Lousy first dates are SO frustrating, aren’t they?

Like when your date spends all night talking about themselves – even while chewing with their mouth open. Or when they show up and you immediately know that they are waaaaay less smart or interesting than their texts made you believe.

And that’s not even the worst part.

The worst part is when you finally get home that night, and feel let down….again. Exhausted. Skeptical that true love even exists at all.

And allll those cruddy feelings were part of what brought Emma – one of the latest badasses I’ve worked with – to my office a few weeks ago.

As soon as I saw Emma, I knew she was hurting. Her shoulders were hunched and her eyes down. And sure enough, when I asked what was up, Emma immediately started talking about her latest EPIC fail of a Tinder date.

“We texted a ton before we met up, and he always sounded smart and thoughtful and kind,” Emma told me. “But then we met in person…and there was nothing. No sparks, no excitement, nada. And I’m getting really freakin’ SICK of looking for love.”

Emma wasn’t used to feeling so powerless. She’s a type A, take-life-by-the-horns kinda girl in her mid-30s, and she’s been kicking ass at work and building one hell of an awesome career.

But now she wanted a partner and someone to settle down with for life. And  her lackluster first dates were making her feel even more hopeless.

“Dates like this one make me believe I’ll NEVER find the right guy,” Emma admitted. “That all the good ones are taken and that I’ll totally die alone…or with just a few cats for company.”

The BIG Problem with Constantly Looking for Love

It’s not the first time I’ve heard those words.

In fact, I meet men and women every single week who are looking for love and constantly striking out.

And every time they get home from another unfulfilling first date, they do 1 of 2 things:

  1. Immediately pull out their phone and start swiping on Tinder, desperately hoping it will somehow get better next time.
  2. Or…say “F this!” and delete every single dating app on their phone. Then, decide to put allll their energy toward something else in their life (often, their work.)

Sound familiar? 🙂

BOTH of these are just knee-jerk reactions to frustration.

Both are fueled by a deep, nagging fear that you won’t find real love in this lifetime.

And that fear is terrifying. Because, deep down, we all know that love is the most beautiful part of being alive. It’s why we’re here.

So when you’re trapped in the cycles of searching for love and constantly being disappointed – or trying to distract yourself from your loneliness by keeping really busy at work – it hurts like HELL.

But life – and love – doesn’t have to be this way.

How to Stop Looking for Love

As Emma looked up at me in despair, I asked her this:

“Tell me about a Sunday morning six months into the future. You’ve found the love you’re looking for. You went out with him and some friends the night before, and you’re now relaxing in a cozy bed, staring into your lover’s eyes. What does he say to you?”

For a second, Emma just stared at me, a strange look on her face. So I asked again, “What do you want? What is this ideal lover doing and saying to you that makes you feel so loved?”

For a few minutes, my whole office was silent. And then Emma finally said, “You know. He’d say how beautiful I am. The things he loves about me. How excited he is to spend the day with me. I’d just feel how happy he was to be with me, and hear how much he appreciates and loves me, both the good and the quirky parts.”

Looking for Love? The Questions You NEED to Ask Yourself

I encouraged Emma to keep going. To take me through alllllll the ways her lover would speak to her, look at her, deal with her insecurities, etc.

She took about an hour to get really clear on what she’s truly looking for when she says she wants to “find love.”

And then I asked her the most important question of all: do you give yourself this kind of beautiful, unconditional, compassionate love?

  • Do you talk to yourself with love and respect each day?
  • Do you truly appreciate your own gifts and take time to celebrate and share your gifts with others? Do you do that actively and take pride in who you are?
  • Do you love yourself unconditionally? Do you accept the things about you that are “imperfect”?
  • Do you treat yourself to gifts, surprises and fun just for the sake of it?
  • Can you see your quirks and idiosyncrasies as an important part of your personality and what makes you uniquely awesome?
  • Do you take the time to lay in bed and touch your own body and make yourself feel good
  • Do you show yourself the kind of love you want from your potential soulmate?

Emma chuckled, took a deep breath and said just one word: “No.”

And you know what? That’s not Emma’s fault – or yours, if you have the same answer.

After all, society sends us hundreds of messages EVERY SINGLE DAY about romance and dating and having a hot, snazzy sex life…but we’re taught very little about how to look for love within ourselves.

We don’t grow up learning the tools for self-love like we learn how to “win a guy in 30 days or less.”

How Your WHOLE Life Changes When You Find Inner Love

But it’s never too late to start harnessing the skills of self-love.

And when you practice these skills as passionately as you look for love on the outside…something amazing happens.

You FEEL beautiful and cared for every single day…whether or not you’re actually receiving love from an outside source. You no longer desperately need love, because you are love.

Now, I know what you’re thinkin’. “Ummm…hold up, Caitlin. Sure, I may not need a love partner. But I sure as hell want one!”

Well, guess what? When you already love yourself and are modeling how true love looks to you…then you drop your desperate energy around love, and BOOM! Suddenly, the whole world wants more of you.

You attract love by being love. By vibrating joy. Not by chasing affection or validation.

It’s manifestation 101, really. If you wanna bring something to life, you’ve gotta create that feeling, image and belief inside of you first. Then, like attracts like.

So by showing yourself the same care and attention you want from a partner…you’re telling the universe, “OK, I’m ready to find someone who will treat me like the Queen I show up as every day!”

And when my clients stop looking for love and start living it, they effortlessly attract the most incredible people and relationships into their lives.

Plus, before that epic love finds its way to your door, even the process of dating becomes a fun experience again. Suddenly, you don’t spend every first date wondering if you picked the right outfit or are saying the right things.

Instead, you love your own quirky fashion sense and funny family stories…and you enjoy sharing both of those with another person. But your happiness doesn’t depend on them loving those things, too. You don’t need that validation.

And when that cute guy you swiped right on ends up getting sloshed during dinner…well, you’re happy just to get up and go. You don’t feel obligated to finish the date.

Because you know your worth. You value your time. You stayed as long as it served you, and then you left when you weren’t being treated right.

And living from this place of self-love feels amazing and energizing!

How Emma Stopped Looking for Love and BECAME It – And You Can Too

After reflecting on the kind of love she really wants, Emma’s next step was LIVING out that love.

She committed to being her own boyfriend for one full week. She’d talk to herself with the love and respect and dignity and kindness she needed. She’d touch herself that way. Feed herself that way. Surprise herself that way.

And by doing all those things…Emma felt amazing, grounded, and self-confident.

One week later, she told me:

“I feel like love is coming at me from all directions. Even my friends and family suddenly wanna spend more time with me suddenly. I went on two dates, and both were more exciting and real than any of the 25 dates I went on last year. I’m not sure if either one is ‘the one,’ but I don’t need to know. I can’t wait to see where all this self-love takes me next!”

Emma had BECOME love. And you can do the exact same thing!

So ask yourself:

  • If I visualize life with my true love, how would they treat me? What would they say?
  • Am I treating myself and talking to myself in the same, loving manner I imagine my lover using?
  • What changes in my behavior do I need to make to show myself the love I’m craving?

And once you ask those questions…put those answers into action. Be your own partner for a week and shower yourself with ALL the love you’d want from a significant other.

Notice what you may do or say differently, and how it makes you feel. And then make those actions and thoughts and self-talk part of your everyday routine.

Hell, if you need help remembering to show yourself a lil’ love, you can even program reminders into your phone or put sticky notes on your computer monitor. Whatever you need to keep surrounding yourself with love every day!

My Secret Weapon for Giving Yourself the Love You Really Need – ASAP

Now, I know treating yourself with TLC is waaaaay easier said than done.

That’s why I created my Self-Compassion Meditation to help you get the hang of it.

In this twenty-minute meditation, I’ll teach you how to feel love from the inside out and talk to yourself with the love you truly desire from a partner. Plus, you’ll get in touch with your own inner cheerleader and learn how to bring that supportive energy with you wherever you go. Learn more or start your self-love transformation TODAY by clicking here.

What I Want You To Remember When You Feel Trapped Looking for Love

I know that in our romance-obsessed culture, it’s often easier to swipe left and right on Tinder than look into yourself for true love.

But until you decide to treat yourself like the royal badass you really are…you’re never gonna find a true fairytale romance.

That’s why, right now, I want you to make a promise – not to me, but to yourself. Promise to stop looking for your “better half.” Because the key to bettering yourself or your life isn’t finding a “perfect” partner. It’s showing yourself the exact same love you’ve been craving for so many years.

Everything else falls in place from there.

What’s one act of self-love you can start transforming your life with today?