Before you can fall in love with someone else, you need to fall in love with yourself. Only then will you be capable of loving someone else. Your willingness to look deeply and honestly at yourself is the key to unlocking the door to your own heart. The depth of the conversation you have with yourself will determine how deeply you will come to know and love yourself. This is a journey of the self and by the self. No one can do it for you.
More from YourTango: 6 Things Women Nag About (& Why It Doesn't Get Us What We Want)
What happens is this: first you come to love yourself and enjoy your own company. As that enjoyment grows you begin to want to share it with someone. True love wants to share itself, it wants to express itself. It really is impossible for love not to be expressed once it is identified.
“How do I get started,” you ask. First, you need to spend time alone. Get to know yourself. Maybe you take a shower. Make it the best shower you've ever taken. Put on some music, dim the lights, and take your time. Let your mind separate from your body. Imagine yourself floating in a steam while you relax. Meet yourself all over again as if for the first time.
Next, ask yourself some questions. What excites me? Good food, fashion, colors, language, people, writing, painting, running, sports – you get the idea. What makes me tic? What do I want to accomplish? Where would I love to travel? Do I want to climb a mountain? Jump out of a plane? Make a list of all the things that turn you on.
More from YourTango: The Lost Love Language
Now take out your schedule out and pick a day to do one of the things on your list. Commit to that date and do it by yourself. Start crossing things off of your list, get out there. While you're out, say “hi” more often to strangers. Smile at the people around you. Start a conversation and let it last longer than one-minute. Have a little adventure and start meeting people you don’t know. Even if it feels weird, you need to get comfortable having conversations with strangers.
Once you start hanging out on your own and seeing how you interact with people you don’t know, take note of your quirkiness. What do you like about yourself? Are you funny? Loving? Playful? Start to appreciate these characteristics about yourself. Start to love how you are. Have fun with life. Learn to have fun in any situation. Let it be an art. Become yourself and then share yourself. Soon you will be ready to fall in love. It might not take as long as you think. Before you know it, you will have become love itself and people will be naturally, powerfully, irresistibly drawn to you.
Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach