Learning to Love

I recently entered into a relationship after many years of avoiding relationships and it was an absolutely amazing experience for me.

My first date with this man was lined up to be for one afternoon after work. We had arranged to meet for dinner. As I was preparing to leave work I felt a little bit of nervousness, but when I got into my car this passed, and as I drove towards the restaurant I felt a deep settlement in my body. I felt much more of a woman. It was a truly incredible experience as I hadn’t ever felt anything to this depth within myself before. All feelings of nervousness were no longer there and there was just a feeling of absoluteness, knowing and grace.

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In Saying No, I Said Yes to Love

Is saying “Yes” the only way to accepting another person in love?

Recently I met a man. It is pure joy every time we meet. We have a lot in common and our conversations are always deepening each other, and yet I said “No” to this relationship.

I did not say “No” to this man, only to the picture of how a relationship is supposed to look, such as the whirlwind, the intensity, the sweeping someone off their feet, as all of that felt imposing, even though it is supposed to be what love looks like.

In the human point of view, this takes a bit of getting used to, as I deeply care for him and appreciated his care for me. But what would love do in such a situation?

Love would only be loving, so I deepened first and foremost even more of the love and care I have for myself.  

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Trusting Yourself in Dating and Life

It’s come to my attention in recent months through conversation, that something holding many beautiful women back from venturing into the dating world is a perceived lack of trust… in men. What has been more fascinating however, and transformative for each of these women to realise, is that the very thing they use as an excuse (as it turns out) not to trust another, IS EXACTLY the thing they can TRUST IN!

Let me explain…

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How to Start a Relationship Built on Love

For a long time I have been feeling I did not really choose to be in a relationship but more felt I ought to be in one because everything around me (magazines, media, movies, family, friends etc.) were telling me, that that was what you want to do as a young woman.

I did throw myself into it, literally, and would be at times quite proactive in finding a boyfriend. These relationships were very innocent and loving at the start. But later I got this feeling that there was always something missing in them.

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Divine Marriage – Commitment and Knowing True Love

I’m a bit of an oddball: I took ‘solo flyer’ to a high art form, being almost continuously and faithfully in relationships with men throughout my adult life, and yet managing to stay unmarried and separate. Not because I was looking for greener grass, but because I was not looking for any grass at all!

I’ve always felt a sense of what love means, but not seen it in the world.

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A New Relationship – Am I Wilting or am I Blossoming

Last year I entered into a new relationship and settled for less than love. I knew deep down that I am worthy of love and deserve to be adored, but I chose to settle for less, because there is still a part of me that wants to be with a man, not on my own.

I feel that as women, we have been overriding our own clear signals and needing / relying on someone else’s approval for decades. We have often settled for less in a new relationship, not truly seeing we are worthy of love or claiming that we deserve to be adored for the beautiful woman that we are. This is no fault on anyone else, but our own choice for settling for less and for not loving ourselves enough to know our own worth.

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Dating and Finding True Love in Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Sydney…or Anywhere

No matter which side of the hemisphere we live in or nationality we’re from, dating and finding true love continues to be a global ache or tension. Where we live makes no difference at all and yet so many of us to a degree cling onto a belief, minor hope or big dream that by moving abroad or finding an expat, this ache will be eased and provide the love that’s missing ‘back home’. Though when this doesn’t occur, are we willing to step back and take a look at ourselves, or do we leave the country, taking the disillusioned ‘love-hope’ with us onto our next destination?

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Meeting Men, with the True Beauty of a Woman

Yesterday, when I walked down the road to catch the bus, I was feeling full of my own inner beauty, the true beauty of myself as a woman: my heart was open and I felt joy when I came across other people on my way. Many of these interactions were with men…

  • a simple ‘good morning’ to the man walking his dog
  • a warm hello to the road sweeper who looked surprised but opened up like a flower in response to my smile
  • a wave hello to the man who runs a café who always leans out of his door to wave back at me and wish me a good day
  • a brief heartfelt conversation with a man who asked me directions
  • a smile and a ‘thank you’ to two men sitting on a doorstep whiling their time away, who told me I looked lovely today.

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My Relationship with Me, Love and Tenderness

What’s in a relationship, who leads, and how or with what do they lead?

I’ve been with my partner for 6 years and used to blame him for quite a list of things, such as not being emotionally supportive, not understanding me, and not giving me what I thought I needed. I pretended to accept things as they were, even though I was secretly fuming with a poisonous resentment that was eating away at me and draining my energy. Like some kind of self-appointed martyr I assumed that I was always the one leading the way, moving us forward, pulling us up. I kept going round and round in a never-ending maze of mental confusion, wondering how I could ‘solve’ our relationship, as if it were an emotional crossword, the key to which always felt just out of my reach. If only I could spend every hour while I was asleep – as well as the daylight hours – thinking about it, then surely I could solve it, I thought to myself over and over. I went and spoke to counsellors, supposedly taking responsibility but subtly blaming my partner, and always frustrated at having to solve ‘our relationship’ by myself. But the relationship with me was where I needed to start…

Sorting Myself Out and Looking Within

As it turns out, there was no solving or fixing to be done – not mentally, at least. It sounds crazy to me now, but at the time I couldn’t see that first of all I needed to sort myself out – the last place on Earth I’d thought to look, because in my arrogance, I’d assumed I was getting along just fine: I wasn’t dying or debilitated by disease. But if I’d come down from my head and mental thoughts and into my body and feelings, I could have seen all the evidence telling me that, actually, things weren’t so great with me – and maybe that’s where I should start. For starters I felt just how anxious I was most of the time, but just thought that anxiety was who I was; part of my identity and something I’d have to put up with and learn to manage. I felt so sensitive and kept wishing other people would stop reacting so I wouldn’t have to react to their reactions! I was exhausting myself trying to perfect and control my external environment so that I could feel less stressed out. I only ever seemed to feel amazing when I’d done a brilliant piece of work, or was complimented on what I was wearing when I’d made the effort to dress up.

When I abandoned myself in stressful situations and let myself be owned and run by anxiety, I expected my partner to step in and rescue me, and got upset when he stood strong and didn’t pander to my emotional dramas. Now, finally, I’m beginning to take responsibility for myself, learning to stand firm and stay with myself rather than abandoning myself into an abyss of tears and overwhelm.

I realised from looking within that what I wanted from my relationship was what I’d being denying myself – a greater connection to myself and to others, tenderness, love and appreciation for myself as the amazing woman that I am.

Finding Tenderness and Love Within

I used to feel so frustrated at my partner for not treating me with the tenderness I felt I deserved and wasn’t receiving from him. But as my awareness of this fact grew and the heavy fog of emotional reaction began to clear, I started to question how loving I was being towards myself:

  • How could I expect anyone else to treat me tenderly, if I was beating myself up, being harsh on myself and pushing and driving myself with determination to do everything?
  • Why was I waiting for him to show me tenderness, gentleness and love first, instead of being and living all of those qualities myself?
  • What does love look like? – Is it aligning with my partner’s post-work bad mood, so that we can connect through it and I can feel good by ‘helping’ him? Or is it calling it out, and not allowing an insidious and negative energy to run through our home and end with me feeling tension and stress in my body.

Tender ME; Our Tender Relationship

Now I’m starting to let go of the control and experiment with what happens when I take the lead by being myself – truly tender and gentle – first.

How much more amazing would I feel and could our relationship be, if I could hold this love and tenderness within myself no matter what, rather than lose myself in reaction and judgment to his reactions, knowing that I am more than enough as I am already?

What has happened has been a true transformation of our relationship from blame and resentment to a deepening of our love and appreciation. There have been uncomfortable confrontational moments as I re-learn to stand up for myself and express what I’m truly feeling, instead of acting out the safe and known pandering routine. But also there has been more tenderness, gentleness and consistent connection. And most of all there’s a stronger and growing deeper love and respect for myself in expressing and leading from my heart, and feeling how incredible it is to be the powerful, graceful and truly tender woman that I am finally allowing myself to be, and in my relationship too.

by Anonymous, UK

You may also like:

Looking for Love in all the wrong places  …. hear Sharon Gavioli’s journey
to finding Love within.
Naturally, Tender Me by Amina Tumi 

Finding The One: The Waltz of Romantic Idealism

I have recently been looking at some of my romantic notions and their origins so that I could choose what to keep and what to let go as I move forward in my life. Contemplating my former addiction to Jane Austen novels and, of course, Mr Darcy, together with my unceasing search for the one, lead me back to my very early childhood and the many times I danced with my Father.

My Dad assures me he used to sing to me and dance with me as a baby and I recall feeling a great sorrow around age 9 when suddenly there was no longer the physical affection there had been prior to this time. When my Dad started to waltz with me as a teenager, this seemed to me a return to those times of warmth and affection. I enjoyed the feeling of being nestled in his arms, although I was advised quite often it’s the man who takes the lead.

Reflecting on these early experiences revealed a surprisingly large can of emotional worms.

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