It’s “love month” so while stores capitalize on Valentine’s Day, I’ve got 4 blogs for you throughout the month. Whether your “love” is for your pet, your one-to-come, your spouse, your kids, or your bestie you will find something both encouraging and practical here this month!
2/7 – 4 Obstacles to Love that Everyone Can Overcome
2/14 – Being the One – If you’re looking for love, don’t start with a list
2/21 – Who Makes You – Identifying and Keeping the people who get to speak into your life
2/28 -5 C’s that Create Relationship Champions – communication, compassion, consistency, commitment, community
Dear Reader, I really like to make lists, do you!? Lists for things to do, things to clean, or buy, or things to write or create – lists that I can tackle and cross off! When I was dating there was 1 list I made that quickly become ineffective. I made a list of “my forever-date” with all his criteria and character qualities. Now that was a good list but it was ineffective for 1 big reason…it didn’t include me and my internal dynamics.
For my list to be effective it needed to include me! Looking for a forever-date, for my husband-to-be, is not like the efficient, mission-shopping I prefer to do. That’s when I did with my list what most Christian girls do, I tucked it into my Bible. But here’s where I did something others around me weren’t doing, I called a dating coach so we could deal with the consistent factor, me.
This is why if you are looking for love, don’t start with a list. Typically we, both ladies and gents, make a list of what we are looking for in our ideal partner. Lists like that put the focus on the wrong place because we focus on what we want to come our way instead of what is always along the way, us.
If you are looking for love, and looking for the One, then start being the one who the one you are looking for, is looking for! Make sense?
Here are a few places to start with you:
- Your idea of dating –
- I believe that dating is not about finding a mate, nor is dating about getting your needs met. Dating is about healthfully and respectfully learning what you need and want, how to grow and change, and how to enjoy others you might not normally give the time of day. Dating is about how to be you with others in healthy and respectful ways.
- Your view of yourself –
- Healthy dating and eventually healthy marriages require you to be committed to being your true self. That means seeing yourself the way God sees you.
- How you view yourself determines how you will carry yourself and interact with others.
- Your daily patterns –
- Before sharing your life with another person, it’s good to have a healthy life yourself!
- Help yourself to have a healthy life rhythm with things in your life that allow you to be the best version of you more often than not.
- Your respect of yourself –
- Similar to your view of yourself, this one connects with how much you value you and what kind of treatment you will allow from others
- Sure this is a great transition to talk about boundaries and healthy intimacy in all areas (physical, spiritual, emotional and intellectual)
- Maybe you’ve heard the proverb, “out of the heart flow the springs of life”. So when you are dating, it is important to practice safe intimacy. Don’t share your dreams, hopes, desires, emotions, with a casual date. Keep the precious things in your heart for those you can trust with them, and that takes lots of time to let them show you they are trustworthy.
- Your internal beliefs
- A helpful way to figure out what you believe when it comes to dating is grab a piece of paper and write “dating” or “love” or whatever topic you want at the top of the paper. Then write out whatever words come to mind in a column one below the other. This free-writing exercise allows you to consider in one word what you might have an internal belief about. Then you can take it a step further and ask yourself in the next column, how do I feel about this? And a third column, how does this come out in my behavior or language?
Typically finding that One has more to do with our own internal dynamics than it does the person sitting across from us. If you start with you, then you can easily help yourself to be the One who will attract the One without the stress of the hunting party.
- Which bullet points resonated most with your experience?
- How has your self-image, or your core beliefs affected your dating history?
- Do you have a healthy life rhythm that allows you to be the best version of you more often than not?
- If there is any sense of shame, guilt, or embarrassment you feel when dating, it might be time to get your dating team together! A dating team can include a professional coach or counselor, healthy and helpful friends, and others who can keep you on track.
Liz Lawrence, MA, LPC-S is counselor, coach and creative who is passionate about people. She directs a counseling center in Austin, Texas and with husband David Lawrence co-leads the non-profit Renue.Me whose mission is to invest in the dreams of leaders in underprivileged communities around the world. Connect with her at www.lizlawrencelpc.com or www.renue.me
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