I am officially married for 4 years.
On December 17th, 2015, we went out on our first date. A year later on December 17th, 2016, we got married in a chapel by ourselves and we have been inseparable ever since.
This one is for my single ladies, so don’t stop reading. I am not writing this to brag or to rub it in your face. Because, trust me when I was single, someone telling me their love dates would have made me roll my eyes and click on. But before you do, know that I am about to give you some great advice on how to find the right partner and have your own love dates. So please read on.
Let’s rewind and let me share with you the ghosts of my dating past. Yes, we are going to make this a Christmas theme because, well tis the season.
Growing up, I didn’t know what love was. My parents didn’t exactly have a healthy relationship and love wasn’t a word that was used a lot in my house. Hugs and holding hands were definitely not on the menu with my mom and dad. In fact, my mother would cringe, yell or belittle my father every time he tried to touch her or show affection. The other relationships I learned from were my siblings. They each got married fairly young, in their late teens, early 20’s and they simply got married because they got pregnant or my mother pushed them to pick someone. Yes, pushed them to get married and start having babies. This was definitely a culture thing but most people did just that.
I have heard of countless stories of both men and women who just got married because that’s what they were supposed to do. Not really thinking about the commitment of what it all entailed. No one stopped to ever think, what do I want? Is this the person I am truly compatible with? Is this lust or true love? Who do I want to be in this relationship? Do I really want this?
These were all questions, I didn’t ask myself either. I was never married before I met Travis but I was in a series of really toxic relationships. Mostly because I didn’t have loving examples of how relationships worked nor did I ever stop to ask myself questions about what I truly wanted from a partner. Let’s be real, I also lacked self love, self confidence and self worth, which only attracted men who took advantage of me.
When I look back at the long list of my bad relationships, I can see where I went wrong. Hind sight is always 20/20. But when you’re in those toxic relationships, you’re in a fog and can’t really see a way out or you really don’t want to acknowledge the unhealthy parts of your relationship. We tend to make excuses for bad behavior because let’s face it, we all want to be loved, heard and seen. It’s human nature to find and need companionship. Life and all its beauty is meant to be shared. True love actually magnifies the experience of this journey called life.
Listen love is easy to find but true love takes work to find and once you find it, there is still more work to be done. The work that I am talking about is inner work. There is a reason why you are attracting all the wrong partners. There is a reason why you haven’t found the one. I used to say my picker was broken and truly it was. It was broken because I needed to learn to love myself first. I needed to dig deep and heal old wounds and clear away all the pain from past relationships. I needed to be clear in what I truly wanted in my future husband. I needed to become the one who I wanted to attract. Being fed up with being alone, I decided to do the work. I spent a year learning how to love myself first. I read books, went to church and really found solace in letting go and forgiving my past. During that year, I enjoyed being alone. I would go to the movies alone and would take myself out to dinner. I fell in love with me. And honestly, for a moment there, I had given up on the idea that I would ever find love. I became comfortable with the idea that maybe my lot in life was to be single.
I decided to be the best single person I could be. I would be the best sister, the best auntie, the best friend and the best employee I could be. Little did I know when I was being my best, I was also vibrating and shining from within. My soul was brighter and what happens when your soul shines bright? People notice.
One Saturday night, as I was Uber driving on the side, I had a female client ask me why I was Uber driving and why I wasn’t out with my boyfriend. As a single woman, isn’t that the question we always dread? Why are we still single? Well, I proceeded to tell her that my lot in life was to be single and that I was perfectly fine being alone. She then told me that life was meant to be shared and that I should pick up the book The Secret. I chuckled when she told me, because I had read the book 2008 and I felt like it didn’t work for me. But after our long chat in the car, I dropped her off and pulled out The Secret audio book I had in my car and popped it in my CD player. I listened to it again, this time with new ears and fresh new perspective. This time I was open to the idea that love could be possible for me.
And this is what I did when I got home:
First, I made a list of things I wanted in my future partner. I was clear, specific and very detailed. Think about this, when I use to pray for a boyfriend, I would simply ask for a man. Well, Ted Bundy was a man, so be very specific on the attributes, mannerisms, values, and characteristics you want your partner to have. You don’t want to end up with just a man. Think about when you buy a car, you don’t just walk up to the dealership and say, “I want a car”…no you know what bells and whistles you want your new car to have, right? So be very specific in what you want from your future partner. If you want him to love your dog, write it down. If you want him to travel abroad with you, write it down. If you want him to be successful, write it down. If you want him to be a homebody with you, write that down. Do you want him to love your family, friends? Do you want him to be a good dancer? Do you want him to love camping? There are no limits to this list, write as many things as you want. Also don’t just focus on looks, ladies. Looks fade but their character will remain.
Second, I guarded my thoughts and mouth. Ladies, change the way you talk and think about relationships. I coach single women all the time and they all tell me they want a husband, but 5 minutes later, they are complaining that there are no good men out there. Or they are sending me funny memes about the single life. Our thoughts become things, so if you are constantly thinking negative thoughts about being single or find yourself being jealous of someone else’s love life…then I am sorry lady but you are only causing yourself to get more of what you don’t want. In addition, your words cast spells over you, so if you continue to say, “there are no good men” or “love sucks” or “I am never going to find someone” well my friend, that spell has been casted too. Learn how to change your negative relationship thoughts into positive ones, for example, I constantly told my friends, “Next year, I am going to be celebrating Christmas with my husband.” Even though, I wasn’t dating anyone nor was I even talking to a man but I believed in my heart that this was possible for me. I thought and spoke it into existence.
Lastly, I learned from Jack Canfield that “acting as if” would bring any dream or desire come into your reality quicker. At the time, I thought it was funny to “pretend” or “act as if” I already had a husband. But I’d been single for years and I was done being alone, so if pretending as if I already had a husband brought him to me quicker, you bet I did it. I started by making room on my bed. At the time, I would sleep in the middle of my bed but I need to make “act as if” I wasn’t alone, so I set up a pillow for my future husband. I would playfully talk to the pillow as if my husband was there. When I would wash the dishes, I would pretend or act as if my husband was helping me with the dishes. When I would drive alone in my car, I would talk to the empty seat next to me as if my husband was sitting there. I did this all the time and I am telling you it works. You can also implement this in business as well. Pick up the phone and “act as if” you have clients on the phone wanting to buy from you.
I know it sound so simple and maybe even silly but if you truly want to spend next Christmas with someone you love, then spend time implementing these three steps.
Why not? What do you have to lose?
My present relationship doesn’t at all look like the ghosts of my past.
When I look over at my pillow now, it is not empty. When I wash the dishes, my husband is next to me. When I drive my car, my seat is filled with his laughter. I am in a loving and healthy relationship, one that has lasted through so much. And today we celebrate 5 years. I am truly grateful for him and our journey together.
Love is real, it’s not always a Hallmark movie but I have learned how to love myself, how to love him back and how to accept his love. Being in a healthy loving relationship is truly wonderful.
Single ladies, if you haven’t already clicked away, love is real and there is someone special out there for you. Believe it can happen for you and it will.