How to Simplify Your Search For Love

 

Do you pride yourself on being a multitasker? Do you find yourself always going and doing and rushing around?

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be productive and get a lot done, but doing too much at one time can be

counterproductive, especially when it comes to your search for love.

I have a client who we’ll call Olive for anonymity’s sake. She is one of those super high-energy women who literally can’t

sit still. When I am doing my group Zoom Meeting calls for my private 12-week love coaching program, Emotionally

Naked Dating, I can see Olive fidgeting in her little box on the screen. She is up and down the entire time. Olive has

bragged to me about how she’s a “doer.” When I spoke to her during our one-on-one coaching calls, she told me she was

excited about the transformation, she was experiencing through my course. But each time we talked, she would also tell

me about some other weekend class or lecture she signed up for in addition to my course. When I asked her why she

was putting all of these other things on her plate, she said that working with me had made her realize how much work

she has to do on herself and she is just trying to get it all done.

“I love your passion, Olive,” I said, “but have you ever thought about just focusing on the work we’re doing? I’m actually

giving you a lot of material, and it would be more productive if you were to focus on getting the most out of our work

before starting something new.”

Like Olive, when you try to learn too many new things at once it becomes a law of diminishing returns because you don’t

give yourself enough time to assimilate what you’ve learned before going on to the next thing. Just because you hear

information and understand it, that doesn’t mean you’ve learned it. Have you noticed that you can read books or watch

endless Youtube videos about how to find love and, still, nothing changes? Shifting old, unwanted behaviors isn’t as

easy or as automatic as you might think because your patterns can be deeply ingrained from as far back as childhood.

The only way to truly integrate a new approach to life is by putting that theory into practice until it becomes a new

behavior. More often than not, it takes time and conscious effort to replace our old behaviors with more positive,

productive ones.

Integrate One New Concept at a Time

I can understand why the idea of doing one thing at a time was foreign to Olive because I was once like her. But I’ve

since learned that when we focus on integrating one new theory rather than many, we actually move forward much

faster. It isn’t necessary to waste more time gathering hundreds of tools. It is more effective to perfect the ones the

ones we already have.

If you truly want to simplify your search for love, the best way to do that is by choosing one path or program and learning

to do it well… and quitting isn’t an option.

Stay With What You Don’t Know

It’s human nature to get easily frustrated, tell yourself “this isn’t working,” and then quit when you don’t get instant

results. But as you stay the course and attempt to master that one new behavior, no matter how challenging or boring it

might seem, you will grow in ways you never could have imagined.

A true master will tell you that mastery does not come when you expect it to. It comes as a result of sticking through

those boring or difficult times, for that’s when you’re actually growing, even if you don’t think you are.

One of the highlights of my spiritual journey was when I studied with Don Miguel Ruiz. He’s written some wildly popular

self-help books, including The Four Agreements. Eighteen years ago, when I realized I didn’t need a million tools to

work with, I decided to use the ones I already had. Because of my work with Don Miguel, the obvious choice for me was

to apply The Four Agreements to my search for true love. In case you don’t know them, The Four Agreements are:

Be Impeccable in Your Word

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Don’t Make Any Assumptions

Always Do Your Best

At face value, these agreements might sound simple, but I assure you mastering them is not.

I committed to practicing each agreement for 3 months for a total of a year. I started with “Don’t Take Anything

Personally.” It’s the second agreement, but I chose to work with that one first because that had always been my greatest

challenge in life. In my younger years, I was extremely defensive and took everything personally.

For three months I looked at my dating life through the lens of not taking anything personally. I suggest you try this too.

When something disturbed or upset me, I would ask myself, “How am I personalizing this?” “What is this triggering

inside of me?” “Is this touching on an old wound?” “What do I need to look at here?”

Keep Going Deeper

To deepen my understanding of what it means to not take things personally, I read and reread the notes I’d taken in the

lectures I’d attended with Don Miguel. Each time I read over them, I found new and deeper meanings. My

understanding of what I thought I’d heard the first time grew as I became more skilled and less defensive.Three months

later, I added “Don’t Make Any Assumptions” to my practice. You’ll want to also give this a try. When I looked at my

dating life through this lens, I began to see all of the many assumptions I was making about men, what they were

thinking, who they are, what motivates them, and what they wanted from me as a woman. I realized that so much of what

I thought about the opposite sex was based on the theories and stories my girlfriends had told me and not on any my

own experience with men.

As I let go of my assumptions, I began to open up to a whole different understanding and way of relating to men. This

proved to be a definitive turning point in my search for my life partner. I stopped being afraid of men and started to have

compassion for them. I saw that they are people too with just as many unique fears and desires as we have, and I began

to search for and find the sweet balance between us.

After this, I explored Being Impeccable in Your Word and then Always Do Your Best. Instead of skimming the surface, I

delved deep into each agreement, allowing them to inform and shape the way I dated. Th impact of applying the four

agreements to my dating life was simple yet profound, and by the end of my first year of dating I was considerably

calmer, more emotionally open, and more comfortable with men than I was when I had first started.

Make Your Own Plan

It may seem that learning many things at once would be the fastest way to get to where you want to go. But scientists

say that multitasking isn’t even possible. The human brain can only focus on one thought or idea at a time.

The bottom line is that you don’t need to read endless books or have hundreds of tools in your toolbox. You need to

start applying the information and tools you already have. Try taking out your notes from that dating course you did last

year or open that book you read on understanding men while on your beach vacation. Review the parts you highlighted

and do the exercises you skimmed over. Make a step-by-step plan for how you will start to apply the things that stood

out to you to your dating journey.

Achieve Mastery

The master doesn’t tell herself that she is a master. She knows that mastery is never-ending and there will always be

deeper layers of understanding to unfold and explore. If you read something new and think, “Oh, I get it!” you have only

achieved an intellectual understanding of that idea. To master it, you must put it into practice in your dating life over and

over again until it becomes integrated into your very being.

After I met my husband, I asked him why we have such a peaceful relationship and we almost never argue or fight. I was

pleased when he gave me his answer. He said, “It’s because you don’t take anything personally.” Then he laughed and

said, “I think you might do ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally’ better than Don Miguel.” Benjamin’s acknowledgment came

many years after I had set out to master this skill but I accepted it wholeheartedly, knowing I had earned it and that, for

the most part, it was true.

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Communication, DatingLisa Shield