Katherine is a writer, dating and relationships coach, mid-life mentor and motivational speaker. She's the author of How to Fall in Love - A 10-Step Journey to the Heart and writes for the national media on topics including love and dating, healthy relationships, how to change unhelpful habits, and other aspects of personal growth. She coaches people to create healthy, loving and authentic relationships with themselves and others, and lives they truly love. Katherine leads workshops and runs retreats.
You can find out more about her work at www.howtofallinlove.co.uk or www.katherinebaldwin.com and you can read her blog at www.fromfortywithlove.com.
If I hadn’t managed to open my rather closed heart and mind, I wouldn’t be getting married in June. When I first began to date my fiancé, I found all manner of things about him to judge and criticise. I’d done the same with boyfriends in the past. If I’d have continued like that, I’d still be alone.
Practice makes perfect, so the saying goes, and this maxim is just as true for dating as it is for other areas of life. You may be one of the lucky ones who falls in love with the first person they chat to online, but many of us need to go on a number of dates with different people so that we can become aware of what we truly want in a relationship and learn how to set and keep healthy boundaries.
In order to find love, we have to expose ourselves to potential hurt. We have to open our hearts and be vulnerable. The problem is it doesn’t always work out. We might decide the relationship isn’t right, or the person we’re falling for might want out, leaving us with a bruised or broken heart. How do we come back from this?
“I just knew she was the one for me.” “I knew the first time we met that we’d get married.” “It was love at first sight.” It must be wonderful to feel so certain about one of life’s biggest decisions. But what if you never feel sure? What if no potential partner feels entirely right?
Modern dating happens so fast. We rule people out online before we’ve even met them or we check to see if anyone new has liked our profile on the way home from a date. At this hectic pace, how do we decide whether to see someone again after a first encounter or move on to the next?
As Lent progresses, I’m reminded of what I gave up for Lent seven years ago and how that 40-day period of abstinence changed my relationship with myself and paved the way to a healthy and loving relationship with my now fiancé.
The more I work with single women and men, the more it becomes clear that self-esteem and self-love are vital ingredients in any healthy relationship. If we don’t feel lovable, how can we expect anyone to love us?
So pause for a moment and ask yourself this: Am I loveable?