There are apparently more than 1,500 dating sites available around the world, so finding true love should be easy, right? Hell no, say most single folks. From growing weary of swiping left, to having to endure unsolicited D-pics, ghosting, breadcrumbing, gaslighting and all the other -ings, many who long for love can wax on about the trials of dating and finding their soulmate.
And so, we turned to psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Krystal White, to discuss the possible impediments standing in your way of finding your bae.
The author of "The Letter Code: Deciphering Why You Love the Way You Love," White said she's developed a "code" that helps you identify what you unconsciously seek from love, to enable you to use that knowledge to find a solid match.
Similar to tools such as the Enneagram, "The Letter Code" prompts you to identify as one of four letters: H, A, W or Y, which represents the primary motivations that drive people's thoughts, feelings and behaviours in their romantic relationships.
The letters represent these characteristics, according to White:
- H = You're fiercely independent and driven to achieve a significant life purpose and feel proudest when you're with an accomplished partner.
- A = You love taking care of loved ones and contributing to their happiness, and feel secure when your partner is also giving back.
- Y = You're a natural team player and feel confident because you know your partner is your best friend and has your back.
- W = Your soul soars with ecstasy when you're challenged to grow and you're always reaching for the next level in your life. You want your partner to ground you and help you evolve.
White said once you've identified your letter(s) via The Letter Code site, forge ahead with better self-awareness, bolstered with these tips and suggestions for your ❤️ quest.
Barrier to entry
What is the main barrier standing in the way of folks finding love?
The main barrier is that most of us are conditioned to react to our experiences and make quick assumptions, to protect ourselves from what we perceive as threats. However, we need to start choosing love over protection, love over proving, love over pretending, love over pleasing, and love over control. Once we do that, we can discover from that place, what it is that our hearts truly need. Not from another human being, but from ourselves.
Honing your love skills
In your book, you mention that there's ONE skill needed to find love. What is this elusive skill, and can it be cloned a million times over?
If you want true love, you must be willing to go through a messy journey of figuring out your true nature. So, the one skill is routinely being curious. Who am I? Is this my truth? Is this my path? Is this where I belong? In a time when we are constantly bombarded with information telling us who we should be, what we should do, how we should do it, and why we have to, it's no wonder we are lost. It's easy to hide from ourselves in the noise of the world.
The discipline of self-awareness and honouring your truth is simple, but not easy. It requires patience, kindness, grit and a constant determination not to get caught up in the habit of earning our worth and proving our lovability. This often only leads to internal and relational conflict, confusion and blame. Building up the skill of self-curiosity is key to get the love life you want. It starts within.
You also mention there are five essential elements to having a connection with someone. What are these five elements?
We all know when we feel connected: we feel alive, secure and fulfilled. I believe that these five elements will help you build connection with yourself and a potential partner:
You know what, where, when, how and why you feel connected. Become like a scientist, testing what works for you now and what doesn't in terms of connectivity. You are open, curious, and listen to your own heart.
You follow the feel-good path of connectivity, honouring what lights you up, and limiting what drains you. You take space when you need it, and you reach out when you need it. You trust that being genuine and loving your true self will serve the highest good of the relationship.
When you feel that something is missing in your partnership that you cannot provide on your own, you ask for what you need. You understand this is a simple guideline, but takes courage to follow. You reach out and reveal your needs and fears, hopes, frustrations and sadness to your partner, and give them an opportunity to take care of your needs.
You know what you look like, how you act, how you think or what you say when you are stressed. You understand that stress is likely to shut you down and block your connection with your partner, which inspires you to take responsibility for your own health and wellbeing.
You know what your partner looks like, how they act, how they think, and what they say when they are stressed. You understand that their stress are likely going to shut them down and block connectivity, which inspires you to be understanding, empathetic and responsive to their needs.
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From the office to the love department
You've also spoken about how to transfer your solid career skills to the dating market. Wise one, please educate us on how to do so.
Hopefully, at work, you know how to handle priorities, competing demands, and diverse personalities. You know what your job is, and what it isn't. You know what is expected of you, and what isn't. You know what you expect from others, and what you don't expect from them. And you know your limits, your boundaries and your responsibilities.
Do you know these in love? What you're willing to give and receive, and what you're asking for? Often, we ask for things at work: resources, extra time, personnel, supplies. We often aren't as deliberate with our hearts as we are with our professions. What is our "why" when it comes to love? Our purpose? What we are most looking for?
It's helpful to identify what you're looking for in love. What expectations, needs and desires do you have? You don't need to approach love like an interview, but it's time that you do your own soul searching: how much space do you need? Togetherness? Emotional support and validation? Care-taking? Companionship? Challenge and inspiration? How much do you need to feel taken care of and held when you're low?
Understand what you're "are hiring for" and clearly outline your objectives, expectations and hopes in love. Some of us never admit that we need something out of our most intimate relationships that no other relationship can provide. Discover what that need is, and you'll be ahead of the game in finding long-lasting and fulfilling love.
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