Thirty-thousand - that’s how many days you get if you’re lucky. Thirty-thousand
Thirty-thousand - that’s how many days you get if you’re lucky. Thirty-thousand sounds like a big number until you realize how fast these days go by and when they’re gone, you’re gone and there are no do-overs. So, please stop saying, “I’m not ready!” There will never come a time when you are readier than you are right now. Time won’t make you more ready – and, as mentioned, it’s not something we have in abundance.
So, this Valentine’s Day, I want you to try something really daring...
I am asking you to take the plunge and get serious about finding your soulmate. A successful life is not complete without a successful relationship. You won't know how true this is until you have one.
By now it should be clear that you are not going to find anyone by accident, or it would likely have happened by now. As with anything in life, it takes concerted action in order to be successful and it’s no different with finding your mate. If you haven’t been lucky until now it doesn’t mean there’s not a match for you. It means you've built up some baggage that’s blocking your way.
Ever since I found my forever-love, I see true soulmate-relationships everywhere - people who have been together for many years, yet are more deeply in love than the day they met. When I was still out there stumbling around in painful relationships, I thought everyone felt abused and neglected. I thought it was normal that people didn’t’ get enough sex, love or support, got cheated on, and more or less struggled to make it through. This had been my experience and it was reflected in the relationships I saw around me. Now I realize that relationships don’t have to be messy, ugly, lonely, or toxic. We carry our experiences with us, and they show up over and over again, one relationship mirroring the next. To my thinking, that was the way of relationships but in reality I was just seeing my own beliefs reflected over and over again, like a funhouse mirror distorting everything I saw.
When you set out to discover your soulmate it is vital to recognize your old belief patterns that have kept showing up for you. In my book,The List Method – the science-based way to find the love of your life, I offer a process I call Strategic Complaining where you are allowed one great big Whine-and-Cheese Party. You get to complain – out loud, on paper - about the wrongs been done to you over and over again. It’s nice to let it all hang out for once, and it's super helpful to become aware of the stories, patterns and the limitations you’ve set for yourself. Once that’s out of the way, you can set to making your List.
When you meet someone, whether set up by well-meaning friends or by coincidence at the supermarket, what do you really know about that person? How can you realistically expect that all the things that make each of you unique and complicated individuals will somehow magically match up, even if you find them attractive? Add to that people are usually on their best behavior and don’t show their true face when they first meet someone, and you have a crap shoot of epic proportions! Why base the search for the most important person of your life – the one with whom you expect to spend the majority of your lifetime as well as your money – on such terrible odds?
We don’t usually think of making a List when it comes to finding the partner of our dreams. For some reason, we don’t think making a list of the things we want in a partner will help us find one. A friend of mine once said, “I don’t believe all this List stuff. A List isn’t going to make someone who doesn’t exist suddenly appear!” My friend is right, a List can’t make someone who does not exist appear, but it can certainly help you find your soulmate, because you really do have one! You you special, but you are not so fatally unique that there is no match for you in the whole wide world. Your soulmate exists and is searching for you, just as you are for them. But in order to find them, you do have to be clear what you’re looking for.
In every area of life, we know that the more focused you are about what you want, the quicker it appears. If you’ve ever run a business you know that in order to be successful you need to have a very clear vision about what you want to achieve. You need a focused business plan, detailed projections, and a precise budget. You manage to those numbers, and you fully expect to achieve them. You don’t say, “Well, here’s the plan. Let’s see where it takes us!” You make grocery lists; to-do lists and a detailed list of the next car you want to buy – and you expect your lists to help you find what you’re looking for.
But when it comes to love, we have a disconnect. Somehow, we think that if we're too picky, we're either shallow or we will never find what we are looking for. And so, we lower our standards, and we compromise. It gets even harder as we get older, because with more disappointments under our belts, we get more and more “flexible” about what we’re willing to accept. Pretty soon, we’d try anyone who has a pulse, preferably warm-blooded, but we’d probably consider a reptile at this point. And despite all that “flexibility”, the results get worse and worse. How can this be? Easy! When you’re shopping in the bargain basement, you can’t complain about the lousy quality. So, what can you do differently to finally meet the real love of your life? You must realize that you are not trying to narrow the dating pool, instead, you are looking for the ONE person who is your perfect match. To find that one person, you must weed out all the others who are not that person. In other words, you must become more focused instead of more flexible.
To find this ONE person out of eight billion is less about looking for someone out there, and more about looking at yourself. Notice I didn’t say anything about changing yourself. There is some very bad dating advice out there, telling people that in order to attract a desirable partner you should try to make yourself appear most attractive. You should appear more interesting. You should take classes, go outside of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons. You should pretend to like things you don’t actually like – all in an effort to appear more attractive and interesting. The sad thought underneath is that you cannot possibly expect to be loved as you are, so you must act like someone you’re not.
Imagine you did meet someone who fell in love with you based on this glamorous image you projected. When would you tell him that you’re not actually into SCUBA diving with the sharks at the Great Barrier Reef – after the wedding? What if your chosen one lied to you in similar fashion and on your honeymoon, finally confessed that he loathes those quiet walks on the beach that mean the world to you, and that he’d much rather sit on the couch with a beer in his hand, watching the game. Lying to find your soulmate is not only misleading but is also a recipe for disaster.
In order to find the one that fits you like a glove it is essential that you are completely authentic. Remember, if they are your perfect match, they are looking for exactly whom you are. So, it would behoove you to spend some time figuring out who that really is. What is important to you? What are your highest values? What are your standards? What would your ideal life look like? Pretend you won the lottery, and you won enough money so that you'd never have to work again. There – you are completely free. Now ask yourself how you would spend the rest of your days?
Sometimes people say they would travel. Okay, so travel, you have enough money to do that now. Would you travel on a five-star budget, or would you rather go backpacking the wild country? What type of experiences would thrill you? Would you prefer to bask under an umbrella on a beach with an exotic cocktail in your hand, or would you like to trudge through the jungle to meet the native population and learn all about them? Whatever your deepest wish might be - obviously your soulmate would want the same. So, then here’s the first item you figured out for your List.
Piece by piece, as you figure out what your ideals are in every area of your life you extrapolate who your perfect partner would be, and you build your List. Nothing is off-limits, in fact, it’s all important. Sex, money, living space, political opinions, and intellectual pursuits. Are you looking for a he or she? Tall, dark, and handsome or blue-eyed Adonis? Looks are important because deep down you know whom you are looking for. You are not inventing someone, you are writing a description so you can find them quicker. Think of it as remembering them from your dreams. Rumi said, “Lovers don’t one day find each other, they were in each other all along.”
Perhaps you think that I’m a great big, fat romantic when it comes to relationships, but I’m actually not. Like everyone else, when I wrote my List I thought it would be nice to find a person I could get along with, but I didn’t really know what would happen. I arrived at my present point of view only after I found the love of my life and I discovered how good it can actually get. So many years into it, it is simply mind-blowing to me that it still gets better every day. We have reached a level of intimacy and deep, abiding love and appreciation neither of us ever even thought possible. Now I may sound like an incurable romantic, but in reality I am nowhere near romantic enough because there simply are no words to describe the reality of being with your One.