This is part three of a free dating eCourse, although this article does stand alone on its own. For more information about the dating boot camp, start here.
Following By Example
If you're confident about who you are and what you offer the world, and have never doubted your attractiveness or ability to get what you need out of a romantic relationship, you probably don't need to read over this section today. For those of you who fall into this category, let me just say that you're a rare breed, and we'd all love to learn more about how you cultivated this belief. Therefore, please share with the other participants in the online day three journal your experiences, outlook, and what helped you see yourself in such a positive light. For the rest of you, make a point of reviewing the comments in the online journal, and see which of the respondents resonate with you, or which of their suggestions you can implement for yourself.
Feeling Worthy of Love
Loving yourself means more than feeling good about who you are and being your own best friend, just as being loveable means more than merely, "having characteristics that attract love or affection." (~ The Free Online Dictionary) Being loveable, to me, also means that you find qualities in yourself that you admire in other people, and that you're able to open yourself up to intimacy and love by reducing or removing the walls that impede true connection. Of course, this sounds easier than it is.
About.com's Guide to Christianity has a great article that discusses How To Be More Lovable, and for those of you who follow that belief system, I highly recommend taking a peek. For the rest of us, being lovable can take the form of becoming the kind of person we'd want to love, which might involve a shift in thinking rather than years of counseling or therapy.
Think of someone who loves you completely, and how they see you. Imagine where their mind is at as they come toward you to give you a hug, or see you after an extended absence. What makes them happy and appreciative? Why can they see these things in you, but you're not able to see them in yourself?
Each time you think of yourself as unlovable, I want you to picture that image in your mind again. Take a second, close your eyes, and see yourself through a loved one's eyes. After a few breaths, open your eyes and remind yourself that you're wonderful and perfect as is. If you can, show your gratitude and appreciate toward that person later on, essentially closing the gap between feeling loved and sharing love.
Another way we block ourselves from feeling, receiving or giving love is by refusing to see the lovable bits in other people, and cutting them off from your life before you even get the chance to know them. If this is an issue for you (and it is if you're saying there are no good singles left or you can't meet a great person), then I strongly urge you to read before moving on.
- Smile at three people, like we talked about in Day Two, How To Get Over Your Ex.
- Write in your day three journal how you've pushed people away in the past, and who you've refused to date in the past because of a perceived dealbreaker. Serious issues, such as not being truly single or being a registered sex offender don't count, I'm talking about the trivial things that you wouldn't want someone else judging you over or about. Make a list, and see if you can relate those former dealbreakers to past relationships or situations that made you feel "less than", but that you don't need to hold onto any longer. If you need to, use the techniques described in yesterday's instructions to detach from those people or situations that made you feel unloveable.
- Pick one of the activities you wrote down on your list yesterday that will enable you to meet a bunch of people, and make it happen sometime this week. Expect nothing more than to have a great time with some good friends, and if you do meet some new folks, be aware of your former dealbreakers. Are you still blocking love, or are you now more open to new possibilities?