This Valentines Day, let me let you in on a secret: Everyone is so hung up on love! It's one of the top concerns I hear from my clients -- otherwise successful people who feel like they're utterly failing at it. Luckily, love is one of my favorite things to coach! I love to unravel people's thought patterns, sort through all the competing "voices" in their heads, and help them face the truth so they can make the change.
The process I devised to do this isn't complicated; in fact, it's so straightforward that I find I can apply it to many different types of people at every stage of love -- finding it, fixing it or just figuring out what they want from it.
Ready for my cut-to-the-chase method? Want to know how you can measure whether you're on the right track to finding your dream partner, whether you've already found them or simply whether or not you should even go on that third date?
The Three Hs:
There are three different parts of you that need to align before you can be satisfied in love. They are (be prepared for a little vulgarity!) your head, your heart and your hoo-ha. The voices of these three are equally important to listen to, but they don't always work together! They compete for dominance, they masquerade around as the truth, and -- you guessed it -- they shape the patterns you live and love by. Let me elaborate...
The head: tells you what looks good on paper, what's practical, what's smart. When you meet a new person, your head asks all the right preliminary questions: Do we live in the same city? Have similar beliefs? Do we both want children, make enough money, come from stable families? Your head will draft a good pitch for "why this person does or doesn't make sense" for you, and it might often be a hard one to argue with.
The heart: wants you to go deep. Do you truly care about this person? Could you have an intimate conversation for hours and be genuinely interested in what they're saying? Do you feel intrigued, inspired, even awed? Do you respect them, believe in their dreams and do YOU feel respected? Do you trust this person? Your heart asks, "am I moved?" and it will always tell the truth, if you listen closely enough.
The hoo-ha: wants to be turned on! Your animalistic, physiological preferences can override even the best intentions of the head and the heart, and I've seen it happen in different ways: You can't stop thinking about your hot ex, even though she was a terrible match for you. You care deeply about your amazing friend (and maybe considered taking it further!) but you just can't stand his teeth, or his hair, or whatever it is. When picking a mate, your hoo-ha wants to know: "am I HOT for this person? Do I want to make out in bed with this person even when we both have morning breath? Do I think I could always feel turned on by him? Is there something I find fundamentally sexy or cute about her?" The voice of the hoo-ha is speaking up for your physical and sexual needs, and it's backed (like it or not!) by thousands of years of human evolution.
Getting to the Truth
I put the three Hs to work recently on a long-time client of mine -- a woman in her mid-30s, successful small business owner, financially independent, hard-working and sexy as hell. When she went through another break up recently, I had her take a written inventory of every guy she had ever dated, starting with her very first boyfriend, asking her head, heart and hoo-ha for their input on each relationship. Her last few boyfriends looked great on paper, turned her on, took her out to dinner, went on great trips -- fun times, but no heart connection. She just wasn't crazy about any of them! So after a few months of dating, the relationship would fizzle out and she couldn't figure out why.
We discovered a pattern for her -- she had been using her financial success as a reason not to get hurt, and she had been trying to protect her heart by ignoring its needs. We got down to her truth: She hadn't had a serious heart connection since college, and she felt it.
I love that turning point moment! It's where I get to work my mojo. Once we figured out what needed work, I had her write her deepest desires, in the present tense, in the voice of her heart. It sounded a little like this: "I feel butterflies when we kiss. I feel safe in his arms. I am inspired by him; I see myself loving him for a long time. I feel giddy imagining us in 10 years on a beach in St. Barths!"
Setting Up Rules
After we heard what the heart wanted, we set up new rules for her to live by as she started seeing people again. She wasn't allowed to go on a third date UNLESS her heart felt moved and she felt intrigued, nervous, flustered... If she didn't feel the heart connection by the second date, she was to promptly cut herself off from a third date and move on. No more seven-month relationships with guys who didn't pass the test of the three Hs -- what's the point? Now, she understood what she wanted, and she knew how to measure whether or not she was getting it.
My client called me up two weeks ago in a little bit of a panic -- she's going on her third date with a guy she met recently through a friend. She had two amazing dates, can't stop thinking about him, feels crazy about him and more alive than she's felt in years. She's nervous, emotional, a little scared -- like a crushing 13-year-old! "Congratulations!" I told her, "it sounds like you finally found what you were looking for!"
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The truth is, we all know what we want -- consciously or otherwise.
So often, though, we sell out on ourselves -- sidelined by subconscious feelings and personal theories about the world that are influencing our thoughts and actions even when we don't realize it's happening. You can gain so much insight into yourself through simple tools like the three Hs -- tools that draw out the hidden details of what's missing, what's not working, and what needs to change in a way that's easy to understand and hard to ignore.
If you're searching for a true heart connection this Valentine's Day, do the test of the three Hs on yourself and look for a pattern. Be honest! If you're in a relationship and asking questions, the test of the three Hs will tell you the truth about how you're really feeling. Chances are your partner is asking the same questions about you!
And if you're swooning over your significant other, feeding each other chocolates in bed and counting your blessings, congratulations! Why not use the three Hs as a road map to determine exactly why it's working so well for you! I promise, this is a profound discussion worth having in any intimate relationship, long or short term.
Happy Valentines Day!
P.S. -- If dating doesn't feel like the best adventure of your life, join the Handel Group and guest Author/Psychologist, Dr. Ish Major, for a FREE 1-hour Group Coaching Call: Dating 101 on February 9th. If you can't make it live, register anyway and listen to the recording later.