“Keep your heart open for as long as you can, as wide as you can, for others and especially for yourself” – Morrie Schwartz
Do you want to invite a meaningful relationship into your life? Or perhaps you simply want to get out there and enjoy dating?
I have made a conscious decision that searching for a relationship will not be my life’s work. I’ve had a history of settling, losing my head over a guy, periods of not dating, and a stint of not wanting anything serious.
These days, I’m not open to drama and shitwits bringing my vibe down (seems like this used to be my jam). I’m just not feeling that. It’s not always been an easy thing for me to avoid if I’m honest – Not only did I used to have a distorted view of love, I lacked love for myself. It’s pretty tough to experience a healthy relationship when you don’t even love yourself – what you attract really does reflect the relationship you have with yourself. And in fairness to me too – we can’t escape the state of the modern dating culture.
As it stands now, Jan of 2020, I am open to dating again. The happy, healthy, exciting kind of dating (and love) is welcome into my life.
I’ve done the work when it comes to recognising my patterns and moving away from what doesn’t serve me; that’s been a journey of ups & downs. Walking away is powerful.
But I’m done with walking away. Now I’m ready to step up and walk toward the drama free relationship I’ve been talking about.
For years, my own low self-esteem was dormant – no one would have spotted it, not even me. Throughout my life I adopted enough coping strategies that meant I was able to live a OK life and experience good relationships. But let’s get real – life is special, wild, confusing and incredibly precious – it deserves to be lived. An ‘OK life’ and a ‘good relationship’ is not what I’m about.
I’m not starting out brand new. I’ve spent almost 3 years learning to love myself using a powerful inside-out approach. The work to break out of old patterns has been daily effort, self-reflection, compassion and a whole lotta mistakes. I am not here to pretend – I’m certainly not perfect and I still trip over the odd hurdle. But, hand on heart I can tell you I am happy and my life is FULL of meaning.
With a bit of trust and a lot of openness, I know that the right person will show up when we are both ready for each other. Don’t forget he is on a journey right now too.
I believe the only way we are going to attract the kind of love we truly want & deserve is through living a life true to who we are and creating an attractive life we enjoy.
For me, that means the script in my head needs to be re-vamped, the energy I’m feeling and giving needs to be high and my focus needs to be away from the ones that never were.
If you are like me, and you too want to adore your life, breakaway from the old patterns and put yourself in the position to have something real, then check out the changes I am creating in my own life below. I am using the very same program (Follow Your Fire) I offer to women who have had enough of not feeling enough, who are finally ready to put themselves first and ignite their inner fire – and I can tell you, 29 days into 2020 – I feel an optimistic openness I haven’t felt for a long time, if ever.
Now, get cosy – grab a pen & your favourite notebook and answer these questions for yourself:
The way you show up daily, your mood, your compassion, your temperament, your expectations, your reactions – would you date you?
This one isn’t a new shift for me but it needs to be here as it is an important part of this puzzle. Behaving how I would want my ideal partner to behave encourages me to create the life I want.
If you wouldn’t even date you, something must be up. It’s going to be a hard job loving yourself if you are not the sort of person you like. And if you wouldn’t date you, how can you expect someone else to want to?
If your approach to life is a mismatch to your ideal partner, it doesn’t mean you will never meet anyone. Of course not, there are enough couples and chalk/cheese examples to disprove that theory. When it comes to attracting a happy, healthy relationship – this question is a great one to address for your non-negotiables. If you want someone who respects you, lives in line with their values and compliments you – then it’s only fair you are willing to be the same for them.
The key here is to be true to who you are, resist the urge of trying to be anyone but the very best version of you.
Action: Write out everything you want in a partner and compare it to how you show up.
If you have been reading my blogs and following me on Instagram or Facebook, then you know I have been saying continuously “I attract Mr Unavailable” – It’s quite magical how many Mr Unavailables I have continued to attract into my life. So I edited this story – I am now making a point of saying I attract people that are available.
Because you get what you put out there.
So are you telling yourself you are always rejected? And then spend the whole time you are with someone waiting for them to reject you? Do you misinterpret everything they do to match your story? Be honest if you do, because they feel that, they see that. You think you’re hiding it but this stuff doesn’t go unnoticed.
Are you walking around complaining that all the good ones are taken? When you do this, your eyes are closed to the ones that are not taken. You are literally putting your energy and focus on the people that are nothing to do with you, because they are taken. Don’t worry about them, they are not your person. Lots of people are in a relationship and lots of people are single. That’s the facts.
If you tell yourself dating is hard work, it will be hard work. Everything about this vibe is resistance, resistance is an effort. When you go on a date with the story that this is just effort and pointless – your mind is already made up before you even get there.
Start listening, what are you telling yourself? What are you saying to the people around you? It can be really subtle, so you must be honest with yourself and it’s not always easy. It involves owning what you are contributing to your current situation.
In the past, when people are available my automatic reaction is to run. I can see it dates back to my early 20s. I will find the smallest things not to like. It’s really obvious when they are available – because my response is to self-sabotage in some way.
When coming away from a date recently, I resisted the urge to do what I would normally do which is focus on what I didn’t like. I made a point of also acknowledging everything that was great. It was liberating and I had a huge smile on my face, and I got to look at this person in the way they deserved. And I deserved.
Now there is a fine line here, because remember no-one around here is going to settle. All I am saying is wake up to your patterns. Wake up to what you are looking for and whether it is negotiable or not.
We have a tendency to put a limit on our happiness and how vulnerable we are willing to feel. Rather than risk vulnerability or a new level of happy; we will do something to ruin it. There will be times you can think of in your life when you have done this.
I’m never going to encourage you to be with someone you do not fancy and have no chemistry with, I’m just saying as you do this work, consider if you are putting a limit on yourself.
OK brace yourselves for my fear. Remember your stories are stories so no judgement and they may seem silly when you write them down.
One of the key fears that has held me back from a relationship has been…KIDS. I have a wide view of my future and it’s pretty dreamy. I have clarity around the direction I want to move in when it comes to work, life and love. I have passions and a sense of purpose that keep me grounded and whole.
So the FEAR?! I was afraid I would meet someone, have to give up my dream and have kids. The story I have been telling myself is I don’t want to meet someone because I don’t want to feel pressured to have children. Every time I told myself this, I pushed a relationship further away and it’s no wonder I would pick someone unavailable instead.
What I know now is it is just a conversation we will have to have, and considering what is important to me, it’s likely this person values my dreams like I do. Maybe we will both want children with each other. Maybe we won’t want them. Maybe we can’t have them. I don’t know. But I can see clearly, I have been telling myself a story that has scared me. I convinced myself a man coming into my life would mean, I have to give up my dream and ‘settle down’. Settling down is not a term I enjoy. There will be no settling around here.
Be mindful of how your fears manifest your relationships. Last year, instead of getting perspective, I decided a super causal relationship is the way forward (no regrets but it was not), or not dating at all is best (that started off as necessary and I have caught it before it moves to a place of avoidance).
What is the vibe you are feeling? This is really going to tell you what energy you are giving off. Do you feel low vibes; stuck? Low? Anxious? Scared? Bored?
Or are you feeling high vibes; Joy? Optimistic? Happy? Upbeat? Excited?
Tune into this because this is the vibe you are giving off. We can be really naïve to the fact people are attracted to people who have a good, positive energy. If you are having moments of excitement on a date but getting nervous & uptight any time they are not messaging or calling, you might think you are hiding it well but I can assure you you’re not. People can feel your true energy. Anyway, you can’t hide it forever, it finds a way to come out, usually sideways.
Faking your energy isn’t going to work. That’s why it is so important you are spending your days thinking about you, doing things you love and creating a life you enjoy when this person is not around.
I’m not advising you give off a good vibe for this person, I am advising you have a REAL, positive vibe for you. This person just so happens to experience your energy.
Am I telling you to be super happy and positive all the time? No, no I’m not.
When I first found myself back in the single game, I already had a deep interest in the psychology of what makes us humans happy and my job involved coaching others to break addiction problems. I was confident from the off, focusing on different areas of my life was a must. It has served me so well, and I have done things I was only dreaming of four years ago.
Fixating on a relationship for your validation is a sure fire way to suck the joy out of your life. Relationships are so fragile it is way too risky to use them to determine your ‘enoughness’.
Sometimes, the women I work with want someone to like them so badly, they ignore the fact they are pining for someone that doesn’t even have the capacity to be honest with them.
So that energy of yours I talk about. Where is it? Honestly, is everything you do and think about with an underlying drive for finding a partner or attracting back your ex?
When you only say yes to drinks with your friends because you want to meet ‘the one’, you are going to be left disappointed or waking up next to a shitwit who has no interest in you. If you only try that new exercise class in the hope of the instructor falling in love with you – you are going to think something is wrong when that doesn’t happen.
Every day I put effort into my life so I can experience real happiness (sorry if you weren’t aware, you have to work at happiness). I’ve had long terms relationships so I’m very aware being in a relationship does not fix your problems or make you eternally happy. But, I’m never here pretending I want to be single forever either – There is huge joy, comfort and happiness that comes from being in a relationship. Under no circumstances does that mean life is miserable when you are single.
You have to engage with your own life fully by doing the things you value and being open to the bliss that comes from new experiences and doing the things that light you up. And if it didn’t light you up – it was totally worth it because now you know what not to do.
Personally, I refuse for my precious life to be wasted or spent looking for someone – I know that kind of chase is not enjoyable. It can put your head in a spin and leave you feeling hopeless.
The facts are the facts; dating can be tough and there is a hookup culture going on. Whenever I work with a single woman who is actively dating; we have an honest conversation about what comes with dating – rejection, questionable dates, confusion, fun, and frogs. So please, don’t put your whole focus on this area – it’s bound to end up messy if you do.
I remember the day I had had enough of wanting this person. You know the one? The actual time you have had enough – when a person reaches that stage – there’s fireworks. Change is coming.
Well this day, after weeks (months!) being stuck on someone, I was done. I just knew, the energy shifted and I was ready.
I met someone that very week. Funny how things work out like that huh?
Whether you are constantly thinking about someone else, or regularly messaging them, you must understand – the longer this goes on, the longer this person is sat right in the space where your freedom belongs. It might be the space of a deep conversation with your best friend, your latest project or your right person.
You don’t have an endless amount of time and headspace, so use what you do have wisely.
Filling my time with the things that feed my soul, keep me aligned with my purpose and connect me to all the love I have around me keeps me on track. It also keeps the people and situations that belong in the past, in the past.
Letting go is scary, trust me I know. I have had a history of holding on for dear life and it kept me stuck in a life that didn’t fit me. Holding on might feel right, and even safe, but if you know in your heart it is holding you back from stepping up – let go. Make room for the available person. Make room for you.
Work through those questions, and be OK with the feelings and truth that come up for you. Don’t judge yourself for where you’ve been, the time you think you have wasted or the pain you feel.
If you know you could be stronger, be stronger. If you know you beat yourself up, celebrate yourself. If you know you lack worth, learn your worth.
There are things you can do every day to change the direction you are currently heading in.
I was the girl who chases the guy who doesn’t see her, I was the girl who made excuses for him, I was the girl who ignored the red flags, I put shitwits on a pedestal, I blamed myself for not being good enough, I hid parts of who I was, I put their feelings ahead of mine, I would lose sleep every night over him (MY sleep, I bloody love sleep!). That girl still lives inside me; I nurture her and understand her. It’s my job to guide her and teach her what is best for her and to remind her daily, she is better than that – way better. Beyond words better.
I have the dream and mission that we can all learn to look after the inner part of us that just wants this time to be different. It takes practice, trips and the determination to get back up every single time. I know you can do it and I know you can begin to walk towards the person you deserve and that deserves you.
On the 13th February 2020, it is the official Self-Love Day. And guess what? We are having an online party. We are going to celebrate you! We are going to celebrate all that you are – warts and all! It is going to be a cosy online space, where together we can accept ourselves and set genuine heart-felt intentions to invite in deep meaning, love and happiness to your life.
Just in case you need reminding today; you are worthy, loveable and enough!
Carly Ann xx