There are so many types of love we can experience. Platonic, unconditional, soul-level, maternal, long-term, brief and passionate, arranged, etc. It would be wrong to presume that everyone is out there looking for the same kind. If you are solely seeking a midnight rendezvous kind of love, we celebrate your adventurous spirit and enjoy that good time. But these points may speak more to those out there who are looking for something on a deeper level. If you’re trying to find someone to be your emergency contact, your plus one in the year 2050, someone you can truly share your life with, these words are for you.
You are struggling to even like yourself
It’s incredibly cliche and can be hard to face, but we can’t expect another human to give us something that we are not able to give ourselves. Our lack of self-acceptance or love will always show up in our relationships. And usually right on cue for the self-sabotage scenes to begin. If we look in the mirror and see someone that is unkind, unattractive, unintelligent, overall undeserving, that’s exactly what we will attract in a potential mate. Because when you find someone who is all of those wonderful things, you won’t believe that you are worthy of receiving their love.
Or, if you are fortunate enough to be with someone that has all the lovely qualities you struggle to see within yourself, it’s only a matter of time before the insecurities and self-doubts living in your head will surface. And before you know it, you’re accusing them of cheating with the amazon customer service rep who is just confirming their phone number for security purposes.
You keep a shopping list of requirements
Knowing what you value in a relationship and what you are attracted to is one thing, but keeping a non-negotiable list that insists a person be 6’5” with a British accent and a doctorate in molecular biology before you will even consider speaking to them is a whole other level of specific. By doing this, you not only reduce a human being down to list of bullet points, but you have you have just eliminated millions of extraordinary people that have so much else to offer. What if the greatest love you could ever know in your lifetime came in a 5’9” package from Tokyo? You would never get to experience it because it didn’t accomodate the list.
Charles Schmitz, Dean of the department of counseling and therapy at University of Missouri, suggests that if we are going to have a list, we keep it free of superficiality. Unsurprisingly, the factors that contribute to the most successful relationships have almost nothing to do with physicality. He suggests you consider these factors instead:
- level of trustworthiness and integrity
- equality and shared power
- commitment to mutual happiness
- caring and unconditional love
- mutual respect
- unselfishness and putting each other first
- mutual sense of responsibility
You’re not actually ready
Wanting to find love and genuinely being ready for it to enter your life are very different things. We all WANT love. It feels good, it’s magical. But, the truth is, a loving partnership comes with great responsibility. Not only to your partner, but to yourself. You have to be willing to give just as much as you receive. And sometimes we are simply in a place in life where we need to be more selfish and focus on our own needs. Or perhaps we are still trying to heal from past hurt. All of this is okay. Simply be aware of the subconscious factors that may be at play if you are struggling to find a meaningful connection.
Written by: Aubrey Koel, LCPC