to go out with the girls/guys once a week.  If it’s important, identify it so it doesn’t mysteriously disappear on you one day.
  • What qualities is it vital for the other person to believe in or exhibit before I am prepared to enter a more long term relationship with them? – Really explore what you would find tolerable, admirable, and non-negotiable in your life partner.  If you rather would lay down your life than see another person killed for any reason and your partner thinks that capital punishment is a great way to thin the herd, there may be a problem later on.

The process will get easier as you explore what it is that really moves you.  Chances are that you’ve been bottled up for years.  Let your true self out and watch your life begin to blossom in ways you can’t imagine!

Learn how to Clear the Way for Romance in your Life!  Download your FREE Copy of 7 Secrets to Effortless Dating today!

Go to www.WellToDoLiving.com to learn more.

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