What Does It Mean To Be In Love

IMG_1302Inspired by a member of my May 2013 Open Your Heart Program

A significant portion of my work is dedicated to dismantling and deconstructing the pervasive and dysfunctional messages our culture propagates about love, myths most people have absorbed by osmosis since the first time they were exposed to the wonderful world of Disney and Hollywood. The basic messages about love are:

  • * The point of life is to meet “The One.”
  • * When you meet this fabled “One”, you’ll know it immediately and never suffer a moment of doubt.
  • * If you do experience doubt, he or she is not “The One”. You must have gotten something wrong as we all know that doubt means don’t.
  • * Love is a feeling characterized by butterflies and skipped heartbeats. If you don’t have those feelings or if they fade away, something is terribly wrong and it’s time to leave. If the feelings fade it means you’re no longer in love.
  • * Your “One” will complete you (Jerry Maguire) and make you feel whole, alive, sexual, and fulfilled. He or she is the missing piece to your puzzle and once you meet him or her everything will make sense. If things stop making sense, there must be something terribly wrong and it’s time to leave.
  • * You’re either in love or out of love. You can fall in or out of love like falling into a puddle. Sometimes you just fall out of love and then it’s time to leave. Said another way, falling out of love is a valid reason to end a relationship.

Sound familiar?

Let’s douse these incendiary lies with a big dose of truth-water:

  • * The point of life is not to meet “The One.” The point is to become your own one, to learn and grow and evolve your mind, heart, and body, and to express your gifts and be of service in some way. From that place of fulfilled aliveness you may or may not choose to share your life with another person. 
  • * Very few couples actually lock eyes across a smoky room and “just know” that they’ve met their future spouse. Perhaps you had a sense early on that your partner was someone with whom you could forge a fulfilling shared life, but perhaps it took some time for that knowing to take hold. Perhaps you were friends first. Perhaps you stumbled through your first dates and only continued because there was something different and you were tired of choosing the same unavailable partners.
  • * Doubt is a sign that you’re an introspective, thoughtful, intelligent person considering making a lifetime commitment. As Bertrand Russell said, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are so confident while the intelligent are full of doubt.” And with a bit more softness, Tara Brach says, “Like investigation, healthy doubt arises from the urge to know what is true–it challenges assumptions or the status quo in service of healing and freedom. In contrast, unhealthy doubt arises from fear or aversion, and it questions one’s own basic potential or worth, or the value of another.”
  • * I’ve written about the difference between real love and infatuation extensively in other posts and in my Conscious Weddings E-Course, but the nutshell version is that love is not only a feeling; it’s a choice, a commitment, and an intention. When you commit to learning about what it means to give and receive love in an intimate way, you will, at times, experience the feelings that we normally associate with love. When you learn the Love Laws and take the subsequent Loving Actions that grow your feelings of love and attraction, you will experience more in-love feelings.
  • * You are whole do not need a partner to complete you. Where partnership feels like completion it’s not real love but codependence. Two whole people create a third body of the relationship. You are responsible for your own aliveness, creativity, and sexuality. It’s not your partner’s job to be your muse or your inspiration. If that occurs on occasion naturally that’s wonderful, but it’s not a requirement of a healthy relationship. If things stop making sense, it’s time to look inside and explore what unrealistic expectations, fears, and false beliefs have been unleashed.
  • * Attraction, sexual connection, and the feeling of being in love ebb and flow in cycles and are largely a function of how open your heart is and how open your partner’s heart is. My definition of being in love is: Two open hearts giving and receiving to each other. There are so many ways that our hearts shut down, fear being the most common. So if you’re struggling with fear and anxiety it’s not likely you’re going to feel sexual or in love with your partner. Is that the time to leave? No! It’s the time to become a fear-warrior so that you can soften the fear walls and slowly open your heart back to love.

We’re profoundly conditioned to equate being in love with longing, which means that as long as there’s an element of drama, chase, unavailability, or the unknown, we feel safe enough to unleash our passion and vulnerability. In other words, it’s deceptively easy to fall into the trap of believing that you don’t have any fears of commitment or intimacy when your partner is the one putting up the walls and you’re on the pursuer side of the pursuer-distancer dynamic. But as soon as the tables are turned and you choose an available, no-game playing partner, you have the opportunity to address the fears that were lurking beneath the surface all along. Of course, if you believe the cultural message that if you’re not in love – meaning feeling the feelings of love on a daily basis – there’s something wrong and it’s time to leave, you’ll never work through the ego-fears that are designed to prevent you from softening your walls, making yourself vulnerable, and experiencing real love.

After the initial honeymoon stage fades (and having a honeymoon stage is not a prerequiste for a healthy relationship), feeling in love is an experience that is cultivated primarily through the intersection of two actions: 1. Flooding your relationship with loving actions and 2. Feeling connected to your own aliveness, creativity, and sexuality. In other words, when you’re feeling filled up and alive within your own self and you bring this aliveness to your partner who is also filled up, the two of you will meet in a place that can feel like magic. There’s nothing dramatic about this real in-loveness. It’s not borne out of longing or the chase. It’s real, present, honest connection. It’s two sparks meeting each other and creating a fire together.

Does it look like Hollywood? Not exactly. For one thing, the two of you are real, fleshy, imperfect people complete with the quirks and foibles that are meticulously airbrushed and edited out of mainstream media. But once you accept the humanness of real in-loveness, you’ll find yourself in a relationship that is infinitely more satisfying in its depth and realness than anything portrayed on the big screen.

56 comments to What Does It Mean To Be In Love?

  • possibility

    This is a wonderful piece Sheryl; inspirational and real. Thank you.

  • Kiyomi

    Ughhh I love this so much. Thank you again, Sheryl <3

  • Ali

    Dear Sheryl,

    Thank you for your writing. It’s powerful, and I particularly like this: “the ego-fears that are designed to prevent you from softening your walls, making yourself vulnerable, and experiencing real love”…

    Thank you as always!
    Ali in Switzerland

  • Tina

    We need to start a revolution around this wisdom. Let’s start a movement! Teach kids and re-educate adults about True Love!

  • Tina

    Oh wait, you already have started a revolution. I want to join up! Where do I sign? Lol

  • Anxious too

    I have read many of your other posts on these topics, but am struggling a lot today. I am engaged to be married in a year. I’ve been with my fiance for 3 years. Sometimes we were closer than others. In the beginning, I felt
    Strong attraction to him , but once the commitment began, I started holding back at times and being timid. Perhaps, it is because he is the only guy I have dated who has stuck around more than a year an who actually
    Expresses sincere commitment and belief in us. At times, It has scared me so much which does not seem to
    Make sense to me. I feel like I should be overjoyed.. But instead in manifests in fear. I become critical
    And hold back emotionally and intimately. During the times I hold back, he notices and wants to know what is going on. I feel like a failure…

    • Val

      Dear Anxious too,
      Please do not feel like a failure, because in reality you haven’t failed anything. I think that a lot of your fear and worry might be based on the fact that you might not think you deserve such a committed and emotionally available man. It seems like you might not have had such luck in the past. Just remember that we are all human beings with thoughts and feelings that aren’t always going to be pleasant. Fear is a natural part of change. It is fear of the unknown. But please don’t let your fear decide your fate. If we didn’t do things that we are afraid of we wouldn’t make it very far in this world.

      Val

    • snowhite

      Anxious too,

      Wow. You just perfectly described where I’m at in my relationship with my boyfriend. At this point, I’m not sure what my future holds, whether he’ll be there or not. But I’m glad I’m not the only one who lets fear of the unknown take control, becoming critical and emotionally and physically unattached.

      Good luck, my fellow worrier.

      Clarissa

  • meera

    This article is so true. Its like balm to the hurting heart and soul. We are blessed to have you in our midst Sheryl and thank you for your pearls of wisdom.

  • medaisies

    Beautiful. Thank you for this 🙂

  • Noelle Leithem

    I love this post. Doubt is normal and it doesn’t mean that i am not in the right place. It means that I need to work on my core self and learn to love who I am so I can love who my partner is to the fullest!

  • Kim

    Sheryl, your words always bring me so much comfort 🙂 You’re my role model and your work is amazing. Thank you so much. I can’t tell you how much I needed this post today 🙂

  • Juliet

    Thank you

  • Mehak Bajaj

    I just love you for this article.
    I am mesmerised and feel lucky to have read this one .

  • Lauren

    LOVE this post!!
    My favorite part: * The point of life is not to meet “The One.” The point is to become your own one, to learn and grow and evolve your mind, heart, and body, and to express your gifts and be of service in some way. From that place of fulfilled aliveness you may or may not choose to share your life with another person.

  • Georgina

    “There’s nothing dramatic about this real in-loveness. It’s not borne out of longing or the chase. It’s real, present, honest connection. It’s two sparks meeting each other and creating a fire together.” Such wisdom Sheryl which resonates to the core. Thank you, always.

  • Rae

    I just finished the Open Your Heart e-course, immersed in learning about real in-loveness. Sheryl talks about the importance of feeling connected to our Self as part of opening up our hearts and cultivating loving feelings. I can confirm that it is, indeed, true. In the last 30 days, the less I focused on the imperfections of my partner or our relationship and the more I turned inward to explore what was going on with ME, the more I really saw my partner from a place of wonder and appreciation (which came so easily during the infatuation stage). It doesn’t sustain 24/7, nor does it mean we are suddenly living in perfect fairytale union, but I have learned that I can always bring myself back to a loving, connected place with focus and attention.

    It hasn’t been easy looking at the reality of how my own false beliefs, expectations, and controlling behaviors have created and fueled my relationship anxiety. It isn’t easy living with the realization that sometimes it will be HIS heart that will close and I will have no control over how long it takes for him to open it back up. It is helpful to remind myself that there is a compassionate, trusting, accepting, gentle, strong, and wise part of me that can bravely move toward my partner with an open heart, regardless of the fact that I may have no idea how it will all turn out; whether we are talking about the outcome of an argument or what will happen when me move from boyfriend/girlfriend to an even deeper commitment.

    It isn’t dramatic. We aren’t suddenly embracing each other and lighting into flames because of the sizzle between us. He is still him. I am still me. We are still us. Yet right now, in this open-hearted place, that feels enough. And that feels really good.

    It really is just the day-to-day interactions, the moment-to-moment choices I make to focus on the positive, to remember why I chose him in the first place, and to see what IS there and not what isn’t. I think that is what being “in love” means to me right now.

  • Camille Murphy

    Thank you. Your work continues to save me from making decisions based on fear and tainted media.

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl, everything you say makes so much sense even when I’m in the hurricane of fear I believe you. The mind is a powerful thing but with ur teachings I feel so supported and I know I will beat this bluff we amazing women experiencing.
    Hang in there guys your all doing well:)

  • Happilyeverafter

    Hey everybody!
    I was hoping someone would have some advice they could give me!
    So I’ve been struggling with relationship anxiety for a while now and I’ve come to the point where i feel fine and then it comes back, and then it goes away and comes back. What exactly do I need to do to these thoughts and feelings that arise? Maybe I’m not doing it properly that’s why it comes and goes.
    Also I find its effecting my sex life too, it makes me feel like I don’t want sex at all and it’s a struggle for me to want to. Is this part of the relationship anxiety? Has this happened to other people? And what do I do to help this?

    I appreciate any advice or words of wisdom from any one:) thank you!

    • Sarah

      What Rae said is really good! I know that for me something that’s been instrumental in “maintaining” a more stable place is to realize there’s always going to be ebb and flow in relationships…once I gave up on my fantasy life of “I’ll always be 100% sure all the time and I’ll never have negative feelings or anxiety anymore,” getting through the “flare-ups” was easier. It also really helps to sort of “cultivate” the feelings you DO want. Sheryl has said in some of her articles “whatever you water will grow.” That image is really helpful to me anyway. I try to notice the times when I’m not anxious, but I’m in a connected, loving place with my husband (or myself!) I’ll say to myself “this feels so good and right right now…and I’m not going to analyze it, or wonder how long it’ll last…I’m just going to enjoy it.”

      I think sex is pretty related to that too. Our culture sort of feeds women the lie that a lot of our relational power is found in how sexy we are, how much you want sex, how good you are at it, etc. It’s hard to want sex when there’s also pressure TO want it, and you’re dealing with other emotional issues beside. It’s another aspect of a long term relationship that has ebb and flow. It’s scary to be in the “ebb” part of that, but there are good things to be learned from it, and I know when I’m honest with my husband about how I’m feeling, he’s never anything but gracious and loving, and we usually have a really good conversation. Good luck! Keep on working on yourself, and it’ll get easier and easier!

  • Rae

    Happilyeverafter:

    Relationship anxiety has definitely affected my sex life. When I’m in a negative thinking and feeling state, the thought of getting close to my partner that way is not appealing. I’m still working on this myself, but here are some things that seem to be working for me.

    The first thing I do is remind myself that the anxiety/doubt will come and go, as will the effect it has on my sex life. I try to visualize a pendulum that ALWAYS swings back in the other direction because it has to – that is just gravity! It helps me relax when I swing to the side of anxiety/doubt. When I relax, those moments over time feel less frequent and weighty. Then I try to notice when the thoughts/feelings arise and ask myself what was going on when they came up and what are my thoughts telling me? That helps me back up and address the underlying issues.

    The more I accept that all relationships are imperfect, while also focusing on the great things about my relationship and partner, the less my anxiety. That has required me to accept my own imperfection and to learn to be more compassionate with myself. I have also had to look at the lies I’ve told myself about sex and relationships in terms of how it “should” be with “the one.” I am still in the process of figuring out how to connect with my own inner energy/zest as this is also part of being able to share that with my partner. Finally, I have had to explore the ways I control things in my life and how that has created a huge wall/block/resistance that plays into my sexual response cycle. My perfectionism, born from a false belief that I’m not enough, contributes to this compulsion to have the “right” or “perfect” partner and relationship which fuels the anxiety and closes me up. When I am tight, freaked out, and closed, my body, heart, and mind are just not in the right place to let go which is what loving him, feeling his love, and sharing a positive sexual experience requires.

  • Hi Sheryl,

    I really enjoyed this post. Thank you! I guess I have a question that still confuses me. I know relationships take work, commitment, and dedication, and the “feelings” can’t be the only basis for a solid relationship, but more the fruit of work. Also, I’ve experienced the unsatisfying “safety” of unavailable people who we often pursue out of fear of becoming vulnerable with *really* available/complementary people. When you start out though, do you look for someone who would complement you, maybe see if a friendship could be the basis of relationship? Do you think friendships are the best basis for a relationship?

  • Val

    dear happilyeverafter,

    I am someone who has struggled with some kind of anxiety all my life. I also am the type of person that tends to compare myself to others and strive for perfection. For example, I always compare my home with others, I wonder if theirs are clean all the time, do they every not feel like cleaning their kitchen after dinner? is that normal? does that make me a slob? the answer is no. I also tend to compare my relationship with others as well, I wonder things like, how many times do they have sex each week? does that mean I should be having that much sex? does that mean I don’t feel this great connection to my partner that I should be feeling? When I start having these thoughts I tend to get anxious and overanalyze my relationship which leads to fear and worry. It also makes me think of sex as a chore or a duty sometimes, which is not the way I used to look at it at all. I still have a lot to learn and a lot to work on. I guess the reason why I’m sharing this is because your not alone, and I hope that this makes you feel more normal.
    My advice to you is when you start to think about being close to your partner in that way, maybe just step outside your anxious/irrational mind that we all have and think about the comfort that your partner gives you. Think about how safe you feel in his arms. Maybe even draw on a past experience when the two of your were close and how wonderful it felt. If you get yourself back into the mind set that you once had, it might be easier to return. I like to remember this one vacation that me and my boyfriend went on to California. It was one of my favorite memories I’ve ever had and it was because we spent such quality time together and just had fun! My god I wish I could be that carefree everyday, but when I think about our trip it almost manifests that feeling again and makes my day a little bit easier. I hope this helps:)
    Love,
    Val

  • happilyeverafter

    thank you soooo much for all your replies! they have really helped a lot!
    i should probably give you more of a background on me, i do suffer from relationship anxiety and anxiety itself, but i also suffer from hOCD. I dont know if you guys know what that is but it’s basically the same thing as relationship anxiety but its solely based around sexual orientation. So basically it makes me doubt my sexual orientation, i get thoughts that “oh you dont want to have sex with him you must be lesbian” and other crazy thoughts. This has totally affected my sex life as well as relationship anxiety.
    I can totally relate to you Val regarding the fact that it feels like a chore. Its the worst feeling ever, and I dont know how to shake it off.
    Lately it hasnt been the thoughts that are making me NOT want sex, its the feeling of not wanting it. Most likely the anxious feeling thats making me feel this way.

    I dont know what i can do to shake this feeling away. I read in a previous post that even though i dont feel like doing it i should just go along with sex and not let any negative feelings get in the way. I will continue to try this technique and see how it works.

    Thank you once again for all your replies, it means a lot!

  • EmilyClaire

    happily,
    Have you read Sheryl’s post “what if I’m gay?” It deals with the topic of questioning your own sexual orientation and getting anxiety about it. Believe it or not, this is a very common thing!

  • Angela

    You know what I think the problem is in this busy world most of us don’t take the time to really get time out by ourselves and relax our mind.. We think too much of other stuff including myself.. I am trying my best to leave free time everyday for me. Routine is the key break old habits and bring in the new healthy habits. Act on the positive thoughts and the small steps u start to take will be so exciting and rewarding. Allow yourself and believe it and you will get results. None of us are failures we all have something special to give.

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    I have a question and I’m wondering if the women on here can relate. I remember the first day I met my boyfriend I felt relaxed and I liked him as a person and I thought he was cute and he is different to other guys I have met he was honest and it was easy for him to share his feelings with me. From the first day we spoke I felt anxiety chest pain and blurred vision all of the symptoms and one the annoying

  • Angela

    Hi Sheryl,
    I have a question and I’m wondering if the women on here can relate. I remember the first day I met my boyfriend I felt relaxed and I liked him as a person and I thought he was cute and he is different to other guys I have met he was honest and it was easy for him to share his feelings with me. From the first day we spoke I felt anxiety chest pain and blurred vision all of the symptoms and the most annoying one is I don’t feel like looking at myself in the mirror. I don’t think it’s because I don’t want to it’s just the anxiety stops me. Has anyone experienced this? I would appreciate your experience if its the same or similar
    Thanks
    Angela

    • Brianna

      Since my anxiety I don’t see myself like I use to. I see myself as an ugly little kid and I don’t understand what my boyfriend sees in me. Is that what you mean Angela?3

  • Angela

    Hi Brianna, yes that’s what I mean but I don’t look at myself in the mirror too long because of the fear ofquestioning myself if I am truly happy

    • Brianna

      I’m extremely happy with my boyfriend. He is eberything and more that I’ve ever wanted. My anxiety got caused over the thought of us ever breaking up which sent me into deep questioning. It been like this for 5 months. I was doing good until yesterday. I want this pain to go away.

    • Brianna

      I’m extremely happy with my boyfriend. He is eberything and more that I’ve ever wanted. My anxiety got caused over the thought of us ever breaking up which sent me into deep questioning. It been like this for 5 months. I was doing good until yesterday. I want this pain to go away. Without him I’d be a miserable wreck and I’m so scared that there will be someone else. I can’t even see us the same way.

  • Chelsea

    Hi sheryl, lately my mind has been ssying I dont ‘feel’ like I love my bf, is that just another way off the mind rewording things? An is it coking up from the fear based mind? Cuz I truly do care about my bf an these thoughts are upsetting.

  • Silver

    Dear Sheryl,

    A few months ago I had a really bad anxiety attack about my relationship that caused all sorts of fears to pop up in my mind. I couldn’t eat because I would become nauseated and throw up, and I wanted to sleep all the time. Even now after finding your blog I still have these fears and it constantly makes me worry if I love him or if we are right together or whatever. I have to say that

    Basically my mind keeps going on and on about these ideas/fears:

    – Do I love him? Am I just convincing myself?

    – We don’t talk like we did when we were just friends. We still have loads in common, we always have fun together, and though I tend to get anxious about seeing him… when I finally do I feel glad to see him (with only slight anxiety). So why can’t we ever find things to talk about? Is it because we’re shy people anyways or are we incompatible?

    – We’ve been together for five months and we’re still awkward around each other. This isn’t normal. Does it mean we’re a bad couple, or that we shouldn’t be together?

    – I don’t enjoy kissing him but then again thats because I’ve been anxious every time I have. Does that mean if I wasn’t anxious I would enjoy it? What if I don’t? Do I even love him?

    We have talked about a future together and every time I think about it I feel happy, but then I think of all the issues at hand and panic and all the anxieties and worries come back. I don’t know how to fix this situation and I can’t afford to take the course anytime soon. I do care about him, and I don’t want to be without him but I just can’t grasp how we’re going to fix this. I don’t want to feel like this anymore.

    (I have this problem with other relationships too. I constantly worry if my friendships will survive, and if new friendship will develop and so on and so forth.)

    Please reply if you have time. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for all those with relationship anxiety. You’re the best!

  • Sarah Kate

    Thank you for this wonderful post Sheryl. These have been my views for a while now, after going through a painful journey in relationship anxiety. However I find it hard to articulate this to my partner, as he always thinks I am trying to tell him I’m not in love with him! Now that I have shown him this I think he is beginning to understand as he, too has experienced significant doubt about our relationship. I like to remind him that it says something about the strength and beauty of our relationship that we both experienced severe doubts and anxieties about our relationship at the same time, but all the while had a strong underlying sense that what we had was unique and right and to stick with it, even though some days we both felt like running away. I’m so very very glad I stuck with it – and Sheryl I have you and your wisdom to thank for that!

    A song came up on my ipod the other day that reminded me of this post. The words went “I love you more when I’m missing you… I love the danger in distance”. It emphasised for me the narrow streams our culture allows us to operate in when it comes to romantic love – if you don’t feel in love then it’s not meant to be. That if you don’t feel an overwhelming sense of longing then there is nothing there. I didn’t realise how much I unconciously allowed music to dictate my feelings and viewpoints, a little bit like a soundtrack to a movie. I would hear a song about love and take it so seriously – thinking that if someone had written a song about it it must be true! Had I heard this song this time 2 years ago, it would have thrown me into the depths of despair. Thanks to this blog and some hard work thinking about where my preconceived, and largely unconscious, notions come from, I now have the ability to judge songs, movies, commercials, at a distance rather than letting them tell me how I should feel. This has been so valuable to me! Anyway here is the song (it’s very catchy which always makes them more believable!):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qP5AnodCn6o

    The worrying thing is…..how many young impressionables are listening to this and taking it as gospel? How many people struggling with relationship anxiety, heard this song, and others like it, and let it make a decision for them? I was nearly one of them! How horrifying. The upside is that I now have the insight to help others struggling with this – there have been plenty of people I have referred to this blog for that reason. Thank goodness for you Sheryl – you’ve helped me hold tight to my core values in a world that is desperate to strip me of them.

    • meera

      That’s such a wonderful post Sarah Kate. I have been that girl since as long as I can remember. Its true that a lot of young and

  • meera

    That’s such a wonderful post Sarah Kate. I have been that girl since as long as I can remember. Its true that a lot of young and impressionable minds are getting affected by this. I sincerely hope and pray Sheryl’s work reaches more people and I wish there were many more like her. She truly is a saviour.

  • LBurn

    Hi everybody :).

    First of all, Sheryl, your blogs are so lovely and helpful. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have stumbled across them amongst all the other stuff out there on the web. I have come to understand so much more about the nature of love through the articles and responses, and I know that I’m in a relationship with one of the kindest people I’ve ever met–considerate, talented, driven–who adores me. However, the anxiety still comes in massive waves, and parts of it I can ascribe to the question “Do I love my partner enough?” I know everyone says you can’t qualify love, but have any of you dealt with age difference and long distance relationships? My partner and i have been together 2 years, all of it long distance (though we see each other often), with a fairly significant age difference. I find myself feeling that because of the built in obstacles, the relationship and love have to feel perfect. How do I know if I love my partner enough to take care of her when she’s old, for example? Am I worrying too much? Is the anxiety (even over these types of things) just a road block?

    • chelsea

      If I how much distance you have,but I to have distance not much but it’s enough an I feel the distance makes the anxiety/doubts an fears worse an harder to deal with. My personally opinion.

  • chelsea

    Can the fear or doubtful anxious mind make you wonder if you even want your relationship anymore this is my newest thought, that’s tearing me apart any insight from Sheryl or other users would help thanks

    • Brianna

      it happens to me sometimes

    • Patricia

      chelsea

      It happens to me too
      I question sometimes n the thoughts try to convince me that i dont want the relationship
      But deep down i know i do.
      Ooh and the thought also make you feel like you just convincing yourself to stay because you dont want to her your partner.
      Well that’s how i feel sometimes.

  • Lola

    “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.” – Bob Marley

  • Patricia

    I want my “love feel

  • Patricia

    I want my “love feelings ” back!!!
    I get really anxious so i believe thts why they dnt seem to appear

  • Patricia

    I wonder if its not relationship anxiety and i really dont love her :(:(:(

  • Hi Sheryl,
    Wow, I can’t get off your site! It’s utterly addictive. This particular post is amazing. Right from an early age, I remember being not just curious about the idea of ‘love’ or ‘being-in-love’ but actually nervous and uncomfortable about what it meant and how on earth you KNEW!! Needless to say, this anxiety followed me into adulthood (as did a lot of fears which I always kept close to my chest). I remember after just a week or two into my relationship with my now-husband, being totally panicked and wanting to run away because of all the ‘shoulds’ and shouldn’ts’ that were tormenting my mind. I wish I had come across your work earlier, but somehow…..I did manage to become my own “fear-warrior” (though I didn’t know it at the time) and we enjoyed a beautiful wedding by Loch Lomond in March 2006. Despite a hefty amount of pre-wedding fear I immediately relaxed into our relationship after our wedding. I knew I was in the right place. I still had my anxieties (that mainly centred around the fact that I hadn’t been head over heels infatuated with him in those early stages), but they were at bay and I remember saying to myself, “it’s so stupid to punish your present-day self for doubts/fears that are no longer relevant to the NOW. Why take away from the present moment – it’s insane!!”….About one year after our marriage, infertility struck! I lost both my fallopian tubes due to 2 consecutive pregnancies. I can’t tell you how utterly torn apart and psychologically damaged I was as result of this loss. I felt punished and I was terrified that this was some sort of sign against us as a couple! But we pushed through all the fear and through openess and honesty with each other, we became more in love with each other than I could possibly ever have imagined back in the early days. The demons persisted however…. I was so torn apart within myself that I still couldn’t seem to LET myself enjoy my love. It was a kind of masochistic torture whereby I picked apart our relationship, chastising myself for not wanting sex….even though I knew I loved him from the bottom of my heart….I knew it…..and I know it now, today. We now have a beautiful little girl, our miracle baby, now 2 years old who we conceived through IVF. She has lit our life with joy and she has given me the courage to tell the world what it means to be infertile. The love that now connects the three of us together is boundless and I feel blessed to finally be here. I know that, being an anxious, sensitive person I will have to always work hard at allowing myself to feel free and happy…but now at least I know it’s possible, even if I don’t “feel it” every minute of every day. I am no longer running away. I can’t thank you enough for your input in my personal journey towards self-healing and learning to love myself again…..and to truly truly open my heart to my amazing husband and little girl. You are an angel! Thank you…..

  • Katie

    Leah,

    Just wanted to say that your post really touched me! It’s so beautiful how you describe your love for your husband and daughter. (I was tearing up reading it!) And congrats!! I can relate to feeling anxiety as well and struggle with those feelings on a regular basis. Especially now that I am engaged! Best of luck to you and your family!! 🙂

  • Erin

    I’m so glad I stumbled across this site and forum. I feel like it’s speaking to a part of me that I’m always afraid to acknowledge.

    I’ll try to be brief — but I’m looking to find peace of mind, either for the present or the future (both would be preferable!! 🙂 )

    My boyfriend and I have been together around a year now. It was a rocky start, both of us unsure and testing the waters but ultimately we kept pursuing the relationship.

    I have never felt like I’ve been able to truly connect and “Love” someone ever in my life. It didn’t really matter what kind of guy I was chasing. Regardless, I can tell he feels so passionately and he’s so full of life and excitement. And when he tells me he loves me.. I feel flat.

    Our relationship is a healthy one — we communicate well, we enjoy each other’s company, and we both enjoy similar lifestyles. Over the holidays, a smattering of things happened 1) Too much time with each other 2) Too much time with each other’s families and 3) His brother got engaged. It was like a stab to the heart in fear and panic, and the commitment wasn’t even mine! I feel like there’s a solid ball in my stomach telling me it’s time to leave and run away – and I very nearly did, only barely salvaging anything.

    My question is – can the eCourses help me? Am I capable of being helped at all? And is this something that you’ve seen before in this kind of anxiety?

    I don’t want to lose him – because he is an amazing guy that loves me unconditionally. But at the same time – I don’t want to hurt him, hurt myself, or live a life only half-fulfilled. Help! Please!

    • It sounds like you have a strong fear of closeness and are also disconnected from your own passion and aliveness. These issues would appear in any relationship (and it sounds like they have) so you may as well work through them now so you don’t lose what sounds to be a wonderful partner. Yes, the ecourse would likely help you immensely.