Home » Resources » Dating & Relationships » How to make space for love in your life
How to make space for love in your life
Does love come naturally to you or do you struggle to make it click? We speak to relationship experts Cindy Leong, co-founder of Divine Connect and Violet Lim, CEO and co-founder of Lunch Actually, who share some easy tips to follow to let love happen and how to embrace it when it strikes.
By Preeti Parashar
Do you find yourself embracing love in your life only because you have to and not because you want to? Both experts agree that a change in perspective can help open you up to more possibilities in love. According to them, it can be more rewarding to experience falling in love and embracing this beautiful feeling by not treating it as any other 'project' in life. Here's how you can inspire yourself to 'be in love'.
Open up to receiving love
One reason why many people aren't ready to receive love is because they aren't comfortable sharing their life or they haven't yet experienced love. When you open up your vulnerable self to others and start exchanging thoughts, feelings and emotions, you are creating space for love to enter your life.
Ms Leong shares that it's mainly due to the personality instincts (which are analysed using the Enneagram personality test) that majority of individuals look at love only as a self-preservation/survival need. “However, some sub-types are highly active on seeking love, building connections, being charismatic and embracing love openly in their lives. It's about how you prepare yourself to open up to love," she says.
Ms Lim couldn't agree more. “Whether you realise it or not, love comes naturally as an inspiration. It inspires you to be happy, to see the beauty in things you've never seen, and for some people it inspires them to take action. Whether it's to meet new people, keep an open mind, take up new opportunities and try something new," she says.
What you can do
Begin by expressing gratitude for things you have and appreciate what others do/have done for you. The more love you give, the more you'll receive. Stepping out of your comfort zone and meeting new people will also make it easier for you to welcome love into your life.
Practise empathy and compassion
Yes, being compassionate and empathetic can pave the way for love. It lets you connect and understand the other person better to form more meaningful relationships. As Ms Leong puts it, “Without compassion and empathy, it's difficult to build and sustain a relationship. Don't judge your potential partner but be acceptable towards their feelings." Once you are aware of the feelings of your partner, you can brace yourself for a deeper relationship. Love gives us compassion to be kinder to ourselves as well.
Ms Lim shares that being compassionate to your date can have rewarding outcomes. “Whenever our clients meet someone new on a first date, it's rarely love at first sight. They may not immediately fall for the other, but instead of rejecting them straight away, they keep an open mind and give themselves more time to get to know one another. All these are not accidental actions – it's a deliberate choice that they make in order to give another person a fair chance (and themselves too)."
What you can do
It takes continuous effort to be more empathetic and compassionate towards each other. Be outward looking and focus on your partner's desires. Try to bring in positive changes in yourself and have candid discussions on what you expect out of each other.
Some people are sceptical about themselves being worthy of love just because they think they don't deserve to be loved. Ms Lim advises: “You can't love others before you learn to love yourself first. It's often overlooked, but self-love is important as the way you treat yourself will always reflect in the quality of your relationships. Being happy with yourself will naturally make you a happier, more loving and positive person. This will also mean you have more love, happiness and positivity to give to your partner."
Ms Leong reaffirms, “You have to love yourself enough to love others. Change your approach from 'taking' love to 'giving love'. Let love be the inspiration to bring in positive changes in you. Strive to be a better person/spouse/partner and grow beyond your comfort zone and try new things. This will help you love yourself first and be inspired enough to share that love with others."
What you can do
Be more mindful and act on what you need and not what you want. Indulge in good self-care and set healthy boundaries. Know that you're worth-it – start loving yourself NOW.
Embrace positive transformation
Let love inspire you to be a better YOU. Love can transform you and motivate you to make self-improvements. “This can come in the form of becoming more responsible, accountable and more partner centric. You learn to be more thoughtful about others and care for them and not just for yourself," says Ms Leong.
Adapt to change and try experimenting with new things. Ms Lim shares, “Make the effort to wear better fitting clothes to give a good impression. Or if your date isn't comfortable discussing serious topics, try to lighten up the conversation to make them feel at ease. These small tweaks can help increase your chances of getting a second or third date."
What you can do
Love can inspire us to be better versions of ourselves so that when we meet the right person, we are ready. Begin small by giving affirmations to yourself every day. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to be better and take feedback in a constructive manner.
Be ready when love strikes you unexpectedly
Perhaps you were hiking, walking your dog, playing a sport or attending a concert and you meet someone who strikes a chord with you instantly. You might be left with the longing to meet that person again defying all logic but you're also unsure how to handle this new feeling. Well, this could be love! It may take time for you to realise it but once you do, be prepared to get on to this roller coaster ride.
What you can do
When love strikes unexpectedly, take your time and let it sink in. Be realistic, and align your expectations right from the beginning by being honest with one another.
Whether you fall in love through a chance encounter or through the help of relationship professionals, in the end, it's about being the Right One. Before meeting the right one and choosing the right one, you have to be the right one yourself.