A twenty-eight-year-old woman sat on my couch today wanting to discuss one thing and one thing only: How could she avoid being alone forever? Christy was newly single and fearing the worst for her future. Her two favorite aunts, both in their sixties, never married. Her mother had only been briefly wed to her father, divorcing before Christy’s second birthday. She was surrounded by smart, beautiful, educated women who had never found true love, and it scared her to death to think she would follow in their footsteps.
This is probably the biggest fear most single women have today. Ironically, it is the fear itself that ends up keeping them from finding a good partner and having a healthy relationship. Living in a state of fear, no matter where it stems from or what form it takes (paranoia, anxiety, anger to name a few) radiates an extremely stressful and tense persona. When your daily thoughts are consumed with fear, ask yourself the question, how can a man fall in love with me in this condition?
Lots of men want to find love, settle down, and start a family. I would say most men prefer this path, but they want to find a partner who is happy, loving, and confident. And being fearful all the time does not allow you to be any of those things. Perhaps you are waiting for the relationship to come so that you will stop being fearful and start being happy, loving, and confident. However, this is not a chicken and egg scenario. The relationship cannot come first. Content from within must happen first. Only then will you be in a place that is able to attract another person and truly fall in love.
How do you stop the fear?
Fight fear with presence. To quote my favorite author, Eckhart Tolle, “Psychological fear is divorced from any real danger. When you are in a state of fear, you are here and now but your mind is in the future. You can always cope with the present moment, but you can never cope with a mind projection – you cannot cope with the future.” Fearing to end up alone is nothing more than a mind-created daydream, but dwell on it enough and you may very well fulfill your prophecy. Staying present is the only way to combat this, or any fear. Worrying about what may or may not happen, only distances you further and further from getting what you want. Try to be extremely conscience when your thoughts automatically drift to the future and reel them back in by paying acute attention to what is happening all around you and, more importantly, within you. Live only in “The Now” and you will see how your anxiety subsides.
Fight fear with love. To quote another great man, Pope John Paul II, said, “The opposite of love is not hate. It’s use.” Using people is the opposite of loving them. Using a man for the purpose of fulfilling your life is not loving him. Men can feel your intentions. They know when you are in a state that wants to get something out of them. Maybe you want love? Maybe you want security? Maybe you want to boost your self-esteem? Or maybe you just want him to pay off your credit card? Whatever it is, the wanting to use him for something selfish is preventing anyone from falling in love with you. Just as you have heard the term, like attracts like, it is also true that love attracts love. You must be in a total loving state to draw in a man and have him love you.
To be in a loving state, stop thinking about what you want and start thinking about what you can give and contribute. Not just to a guy, but to everyone you come in contact with. Giving does not take much time or any money. You can start giving today. You can give with a smile, a compliment, or even a hug. When you give, you are in a complete state of love and presence. And when you are in that state, you will be happier and more peaceful, which will translate into confidence. This is one of the key ways to ensure that you find your partner in life, and stay with him forever once you do.
Fight fear with gratitude. Instead of walking around in a state of wanting which inevitably makes you look desperate, think of all the things you have in life that you are grateful for. Focus on what you do have, instead of what you don’t. Most of us have much more than we even need, yet we spend so much time on the very few things we don’t have yet. If you can practice gratitude and learn to make it your natural state of mind, your inner self will stop craving a relationship and thus, you will stop looking so needy to the opposite sex. Spend a few minutes each morning meditating on all that you are grateful for; your health, your family, your friends, even your job. Appreciate the little things that you often overlook or take for granted. Once you make gratitude a daily practice, you will see how fear disappears from your mind and is instead replaced with intense joy. Joy that is contagious to everyone – especially men.