If we're not currently with the love of our life, then we are either looking for him or her or pining over the loss of him or her. But what if it's not really the actual person that makes him or her the love of our life? What if it's actually the emotional place we're in? We can't fall in love with someone if our hearts are closed or if we're unavailable. We can't fall in love with someone when we are so scared of getting hurt or so scared of having our freedom taken away, that we walk around with walls up. We can't fall in love with someone when we are unwilling to be vulnerable. And we can't expect someone to swoop in and magically make our walls disappear for us and be mad at them when they don't.
If you've had a "love of your life" that you are no longer with, was it from a time when you were younger? Generally, the love of our life or the "one who got away" is the first person who broke our hearts. From that time on, it is highly likely that we (unconsciously) decided that we would close our hearts and never open up to someone again, so that we could never get hurt again.
Hear me out: if you haven't been in love again since then, I would offer that it's not necessarily that you haven't met the right person. Perhaps it's that you're not the right person!
I had a boyfriend for three years in my early-mid twenties. It was the first time either of us had ever really been in love. It was that mad, crazy, passionate love. In fact, we moved into a shoebox-sized studio apartment after three months of dating because we couldn't bear to be apart. We professed and expressed our love for each other regularly. We had to be together all the time. We made plans for the future. We were completely open, raw, and vulnerable. It was euphoric.
But then, of course, life happened, and things fell apart. Sometimes when things fall apart in relationships it's for the couple to stick together and rebuild. Other times, it's for each person to move on. That was the case with us. But it was devastating, because the passion that we shared carried over to our breakup. There was drama, and there was deliberate hurting of each other. So I decided (unconsciously of course) that I would never experience that much hurt again, that I would never experience that loss of love again, that feeling that literally a limb was ripped from my body. I would not put myself in the place to feel that again. Ever.
So unbeknownst to me, I shut myself off from finding real love again. Of course, I desired relationships. I still desired to fall in love and meet and marry "the one." I didn't stop desiring that, it's just that underneath it all, I had a closed heart. So it makes sense that the next relationship I had after that one was with a man who has major commitment issues, never wanting to get married or have kids. I drew in a partner who I couldn't get truly hurt by because he would never really commit, which in turn, meant I never had to fully commit so I could never fully get hurt. But on the surface I thought, "Oh, he's just not the one. There's something wrong with him."
When we find ourselves in these dating situations and relationships, we tend to ignore that there's something going on with us. We tend to think it's the other person. But see, that's just not true. It's not the other person's fault that we're not open to love... and it's not their fault that they are our mirrors and we drew them in!
Again, it is not necessarily the person that makes you fall in love with them. It is your ability to be open to love at that point in your life. He or she just happened to come around when you were openhearted. When you were willing to feel, willing to risk, willing to let someone else in.
You can search as long as you want for the love of your life, and date and date and date, moving on from each one to the next, making excuse after excuse about what's wrong with them or what's wrong with the relationship. But until you stop, stand still, and deal with your walls, deal with the pain that the walls are concealing, you will never meet the love of your life or have that real love. You can't do it by constantly moving from one to the next, playing it safe, and having a surface relationship. If you want the real thing, you have to be willing to take a real look at yourself, and do the real work.
Up until this point in my life, I had always said that the boyfriend I talked about earlier has been the love of my life. But I realized recently that that's not true... It's just a memory. I haven't met the love of my life yet, because up until this point I haven't allowed myself to open my heart to it again, not because I haven't met the right guy. I have been really working on opening my heart again because I crave with every ounce of my soul to have real, connected, deep love.
When we are ready to open our hearts and deal with the risk of true love, of letting someone in, of being vulnerable, we'll be the right person to draw in that right person. Think about it next time you're placing blame on the people you're dating. Take some responsibility. There's a reason you drew in that person. He or she is merely just a mirror of you. If you want to have real love, you have to be willing to go there.