By TYFFANY HOWARD
Let’s be honest. For many of us, hooking up seems to be as easy as going through the drive-through of the nearest fast-food restaurant. LGBTQIA+ folks, as well as heterosexuals, have no problem hooking up; it’s finding the partner who wants to do life with us in a meaningful and sustainable way that is the challenge. In our community, many of us jump from partner to partner without coming up for air and taking the time to think about how we can couple in a more conscious way.
If each of us is serious about attracting the love of our life, then we must get serious about coupling differently. The love of our life is at a different level than our last partner or any of our past partners, so to attract her, we must change. Yes, change. How do we change?
T. Harv Eker, author of “Secrets of the Millionaire Mindset,” teaches these four elements of change: awareness, understanding, disassociation and reconditioning. Whether one wants to become a millionaire, do something he or she has never done before, or attract the love of his or her life requires a change in mindset. Until we change the way we think and behave, we will always attract the same results or, in our case, the same girl as the last one. To attract the love of your life, begin with these four steps.
Before you go seeking a new partner, take some time to answer some important questions. Ask yourself if you really want to be in a committed relationship? If the answer is yes, then if you have not learned about yourself, it is time to start. Become aware of what you need. What you want. What your wounds are. What you like and dislike, and what about your behavior needs to change. The point to stress here is that most people are in the dark about what qualities they want in a partner and what they need to do to become a better partner to someone else.
Years ago, I was in this two-year relationship with a gorgeous girl. I was not aware that I would shut down or withdraw during difficult discussions about our relationship until she told me. After we uncoupled, I thought about what she shared and realized that she was correct. I wanted to be a better partner the next time, so I read books on relationships and psychology that explained that I cope with anxiety (heated discussions) by withdrawing. Once I became aware of this, I was so much better in the next relationship when we discussed topics that seemed challenging for me. Another great benefi t of being aware is that when we have a clearer sense of what we want and how we can be a better partner, we become excited. That excitement creates desire and emotions that are necessary to attract our partner. From awareness, we can go deeper to gain an understanding of the love and relationship model that we adopted from our parents.
Many of you are probably wondering what our parents have to do with us finding our partner.
As children, we learned our model of love and relationships from the parent or parents who modeled it for us every day. When I worked through this step by reflecting on my past relationships, I noticed a common denominator. I know many of you are thinking, “Tyff any, you were the common denominator.” That is true, but there was something more telling about how I chose my partners. Every partner was unavailable to me in some way. I had a partner who was emotionally unavailable; a partner who lived in Minnesota while I lived in Texas, so geographically unavailable; a partner who did not know how to communicate; and a partner, who actually preferred men. One of my childhood wounds stemmed from the fact that both of my parents were unavailable. My mama worked seven days a week, 365 days a year, and my dad was, and still, suffers from mental illness. We can model one or both parents when it comes to love and relationships.
In my case, I admired both parents and desperately wanted their love. So, I attracted partners who, like my parents, were unavailable and thereby my need to feel loved through spending quality time with my parents was unfulfi lled. I had chosen unavailable partners to heal that childhood wound of feeling unloved by my parents. Many times, we unconsciously attract partners that will help us develop and heal our childhood wounds. When I realized that I had chosen unavailable partners, which led to suff ering time and time again, I learned to be conscious of a potential partner’s availability. Now, that we have an understanding of why we might attract a certain partner, let’s clean out our love and relationship fi le cabinet.
Guess what? You and I have a love and relationship fi le cabinet in our head. It is fi lled with fi les containing our parents’ models, all the nonsense we have absorbed from Hollywood movies, romance novels, magazines, poetry, music and our friends about love and relationships. We take all of this data that is not ours or the partner that we are seeking with us into the relationship. So, the key is to disassociate or disconnect from this data. Our fi le cabinet is packed with other people’s ideas that we have identifi ed with in some way. Because we identify with this data, we adopt and imitate other people’s experiences, which have nothing to do with our experience.
Our relationship journey is so much more than just having someone to share bills with, it is an opportunity for personal growth. Therefore, all the data that we have collected about love and relation
ships from other sources interferes with our ability to grow. That data is not who we are, not what love is, and is not who our partner is. We learn about love and how to be in a relationship, by being loved while experiencing love and relating to our partner in the now of that specifi c relationship. We learn best about love and relationships not from other people’s experiences but from our own. After we have disconnected from the data, the fi nal step is to recondition the way we think about ourselves, love and relationships.
Like all the steps, reconditioning ourselves will take time and will not be easy. However, it will be worth it. For some of you, it may be time to enter the dating scene again as you process this last step. This is not a race, so return to the dating playground when you are ready. However, I suggest that you let any potential partner know where you are in your personal growth process, and how you’re working to become a better partner. So, reconditioning means to let go or replace what did not work for you in your past relationships with something that does work.
We must take steps to heal our wounds, let go of old hurts and forgive. If you are not ready for this, then do what you can do, return to it when you are ready, or seek some professional help. There are so many great therapists, spiritual counselors and healers who can assist you. I have worked with a therapist, done my own inner work and asked a trusted friend to help me sort out some things.
We must be the partner that we want to attract in our life.
Remember, no one wants someone who is needy, insecure or desperate unless they need a person with those qualities to feel superior.
Another suggestion is to focus on the partner that you want rather than on past partners, and what you do not want. Take time throughout the day to visualize yourself already being with your partner doing various activities. Also, we must stop with these false stories that we tell ourselves about being unlovable. When we live and act from that false belief, the ego must reaffirm that belief to keep us safe and that leads to more dissatisfying relationships.
Another false belief that we must retire is that someone else will complete us. That is not true.
We are whole beings but some of us do not see it yet. If you are seeking completeness in another human being, you will forever be a slave to that false belief. No one can wipe away all the ugly that we have experienced. That is an inside job.
To attract the love of your life is an inside job. It begins with each of us doing the inner work as described in the above four steps. The love of our life comes from that part of us that feels worthy, whole and lovable. She represents a part of us that wants to be reclaimed. When we are seeking a healthy and sustainable union with our beloved, we have to be willing to make some changes within ourselves or risk attracting the same-oldsame-old partner and relationship. The love of our life is on a higher level, which requires us to grow higher. While most people prefer to fall in love, I prefer to rise in love. We rise through awareness, understanding, disassociation and reconditioning. And when we rise, each of us will attract the love of our life.
Tyffany Howard, a personal and spiritual growth teacher, group facilitator and author, is the creator of the vlog LEZZ Talk as seen on YouTube. She has recently created a LEZZ Talk support group for lesbian and bi-sexual women who want to continue to grow and develop in ways that will better their lives and relationships. You can follow Tyff any on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. To learn more about Tyff any or to join the LEZZ Talk support group, visit tyff anyhoward.com.