Do you spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about the people who have hurt you?
You remember your ex, who broke up with you after months or years of stringing you along emotionally. Maybe this person even haunts your dreams at night, because deep down, you still haven’t let go.
You ruminate about the last person you dated, who said they weren’t sure what they wanted, they just knew that a relationship with you wasn’t it.
You think about that one special person you thought was so amazingly beautiful, with whom you had so much in common, who filled you with so much longing, but devastated you when they admitted they weren’t interested in you that way.
You wonder why other people seem to have no trouble finding love, and keeping love, while you are still so achingly alone.
It makes you wonder if there is something wrong with YOU.
What’s lacking in you that makes intimate relationships so difficult?
Perhaps you either end up with partners who are emotionally unavailable (or committed to someone else), or who are selfish, workaholic, commitment-phobic or just toxic.
If you’re asking yourself these kinds of questions, then you’ll want to keep reading the rest of this article to learn the quickest, smartest way to find lasting, true, authentic love.
The answer just may surprise you.
In my mid-thirties, after fevered years of clubbing, hookups, and an essentially fruitless search for love, I found that I could no longer avoid the yawning emptiness inside me. Under all the busy, what I was, was lonely.
I knew I had to find love. I had spent years searching for it with unavailable people, but I hadn’t spent enough time building it with the people who cared about me, or the people I cared about already.
The choice to spend more time enjoying those people changed everything.
It marked the beginning of a very different, and much more love-filled life for me.
It’s what led me to meeting the love of my life, getting married, and being happy together for the last 11 years.
In my work as a therapist, I’ve seen the same pattern in the lives of countless clients who came to me because they wanted more healthy love in their lives.
They’d spent too much time around people who were unavailable; too much time in their company, too much time thinking about them, too much time pondering them and wondering how to “make it work” with them.
Too many wasted, heartbreaking years.
After years of listening to these stories from my clients (and remembering what I had gone through in my thirties and forties), I came up with a name for these types of unhealthy attractions.
I call them “attractions of deprivation.”
These are relationships that are marked by lying, cheating, selfish behavior or a lack of availability. They are attractions to people who don’t have our back, who ghost us or manipulate us.
They are attractions to an unhealthy longing, a pining for someone who can’t or won’t love you.
In other words…
We think if we can only figure out how to change ourselves the right way for that person, they’d love us.
If only we could do a better job hiding the parts of us that made us feel different, odd, or undesirable, that person would see what a great match we were for them.
If only we could deny who we really are, we could finally find love.
It’s the most cruel form of self-punishment there is, and ultimately it doesn’t get us what we really want, which is love and acceptance from the kind of person who can make us happy.
So how do you change this propensity toward self-punishment, and become more open to wanting partners who are decent, kind, honest people who are single, available and actually WANT to have a relationship with you?
The first step is: The choice to spend time with what I call “attractions of inspiration.”
Attractions of inspiration are those in which there is an essential sense of safety and mutual appreciation.
Attractions of inspiration are defined by goodness, integrity and availability.
Of course, there are and will always be occasional annoyances.
No relationship or person is perfect!
But attractions of inspiration are powerful.
As you choose to focus more and more time on your attractions of inspiration, your world changes.
Your reservoir of love deepens and widens every day. Your life becomes richer and more enjoyable. You’re less anxious and more fully yourself.
It is the smartest, and quickest way to real love.
And even though it really is that simple to find soulful love, for people who are used to those attractions of deprivation, it’s hard to do. Why?
Because there’s no drama! When you’re used to the incredible highs and low lows of attractions of deprivation, a steady, reliable attraction to a decent person can seem “boring” at first.
So you default back to pining away for people who can’t/won’t/don’t love you, because you keep hoping one day, it’ll all change (but it doesn’t).
What I see again and again in my private practice, though, is that when we make it a choice to focus ONLY on our attractions of inspiration, everything changes.
And it’s just a matter of time before we find that a relationship we can treasure and celebrate.
Most people would say that they can’t help who they’re attracted to.
That you can’t “force” sexual attraction.
I would agree. You CAN’T force your sexual attractions.
But you CAN expand and grow that spark of physical or emotional attraction into full-blown passion for someone wonderful.
You can learn to be naturally more attractive to—and attracted by—people who are good for you.
And you can also lose your taste for the kind of relationships that keep you in a prison of self-punishment and fruitless longing, with those who don’t see or appreciate you or your gifts.
How? By discovering and then learning to honor and appreciate your Core Gifts, so that you can attract people who will also honor and appreciate them.
I’ve worked with thousands of individuals in my career as a psychotherapist, and have concluded that this process—which I call Deeper Dating, is the quickest, easiest, and most direct path to true, lasting, healthy love because you’re no longer wasting time in unhealthy relationships or attracting unavailable partners.
But I can’t possibly work individually with everyone who needs that kind of help. That’s why I’ve partnered with Flourish, so I can extend that help and guidance to as many people as possible, since almost all singles who are longing to find a life partner can benefit from these insights and tips.
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Discovering your Core Gifts and learning to honor and embrace them in order to find love is one of the greatest, most important journeys of your entire life.
And it’s one of the great privileges of my life to share what I’ve learned about this path.
The advice contained in the articles I’ve written for Flourish will help you see why you’ve been attracting certain types of relationship your entire adult life, why you may not have felt a true sense of romantic connection, and what it really takes to set your soul free in love.
I can’t wait to share all this with you!