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How To Date (and fall in love with) Yourself In 4 Steps

I've been sharing a bit about my process post-breakup on my Instagram over the past 4 months and I have to say it's been pretty amazing to watch my own transformation after life turned my toy box right over, dumped all my stuff on the floor then said (with an expectant grin on it's face) ... "figure it out sister". 

I tried dating a bit at first but it didn't really work (and that's totally fine).  So instead of investing my energy into others and dating, I moved into that headspace where I got hyper-vigilant with food, training, let go of drinking and then started to truly design my life. 

With the clear space to focus on positive mindset shifts and decide what interactions would bring me the most joy I've zeroed in on a life that is mine, that makes me excited to wake up everyday and feel like if I were to die tomorrow I would die happy. Honestly. 

I hear a lot of people complain about feeling disconnected, unhappy and unfulfilled and I remember when I too felt that way not too long ago. 

It got me thinking - what's changed? Other than the obvious (being boyfriend-free).  

Well, first off, yes - get rid of people who are energy vampires and only take without adding filling your cup in return. 

But aside from that - how does one create the space to truly fall in love with themselves and their life? 

I've been reflecting a lot on what my process was/is and this is what's come up for me: 

1. Dream (then jot that shit down). 

I don't think we stop often enough and break out of our normal thought patterns to actually take a second and think "what do I really want?".

We may be faced with difficulty in our jobs, health or relationships and think that it sucks and we should do something but how often do we dream from a place of excitement, open mindedness and the headspace that we CAN actually achieve what we want if we just get clear on what that is?

I've been dreaming a ton...and not just making a dream board and shoving it in the corner of my bedroom somewhere - I mean, write that shit out, google how to to achieve it and pre-book, plan then schedule it ALL in!

I believe there is a human soul inside each of us who wants to be seen, heard, nurtured and cared for just like any other being does.

Our relationships in life are most successful when we nurture and tend to them.

Our dogs like to be played with, our parents like it when we come for dinner...girlfriends like it when we listen to them and go for great workouts, lunches, vacations etc. - So why don't we do that with ourselves? 

I go to movies by myself, pedicures, lunches and dinners...I go to music festivals, bike rides and workout solo regularly all because it feels good to spend time alone, feel my energy - the excitement, the happiness, the gratitude - all amazing feelings to tap into and nurture without the reciprocation of someone else's energy to let us know it's a good time...

What if we were to create and enjoy a good time, alone? Or with key positive people in our lives?

This was the first step for me to learn how to date myself and really love my own company. To let go of the fear of judgement of others who may think there's something wrong with the girl who's solo...who cares what others think? We care way too often how we may look in public because of self-expression. We have one life to live and we have to live it for ourselves! Not for others.

2. Get into action. 

K, you've made your dream list of things to do that your true self is going to geek out about! Love it. 

NOW GO AND DO IT, SILLY!

Making a list is easy. The hard part is actually pulling the trigger and getting into action. 

These thoughts may start...I'm too tired, I'm not going to know anyone there, it's too expensive, I'm afraid to be judged, what if I suck?...you know the deal. 

None of that matters...none of it! Again, we must find a way to appease our inner spirit, that part of our soul that's just dying to be set free.

To explore, to be expressive, to create, to enjoy and take in - we really do have to put the effort in for ourselves. 

How shitty does it feel when you're in a relationship (of any kind, work, romantic, platonic) and you can feel the effort has goes away? 

Things start to feel dry, lack-lustered, we're entering into patterns that are routine and monotonous...We feel dissatisfied, right? We start to complain, feel unmotivated and may start to look at the relationship differently. 

It's so so rewarding when we get into action and put in the energy to nurture our relationships - especially the one with Self. 

3. Protect your inner child.

Ok, dreaming up all the fun stuff and getting into action is amazing! But what about the times when we find ourselves in situations where we feel unsafe?

That could look like so may different things...Maybe someone's energy is off, they're speaking unconsciously about others, people are getting to hammered or high, whatever the picture might be if you're not feeling it, do something about it. 

I used to compromise my own feelings of comfort and safety (my inner child hates that shit) to appease others and to not make them feel uncomfortable if I left or said something. 

Now I'm super upfront - If I want to be alone, I tell them I'm riding solo today (enough chatting!), or drugs and alcohol are being offered to me - I'm sober, thanks! 

I no longer bend to appease others or make my needs 2nd to fit in. There's a strength that comes with age, finding conviction in yourself and learning how to implement strong boundaries and that strength feels like self love.  

It can be scary at first saying no to what doesn't serve you. But as you practise each step becomes easier, more grounded and you stand taller in your strides through life. It does get easier. 

4. Stay tenacious. 

This journey through life is filled with road bumps, pot holes and storms...the drive through the countries and seasons is interesting and beautiful but also challenging.

We must not let challenge deter us from living and growing. We have to get comfortable in the discomfort sometimes, shake it off, walk through the door and say "I've arrived". 

Sometimes it isn't the result we expected...often it won't be, sometimes it will - regardless, we have to keep putting ourselves out there and try new things...we have to set it up, fall, fail, go back to the drawing board and then repeat. 

And that - that is life. That's the beauty! It's where we find our strength, our learning, where we look back when we're on our death beds and say to ourselves "You lived! You tried it all and I'm so happy you did".

I've moved so far away from the idea that I must be married with a kid and a home to be successful and happy...I may be jaded but honestly - I just don't see that model working for anyone. I'm personally investing in myself, my happiness and fulfillment and not looking to rely on someone else to fill a void or make me feel complete. 

I now know that I'm capable of doing that all by myself. I'm dating (and loving) myself more than anyone else has every been able to successfully "do that" for me...and it's not sad, it's not disappointing, it's actually the most fulfilled I've every been. 

If you haven't already, I hope you learn to date and love yourself with these 4 steps...And if you have more suggestions to add please do so! Comment, like and share - I'd LOVE to hear others' opinions and suggestions on this topic! :)

XO

C Hope

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