Valentines Day can be a challenging day for single people. But it can become a day of hope–if we resolve to ignore the bankrupt dating advice foisted upon us and finally align our search for love with the tools of real intimacy. The following three suggestions may fly in the face of most everything you’ve learned about dating–but they lead to real love.
This holiday season, I’d love to share an excerpt from a poem by T.S. Eliot that captures hope for the year ahead. Not greeting-card hope, but the kind of hope that can live alongside sadness, bewilderment and uncertainty.
I’ve found that four conditions often forecast the advent of real and healthy love. Love’s arrival feels like magic; a gift of luck. Yet we can invite that luck by approaching our dating life differently. If these shifts are happening for you, be encouraged. You’re probably well on the way to finding the kind of love that can last.
Self-improvement is often no more than self-criticism in an alluring outfit. Our culture focuses obsessively on the endless allure of improvement, but there’s a much more thrilling area of inquiry: What parts of ourselves are aching for expression, and why do we flee their heat?
A message for all single people: The way we search for love usually determines the kind of love we find. Our culture assails us with romanticized images of love, yet encourages us to play dehumanizing games in order to find it. The three steps I describe will lead you toward real love, but they will also enrich your life, because they are the skills of true intimacy.