Alone. And in our loneliness, we yearn and crave for different spirits in bodies to share our lives with. This is natural. At some stage in our growing years, we crave love.I believe I have been waiting most of my life to satisfy my other half. I am guessing most of you reading this have also. Unless you have already met them that yin to your yang? Or perhaps yang to your yin.I know I have yearned for the company that just got me and appreciated all of the silly, quirky things I said and did — savoring them rather than judging them like I often do in my mind. I know I can be my own worst enemy. I would like my other half for a best friend to all versions of myself.I have longed for someone to comprehend the nuances of my character — even the dull, idle components. That somebody that smirks and laughs at me for waiting a week to fold the laundry or waiting a day to wash all the dishes.I have hoped for that companion I could laugh, cry and grimace at the identical indie house flicks with me, linking me with lively excitement at the deviant act of sneaking wine and homemade popcorn past the ticket taker in a Mary Poppins bag.I have wished for that individual that would love me no matter how cluttered my hair or how bloated my eyes were at the morning because I stayed up too late watching or writing Netflix again.I have prayed for someone to be my rock in times of internal or outer turmoil — you understand that grounding, good-natured, I am here for you know matter what type.Recently though, I have realized none of these things matter, they were just a mirage.Therefore, I let them go. I allow all 102 wants and desires in a soulmate go — in burning embers over a gas burner in my own kitchen (fire danger, I understand ). As I let them go, amidst the blaring sound of the smoke sensor, I opened myself to the moment.From the beeping, smoke-tinged moment, I discovered her — Well, I did not find her. She was found.I realized that her, more like.She is amazing — my soulmate. Following a mere 40 year delay, I have found her.She has a gorgeous heart.She enjoys cooking — and trekking — my favourite grounding activities.She enjoys nature, in all its forms and manifestations.She enjoys children and animals.She is a mom to a gorgeous, nearly 8-year-old ancient soul — and finds it enlivening and frightening at the same time.I am smirking and head shaking and cringing and jumping up and down at exactly the exact same time. Because I have known her all of my life. Her heart, my heart. Her spirit, frightening to me, up until I surrendered to it not too long ago.I have finally fallen into a deep love affair with my body, mind, and soul! You see, I had been told a lie — well, we all were when I was young. I was told I needed to keep giving my love away. I had been told that it was selfish to give it to myself.
I was told I needed to find someone else to love me — before I love me!
I had been told a lie, and you’re also.It was told to me through networking — in all its forms. It was told to me by my parents, through the fairy tales they read to me and the continuous re-telling of how they met when they were seeking their lost half since they felt the need to do what people do in their 20s and 30s who want families.It was told to me by my peers, having pretended weddings on the playground during recess, mirroring what was told to them by several generations that thought this lie to be the truth or maybe never questioned it.I was recently freed from my shackles lately by a fantastic man — a man I felt love for, a guy that came into my life to provide me the gift of loving myself. But, in the time of our relationship, I didn’t know that. All I knew was that I felt somewhat uncomfortable in my own skin, sensing that he felt that way also.So, one night we talked about what our dreams and ambitions were. I felt our hearts shut a bit as we started the discussion. Hiding. Lying. Fearful of really being viewed. Somehow our dreams of life clashed. We listened to each other and did not respond much, parting ways soon after that.We then had a discussion a couple of days after, instigated by me, who had been bothered by the tension that seemed to keep us from calling each other.Are we not right for each other? I said, with a few timidness. He echoed my thoughts. It was not that we {} right, it was that we were withholding our authentic selves from each other — thus, real love. It was actually the very educated break-up I have experienced: 2 self-aware people acknowledging their deep feelings for the other, while also honoring themselves with the understanding that a connection can’t be forced.After it finished, I spun deeply into my head and heart and started to peel off the beliefs which was programmed into me from my first day on Earth. Did I really need a spouse or did I simply feel a pressure to have one? I had felt a pressure to fulfill someone all my life, dressing a certain way, or acting a certain way, to impress whomever I had a crush on (and I know I am not the only person who’s done this!) .I often looked at myself as a projected picture of what this other person saw of me or desired of me. I did this in a connection. At the moment, however, I thought I was being authentic.I am a powerful woman. I really don’t like being controlled. I don’t take bullsh*t, and yet, I see clearly that for years upon years of my life I did just that. Since stepping into single motherhood, I’ve felt pressure to meet a partner. A year ago it was spawned by my daughter asking me where my guy was (she’s with her dad half the time, but began to question why he had been with another girl, etc.). She had been three going on four at the moment, and, while I’d yearnings for companionship, particularly an adult to communicate inside the house, I think that was also fueled by a guilt, or maybe confusing her, as she transitioned between a home with dad, stepmom and stepsister, to a person with only her and mother.The desire for more financial security also pushed me to date more (after all, marriage was initially a fiscal agreement). But, my current falling in love with myself has pushed these lies to the wayside. I am doing okay. The actual truth is: I wish to fall in love with all of life — and, I’m! Life is truly, as the Beatles coined it, a magical mystery tour and we’re here in order to enjoy it like a finely aged wine.Since I’ve adopted me as my lover, my mind’s clearer. I’m enjoying motherhood more. I’m enjoying private time more. I’m doing all of the things I love to perform and just enjoying, loving, loving!So, allow me to end with two questions for you? Is your face all scrunched up right now, or can it be relaxed and smiling?That’s your solution!Love you! You’ve got you for the remainder of this life. Love it!If you adore you, this statement will become reassuring, even freeing:“You’re born alone and die alone.” Therefore, before anyone else can say,”I love you,” say it to you.I think if this amount of personal love existed on this planet, we could just float away. I do not know about you, but I sort of like floating.

The article The Day I Met My Soulmate Was the Day I Decided to Stay Single appeared on The Great Men Project.

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5 Signs You’ve Found a Great Man

“A great man is hard to discover.”

I remember my mother saying these words to me when I wanted to begin dating. The words pushed pause in my mind and made me question my heart. Was the man who asked me out not good? Was my mother giving me this warning for a reason? Can she not trust my judgment? Or, were great men as rare as my mother said they were?

I learned my mom did not make up those words. They were created from a short story written in 1955 by American female writer, Flannery O’Connor. Flannery’s catchy name soon became branded to the psyches of romantics everywhere like some sort of twisted truth.

Flannery, who died of Lupus in age 39, wasn’t married, though she had a love affair with a book salesman. I wonder whether her good man was there someplace between the salesman and the traces of the novels he sold?

A Good Man is Hard to Find.

I have spent years considering what a fantastic man really is. I have seen great in every man who has graced my world, whether romantically or platonically, however twisted up they could be inside. The better question may be, how in tune are they with their great? How do they manage their pain? How can they process their anxiety? And which sort of support system do they have in this world? My therapist self understands that working tools and support systems are the main indicators of someone’s mental health.

I had been trained not to trust my instinct when it comes to guys. Perhaps you were too. I’ve needed to reparent myself to trust my gut instincts by paying attention to the green and red (as in good) flags along the way. Below are a few of the green flags that male friends, coworkers, and past fans have held.

How do I know if he’s a fantastic man?

1. He’s ready to listen rather than leap to advice-giving or try to correct me once I want to vent.

There’s a two minute Youtube video called, “It’s Not About the Nail.” If you would like to comprehend how the male brain automatically functions, watch it. Active listening is a learned skill rather than an innate ability. A guy who can listen is far more sexy than a guy with a six-pack. One of my friends recently said her favorite foreplay is using a profound heart to heart conversation with her husband. “When he listens with his heart, I swoon,” she said with a big cheesy smile.

How can you know if your guy is listening? He’s silent and careful, and if you are sitting in front of one another, he gives you direct eye contact. “So that made you feel frustrated and caused you to close down because you had space to process. Can I get that right?”

You have it right. You heard me. You didn’t attempt to modify or fix me. You simply re-stated what I expressed to you and that’s all I needed. Alright, let’s make out today.

Make-out session aside, it’s hot, enticing, and Oxytocin-producing (aka very bonding) when a guy can just listen and be present for a woman.

2. He expresses his feelings easily and effortlessly.

I am not talking about overexpressing — such as carrying a box of tissue around and honking his nose every 20 minutes. I am talking about a guy who has no trouble telling you how he feels. I had a man yoga student who recently walked into the studio and said,”I feel nervous, I have never done this before. I just wanted to inform you that.” The secretary and I were floored by his willingness. I said,”Can every man be like this?” For many men, the courage needed to say: I am nervous, I’m scared, I’m feeling lonely is buried behind years of man-ups and do not be such a sissy. They are not any different from sex to gender. They begin with a thought and then form into physiological senses. Men have them just as often as girls do. A man who expresses his feelings, however, is a rare jewel. And when he expresses them, he’s one step closer to processing them through.

3. He’s mindful of his working tools and he uses them.

No codependency here. Whether your guy has been to treatment, he’s mindful of his own stress management tools and he uses them like a champ. Perhaps I am biased, but a guy who’s in treatment and possesses it’s his own I am about self-growth type of sexiness.

Coping tools are healthy outlets for anxiety or stress-preventative practices. This is a guy who knows what balance is. If he lifts weights goes to yoga or conducts, he does not burn himself out in the procedure. He feeds his mind, body, and soul with just-right doses of healthful activities. He might even motivate you to join his or her furry companion (insert your favourite pet here) at a morning meditation or test out the new sensory deprivation chamber or go to opening day at the baseball stadium.

If you are used to playing with a caretaking role, you can hang up that hat with this guy. He has himself covered. No unresolved mother issues. He understands that he doesn’t require a connection to fill in his psychological wounds. He’s a relationship that enriches his life. He’s attracted to you because you appear to get that self-care things going on too!

4. He thinks you are enough because he believes he’s enough.

This is a man that’s as humble as he is protected. He is not cocky or arrogant or narcissistic. Instead, he’s authentic. He enjoys himself enough to take space when he is stressed and gets that you will need to do the same sometimes. You do not feel a strong need to impress him with a new hairstyle or outfit or hours in the spa. When you dress him up, it is for pleasure, not for approval. You can be your sometimes messy, sometimes ultra-feminine self and it does not change how he treats you. He believes your vulnerability is as beautiful (if not more) than your bum. He doesn’t need to run when you express your insecurities. In actuality, he becomes more attentive and available to you.

5. It is possible to set boundaries and he honors them.

Insecure egos need not apply. You can also trust that he’ll express his feelings rather than repress them. He might say,”I will miss seeing you for our date night, but I am glad you are taking care of yourself.” You melt. Why? Because he said his sense straight and while also validating your need for space.

You feel protected setting boundaries with him since he’s open and honest. He will not hold a grudge against you and do something passive-aggressive like cancel your next date night to go out with the boys. You know how he feels, making you feel much closer to him. Your open communication permits you to honor one another’s needs for space so you enjoy the time you have together.

When healthy boundaries are a part of a relationship, couples have the ability to appear for each other with their entire selves. A man who takes no is a unicorn. Do not let this one go.

There are no perfect men.

However, I think there are loads of good men. And they might not be that difficult to discover. Look carefully at the men in your life. How can they exemplify any of these 5 attributes? And furthermore, look within. How can you resonate and embody these traits?

We bring what we amplify. You want more goodness, be goodness.

When you begin to embody everything you like, the great men will not be so tough to discover.

This post was formerly published on Publishous and is republished here with permission from the author.

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As a good man is hard to discover.

The article 5 Signs You’ve Found a Great Man appeared on The Great Men Project.

Download my eBook The Secrets to Attract Women FREE now by clicking here