• Angela Barrett

5 Ways to Get Love-Ready for Summer

Get yourself ready for love that's more than skin-deep.

Ok, so this is NOT about lasering, tanning or sculpting the perfect bikini-body (or budgie-smuggler-bod) to attract a mate. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best for some summer lovin,’ we need to go a bit deeper than the skin in our quest for a long-lasting, loving relationship.

Why? Because at the end of the day, most (if not all) of us want to be known and loved for who we at the core. Warts. And. All. There is such peace in this - but we have to create that ourselves. We have to generate it from the inside out.

So how do we go about attracting the kind of partner who will love us when the chips are down, when the weight is on and the mask is off?

1. Love and accept yourself warts ‘n’ all. For many of us, this is the biggest ask of all. Yet a healthy self-regard is at the core of a healthy romantic relationship. There’s no escaping the fact that healthy love with another person starts with you having a healthy relationship with yourself. What we’re talking about is loving and caring about yourself as you would a nearest and dearest friend. Compassion researcher, Dr Kristen Neff, offers a relatable way to understand and practice self-love. She asks us simply to “be your own best friend”. When you love, accept, protect and advocate for yourself as you would a best friend, this sets the tone and standard for what you will accept and expect from another person. When you do this, you’re actually demonstrating to others how to treat you. This will immediately lift the quality of your connections this summer.

2. Create a love wish-list. So many of us “look” for love in an unconscious way which usually involves going with the flow of wherever our attention or hormones take us... without ever really getting clear about what it is we are looking for. A consequence of this organic approach to love is that we unconsciously keep recreating a relationship dynamic, pain or disappointment that is somehow similar to something we’ve experienced before... even though the person seemed really different to start with! It’s a classic case of same jockey, different horse!

Before you hit the dating apps, take some time to get clear about the type of relationship you want and the qualities of the person you’d have it with. Ask yourself, what are the qualities I deeply desire in a relationship and what are the values and qualities of the person I’d like to share my life with.

Write down your relationship intention and use it to guide your choices and actions. Here are some ideas to get you started: My intention is to meet a healthy, wholesome man who adores me and wants to be married to me and raise a family. My intention is to have a mind-blowing relationship with an incredible, high-energy woman who shares my passion for helping others. My intention is to meet a kind, trustworthy and caring man with whom to share a life of adventure. As self-help pioneer, Dr Wayne Dyer, put it, “Our intention creates our reality.”

3. Stick to it. Once you’ve got clear about what you’re wanting in love by writing it down, ignore this at your own peril! Dr Joe Dispenza, New York Times best-selling author of Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself, explains that combining a clear intention with an elevated emotion (allowing yourself to feel how amazing it will be to have that relationship) takes your biology out of the past so you can define yourself by a vision of the future instead of a memory of the past.

Forget or ignore your intention and you risk ending up with people who might light the initial spark of chemistry, yet still leave you wanting in terms of a deep, committed connection.

4. Align yourself. A certain congruence needs to happen for you to call in “the one”. Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of the life- and love-changing book, Calling in “The One” - 7 Weeks To Attract Love of Your Life, suggests asking yourself the question, who would I need to be to attract and maintain that kind of love? Case in point: in my quest to meet a healthy, wholesome man of integrity with whom to share my life and raise a family, I was living a life that wasn’t healthy and I wasn’t in integrity. I was unhappy in my job and fighting a deep longing to move back to my home town. I was attached to income and image and was spending too much time partying and putting myself in the company of men who just didn’t want to commit fully to me. Could I have met Mr Wholesome-Integrity while being unwholesome and out of integrity with myself as I was? Unlikely. (I did meet him when I left that job, followed my heart and cleaned up my life.)

Could you meet an exciting, driven woman if all your nights are spent on the couch with Netflix? Will you find an honest man if you’re somehow fibbing to yourself in how you’re living your life? Examine how you are currently being and how you’re living your life and whether this is aligned with the love life that you’re wanting to have. If not, make a list of the ways you’ll need to tweak yourself and your life and start ticking them off.

5. Be bold and beautiful. Your best chance at calling in a warts ‘n’ all love relationship is by being your authentic self as much as you can right from the start. Yes, I know this is a hard thing to do! We are so conditioned to thinking that we need to act a certain way to get someone’s attention or conceal the parts of us we fear are unattractive or unlovable. But what if by being your authentic self, your ideal partner could actually recognise you across a crowded room! Just by being you! What if someone found your quirky fastidiousness charming? What if someone loved you more when you didn't have your make-up on?Sometimes being bold and beautiful is about getting out of your comfort zone and flirting with someone when you’d normally be too shy to. Sometimes it's about joining a local club or group where you'll met like-minded people. Sometimes it's about actually asking someone on a date. Oftentimes, though, the most bold and beautiful thing you can do is to Just. Be. You. Because you are lovable and worthy of love just as you are.

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