Have you given up on love, love? Have you banned Valentine’s Day and stopped watching rom coms? Had your heart stomped on a few times too many? It’s easy, when relationship after relationship fails, to start questioning yourself.
What’s wrong with me?
What’s wrong with people of the gender(s) I’m attracted to?
As a coach, I help people and companies look at what’s not working out for them, find out why and fix the problem. One thing I’ve learned is that the same principles apply to people and their personal problems too. When it comes to love, there are a number of possibilities to consider.
Perhaps there is something wrong with you? I mean, it’s possible.
Perhaps all [men] have lost their bleeding minds? Also possible. Loki knows that as a group they give us enough reason to consider other dating options.
Perhaps all the good ones have already been taken, and the only ones left are the ones that have been weighed, measured and found too light? That could be true, but I doubt it.
So, I think we can conclude guesswork is pretty pointless right now. Let’s focus on what we know for a fact instead:
- You want to be in a loving relationship, perhaps with marriage, a mortgage and a couple of kids in the cards.
- Your relationships so far have not given you what your want and you may have started to fear that they never will.
If neither of those two apply to you, there may be other posts here that would suit you better. Or you can always tag along to the end of this one and share your own experience in the comments below.
If one or both statements do apply to you – take my hand and let’s have a little heart to heart.
Do you think it’s possible that you’re addicted to, or at least very fond of, the feeling of having a crush or being in love?
No shame if that’s the case. I know I am, and it suits me well based on what I personally want to get out of a relationship at this point in my life. Entering into a new relationship can be really exciting. Especially if your new love interest is something of a catch. For some there’s a sense of validation in being the chosen one, but don’t forget that there is a risk that Mr Popular has something of a Di Caprio syndrome. You know, the kind who’s in the habit of trading in for a
younger new model with regular intervals.
Do you fall out of love when the butterflies stop fluttering?
I know, butterfly belly is sweet, but for most people the day will come when you kiss your sweetheart and nothing happens. No butterflies, no fireworks, and no pink clouds. For serial daters this can be seen as a sign that there’s no more mileage in the relationship. If you like the person you’re kissing, this is not the time to cut and run. This is where you start communicating on a higher level.
Talk it through with them, and see whether you actually want the same things. If you do, don’t let go just because your flutters are gone. Tell them what you want, what you need, to feel seen and validated. And make sure to tell them what makes you tick too.
Are you trying to hurry Love?
Well, you can’t, as the song goes, so you might as well stop that right away. Love cannot be forced or hurried, and you can’t make someone fall in love with you quicker. Friendships take time to develop, and love is essentially a friendship. Don’t focus on rings and babies from the start, that shit’s creepy. Focus on being yourself. Give them a chance to get to know the real you. To see who you are, what you like and what you are like.
I know this can be really hard if your biological clock is ticking, but you’ve got to rein it in. Think of the relationship in your life that means the most to you. No, family members don’t count. Pick one you’ve formed and developed with another person. It can be a bestie, a colleague, a team mate. How did that happen? Why did they fall in friendship with you? Whatever you did to make that happen – maybe you should try that?
Do you know how to love?
Many of us grew up not knowing how to love. Feeling love is one thing. Knowing how to love is something else. It doesn’t help that we grow up in a cultural environment where we’re spoon-fed the idea that we’re supposed to meet The One, and when we do, they’ll complete us, and we’ll live happily ever after. Yet, in the very same culture, we’re soon at a point where 50% of all kids grow up in “broken” families.
Hollywood isn’t real, so they can’t really teach us how to love. Then, what do we do if we did grow up without role models? If we never saw our parents love each other and sort their shit out together?
One thing you can do is to list the people you know who are in the kind of loving long-term relationships you dream of. Study them and see how they deal with different situations. Ask them what their secrets are and, perhaps, if they could be your relationship mentors.
People with negative experiences of love and relationships run a mile to avoid them. They are more likely to check out at the smallest sign of discord, and they don’t really expect a relationship to be for life. Serial dating doesn’t fix this. If your problem is that you don’t know how to love, how to be in a caring relationship, you can’t trial and error your way to your dream. You need help, and there’s no shame in that either.
Are your expectations too high?
Perfection is one of my least favourite words. It stifles creativity, ruins relationships and turns some people into measuring tape fascists. If you’re into that sort of shit, you need help. And no, I’m not saying there’s something wrong with striving to do your best and wanting good things. What’s wrong is not being able to enjoy something that’s not perfect.
In relationships, these are the people who turn into overbearing monsters trying to control and micro-manage everything and everyone around them. When my kiddoes were little, I saw this in parents who insisted the other parent had to do things their way. They’d hang over their shoulder “checking” that nappies were changed the right way, that laundry was folded the right way and that the kids were dressed the right way. And then they’d complain that their partner wasn’t helping out enough. Gee, I wonder why?
The perfectionist grinds everybody else down and makes them feel like they’ll never be good enough. They breed resentment and can’t understand what they did wrong when people get pissed off with them. No, the poor perfectionist, who “only wanted the best for everybody,” gets so very sad. That’s some next level toxic bullshit. What they’re really doing is telling you that they are better than you are. That they’re merely trying to show you how you too could lift yourself up and get a place on their pedestal. But the truth is you never will. The perfectionist doesn’t share the spotlight willingly.
Now, if you’re dating perfectionists, step on the break and leave the car. These relationships will never have space for you to be who you are. To develop your own interests and grow into the person you’re meant to be. And you don’t want to do that to your kids.
If, however, you are the perfectionist, you need to check yourself. Get help from a licensed therapist and learn how to break the pattern and stop controlling other people. Put the measuring tape down, stop pointing out other people’s mistakes and try to just be a good friend for a change. Fascism is not a good look, and it will not give you the relationship you want.
Is it possible that you’re not there yet?
Yeah, I know. This sounds like a proper mum thing to say, but it’s true. Relationships require a certain level of maturity and maybe, just maybe, you’re not quite there yet?
No matter what kind of love you want, there should be some rules involved. It’s not the cool thing to do in vanilla relationships, but we all have lines we won’t cross, and contracts and negotiations can eliminate a whole heap of relationship obstacles. We also have lines we don’t want our partner to cross.
When we enter into a relationship, we effectively make a commitment. We sign a contract where we promise not to cross the other person’s lines. We promise not to hurt them on purpose, and we expect the same in return. Mature people negotiate this deal and make sure that both parties know what they are signing up for. And they don’t promise things they know they cannot offer. Mature people communicate. They talk to their partner and make sure to iron out the details.
How do we feel about infidelity?
What do we count as cheating?
How do we deal with conflicts?
What do you need in [these] situations?
People who are not there yet solve their conflicts by yelling online. They constantly break up and get back together, or shack up with someone else, so quickly you can’t keep up. They give you cold shoulders and silent treatment, and they leave you stranded somewhere without letting you know they’ve left.
Most adults don’t want to date a child, and they most certainly don’t want to have children with someone who still needs a parent to take care of them. And please note, I’m not talking about littles or pets here. I’m talking about adults who want to form and maintain a relationship with another adult and are failing to do so.
Now, I’m not expecting you to tell me your answers to any of these questions. I’m just giving them to you as a first self-assessment tool. Take them on board and try to answer them honestly. If you have a problem with one or more of these things, at least you now have an idea of where to start. Pick up that thread and see where it leads.
I believe in you!
Love & Lust,
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Linn Lindström is a Swedish sex kitten whose curiosity once led her to attend a swingers’ party in London. Soon after, she found herself in charge of a number of chat forums, discussion groups and websites dedicated to the promotion of a safe playground for sociable sex larpers.
A diva of delight, Linn can exude a sex appeal that is off the charts. Like Freya, the goddess of love and beauty, she loves to indulge in physical sensations and anything that involves more than two senses. She is a typical Libra and may come across as cool, calm, or even aloof, but once relaxed she is incredibly playful, passionate and romantic. Though she’d never admit the latter!
Linn loves storytelling, music, Life, crafting and chocolate, and she is particularly partial to mental fireworks. She needs a lover who can make her think less and feel more, but only the brave need apply.