How We Block Love
My closest friend is falling in love again for the first time since she was 16. She’s 34 now. Like many of us, she’s been through heart break, a divorce, many unsuccessful relationships, and several failed attempts at them. She’s gorgeous inside and out, intelligent, successful and soulful - what anyone with good taste would consider a catch. So, why after all of her relationships is she finally experiencing the one thing we are all searching for: Love? Because she decided she was finally open to it.
We block love from our lives for so many reasons. Human beings are a complicated species; rather, our brains are. That very powerful part of our biology can do both incredible things for us, or severely work against us. We are hard-wired through early childhood experiences, traumatic experiences, embarrassing ones, and painful ones, that those actually change the neural pathways in our brains, blocking us from the exact things we want in life: success, love, health, new experiences, a family, to love ourselves better.
But, if these negative experiences (in our personal relationships, especially) continue to compile, and we are not acutely aware of our responses to them, it can block us from seeing the authenticity in other people, and acts as a barrier for us opening up as well. Any flaw in anyone you meet will send a signal to your brain as the hard-wired “Warning!” response to run the other direction. And, if you are used to listening to your fear, it is only keeping you single for longer than necessary, and keeping you further from your dreams.
My friend lives in Los Angeles, my home “town”, and like many single people there, she built up a wall so high, had standards so grandiose, that they were placed there purposely to make it damn near impossible for anyone to meet them. Her requirements for a match were so far out of reach, that when a man would show interest and they’d begin to date, if he showed the slightest bit of imperfection about his past, his present, or even just in his opinions, she’d be out the door. Which was easy enough to do at that point, being that he clearly did not satisfy the long list of “must-haves” her future mate had to have.
Finally, after one unhealthy, grueling relationship with a clinical narcissist, she woke up and realized that she was doing this to herself - attracting the wrong people. She took a year to soul search, travel, read, face her blockages, and opened herself up to everyone (even new, platonic friendships) she would never have before considered. From this, she learned an invaluable lesson: when you actually stop your judgments in their tracks and truly listen to and try to understand the people in front of you, you start to walk a little in their shoes.
This newfound enlightenment eventually brought her into the presence of a wonderful German native with a beautiful heart and captivating soul, who, in every way possible could not be more different from her. Culturally, romantically, politically, socially and even geographically, they could not be further from one another. But by allowing herself to understand where he comes from on every aspect, and by sharing parts of herself and her past with him, they have found the exact seed from which a genuine love grows: vulnerability and acceptance. More importantly, they are taking their time, and not worrying about, or trying to control the future. The "What ifs?" no longer matter, because it's the journey they are on together that is elemental and life-changing. It is impossible for love not to grow from this place.
I hope this strikes a chord in those of you who pre-judge, assume, worry about things that haven’t even happened yet, with someone whom you will not even allow for a first date to occur. I’m telling you, I know with every fiber of my soul that this is the only way to true love. It happened for me, it happened for my friend, it’s happening for clients that I’ve coached, and it can happen for you. You just need to get out of your own way first and try someone else’s shoes on for a change. After a few steps, your fears begin to break down. Continue this practice, and they will take you to places you’d never dreamed possible.