Love

8 Steps (& One Scientific Experiment) That Will Change The Way You Fall In Love

Photo: PeopleImages.com-Yuri-A / shutterstock.com 
couple cuddles during sunset on the bumper of a vintage truck

Feeling blue about being single? When things haven’t gone your way in love it’s easy to get sorrowful, sad, and cynical.

Longing for a meaningful connection with another human being is valid and honorable. But when sorrow consumes your thoughts and daily activities, it’s time to admit you are depressed about being single.

This longing can feel a lot like grief; like you’re missing someone who’s not in your life yet.

You can always change your strategies and in this case, doing something new and different may lift you out of this mournful place you seem stuck in.

The problem with feeling depressed about being single is that it can drain your motivation to make changes to how you seek out the love you desire. 

RELATED: Tired Of Being Alone? Here Are 5 Things To Remember About Being Single

Lasting love doesn’t just happen

Contrary to what you may believe, the real way to ensure you’re not perpetually single is to set an intention, create a plan, and implement a strategy for lasting love.

This may sound somewhat unromantic, but creating love is no different from any other goal you may have in life.

In the same way that you wouldn’t expect your ideal career to simply show up in your life, or to wake up one day ready to run a marathon, the same is true when it comes to long-lasting love.

You aren’t likely to stumble onto your soulmate at Starbucks when you least expect it.

Yet somehow you have come to believe that love “magically” happens. And if it doesn’t happen magically then it’s not the “right” person.

The randomness of accidental love can leave you feeling like there is something wrong with you; like God or the Universe is conspiring against you to keep you lonely and alone. All in all, it can leave you feeling powerless to change your circumstances.

RELATED: 10 Signs You’re Not In Love With Your Partner — You Just Wish You Were

You need a plan — actionable steps — to find love 

Your circumstances won’t magically change when you least expect them to. The place to begin is with you — take a deep dive into your relationship history.

Understanding your past patterns and strategies will give you insight into how to approach things differently this time around.

RELATED: Tired Of Being Alone? 10 Ways To Enjoy Being Single

Eight steps (& one scientific experiment) to help you reset your search for love 

Step 1 — Track your relationship history

Answer these questions and track your replies:

  • Who pursued who?
  • How long did the relationship last?
  • Rate the intensity for you on a scale of 1-10
  • Who initiated the breakup?
  • What reason(s) were given for the breakup?

Review your answers and look for patterns and/or commonalities.

Then, ask yourself:

  • Are you the one who usually initiates the breakup?
  • Or are you the one left feeling abandoned?
  • When you did not initiate the breakup is there a common catalyst given to you by multiple partners?

By exploring your relationship patterns, you will gain valuable insight into what worked and what didn’t. These clues will highlight what you can do differently moving forward.  They are the puzzle pieces you’ll need to assemble to stop feeling depressed about being single and instead go out in the world and create a new kind of relationship – one that is fulfilling and lasting.

Emotions may get stirred up for you as you go through this process. It is essential that you feel your emotions. Don’t try to hide from them or ignore them. Allow them to surface and flow through you. They won’t last.

When you’re feeling joy, happiness, or even bliss, you don’t believe you will feel that way forever. However, when you feel depressed about being single, it feels as if those feelings will never change, and you’ll somehow get stuck feeling badly forever.

The truth is that all emotions are transitory — they will shift and change. Allow whatever feelings come up to move through your body. Simply feel them and let them go without judging them (or yourself).

RELATED: 7 Reasons Being Single Makes You Healthier, Says Study

Step 2 — Forgive yourself and your past partners

Going over your relationship history, you may discover some unresolved hurt, anger, sadness, or grief about those past events. These feelings might be attached to the other person, or your own behavior in the relationship.

You may have even had some regrets.

This is a great opportunity to release those feelings and start fresh. One of the most powerful forgiveness practices is a Hawaiian meditation called Ho’oponopono.

Pono in Hawaiian means integrity and Ho’oponopono means coming into integrity with yourself. Doing this practice will allow you to forgive and release hurts and heartbreaks from your past relationships.

To practice Ho’oponopono, follow these steps:

  • Place your palms on the center of your chest — your heart center.
  • Close your eyes and picture the person you wish to focus on. This may be a past partner, or it may be an earlier version of you.
  • Say these 4 phrases aloud:
    • I’m sorry.
    • Please forgive me.
    • Thank you.
    • I love you.
  • Repeat for 5-10 minutes daily.

Stepping into forgiveness frees you from feeling depressed about being single and allows you to create new feelings moving forward. By releasing the negative emotions that are attached to past events you will clear your emotional deck. The events could’ve occurred yesterday or decades ago, the timeframe doesn’t really matter.

You’ll be open to dating again by starting from a clean place. This time, you’re going to do it differently than you’ve done it in the past.

Step 3 — Change your approach to finding love

Many people feel depressed about being single because they suffer through dating long enough to find someone they are attracted to and then rush into exclusivity hoping it works out. And when it doesn’t, they think that they are just going to be stuck being perpetually single.

We highly recommend slowing down your selection process. Take ample time before moving into exclusivity and physical intimacy.

Selecting a life partner is not something you do after a handful of dates.

Date a lot of people, and date a full range of people. Attraction is not a requirement for a date — it’s actually better to have a mix so you end up going on dates with your attraction level at a one, or ten, and everything in between.

This is where you can discover about your own dating patterns and strategies before you commit your heart.

By dating this way, you’ll create the opportunity to collect a lot of data on yourself. These golden bits of information will ultimately lead you to make better choices and more truthful decisions about who and what makes you truly happy.

Varying your experiences through the dating process allows you to create an accurate vision of your true soul partnership. It also allows you to disregard highlighting anything you do not want.

There’s no need to look out for that guy who might cheat — let your mind get clear on what you really do desire from a romantic partner.

Dating with a range of attraction levels enables you to garner a truthful set of answers on what feels right to you, rather than only dating people that inspire expectations and high hopes for longevity.

RELATED: 10 Things Women Notice When Choosing The Guy They're Going To Marry

Step 4 — Enter the dating lab

At the end of each date, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you more able to be authentic when you are not attracted to your date?
  • When you are attracted to your date do you twist into a pretzel trying to get that person to like you?
  • Do you go with the flow and tolerate things just so that you come across as easy-going?

Going on a lot of dates with a variety of people will formulate the vision of the kind of relationship you desire so that it becomes crystal clear. This process will allow you to become more discerning of who you give your heart to.

The experience will ensure that you stop investing in people who can never love you the way you most desire to be loved.

Remember, the person you are getting to know is a stranger. Do not put your lovability (or even your likeability) in someone else’s hands.

Expecting that someone else will bestow love on you is a recipe for heartache. Having long-lasting, soul-satisfying love is an inside job — it doesn’t come from outside of you.

RELATED: 8 Important Red Flags To Look For On A First Date

Step 5 — Run the experiment

While dating, show up authentically by making requests and asking for what you want. Don’t be shy.

Equally so, don’t expect the other person to read your mind. The only way to get what you want is to ask for it. You know this at work; apply the same thinking to your dating partner.

When making requests, pay close attention to how he responds to you. What happens when there are bumps in the road? When you are emotional, or the two of you have a disagreement or miscommunication, how does he behave?

How he behaves and treats you under a variety of circumstances will inform you about the kind of person he is and what it would be like to be in a relationship with him long-term.

Do not look for conflicts, and at the same time do not avoid having uncomfortable conversations. You’ll want to know if the two of you can navigate conflict together.

That’s a real part of life and none of us avoids it — no matter how much we want to.

RELATED: 7 Sweet Things Men Do When They Like A Woman Authentically

Step 6 — Draw your conclusions

All of this data will begin to give you a clear picture of how you want your soulmate relationship to function over the long haul. The longer you practice, the easier it will be to see what you truly desire from your beloved and what is required for you to create a true soul partnership.

Instead of feeling depressed about being single, you’ll have a plan for creating lasting love.

From there, you can more accurately evaluate which guy is a match to your vision and pleasantly walk away from the ones who are not the right fit.

When you know how you want your soulmate relationship to function and the dynamic you desire between the two of you, you’ll stop wasting time with those who are not an ideal match for you. Only when your values match with your partner’s will you create the kind of relationship that can navigate the inevitable challenges that life will bring your way and stand the test of time together.

RELATED: 11 Little Secrets That Keep Soulmates Together Forever

Step 7 — Discover if you share values

Why are mutual values so important?

What often tears people apart is a stressful event or situation that reveals that the two of you didn’t value the same things. Knowing these important details is so much more important than the kind of movies or music you both like.

You cannot discover what someone values by asking them. You must discover what someone values by spending time with them and paying attention to how they spend their resources. People value what they spend their time, energy, and money on.

For example, someone may claim to value family and yet never spend time with their family, or never make an effort to include you in their family events. This would be a very telling red flag warning. Plus, you cannot ask someone if they value honesty as you will never get an accurate response. Trust the process and take your time discovering if you two are a match long-term or not.

RELATED: The 'Magical' Habit You Must Break If You Want A Truly Great Relationship

Step 8 — Visualize your soulmate relationship

As you get clear on your ideal soulmate relationship, you want to put some time and energy into visualizing yourself living life alongside your beloved. Hold the vision of what you desire in your mind’s eye often. Begin to act as if you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that your soulmate is on his way to you.

All of these steps are the preparation. The opportunity comes when you put effort into meeting new people.

Then you get to road test your visualization, values, and patterns to see if this new and improved version of you lines up with how you interact on dates.

RELATED: 8 Ways To Discover Your Soulmate — And Why It's Never Too Late To Find 'The One'

Step 9 – Put yourself out there

And speaking of dates, look for reasons to say “Yes!”

  • Yes to a date
  • Yes to online dating
  • Yes to go to a party where you don’t know anyone
  • Yes to being curious about people
  • Yes to being set up on a blind date
  • Yes to an activity you’ve never tried before

RELATED: 5 Ways Healthy Relationships Start On The First Date

Remain curious and open

Put yourself out there and be curious and open. Be cautious about futurizing and investing your heart in a stranger.

Date often but take things slowly and invest time to discover who he really is.

You cannot spot a soulmate in an online profile, so stop evaluating whether he is your guy based on his pictures or what he wrote. Nothing is real until you meet face-to-face in person. Even video chat will not enlighten you to know in advance if this guy is your “Mr. Right.” An emotional connection is established when you’re in the physical presence of the other person.

By taking your time through the dating process, you will eliminate the burnout from having short-term relationships that don’t last and going back to the dating pool discouraged and frustrated time and again.

Being depressed about being single is a temporary situation. Find hope and look for evidence of love around you. The elderly couple holding hands as they walk, the young parents taking their baby out in a stroller, and a young man opening the door for his date as they enter a restaurant.

RELATED: 7 Signs You've Finally Found Mr. Right

Orna and Matthew Walters are Soulmate Coaches who have been featured guest experts on Bravo’s "The Millionaire Matchmaker." They're the authors of the free ebook, "7 Steps To Soulmating," which can be found on their website

Sign up for YourTango's free newsletter!

This article was originally published at Love On Purpose. Reprinted with permission from the author.