This is for anyone feeling disillusioned by love and the modern dating world, or who just wants to know that it is entirely possible to meet someone who completely lights up your world on a whole other level that you didn’t even know existed.
Rewinding back to 2014, as woman in her 30s who refused to settle, I had become comfortable with the realization that meeting someone—the one who sets your whole heart and entire world on fire as well as the one we’re able to have a deeply fulfilling relationship with—was perhaps a myth created to make good movies and television.
But, I am here to tell you it can absolutely happen—because it happened to me.
To tell you the truth, after several long term relationships, a marriage and subsequent divorce, before I met Aaron, I was skeptical about finding love again and had become somewhat of a cynic when confronted with the harsh reality of how dating these days works.
As if the dating world isn’t brutal enough, the online dating world, as I discovered, is even more so.
I’m sure anyone who has encountered it would agree.
But despite all of this, I still had hope, which is what made me keep going on dead-end date after dead-end date—hoping, wishing and praying that I would meet someone amazing.
And after almost two amazing years (filled with glorious ups as well as some very real challenges) we’ve taken our relationship and commitment to one another to the next level, for life.
But back to where it started: Tinder, of all places.
I knew from the very first text Aaron sent me that he was different. Where most guys were keen to find out if you were good for a hook up, the message I received from him was not only heart-warmingly witty, he seemed genuinely interested in the fact we shared many of same qualities, both being dreamers and creative-types.
The chemistry between us was electrifying, and from the moment we met we knew there was something pretty amazing happening.
The days and weeks following our first date were a delicious blur of passionate kisses, talking for hours and holding hands as we walked down the street together, giggling and holding each other close.
Back when I was single and I saw people who loved-up with each other, I used to wonder if if was real and if something so pure could exist.
It is definitely real, and it definitely exists.
It was the best kind of love, when you’re completely besotted with each other and your cheeks ache from smiling so much.
Sure, I had been in love before, but love of this kind—the only words for it I have are: electrifyingly magical.
Thing is, on reflecting how this all came to be and how grateful I am, I firmly believe the reasons how and why it happened weren’t an accident or fluke. The truth is anyone can attract the relationship and love they truly want.
But you have to be ready and willing to do the work on you, first.
Here’s what I put it down to:
1. Make yourself happy first.
We live in a society where we are taught to look externally for our happiness—that happiness can be bought in a new pair of Louboutin’s or found somewhere outside of ourselves. But this is a load of garbage.
True happiness comes from within, and is a result of us living our lives aligned with our values, our purpose and following our bliss. This is an inside job that can only be achieved by each individual person. Sure, we can seek out guidance on the way, but ultimately this work is yours to do alone.
Do yourself and your future partner a huge favor—spend time alone. Explore what it means to be you. Get clear on what your core values are as a human being. Understand what makes you happy and start building a life that brings you joy on a daily basis. We were not brought into this world to live a life of unhappiness—we were brought here to experience love and joy, but the key to finding this is making yourself happy first.
When you’re living the life that makes you happy, your happiness will reverberate and bounce off you like laser beams and you’ll begin to attract people who are on a similar high-vibe energy level.
Don’t look for someone to make you happy. Make yourself happy, and you will attract the right person into your life.
2. Get crystal clear on what you want.
This may sound straight forward, but trust me, once you’ve spent time thinking about what you actually want in a partner it’s going to make it easier for you to spot them, and will also make it a heck of a lot easier for you to move on from people who don’t match what you want.
And therein lies the trick—the sooner you get clear on what you want, the quicker you can move on from people who don’t match this. We often end up staying with people for far longer than we should because we don’t quite want to admit they aren’t a right fit. But this is a lose-lose situation for both parties, because even though you may have some fun together, at the end of the day you’re wasting both your time and their’s.
Write out a list of the qualities and values you are looking for in a partner. Be as specific as you can, and if physical qualities are important, be sure to include these too.
Now you have your list—put it into action the next date you go on. It’s either going to be a yes or and no, and you’ll be able to work this out by the end of the night (or sometimes you’ll know within the first 10 minutes!).
3. Be your own best friend.
It’s true: before you can love anyone else, you must love yourself first and treat yourself with the respect, care and love that you deserve. Only then will you attract the kind of person to you that will treat you with the same love and respect.
By lovingly taking care of yourself and respectfully honoring your needs, you’re not only setting a standard for yourself, you’re sending a strong message to any future partner that this is how you deserve to be treated. This message will only attract the right kind of people to you.
Relish in your time being single and enjoy your own company.
4. Don’t settle.
Why are so many people in relationships unhappy? Because they end up settling for less than what they want (and in most cases, deserve!). They let fear take over and tell themselves they’ll never meet anyone, filling their heads with rubbish stories about getting too old or it being too late. Honestly, who gives a toss? Who cares?
If you were presented with two options—one where you got to spend your days with the love of your life, having amazing sex and always having fun in each others’ company, someone who only lifts you higher and makes you want to be a better person, or the other, spending your time being miserable, with someone you were constantly snapping at and getting frustrated with and having boring sex—which one would you pick?
5. Date a lot of people and have fun!
Dating is supposed to be fun—it’s another opportunity for you to potentially meet the love of your life! And the more people you date, the more chance you have of finding that special person. Don’t take it so seriously!
Believe me, this is so much easier to do once you’re already living a life that is already overflowing with love and happiness—with yourself and your own life—because you’re not looking for that person to fill you up or complete you in any way. You’ve done that job yourself. Sure, it may be a let down when you go on yet another unsuccessful date; but think of it this way: you’re one step closer to finding the right person!
In the early days of our relationship I used to wonder: is the honeymoon period over? Will we go back to being a normal couple who fights and argues with each other and loses that passion that was alive when they first met?
The answer is a resounding no.
We are both still as madly in love with each other; now more so than ever—and it keeps getting better.
Author: Rachel Gadiel
Image: Courtesy of Author
Editor: Emily Bartran