Want Real Love? Do it Your Way

January 3, 2014

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When I was a little girl I wanted to be an angel or Tinkerbell. I don’t know why I was so obsessed with wings, but I was. And as I got a little older my favorite movies were Annie, Alice in Wonderland, and Pippi Longstocking. I loved to play Barbies, but my Barbie was never enthralled with the dream house, she drove a Corvette and lived in the big city having fabulous dinner parties. I also remember my first crush in about the 2nd or 3rd grade on a boy named Aaron, and I thought it was super cool that his name had to A’s in it because that meant he always got to be first in line.

So why am I telling you all of this, forcing you to stroll down memory lane with me? Because lately I’ve realized that my outlook on life, men, dating, love and relationships has always been non-traditional. I never fantasized about my perfect wedding or having lots of babies like many girls do, but I had my own brand of what my perfect life would be. All of the stories and books I loved growing up involved women and girls who were having amazing adventures while stumbling upon love along the way.

I tell you this because at some point I changed. I traded in my confident, adventurous wanderlust spirit, for anxious and worrisome thoughts about relationships and whether or not the right guy would choose me. I turned on myself and my true nature, thinking that I had to become something other than who I was to find love because it wasn’t happening fast enough. Relationships that didn’t work out felt like they ruined me not only because of the deep love I had for the men in my life, but because I turned on myself and allowed conventional ideas about how I had to act and behave to have romantic love take the place of the person I really was. I didn’t become a completely different person, but my passion and spirit were dulled, and I’m just now realizing it. And the funny part is, although I’ve learned a tremendous amount from my relationships and dating experience (which is so much of what I share here) I’m no better off for trying to adopt somebody else’s ideas of what love should be and what it takes to get it.

Now that I’m older, I’ve managed to create a vision for the life I want that includes my innate nature and a man. For me that means going from complete independence to interdependence, with the right man, and making smart compromises in the context of a loving reciprocal relationship.

I see so many women losing themselves to find love, trying to follow every rule laid out by some dating guru, trying to figure out the exact steps your best friend took to meet her fiancee only to realize what worked for her isn’t working for you. Love is just not worth it if you don’t get to be yourself, your full self. The one thing that everyone wants is to be loved for who they really are, and that to me is the most important thing. That doesn’t mean that you have to forego all of those self improvement projects or New Year’s resolutions you’re excited about, but if you want a relationship that will work and last, you’ve got to be comfortable in it and do it your way.

Has your desire for a relationship changed who you are? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

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