Relationship lessons I’ve learned in 2016

This year has been one of major transformation as I have been on a journey with my inner self and uncovered many beliefs on romantic relationships which have been holding me back from love. I’m used to being single and have never been one to rush into a relationship but there was a yearning inside which I didn’t want to admit I had and that was to be in a loving, fulfilling, romantic relationship.

It all started in Spring this year when I was dating a friend of mine and things didn’t evolve into the committed relationship I was hoping for. I was left feeling hurt and with questions such as,

  • “If I’m so perfect, why am I still single?”
  • “If he really likes me, why are those feelings not enough for him to want to be with me?”
  • “Why does everything feel so right yet two-three months later the guy doesn’t want to commit?”
  • “I was so caring and understanding, what more does a guy want from a girl?”

The transition from dating into being in a relationship just never seemed to happen for me and it was an ongoing pattern. This time I decided to go within and figure out what was wrong. Not because I felt I wasn’t good enough, but because I knew that there must be some unhealed wounds which I needed to confront and work through in order to stop the same situation from manifesting into my life again.

I had always heard and read quotes such as, “You won’t find love unless you love yourself first” and so this was the time I had to finally learn what that meant. I started reading and listening to Wayne Dyer, Marni Battista, Marie Forleo, and Katherine Woodward Thomas. From those authors I learned many things which I will share.

Firstly, I finally admitted that my biggest fear was rejection which was painful to admit for an alpha female, such as myself. I assumed that because I’m such a catch and I know what I want in a man that I couldn’t fail at attracting the right relationship; there was lesson number two which was that my fear of rejection came from believing that rejection = failure.

I was sure that I loved myself but after listening to Wayne Dyer’s “Your Erroneous Zones” I realised that I had been rejecting myself all along. This was in the form of self criticism which many of us do without even realising. I assumed that my inner dialogue with myself was fine. I thought that saying, “I’m beautiful” to myself and liking what I saw in the mirror meant that I loved myself. However that love was so conditional; I only felt good enough when I looked good enough. If my hair wasn’t blonde enough or my abs didn’t stand out, I needed to correct those things first and then I’d love me.

I started reading, “Calling in “The One”: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life” by Katherine Woodward Thomas and from that book I have gained so much knowledge and understanding on how and why I’ve been holding back on love. As a single female, everything in my life would feel fine but as soon as a man made me feel special and listened to, I would latch onto that. Unbeknown to myself at the time, that reaction was because I was craving love and had voids I was trying to fill. Voids such as feeling appreciated, valued and cared for. I wanted someone to give me their time yet I always had doubts that the man had other priorities other than myself. Fair enough I always said I’d put my career first and so I expected that off the man, but that was the mistake I was making; I was undervaluing myself and didn’t believe that I deserved to be a priority enough for him to make time for me.

Those doubts came from my childhood wherein I never felt like a priority to my parents. Their jobs were the priority and so that’s how I grew up to be so independent and spent a lot of time with myself. I have no hard feelings towards my parents or my childhood, I absolutely love the woman I’ve become and I know that everything unfolds as it’s meant to however that realisation allowed me to then decide that,

  • It’s OK to want to be a priority.
  • It’s OK to ask for someone’s time. If they can’t give it to you, they’re either not interested enough or not the right person for you.
  • I’m going to make more time for myself so that I can learn to enjoy solitude.

Delving back into my childhood allowed me to unearth beliefs I had towards men which I didn’t realise were holding me back from falling in love. I’m not a man-hater as I love and respect the men in my life but the old beliefs I had which prevented me from entering a romantic relationship were,

  • “I dont need a man, I’m independent and can do everything by myself.”
  • “Men haven’t helped me to achieve what I have nor have they had a significant contribution to the success in my life. I’ve had to do everything myself and so I don’t need anyone.”
  • “As a young girl, the men in my life were cold and emotionless therefore I will never let my guard down and I must show them that they have no emotional power over me.”
  • “I am a strong female who is ambitious – being in a relationship may hinder me achieving my full potential and so possibly serve as a distraction.”

The lack of trust and emotional openness in those beliefs contradict the trust and emotional connection needed in a romantic relationship. Now that I was aware of why I would never let a man in, I had the ability to transcend that attitude into a more loving and trusting one.

The journey I’ve been on this year has been an eye opener which has resulted in a huge increase of self-love, self-worth and fulfilment. I am now unafraid to communicate what I want and know I deserve in a romantic relationship. I also feel no lack within, so when the next guy comes along I will be able to enjoy the relationship for whatever it is without the cloud of fear or doubt getting in the way. To conclude this post, I will share the key learnings I’ve made along with the new perspectives I’ve chosen,

  • Relationships are about being authentic, not perfect – I was obsessed with being the perfect girl in order to avoid rejection however perfection is boring. Being authentic means you love yourself regardless of what others think or feel towards you.
  • I am enough – I thought I loved myself but boy was I undervaluing myself as I tried so hard to be ‘perfect’.
  • Being perfect or ‘the nice girl’ won’t get you the person you want – You need to know who you are and always make yourself the priority. Not in a selfish way but in a way where the other person loves you and wants you for yourself, not who you think you should be.
  • I didn’t know it but I was hungry for love because I wasn’t giving it to myself (even though I thought I was through vanity) – I wanted commitment but rushed into passionate dating which then never progressed.
  • Stop accepting crumbs when you want the whole cake – This is something I learned from “Dating With Dignity” by Marni Battista. Declare what you want and be unapologetic about it. If they can’t give it to you, move on and let someone who will come along!
  • When you’re truly in love with yourself, it doesn’t matter if others love you or hate you – You become indifferent to others’ reactions and feelings towards you as they hold no status in defining you or how you feel about yourself.
  • Life is now! – This is something I learned from “Make Every Man Want You” by Marie Forleo. Stop waiting for the right person to show up or for next month’s holiday to feel good. Feel good now as life is full of opportunities and happy moments which will make themselves apparent when you choose to step into your happy place and feel peace.
  • Romance and passion every day is possible but sometimes they need to take a backseat – Relying on those feelings to determine who you fall in love with and when aren’t the best tools to predict how successful a relationship will be.
  • Friendship is key – This is first and foremost important as it’s through friendship that the building blocks of a strong relationship such as mutual trust and respect are found.
  • We all want our romantic relationships to last our lifetime but that can hinder taking risks – Entering a relationship can be risky since you’ll be devoting a lot of your time and feelings to that person…and after that it may not even last! However the obsession of finding ‘the right one’ or fear of falling for ‘the wrong one’ prevents us from taking risks and enjoying the beauty of whatever will manifest. Release the need to be right as life is and always be ever-changing.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences with me, I hope you found this post insightful and helpful. Lots of love…

Reclaim your power and tap into courage!

Recently, I’ve been¬†unwillingly¬†exercising¬†negative feelings and thoughts stemming from insecurity¬†(I hate to admit it but it’s true).¬†Insecurity¬†of where I am in life which led to questioning where I was headed in life or how I’d get to where I wanted to be. That’s the problem with over-thinking, we¬†dissect¬†each thought and¬†criticize, think and think on it and our minds begin to over analyse and so steer towards thoughts of lack or worry.

“We are dying from overthinking. We are slowly killing ourselves by thinking about everything. Think. Think. Think. You can never trust the human mind anyway. It’s a death trap.” –¬†Anthony Hopkins

We question our capabilities and worthiness of being able to attain what we want. We beat ourselves up for being where we are yet lack the willpower and motivation to make a change. Fear gets the better of us and we become focused in moments outside of the present. Whenever I felt ease or a bit of hope, it was very short-lived. Affirmations were not resonating with me or sticking; they were just words. This manifested into my physical being as I became lethargic however this weekend, something just clicked.

I came across a post on chakras whilst browsing online. I’ve known about chakras for some years but this particular post I had stumbled upon¬†inspired¬†me to look at the subject in more detail. I realised that chakras are energy centres in our body which we must maintain¬†healthily¬†through¬†ensuring that¬†the energy flow in each one is unblocked. I came to realise that a few of my chakras are¬†blocked¬†and I understood that it was due to letting¬†disappointments¬†get the better of me. I needed to¬†reinforce¬†perseverance¬†and remember my inner champion. I then reminded myself of when I was at university and the amount of unshakeable confidence and power I had mentally back then was a lot more than what I was feeling recently. I felt this sense of clarity and¬†power¬†enter me. I realised that I had been fearing more and¬†trusting God/Source/The Universe¬†less all that time. I¬†belittled¬†myself and my¬†existence¬†instead of reminding myself that I am a¬†powerful¬†being and I am here to make a¬†difference (as we all are)¬†I was scared to take action to better my¬†circumstances since my outside world was reflective of my fears.

As of this weekend, my thoughts have now become,

“Stop being so negative¬†and¬†reclaim your power! You are powerful, you are worthy.¬†Trust more and fear less. You are looked after and everything¬†always¬†works¬†out for you. Never belittle yourself and do not give up.¬†You¬†are a fighter and a winner so yield that power. You are also a work in¬†progress¬†so stop pressuring yourself unnecessarily. You need not justify where you are to anyone or to yourself, focus on what you want¬†and take steps to achieve that. I am unrestricted and limitless.”

I now feel those words. I have embraced my courage that had become dormant and am diminishing my fears (I mean what the hell have I got to be afraid of anyway?! I receive so much love and support from family and friends. I have nothing life threatening going on). I feel a lot more in control of myself and my life. I will witness any negative thoughts or feelings of insecurity and watch them dissolve rather than run away from them through denial. I am courageous, I am a fighter. I am powerful. I am fresh, innovative energy. I am going to fiercely pursue my dreams and persevere through whatever comes my way. Fear is an illusion and it just spirals into self doubt and inaction. I am worthy. I can and I will accomplish anything and everything I want.

So you know what I say to life?….

Don’t make life difficult and don’t look back. Work¬†with¬†that you have and where you are. Take action to improve whatever you want to improve and do not let setbacks diminish¬†your¬†faith. Promise yourself that you will do your best to stay strong¬†and¬†feel as good as you can in this present moment. Life really isn’t as hard or dreary as we sometimes tell¬†ourselves¬†it is, that’s just the dramatic ego talking.

I’ll also leave you with a few quotes…

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.” –¬†Muhammad Ali

“You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.” –¬†Aristotle

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” –¬†Dale Carnegie

The will to persevere is often the difference between failure and success.” –¬†David Sarnoff

“Destiny has a lot to do with it, but so do you. You have to persevere, you have to insist.” –¬†Andrea Bocelli

Heartbreak and Self Worth – Part 2

In July, I bumped into an old friend from¬†university¬†on graduation¬†whom¬†had liked me since first¬†year. I was aware of this at¬†that¬†time¬†however¬†I¬†was never ready to take it past¬†friendship. I felt this immediate and strong attraction to him after that day and¬†there’s¬†always¬†been chemistry¬†between¬†us and so we started talking again. He was amazing, everything I wanted after my ex. He treated me¬†well,¬†always told me I was¬†perfect¬†and beautiful, he would tell me how much he wanted to spoil me,¬†I¬†felt myself¬†around¬†him¬†and¬†so comfortable. It helped that we were friends before anything since I felt every feeling we expressed wasn’t just based on infatuation. Good things really do go for better to come along.¬†However¬†I¬†was still seeing other people since¬†I¬†did not want a relationship and I told him¬†I¬†wasn’t¬†after a¬†relationship¬†to clear any¬†misunderstandings. He had just got out of a relationship. We were both so loving towards¬†eachother,¬†we said we hadn’t felt so¬†comfortable and¬†close to someone¬†before. He told me that¬†I¬†made him very happy and feel great about himself since his ex’s were quite selfish. The only issue was that he¬†lived¬†far away so we’d only see eachother once a¬†month but¬†whenever¬†we were together it¬†was¬†the best. I felt so close to him in every way,¬†I¬†felt bliss. we felt great appreciation for eachother and¬†I¬†was¬†loving¬†it.

Things got deeper and we started to like eachother more¬†however¬†we’d say that as a relationship it would be hard since not seeing eachother all the¬†time¬†would eventually take its toll on us. I was enjoying¬†going with the flow and just relishing in all the positive aspects. I lost the desire to talk to other guys however¬†I¬†also felt that by¬†forcing¬†commitment¬†it would¬†make¬†the love between us conditional and¬†I¬†didn’t’ want us to hurt eachother since a lot of expectations come from¬†commitment.¬†4 months later and things have changed within a week.

He has chosen to¬†pursue¬†and be with a friend of his from where he lives since he so¬†desperately¬†wants a¬†girlfriend. He had mentioned earlier this week that he¬†couldn’t¬†handle the distance¬†between¬†us and wanted to see¬†other¬†people. At first¬†I¬†wasn’t¬†bothered¬†because we never said we can’t date others¬†however my ego came into play¬†I started thinking dark¬†thoughts. It felt liken the heartbreak from the previous break up was all coming back to me.¬†¬†I¬†could feel he was slipping away from me during the week and¬†that¬†I¬†may not be seeing him again in the romantic way and it hurt me.¬†I¬†started thinking fear based¬†thoughts¬†such as “he doesn’t want me anymore” , “he’s going to find someone and¬†I’m¬†not going to¬†be¬†with him again”, “I¬†don’t¬†want anyone else”, “how could he say all those things to me and now do this?”, “men are so fickle” etc.

I then reminded myself that when I finally found happiness after the split from my ex it was because I surrendered to the universe, accepted what was, focused on myself and embraced faith. I was full of life and love and this guy was the one that wanted to pursue me and liked me loads originally, I just went with the flow.

When he told me this morning that the girl had asked him out, I kept my replies graceful with a hint of bitchiness. He needs to know I’m fully aware of my¬†self¬†worth¬†and not upset (which I’m not) and boy am¬†I¬†grateful that¬†I¬†have¬†dealt¬†with this¬†disappointment¬†so well. I feel great and strong,¬†I¬†do not feel as if¬†I’ve¬†lost anything and¬†I¬†am more driven to do well for myself since I’ve seen how well things flow into place and how¬†ever-changing¬†life is. If we find ourselves back in eachother’s arms, we’ll see, since¬†I¬†know¬†he’s¬†always liked me loads and always will. This relationship he is in may work well or it may not. Things are¬†always¬†perfect at first¬†however¬†he’s pursued a relationship for the sake of having a girlfriend since he’s¬†bored¬†of being single. He wants to fill a¬†void¬†and has¬†given¬†up the¬†amazing¬†love we have/had out of desperation.

I control how¬†I¬†feel and¬†I¬†can’t help that he feels the way he does, however¬†I¬†feel great¬†because¬†life goes on and¬†I¬†am too blessed to be getting¬†upset. Never let the other¬†person’s¬†faults make you think you are lacking something. You are special,¬†beautiful¬†and amazing and it’s not your¬†fault¬†that other people can’t see or¬†value¬†that. We are all human and we all make¬†mistakes¬† As long as you have your own back and¬†stay¬†true to¬†yourself,¬†nothing¬†or no-one will¬†phase¬†you.

There is no room for self pity or sadness here. Only positivity and strength.

Heartbreak and Self Worth – Part 1

When me and my first love split up in January 2012 after 9 months of being together, I told myself positive things such as “everything¬†happens for a reason”, “good things go for better to come along” however I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest and there a huge missing piece (clich√© I know). When we first fall in love, we make mistakes and become slaves to our¬†emotions¬†and feelings. I was so confused when I was falling for him since I didn’t¬†understand¬†all the feelings when I first fell for him¬†and¬†so I got very attached. However I became attached¬†because¬†HE was¬†attached¬†to me and would tell me he loved me and would never hurt me. I though I was safe, Never rely on someone’s words.¬†Attachment brings¬†pain.¬† A lot of the things happen without us realising no matter how strong we are as single women. The romance in the air takes over and feels like ecstasy. A few months into the relationship I felt as if I had stopped loving¬†myself¬†and¬†started¬†relying¬†on him for love which is the biggest mistake anyone can make: looking¬†outside¬†of one-self for love. When we split up, I felt as if I had¬†forgotten¬†how to be single and live for myself¬†because¬†everything had become¬†about him even though I thought I had still prioritised myself. It is very easy to become too¬†comfortable¬†in a¬†relationship¬†and lose sight of your life and how far you want to go. It’s as if the relationship becomes an obstacle since you have someone other than yourself to think about and insecurities come into play such as “what if we grow apart”, “what if he looks elsewhere for comfort”. The attachment was like a drug¬†because¬†whenever¬†we were apart it killed and¬†I¬†needed him. Relationships can be blissful however it must be from a place of¬†unwavering¬†happiness within yourself.

The pain of heartbreak was horrible, sometimes¬†I¬†felt great and then all of a sudden the pain and insecure, negative thoughts would come back to me. I had lost myself, I felt like¬†I¬†was crawling myself back into the light of positivity and unconditional self love. I am known for my confidence,¬†positive¬†attitude and¬†strength¬†as I’m always¬†helping¬†my girls feel good about themselves yet¬†I¬†was crying my eyes out everyday¬†saying¬†that no-one will ever love me. This was not me.

Sometimes you have to¬†accept¬†you’re hurt and let out all the anger and pain. I was trying to tame it and hope it faded away. When I finally accepted I was angry and hurt, the pain and¬†unresolved¬†bitterness started to¬†dissipate. I gradually¬†found¬†myself¬†again and felt stronger, wiser and better. I felt single and happy,¬†I¬†didn’t need a man and¬†didn’t¬†feel¬†I¬†had to¬†rush¬†into a relationship. I was so happy and in love with myself, I was shining. So many men were being attracted to me however I stayed focused on myself.¬†I¬†established what I wanted in my next perfect lover¬†however¬†I¬†also¬†know that mistakes are made to be¬†learned¬†from and to grow. Nobody is¬†perfect¬†and life is always giving us lessons to better ourselves.¬†I¬†don’t¬†need to be with someone to feel good and¬†I’m young and have a lot to explore yet before finding the one. Once I had got all of my confidence back, I felt fulfilled and more aware of the bigger picture.¬†I¬†told myself to always¬†prioritise¬†myself no matter what so that next time I go¬†through¬†a breakup, I will not feel so lost since relationships are to be learned from and we are always a work in progress. There are plenty more fish in the sea! Don’t limit yourself through fear, let the best things come to you with faith.