We spend as much time talking about and thinking about our relationships and our relationship status as we do anything else. Yet in all of these questions and concerns, it’s easy to lose sight of what we are really after: love.

It’s like we live with a craving that never gets satisfied: we’re hungry for love, but we are feeding ourselves the wrong food. Here are three ways to realign your desire for love with the way you call it into your life.

  1. Focus on love not relationships. There is a big misunderstanding that love and relationships are the same thing—while they are related, they are not the same. Most of us walk around saying or thinking we want a “relationship” when in reality what we really need and desire is more love, in one of its many forms: connection, friendship, intimacy, compassion, companionship, affection, acknowledgement, and the list goes on. Change your focus to cultivating love and to generating the energy of that love you desire in your life instead of on finding or fixing a relationship, and you’ll find that you have more love and better relationships as a result.

Daring Act of Love: Ask for what you really want: Love. If you are single, stop saying “I want a relationship.” Start being specific about the love energy you want to pull in, “I am so ready to receive love from an awesome, compassionate, loving life partner” or “I am so ready to receive love from a sexy, sweet lover and companion.” If you are in relationship and desire more, be specific about what you desire to receive from this person, and be willing to give it too, “I’d love to receive more affection and intimacy” or “I’d love to receive more companionship and closeness.” Notice how saying these words invoke the energy of the love.  

  1. Every relationship starts with the relationship you have with yourself. OK, so you’ve probably heard this one but are you really living it? I haven’t met a person yet who couldn’t stand to improve the relationship they have with themselves. And if something isn’t working for you in getting the love you desire from out there, then you need to find what’s first not working with the love and relationship you have with yourself.

Daring Act of Love:  Take yourself out on a date, ask yourself what you need, and listen. When’s the last time you had a heart-to-heart with yourself? How long would you put up with a person you were dating or married to if they weren’t having deep and personal conversations with you? Hopefully not very long! Create intimacy with yourself by spending an evening really pampering yourself, and taking time to journal on the question, “What do I really need right now? To feel loved? To be happy? To be healthy? To feel safe and secure? To feel seen?” Then after you get all that information from yourself, make a promise to yourself to make sure you receive the love you need.

  1.  Love always creates more love. Not getting the love you need? Then be love. The energy you feel inside and that you put out there into the world comes back to you; it’s the simple Law of Attraction.

Daring Act of Love:  Be a love generator and make love for yourself. Don’t wait to receive love from someone else; you have the power to create it right now for yourself.

Try this: Do a Self Love Soak every morning. Before you get out of bed, close your eyes, curl up in a loving ball, hug yourself, and tell yourself, “[Your Name], I love you.” Keep saying these love words until you generate love, until you feel that warm tingly feeling of love in your body. Even if it’s just a little bit at first, just fake it ’til you make it, and keep generating love this way until it comes naturally and in big waves.

And here’s a bonus rule: Be unafraid to admit you need love—we all do. If you fear people thinking you are weak for needing love, then you weaken your ability to receive it. Be daring: desire love, need love, and let love in when it shows up at your heart’s doorstep!

Christine Arylo is a renowned relationship expert and the author of Madly in Love with Me.

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