Your last relationship didn't end well, you haven't heard a peep from that charmer you met for coffee the other day and most of your friends are tired of listening to you complain about your cheating ex. You're trying to maintain an optimistic attitude, but it isn't easy. You're feeling pretty lonely and unloved at the moment.
Why is real love so hard to find after divorce?
Why does it seem so easy for others to find and connect with their soulmate but so pull-your-hair-out complicated for you?
For one thing, you may be going about it all wrong. Love isn't about searching for and finally finding something or someone out there to unlock the doors to your sheltered heart. If that's what you believe about love, no wonder you feel frustrated! Love is about a state of being, and the only way to have an abundance of love is to create the conditions it needs to grow.
Here are 8 ways to create those conditions and have a more fulfilling, happy, love life now.
1. Be the love you seek.
Being kind and warm to the people you meet every day builds positive energy and allows you to expand your capacity for love. Smile at strangers. Lend a hand where needed. Rather than save your love for that one "special" person, treat the world as your lover and you will never be lonely.
2. Accept yourself 100 percent.
Often, our biggest obstacle to love is that we're too busy holding onto our own unworthiness. When you respect, love and trust yourself, you'll stop looking for an outside source of validation to fix you, fill you, heal your wounds or reflect your love-ability. Intimacy with another happens when we feel safe to be vulnerable, reveal our truest selves, and honestly show up being who we are. It starts with building a healthy, loving, reliable and trustworthy relationship with yourself. The key to showing people how to treat you starts with how you treat yourself.
3. Treat yourself well.
Self-love is the source of all other love. How committed are you to your own happiness and well-being? If you were married to you, would you be happy with the amount of time, attention, loving kindness, respect and nurturance you are receiving or would you asking for a divorce because you felt so deprived? Being in a good relationship with another starts with being in a good relationship with yourself. Nourish your body, mind and spirit everyday with healthy food, exercise, positivity, and the enrichment you need to thrive. Get that massage. Meditate. Listen to beautiful music. Do what feels good and is good for you.
4. It's time to live the life you love.
Have you been waiting to take that trip until you have a significant other to travel with? Do you want to take a dance class but are waiting for a partner to do it with? Stop the excuses. Take that trip, join that class, what the heck, GO skydiving! Try that thing you've always been curious about. When you pursue your passions and fill your life with fun and stimulating activities, you'll feel a love for your life that can't be quenched. And as an added bonus, you'll be meeting like-minded people who you have a lot in common with. So don't wait! Ask yourself... What can I do that will make me happy? And do it! It's time to rock this life.
5. Look at each date as an adventure and opportunity to experience something new.
It is said that everyone we meet has something to teach us. While someone may not at first glance appear to be your type, stay open to the possibility of learning something new from this person. Having too rigid expectations or a fixed agenda of who and what you think you want, leaves you unable to enjoy the moment. And you could be missing out on getting to know someone who's a true gem. By detaching from your preconceived notions and creating a space of openness and curiosity, your heart may pave the way to finding a partner who's surprisingly perfect for you.
6. Focus on what you want more of.
Ah, the power of words. "I don't ever want to go through that again!" "All the good ones are taken." "It's hard to just relax and enjoy myself because I have too many responsibilities in my life." Sound familiar? Our misery is almost always the result of our thoughts and what we say to ourselves. Worrying, blaming or having a personal pity party is a waste of time. It doesn't change anything, it just messes with your mind and steals your happiness. To attract positive things into your life, start by focusing on and being grateful for what you have that is good. Right now, as you read this, think of five things that are going great in your life, big or small and out loud say "thank you!" Want to take it up a notch? Think of five reasons to be grateful for the difficult experiences in your life. Being happy doesn't mean you have it all, it means you appreciate it all.
7. Embrace a peaceful, calm energy.
Everything around us is made up of energy. If you are running around frantic and frazzled, your life will be frenzied. If you are calm and peaceful, your life will be calm and peaceful. Calmness is the result of slowing down on the inside and becoming present.
Let me ask you a question...Are you really present in THIS moment and HERE right now? Want to be?
Try this BE HERE NOW exercise:
1. Take a deep breath and allow your focus to gently rest upon one object in the room that catches your eye. Now say "I'm aware of" and name five things you notice using your sight.
2. Then, close your eyes, take a deep breath, tune into the sounds in the room and say "I'm aware of" and name five things you are hearing.
3. With your eyes still closed, take a deep breath, and tune into the sensations you are experiencing in your body. Say "I'm aware of" and name five sensations you are feeling in your body right now.
Feel calmer and more peaceful? Welcome to presence!
8. Forgive others and yourself.
It is often said that forgiveness is the ultimate act of self love. That's because for every moment you are angry, regret-filled, full of shouldn't haves and could haves, and remain unforgiving, you lose 60 seconds of happiness. Forgiveness is not condoning another's (or your own) bad behavior, it's declaring, "I'm not carrying this anymore!" When you let go of the resentment, bitterness and pain that is holding you back from loving, you create space for more of what you do want in your life. To start the process of forgiveness you must first give yourself permission, out loud, to heal, let go and move on.
Remember, feeling loved doesn't mean you have to spend all your energy looking for that one special someone who will give it to you. Getting more love is much easier than that. It's a daily practice of generosity, gratitude and compassion that attracts love to you from the world and from within yourself. Every time you interact with another, whether it's your neighbor, your significant other, a date, or the grocery store check-out clerk, look at it as your chance to project an attitude of acceptance and kindness. Love is abundant in the world and all you need to know is how to tap into it. When you do, you will never feel alone and will bask in the glow of love, always.
Sheri Meyers, Psy.D is a licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angeles, CA, and author of Chatting or Cheating: How to Detect Infidelity, Rebuild Love, and Affair-Proof Your Relationship. For a free chapter of Chatting or Cheating, please go to:chattingorcheating.com