Do you have a pattern of short-lived, unsatisfying relationships? Do you stay at home alone on the weekends because it feels safer and easier than dating or “putting yourself out there”? Are you simply resigned to being single?
These are all signs that you may need to boost your TQ: Togetherness Quotient. That’s the term we coined for the mix of behaviors and attitudes that determine how easily one forms healthy, intimate relationships.
The good news is that TQ, unlike IQ, is not something we’re stuck with. Our ability to love deeply and intimately is based on what we’ve learned from a lifetime of relationships and experiences, starting at birth. However, as adults we have the opportunity to remove barriers to self-love and love of others, thus boosting our TQ. Here are seven ways to do this:
Love won’t come knocking at your door. You have to get out there and practice talking, sharing, laughing, and socializing. Join a group: for instance, a gardening, hiking, Bible study, or book group. The first step toward finding love is to make friends and learn how to get close to them. You have to get out in the world.
We can’t master togetherness in a love relationship until we accept ourselves. Think about what you like about yourself, and embrace that self-definition. Forgive yourself for all the acts you committed in the past that you’re ashamed, after you’ve done what you can to make things right if you’ve harmed someone. Work on believing in yourself — you’re worthy of being loved!
One of the great obstacles to finding love is fear of intimacy. But what’s behind that fear: that if you share your real self with another person he or she won’t like you? Who cares? If that happens, then it’s not a good fit anyway and you should move on. You won’t experience the profound joy of togetherness until you have the courage to let someone get to know you.
Untangle yourself from the past.
No matter how bad your past relationships were, or how deeply your heart was broken, you can take comfort in knowing that those relationships were in the past. Today everything can be different. Learn from these life lessons so you can choose a different person, change your pattern, and start fresh — from this moment forward. Expect a better outcome this time around.
Create a healthy boundary of self.
Togetherness means caring for and honoring ourselves first. Engage in activities that soothe you, delight you, or excite you. If you love life because you’re living the way you want to live, you will be very attractive to another person.
Prepare to be surprised.
One of the best ways to find love is to clean out the assumptions and biases in your mind that keep you from seeing who’s right in front of you. When you hear yourself saying, “I’ll never like such and such…” that’s the sign of a closed mind and heart. Once you open your mind, you invite serendipity and unexpected encounters into your life.
Let dream meet vision.
When it comes to romantic love, what’s the dream you’ve carried throughout your life? What have you most wanted to experience and share with another person? This dream of togetherness is an essential part of you. Envision yourself manifesting your dream and finding the right partner. Doing so on a regular basis can help you meet this very person and create togetherness.
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Cyndi Dale is an award-winning author and an internationally esteemed teacher and energy healer. Andrew Wald LCSW-C is a full-time psychotherapist. They are co-authors of the new book, Togetherness: Creating & Deepening Sustainable Love.