This article was written by Iris, Date Coach from Lunch Actually Academy Hong Kong
“My God, these folks don’t know how to love – that’s why they love so easily.”
– David Herbert Lawrence
As the cheesy old adage goes, “love when you are ready, not when you are lonely.”
Yet, how do you know if you are ready for love? Right now, some of you may be thinking, “of course I am ready! I can’t wait to meet that special someone and start a relationship with them. I just need to find them – tell me you’ve found them for me, Lunch Actually!”
However, know that “wanting love” and “being ready for love’ are two different concepts. For example, many women convince themselves they are ready for love just because their body clock is ticking.
Just because you want to love and to be loved, it does not necessarily mean you are truly ready for love. If you cannot tell the difference between just wanting love and actually being ready for love, it may cause you to spiral into a maze in which you will never find the love you want.
The real question now, then, is to ask yourself: “How do I know that I am truly ready for love?”
- Choose to Love Yourself First
This is the most important and crucial thing to do when it comes to finding love. In short, you must fill your glass first before you can pour the water into another glass. If you don’t have love in you for yourself, you can’t give a love that doesn’t exist to anyone else.
Some singles want to be in a relationship because they yearn for someone who can “save” or “complete” them. However…
“I want to be with this person, so that I can rescue them from their desperation and misery.”
Have you ever said that about someone you are interested in? We bet you haven’t, and truth is, most people won’t either.
The reality is, most people usually start a committed relationship when they can see that their life will be better with The Right One. So, build a life you know you will love. Get some new hobbies. Spend time with your friends and family. Take good care of yourself, both physically and emotionally. Be compassionate to yourself.
Once you are living your life fully, you will glow in confidence and happiness. Your right one will naturally then be attracted to you!
- Leave Your Baggage Behind
Are you still holding grudges or resentment from your previous relationships? Do you feel insecure because your ex cheated on you?
Some people believe that jumping into a new relationship may heal their wounds, or help them move on faster. In reality, carrying negative emotions from previous relationships to a new relationship is like using the bricks of your old house to build a new one – the nature of the relationship will not change.
Of course, leaving our baggage behind is always easier said than done. When we reach a certain age, it is almost impossible to be baggage-free, or to love with no fear.
Still, look at it this way. You can’t change the fact that the relationships are over. What you can change are your perspectives on these relationships. Instead of feeling resentful, ask yourself: “What did I learn from these relationships? Is there a certain pattern that is being repeated? What are the things that I liked and disliked about your exes?”
Once you can appreciate that your past relationships allowed you to know yourself better, and that they also inspired you to become a better person, you will start to focus less on your negative emotions.
Then, dear reader, you will have just taken the first step to leave your baggage behind where it should stay.
- Have a Healthy Checklist
Do you have a checklist of what qualities your future partner should possess? Very often, during the initial stages of meeting someone new, we are easily blinded by excitement and infatuation. This makes it easy for us to fall for someone who is obviously not a good fit for us.
Therefore, a checklist may help us look at the picture more rationally, and to stay away from distractions (and potential heart breaks).
That being said, having an extensively long checklist or following the checklist too rigidly may also reduce our chance to meet a potential good match. After all, we always think we know ourselves better than we truly do.
Before we compile that checklist, it is always important to ask ourselves the essential questions, such as: “What do I want in a relationship? What are the essential qualities needed to build a healthy long-term relationship or even a marriage for me?”
Qualities which do not serve the above purpose (e.g. good looks/body built, intense chemistry, etc.) are just a bonus. Placing too much emphasis on these qualities distracts us from finding a suitable life-long partner.
When we are no longer attracted to/distracted by men and women who are unlikely to be a good partner, it is only then we know that we are truly ready for someone better.