For years I searched for the love of my life. By my mid-twenties I had become a serial dater. I'd go out with guy after guy hoping to find Mr. Right ... but there was always something wrong.
Maybe he smoked too much weed or was too career driven and obsessed with finances. Maybe he was too negative or not interested enough in spirituality ... the list went on and on. I would always find something wrong and break it off and within a couple weeks I'd get back in the saddle and try my luck with someone else hoping this time would be different.
I was desperately lonely. It's not an uncommon experience these days. Loneliness coupled with low self-esteem is the perfect recipe for dating disasters. I kept searching for someone to save me, a guy that would finally see how great I was and help lift me up so I could feel loved, seen, and appreciated. But he never came. How could he? He didn't exist.
Each year in February I teach a "Conscious Dating" workshop. One of the class exercises is to write down all the qualities of your perfect partner. After we examine the list I invite the participants to ask themselves how many of the listed qualities do they embody? Most come to realize they've been searching for someone to fill the gaps they feel in their life, believing a partner might balance them out or fix them. It never works.
When we see ourself as whole then our relationships will reflect that back to us. Everyone has a friend (or has been the friend) that was in a relationship with someone who didn't value them. Their partner was simply treating them in a manner aligned with their self-worth. We're always teaching people how to treat us. The more your value yourself, the more others will value you too.
I encourage you to contemplate how the LOVE of your life would treat you and then go about doing your best to treat yourself in that manner. Adjust the way you talk to yourself, allowing your inner-dialogue to be gentle and kind. Take yourself on amazing dates, complement yourself when you look in the mirror, and forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Develop a deep sense of appreciation for Y-O-U and the Universe will mirror that love back to you. Become the LOVE of your life and develop relationships from a space of fullness and joy. This is the recipe for fulfilling relationships that really work.
Jesse Brune-Horan is a Spiritual teacher and happy living expert. He's the co-founder & Spiritual director of Inspire Spiritual Community, a non-profit organization supporting the LGBTQ+ community. He's the host of the podcast "LGBTQ+ and Spiritual", and co-host of the lifestyle series "Super Easy with Jesse and Alison." He lives and Loves in Los Angeles with his husband Christopher and their family.