Wedding 101

8 Ways to Open Yourself Up to Falling in Love

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Learn to love yourself.

Feel like there’s something holding you back from falling in love, but can’t quite put your finger on it? It might be self-sabotage. We all know that we should love ourselves, but often we’re our own worst enemy. We put ourselves down. We hold ourselves back. We fill our own heads with doubt. So if you WANT to fall head-over-heels, you have to learn to love yourself first. Once you know how to appreciate yourself for who you are, other people will be able to truly see all your goodness as well. And, you’ll actually be able to feel those feeling for someone else more honestly, too.

Heal the wounds.

If you’ve loved and lost before, that pain may be holding you back. But it doesn’t have to — letting the past impact you is a choice. Be honest with yourself. What was working? What wasn’t? What was your fault? What was your partner’s? Once you can sort through what happened in the past, you can start focusing on the present. Work on forgiving yourself AND the other person involved and wear that hurt as a badge of honor, NOT a burden.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Putting up a wall doesn’t do anyone any good; it just pushes people away and ruins opportunities for real relationships. So instead of shutting down and withdrawing when you’re scared or nervous or feeling some serious feelings, let yourself be vulnerable. Let your fear breathe. Letting someone see you at your most open and uncomfortable will help cultivate a sense of trust, respect, and affection with that person. Not sure where to start? Ask a few of these intimate questions on the first date

Stop comparing yourself to other people.

Who cares if everyone you know is dating or married? You don’t need to be attached just because everyone else is! If you stop judging yourself based on how other people are doing, you might actually be able to figure out what YOU want — from the kind of person you want to date to whether or not right now is a good time to even be looking for a relationship. Your love life is your love life, and only you can figure out what it is you need.

Explore your options.

If you’ve always dated a certain kind of guy or girl and it hasn’t worked out yet, maybe you need to start exploring the possibilities. Date people you wouldn’t normally consider — guys that are shorter than you, red-headed girls, a lawyer, a yoga instructor, a chef. Stop looking for the best of the best and keep your eye out for someone who you find intriguing. Maybe, as Sheryl Crow once said, “a change would do you good.”

Take a break from dating for a while.

Maybe you’ve tried dating people of all shapes and sizes and still aren’t getting to that love place. Well, you know the saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder”? It also rings true for your dating life as well. Just stop going out on dates for a few weeks and refocus on yourself, your girlfriends, your parents, your siblings. Allow the other relationships in your life to take precedence over any romantic ones. When you stop looking for love, sometimes it just finds you!

Make it count.

Don’t waste your time on something that’s not working. If you’ve been on 7 dates and STILL don’t feel a connection, why say “yes” to number 8? Know when it’s time to move on. You gave it a shot, but now it’s on to the next one. And while a one-night-stand isn’t the worst thing in the world (as long as you’re smart about all the things), meaningless sex can actually numb your heart and dull your relationship radar. So have your fun, but don’t let those feelings of lust replace your ability to feel real love.

Don't take your dating life too seriously.

Dating should be fun. Instead of going into every first (or second or third) date with the mindset that this MUST work out, approach each meetup as a chance to enjoy yourself and get to know someone else. Without the pressure of needing to fall for the person sitting across the table from you, you can actually be present and make a more clear-headed decision about you feel. And if it doesn't end up being the best date ever? At least you'll have some GREAT stories for next week's brunch with the girls! 

Dating 101 FAQs

Q: Why is self-love important in finding a partner?
A: Self-love sets the foundation for healthy relationships. When you value yourself, you set standards for how you want to be treated and can connect more authentically with others.
Q: How can I be more vulnerable in relationships?

A: Start by sharing personal stories, expressing feelings, and asking deep questions. It's about letting your guard down and allowing someone to see the real you.
Q: Is it okay to take breaks from dating?

A: Absolutely! Sometimes, taking a step back helps you reflect, grow, and come back with a clearer perspective on what you want.
Q: How do I know when to move on from a potential partner?

A: Trust your instincts. If after several dates you don't feel a connection or see a future, it might be time to part ways and seek other opportunities.
Wan't even MORE relationship advice? Check out our podcast episode with Dr. Shefali on unlocking love!Listen to The Podcast
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