“Love is not a matter of what happens in life. It’s a matter of what’s happening in your heart.”—Ken Keyes

I used to think that as long as I remained a good, honest, caring person, I’d attract someone who was worthy of my love. While my thought process might have been true to a degree, that wasn’t all there was to it. With each encounter, I’d get super excited at the possibility of this potential mate being “The One.” My naivety caused me to overlook the very obvious flaws of the one who had my attention, because I just knew that they were “just like me.”

I quickly learned that the world didn’t work that way. True, energy is contagious, and you attract what is in you. But you cannot go through life blindly expecting to be treated like you treat others, especially when it comes to love. There are just too many guarded, damaged, fearful individuals in the world for it to be that simple.

I’m a firm believer that everyone who desires love and companionship can indeed have it, but it will not magically fall into your lap. Yes, love happens when it is supposed to, but you must work for it. Here are five ways to attract romantic love into your life.

1. Fall in love with yourself.

You hear it all the time: You’ve got to love yourself before you can love anyone else. Loving yourself is one of the best things you can do for your entire existence. Yes it’s that deep. No one will ever know, love or worship you like you, because they aren’t obligated to. You, on the other hand, are.

People who love themselves do not seek to validate their existence based on outside forces. They do not rely on other people to acknowledge their self-worth. They’ve invested time, patience, honesty and commitment to loving themselves, so when someone else comes along, they’re not second-guessing why they’re interested in them. You owe it to yourself to invest in a positive self-esteem.

Some of you might be thinking, “Easier said than done, Shantell,” and it is. Loving yourself is a full-time job you can never quit. Like all forms of love, it develops over time, and can only be achieved by paying attention to your own good qualities much like you would a romantic partner’s.

Start by writing down three things about yourself that you love. It could be something as simple as your own smile or the fact that you do not take “no” for an answer. Take time out of the day to read the traits/characteristics from your list. Repeat this until you no longer have to, then add three more qualities and start the process over.

Once you are confident in what you love about yourself, write down three things you can improve on. Aim to improve on one of those things once a week by committing yourself to finding a solution or changed behavior. This will take a lot of work and uncomfortable feelings about who you are as a person. But you’re worth it. So act like it and stick to the practice.

      2. Realize that you cannot MAKE anyone fall in love with you.

I don’t care how many love and sex articles you read, the reality is that you cannot make anyone fall in love with you. You can make them fall in love with who they think you are. You can even make them fall in love with who you pretend to be. But you? The real you? NOPE. Not gonna happen.

The best way to attract love is to be authentically you. If you’re a geek, own that ish. If you are the life of the party, continue to be that through the door. One of the most damaging things you can do is censor who you are to impress someone. Sure, you’ll attract them, but it won’t be YOU they’re interested in. Be confident enough to know that you are enough, and the right person will feel the same way.

3. Understand that love develops over time.

I used to think that people who fell in love after two months were insane. There was absolutely no way you can love someone in less time than a season! That was until it happened to me. Most times, the “love” someone feels for their mate stems more from infatuation, but every once in awhile, true love can in fact blossom sooner than expected. Still, that’s rare.

Like most things that matter in this world, true love develops over time. It is tested by not just the trials and tribulations of life, but by differing opinions, personality traits and modes of operation that are sure to exist in your relationship. True love allows you to navigate the challenges of life, as they act as a test of the strength of your bond. That takes time, effort, and a lot of commitment.

If someone is claiming to be in love with you after two dates, chances are they’re in love with what they’ve seen so far, and it’s not much because you haven’t really been through anything yet. Understand that love develops over time, which brings me to my next point.

4. Be patient with your growth and development.

This point speaks more to those who have attracted love already. If you’ve been waiting for love for a while, your level of excitement can sometimes cause you to act too fast once you find it. I get it. You have sooooo much love to give and have finally found someone who is worthy of it. Be patient.

Sometimes we can be at level 100, but the person who we’re seeing is at level 60. Allow him or her time to catch up. Allow yourself time to discover who you both are and how you act in a relationship. Continue to be the loving, caring, consistent individual that you are, but be mindful of their guardedness if present. Your partner’s hesitancy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can aid tremendously in the strengthening of your bond, as it allows your connection to form organically. Plus, by exercising patience, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you respect their pace.

5. Practice genuine kindness.

Everyone loves a genuine, kind person… even those who “hate” him or her. The best way to attract love in any form is to be it. Not to just give it, but to truly possess it in your being. Like attracts like. If your inner core is rotten, you may attract great people for a little while, but the connection will not last. Aim to rid yourself of any and every form of negativity, whether it is thought, word or deed. Work to replace these undesirable traits with genuine acts of kindness and watch how much your life will change.

Attracting romantic love is what most of us want. I don’t believe we were created to be alone, and our current relationship status does not reflect our candidacy for love. You can attract true love; you just have to be willing to work for it.

Shantell E. Jamison is an editor for EBONY.com and JETmag.com. Not confined to chasing headlines, this Chicago-based writer, radio personality and cultural critic is also the author of Drive Yourself in the Right Direction: Simple Quotes on How to Achieve Your Best Self.



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