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Monday, February 28, 2011
You Hold the Keys to the Love You’ve Always Wanted: All You Have to Do Is Move In
by Lori Pinkerton, special to Conversations Magazine
Feb./March 2011 issue
Do you feel like you’ve tried everything to find real love only to be disappointed again and again? Are you in a relationship that isn’t quite working? Maybe he’s emotionally unavailable, or maybe he shies away from commitment. Maybe you shy away because you know deep down you’d be settling. Or perhaps you’ve had one unsatisfying date after another, and you’re starting to think that real love doesn’t exist—at least not for you.
Odds are, with each painful experience, each fear of rejection, you’ve withdrawn further inside, putting up walls to protect yourself from getting hurt again. The problem is, those same walls that protect you also keep out love.
You may be so used to where you are living inside that you don’t even realize you’ve lost touch with what real love means to you. Finding love has gradually become less of a priority in your life. Every time you put all your energy into everything else—kids, work, and myriad obligations—you push love further and further down on your to do list. Yet without love in your life, everything else is more stressful, draining your energy and self-confidence. By giving up on love, you give up on yourself, on living the full life you deserve.
But I haven’t given up, you might think. I’ve tried. There just aren’t enough good men out there, or they aren’t interested in me. I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, stylish enough to attract the men I really want to date.
These are all factors on the outside, but the real problem is where you live inside. If you want to find genuine love—the kind that makes you leap out of bed in the morning, that makes you feel understood and desirable, that makes you enthusiastic in every little thing you do—then you need to move out of your internal fortress and start living in a new place inside. A place where you are free of past pain and inspired every day to be your best self.
You already hold the keys to making this happen. You don’t have to be someone else, and you can start moving in today.
Key 1. Imagine your inner dream house
What do you really want out of life? Imagine how you want to feel every day. Creative? Confident? Sexy? Energetic? What do you look forward to doing? Do you want a cozy life with low lighting, or do you long for wide open spaces and large windows with lots of light? Perhaps a little of both. You can have that. It’s your house.
Key 2. Decorate your new place
Surround yourself with what inspires you and energizes you—what you are passionate about. Stop committing your time to half-hearted interests and what other people think you should be doing. Decide from here on out to devote your everyday life to your passions. Explore new interests. Own and be proud of your unique preferences and personality. Put them on display!
The more you surround yourself with what you truly love, the easier it is to attract true love into your life. Confidence comes from being fully who we are and surrounding ourselves with people, things, and activities that support and inspire us to be our best selves.
Key 3. Decide what to pack—and what to leave behind
Your fortress is filled with reminders of why you built it in the first place—tokens of old relationships, past pain, and all the mental clutter that tells us who we should be instead of inspiring us to be who we want to be.
Before you move into that new place in your life, you have to mentally and emotionally declutter. Toss out reminders of past hurts and keep the parts of your past that are still useful to you. Leave behind old habits that only reinforce your insecurities. What aspects of your past do you love and want to bring with you? What are you afraid to let go of and why?
When in doubt, go back to imagining yourself living every day in your new place. Does this memory, object, or person fit in that picture, inspiring your best self? If not, leave it behind.
Key 4. Get help moving in
Don’t try to lift everything yourself. Discover who shows up to support you as you move to a new place in your life and who doesn’t. Surround yourself with a support network, and get expert advice when you find yourself unable to move on. If you’ve spent your life living according to other people’s desires, you might need help figuring out who you are and what you’re passionate about. A life and love “decorator” can help you discover your unique style and give you outside perspective on how your life will look to any man who shows up at your door.
Key 5. Throw a housewarming party
Invite friends and friends of friends. Meet new people and invite them in. When you live in a place of authenticity and passion, opening your life to others will help you meet men you really connect with. And it will build confidence in who you are and what you want. If you’re already seeing someone, invite him in too. Showing him your whole self with confidence and passion can inspire him to open up the door to his place as well.
You can’t wait around for love to knock on your door, especially if you’re not living a life you love. Let’s face it: A fortress has no curb appeal.
Make this the year you start living your best self every single day. Once you’re living every day in your inner dream house, you’ll find it much easier to invite men in. And the men who interest you will accept the invitation. The right one will be just as comfortable with every square foot as you are—even after he knows what’s hidden in your closets.
About Lori Pinkerton:
Author and speaker Lori Pinkerton is the dating and relationships expert for TV’s 180: Life and Style Makeovers and founder of Get Up and Date® (www.getupanddate.com). With her proven personalized approach, she shows women how to find the love they want and deserve—and have a great time along the way. Whether you’re looking for more in your current relationship, tired of endless bad dates, or unsure how to start dating again, Lori helps you live, laugh, and love your way to the relationship you’ve always dreamed of.