Looking for Love in All the Wrong Ways

Bonita SummersBlog, Love, Personal Growth, RelationshipsLeave a Comment


Looking for that spark of love, but not sure how to get it?

A lot of people come to me to discuss relationships. They may be struggling with a current partnership, or wondering how they can find love. Often, when looking for that strong connection with a fellow human being, or wanting to deepen the one we have, we go about it the wrong way. Following are some of the missteps we take, and how to remedy them:

1. Failing to love ourselves first  – Love yourself at least as much as you love your partner. Form a healthy, respectful relationship with yourself before you attempt one with somebody else. Learn how to meet your own needs and to be happy with your life when you are not in a relationship. Then, entering one becomes a source of joy in sharing a rich and abundant life – not an attempt to cure an empty one.

There is nothing more attractive to the right partner than confidence and self-esteem. When we love ourselves, we form a standard for how we expect to be treated by others. Knowing we can stand on our own two feet makes it easier to summon the courage to express our desires to our loved ones, to address issues that arise, and to let go of partners who are not invested in growing a respectful and caring relationship.

2. Asking our partners to be what we are not – Are you looking for attributes in a partner that you have not developed in yourself? Do you feel as successful, confident, and self-assured as the person you are hoping to attract? If we ask someone to be what we are not, we risk leaning on them to resolve our insecurities. Instead, become what you’re looking for. Develop the qualities you wish to see in a mate, so that you aren’t dependent on them to feel good about yourself.

3. Not examining what we are prepared to offer – Clients often ask, “How can I find love?” I usually counter by asking what quality of love they are prepared to give. When we have done the work to love ourselves and have considered the love we are ready to offer another, we enter relationships consciously. We start to recognize that we attract to us the partner we are ready to have. For example, if we draw to us someone who does not want to get too involved, before we get upset with them, we may need to ask ourselves if deep down we are really ready for a deep commitment. If we struggle with a companion who is not always kind and understanding, we can ask ourselves how ready we are to suspend judgment and build compassion for our partner. Whatever we want to get, we must be prepared to give first. This requires self-examination of what we really desire from a partner – not just what we tell ourselves on the surface. Recognizing our subconscious patterns that affect our relationships is key to understanding what we are ready to offer another.

4. Wanting intimacy to go only one way – If we are looking for love, chances are we want a deep level of intimacy. We want a partner who commits emotionally and who will be open and honest with us. Yet, when the same is expected in return, we may be tempted to say or do whatever we think will make a good impression with our partner. We want to be understood and appreciated – but we may still want to hide some part of ourselves we don’t want anyone to see. Our willingness to show up in a relationship is a direct reflection of how well we accept ourselves. If we love ourselves, why would we want to be with anyone who didn’t love us as we are?

Admittedly, this process of learning to love ourselves and being present in our relationships can require courage. While it’s perfectly acceptable to take your time in a new relationship revealing aspects of yourself as you are ready, be aware of any judging or distancing you exhibit if your partner reveals something about themselves you find challenging, or if he or she asks you to share something personal about yourself. Be willing to examine whether your hesitance is based on a genuine concern, or whether it’s merely reflexive, based on past experiences or a habit of mistrust that is not valid in the current relationship.

5. Not looking in the mirror – Whether consciously or unconsciously, we are drawn to our partners because of mutually compatible unconscious patterns. On many levels, we are reflections of each other. We run into strife in our relationships when we fail to realize that the things our partners say and do that make us uncomfortable may be triggers for unresolved issues we carried into the relationship. Our thoughts and assumptions based on past experience, and our resulting coping patterns and behaviours create dynamics to which our partners respond. We fail when we put the onus on them to change without owning our contribution to the interaction.

We can try to get our partners to alter their behaviour, so that our issues aren’t triggered, or we can contemplate our reactions, and do our best to understand what caused the reaction before we discuss it with our partner. By acknowledging our part in creating the situation, we move into open discussion where both parties look for ways to adapt, instead of one projecting blame and judgment on another.

6. Losing our balance – Every relationship requires some alone time to contemplate the changes that are occurring between partners and within ourselves. Whether you need an hour, an evening, or serious time away, it’s important to check in with yourself occasionally. A healthy relationship should have you feeling calm and balanced. If you are giddy or fatigued, take time to check in. Are you giving too much? Are you making time for you? Are you allowing your partner to give too much to the relationship? Do you need to offer more? Do you take time for your friends and activities? Do you catch yourself acting out of obligation instead of clear intent? Are you being authentic in the relationship and true to your needs? Are you hearing your partner’s needs? Checking in once in a while helps to keep the relationship fresh, so that you don’t fall into habits of behaviour that mask your true feelings.

If you want more out of a relationship or you want to create the right one for you, it helps to know what subconscious patterns are interfering with building that close connection. An intuitive counselling session can help to identify these patterns and bring them to consciousness. Once you understand these patterns, you can work through them to create the love you’ve always wanted, and to build a deeper relationship that can withstand life’s challenges. I’d be delighted to work with you to help you create confidence, build self-esteem, and find that special love in your life.


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