Where are you in your quest for love?
If I asked you this, nearly all of you would answer by telling me about the man in your life—or absence thereof!
We define where we are in love by whether there’s a man and by how committed that relationship is.
You might be talking to someone who’s just started dating a man she really likes, but if you’ve been with your guy for over a year, you’ll feel like you’re further along the path than she is. You’re ahead of her.
It’s like love is a game of Candy Land. You know that children’s board game?
You move along the board, hitting markers like First Date, Third Date, Exchanging I Love You’s, Defining The Relationship, and so forth.
But at ANY point, you can make a wrong move and get sent back to the beginning.
Just one unlucky roll of the dice, and you find yourself breaking up and starting all over again.
You can even get to the very end of the game—you’re married, you’ve started a family, you’ve “won”—and a couple years down the road, the marriage stops working. You’re back on the starting square, preparing to play the game all over again.
When you think of love in this way, it’s completely exhausting.
How many times do you have to start all over again?
Do you ever get to feel like you’ve won, and you can rest, and you get to keep the love you’ve found?
Actually, you can.
But you can only get there by giving up the game and going a quest.
I’m going to share with you a quest for love that will take you from heartache to freedom.
It’s based on my 15+ years in love advice and the numerous questions that have come to me and breakthroughs I’ve seen and research I’ve done.
You’re about to learn a 4-stage model of love that explains why you never start back at the beginning each time a relationship ends…
Why your personal evolution is the heart and soul of your love journey…
And why the love that awaits you is so much better than any love you’ve ever lost.
The Wisdom of Experience
We are all at different stages in our lives.
The questions a 22-year-old has about love are NOT the same questions a 45-year-old has about love.
When we’re young, we wonder what’s possible, what’s normal, what we “should” be doing.
Then we fall in love and we break up and we move in with someone and maybe we marry and divorce, and we start wondering things like:
How can I find someone who’ll treat me well? Am I still desirable with all of my baggage? How do I find someone who wants companionship and intimacy and my preferred level of commitment?
If you believe the traditional narrative about love, you might believe that your worth declines each time you play the love game with another man.
We’ve been sold this crazy idea that a young woman who’s been in love with the same guy since high school is somehow “better” than a mature woman who’s been divorced and has kids and is looking for love again.
Case in point: if you and I need a friend to help us sort out our own love challenges, who are we going to ask?
We’re going straight to that mature woman who’s had many years of love and loss and living under her belt! She’ll have MUCH better advice than that young girl who really doesn’t know what she’s doing.
So that’s your first clue about the nature of your quest:
It’s about wisdom.
It’s about your personal evolution.
Making it through this quest will require experience and reflection and painful growth. You won’t get through on luck and looks.
The Point of Your Quest
What drives us to set out on this quest in the first place is because we yearn for love.
It’s not so much a man we want as that experience of being fully embraced, adored, accepted, and desired. Our dream man is a placeholder for the love we yearn to feel.
Love is an energy, not a person, and it has a direction of its own.
If we allow it, it takes us on a journey we didn’t expect.
It shapes us and teaches us and helps us grow by stretching out our hearts.
What love wants most of all is not for us to find our special person (though that’s a wonderful thing).
What love wants is for us to live our lives with love.
To love as we work. To love as we cook. To love as we drive. To love as we chat with friends. To do it ALL with love.
When love is as natural to you as breathing, a magical thing happens…
That wonderful love finds you.
Love calls to love.
Loving people keep their eye out for other loving people. We’re a rare breed.
But to get to that stage in life where love is how you are in the world, you’ve got to be tested first.
You’ll be presented with 3 “false loves.”
Things that LOOK like love, but actually aren’t love at all.
And if you fall for one of these, you will stop your journey before you’ve completed the quest. You’ll settle for so much less than you could have had if you’d kept persevering.
So let’s see where you’re at. Where are you on your quest?
You want to be special.
In this stage in your love life, you just want to feel special.
You want the compliments. You want to be unlike the other girls he’s met. You want to see yourself as a goddess reflected in his eyes. You want him to hang on your every word. You want to be told you’re extraordinary.
I spent most of my teens and twenties in this stage. I never believed I was special. I never thought any guy would want anything to do with me. When guys went out of their way to talk to me, I felt uncomfortable. I assumed they wanted something from me. It was inconceivable to me that a guy would look at me and like what he saw.
This is what I thought love was back then. I thought it was when a man looked at me and saw something special. I needed his approval to feel special—I couldn’t find my way to that feeling on my own.
But the guys I ended up with could see that I would settle for very little. They gave me the bare minimum, and I was grateful.
You want to be chosen.
In this stage in your love life, you just want a man to choose you.
You want him to pick you and only you. You want other people to see you together. You want to be officially boyfriend and girlfriend. You love how possessive he acts when he makes you wear his jacket or puts his arm around you or makes jealous comments about other guys. You’re so proud of being at his side.
There is security and safety in being a unit. You have someone who’s supposed to always have your back. You’re supposed to be able to text him when you need company or support or someone to talk to. You are no longer alone, and it feels so good.
When I was at this stage in my life, I let men choose me. I didn’t even know what I really wanted back then. Being chosen felt good enough. It felt like a better version of being special. Not only did this guy think I was different from other girls, but he wanted to stake his claim. He didn’t want to share me with anyone else.
Isn’t that what being loved felt like—being chosen?
You want the life.
You’re done with dating, you’re done with being boyfriend and girlfriend, now you’re ready to settle down and build a future. But you can’t do that unless he commits, too.
Everything you want is just on the other side of commitment: the wedding, the family, the house, the future you can take for granted. You want to know that he is your life now, and you are his life.
This is what we commonly think of as the final destination of love.
Isn’t marriage when you’ve won the game? Isn’t marriage the beginning of forever?
But as many of you know, you can get the life—you can get the ring and the house and the family—but there’s still something missing.
He doesn’t treat you like the love of his life. He treats you like his wife.
You’re the housecleaner, the cook, the social organizer. You plan date nights and keep yourself attractive for him, but he just gives you the same compliments he’s been giving you for the past 10 years.
It’s not what you thought it would be like. You thought it would be better than this.
You want the love.
I suspect only a few of you have made it to this stage.
This is the stage you get to when you realize that everything else that was offered to you—feeling special, being chosen, being offered a life together—wasn’t actually what you wanted.
What you wanted was love.
You wanted a man to love you the way you love him.
You wanted to feel like he held you inside his heart. Like he was so glad he was with you. You wanted to see that he made time every day to be with you, and share his thoughts with you, and know your world better.
So many married women don’t even feel known by their husbands. Even though they’re sharing a life together, they’re not sharing their souls.
You come to realize that all this time you were looking for the wrong thing.
You were looking for a man who had the qualities you wanted: who was financially secure and handsome and educated, who could communicate and wanted commitment, who was attracted to you and wanted to marry you.
But what you should have been looking for was an equal partner who adored you and wanted to love you and show you love for as long as he lived.
That’s a pie-in-the-sky dream for many of us.
We can’t even imagine it.
We can imagine being treated like we’re special.
We can imagine being chosen.
We can imagine ourselves married with kids.
But we can’t imagine a man who smiles every single time he looks into our eyes.
Your Love is Not Enough
The love you feel for him isn’t enough to make a life together.
You need to feel loved by HIM—as deeply and carefully and tenderly as you love him.
That’s what I want for you.
I want the love you give returned to you, so you feel how wonderful it is to be cared for.
So let me ask you:
Which stage of love do you think you’re in?
Do you just want to feel more attractive and get more male attention?
Is there a man in your life that you’re hoping will choose you?
Are you with someone you’re hoping to make a life with?
Or have you seen past all that and just want love this time around?