By Staci Welch-Bartley
If I had a quarter for every time someone in my sphere of influence said to me after a romantic break-up, “I am done! I will never get married, have a partner, or fall in love with the opposite sex again!” I would already be retired on the beach! The power and their conviction when saying “I am done!” is intense and believable to boot! In the moment, they really, really mean it. Of course, my answer to them all is always the same, “give it time, give it time.” Because, without fail every one of them finds themselves looking for love again.
So what is this irresistible, uncontrollable urge for connection that takes us from the most heartbreaking love experiences, to being willing to do whatever we have to do to jump back in? Science calls it instincts and hormones. We humans have a basic need to feel connection with others. Evolutionary speaking, our survival as a species has relied on this drive. So, whether you like it or not, chances are, regardless of your past experiences, stated convictions, and commitments to never falling in love again, you are going to!
There is good news in all of this. Each and every time we do fall in love again, it give us some great awareness and insights into ourselves. If you ever want to know how you are treating yourself on the inside, take a look at who is showing up in your life as a potential candidate for love.
To illustrate this bold statement, I have an activity that I invite you to play around with. Use this activity anytime that you want to do a self refection evaluation about how you show up in relationships.
- As soon as you can after being with your past partner, write down a list of qualities that you found favorable or admired about them;
- Next, write down the things that rubbed you the wrong way for some reason, or things that were not favorable;
- Now in your mind’s eye, picture yourself telling this person with brutal honesty the items on your list by stating their name, followed by the thing that you found to be favorable. Example: (Persons name) “you are” (something from your list);
- Next, repeat this activity with the things you found unfavorable as well;
- Next, repeat this list you have created to yourself. Start with the things you admire first. For greatest impact, go to a mirror and look at yourself, really look at yourself, and then while looking in the mirror state your name and something from the list. Take a moment and notice how it feels after each item mentioned. Does it bring up your emotions? Do this with the entire list of words that you wrote down for both favorable and unfavorable items; and last
- On a separate piece of paper, write down the words that bring up your emotions. This is where the gold lies. Notice how these words might be true for you somehow. This activity will show you where you feel you are internally. The things that you love about yourself, and the things that you are wanting to work with.
The bottom line is, connections and commitments to others are what we use to learn about and develop ourselves. The most important thing that we can do to find the love we are looking for is to first build and cultivate a romance with ourselves.
What are you doing to build and cultivate romance? We would love to hear…