A mindful, loving relationship creates well-being and joy down to the deepest core of your being. Yes! It’s worth it to aim for an amazing love life - an honest and caring love partnership. When an intimate relationship is fulfilling and safe, life is good. In the research on love and marriage evidence shows that happiness, health, and longevity are the result a secure, emotionally connected relationship.
Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief, goes so far as to write, “… self-love and being in a loving relationship ... enhances telomerase activity and promotes a longer and healthier life.” And more scientific data can be found including Dr. Daniel Siegel, a well-respected neurobiologist who reported in The New York Times, “Scientific studies of longevity, medical and mental health, happiness and even wisdom point to supportive relationships as the most robust predictor of these positive attributes in our lives across the life span.” (Ackerman 2012)
Authors and researchers like Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Sue Johnson are proving in their relationship love labs that finding security in relationship is not only healthy, it may be essential. Based on the work of Bowlby on attachment theory, Johnson and others show that adult love is inter-dependent. In her book, Hold Me Tight, she explains that even though much of our current culture idolizes “self-reliance and independence,” our inclination as humans is to mate and couple.
So, it is natural to desire love. However, many of us have grown up with a fear of being co-dependent, (finding your happiness outside of yourself and through another) or being told that we must be independent and self-reliant. As we are learning and reframing these unrealistic expectations, we learn that in a healthy relationship there is inter-dependence.
Is it a sign of weakness to want a partner in life? No. When done consciously, partnering can help you thrive, evolve and develop your potential. Bowlby called partnership, ‘effective dependency’ and states that having a significant other to turn to for emotional support is a sign and source of strength, not weakness. I take it further and encourage partners to intentionally help heal old childhood wounds with each other. Your partner can be a confidant, support and a catalyst for growth. I know that my Beloved is that for me and me for her.
I invite you to ready yourself for love by choosing to want love for all the right reasons - security, connection, health, and pleasure. I invite you to feel good about that yearning, not because you need someone to fulfill yourself, but because you want someone to grow with side by side. You want someone to give and receive affection, protection, and inspiration. No guilt necessary, if you long for love. Celebrate it.
The more emotionally intelligent (mindful, skillful and heart-full) you are, the better your primary relationship will be. As much as people project that the success of a relationship is entirely about choosing a compatible partner, the truth is that success in love is not about the “other person” in the equation. As most self-aware people know, if you change you on the inside, you will magically see and initiate change in your surroundings. These transformations can include attracting a better lover, partner and potential mate. The most important element to finding a lasting love connection is you. So, how can you ready yourself for love?
In this article, we’ll explore who you want to be before getting involved with someone else. Loving yourself is the key to happiness now, and will be the key to happiness in a relationship. Self-love includes the thoughts you think, the beliefs you hold and the actions you take day after day. Self-love includes feeling comfortable and secure in yourself. Self-love is embracing your imperfections and finding the beauty within. You’ll know you are there, when you feel peace.
Before I met my partner Joy, I made a commitment to find peace within myself. I worked diligently on letting go of my childhood traumas and first marriage dramas. I studied the patterns of my life, and I forgave everyone involved including myself. How? Self-help books, therapy, workshops and prayer. Where I came to the understanding that I had many beliefs that were programmed into my subconscious during the early years of my life that were still running it. Awareness of these programs and changing them is the journey of my life.
Is it easy to heal? Does it ever end? While healing continues throughout our lives, it is wise to be as confident, conscious and caring as possible before entering a long-term relationship. Notice I did not say, ‘perfect.’ For myself, it took eight years of discovery and work. Overtime, I became more emotionally intelligent, meaning aware of my feelings and responsible for them. I stopped blaming my parents and former wife and became empowered to choose different feelings and beliefs. I also did a ton of forgiveness work which transformed my anger and hurt into compassion and love.
Some of the essentials aspects of my journey included learning how to self-sooth, learning to ask for help, becoming comfortable in my vulnerability with others (therapists, guides and friends) and gaining an inner trust in my intuition to guide me. As I grew in self-respect and inner joy, I found my Joy (my partner’s name.)
The delight of our meeting was graced by a spiritual fellowship. We were both wounded warriors, like most of humanity, but we were wise and willing to grow together. Joy and I have always shared honesty, and we continue to reveal our hurts with each other and allow our relationship to assist in our healing.
Please, don’t strive to be perfect before you are ready to find a love, but do strive to be equipped with a self-love that can be met by another who is also self-loving and aware. To be emotionally intelligent is to recognize your emotions and discern your feelings, label them appropriately and manage or adjust your emotions to adapt to your environment. It is to be empowered in your ability to find peace, happiness and a positive outlook on life.
You can achieve emotional intelligence by investing in your growth. Read books (you can find what I recommend on my website in the resources section http://KirkDanilson.com.) Practice compassionate communication with friends and family, live from a heart of giving - not your ego, and very importantly, demonstrate acts of kindness to yourself. You will find passion on the journey, and then what can happen if you stay open on your journey is passion will find you.
Yes, we attract a lover who reflects ourselves and usually the parent that we feel most hurt by. So, why not become the lover you are looking for? Be the one you desire. Learn the skills of lasting love, understand the basics of relationship before you enter one and you’ll see, your partner will be a more equivalent match.
Next learn about the 3 Ways Your Dating Expectations Will Dictate Your Experience.
Kirk Danilson is a certified ontological coach working primarily with those seeking extraordinary relationships with a focus on helping people prepare and find a loving relationship, as well as couple’s communication. Kirk’s passion is to help people breakthrough from relationships of conflict and criticism to mature and lasting love. This comes from his own difficult first marriage and painful divorce. Kirk’s heart-full, skillful coaching style allows people to feel safe and transform. He gained wisdom and ultimately found freedom through extensive education, research, retreats, alternative therapies and self-discovery. In addition to his coaching, he offers workshops with his Beloved, Joy. His professional background includes over twenty-five years as an executive in high tech business development.