By Mario P. Cloutier and Diane Sawaya Cloutier
When is the prime time in life for falling in love? We put up a simple post on our Facebook page recently, targeted to single adults, and asked if there was a particular stage in life that was the best time to fall in love. The response was overwhelming. Given the nature of the platform, we don't pretend in any way that this is scientific research, but nonetheless, we found the outcome extremely interesting. More than 90 percent of people who weighed in said love is "ageless." The vast majority think that love is possible at any age or stage in life.
This was fascinating to us because we saw a large disconnect between people's inner thoughts (alone with their wireless device or computer) and what they verbally express when prompted on the matter. The online survey responses suggest that people can find love at anytime. But, when we ask single people from all walks of life if they feel they can find true love, the answers we receive have been quite the opposite. More often than not people answer everything except a definitive "yes."
Most of the responses we hear are excuses about their barriers to finding love. We know that because, when we follow up with a question along the lines of: "If there was a way to get past your situation, would you like to find true love?" the answers invariably flip over to the "yes" side.
Excuses are self-deceiving. That's what they're meant for. They are nothing more than false stories we convince ourselves to be true. The tragedy is that, with time, they become our reality.
Are "love excuses" keeping you from finding love? Here are five of the most common love excuses we hear, and why they aren't true:
My career is too demanding.
No one will argue that the workplace today is more gruelling than it's ever been. Long gone are the days when many of us longed for that new cellular phone with the belief it would make us more efficient. Technology has now made us accessible 24/7 and raised the overall responsiveness expectations. (Be careful what you wish for.) But, as demanding as your job may be, a day will come when someone will take your office access card and all your electronics gismos away. What will you do next? Wouldn't it be wise to start looking now for a life partner who loves you for who you are, not who you have to be when you put that suit on?
I'm too old.
Age is a state of mind. We know people who live in retirement homes but choose to hang out with selected few because, as they put it, "the majority is just too darn old!" Here's the truth about love: it's spectrum is so vast that it can embrace you at any stage of your existence. Examples of people finding love at a later phase of life are countless. Who said love had a "best before" date? Hiding behind that false story can only alienate you from the happiness you deserve.
I'm a caregiver.
If you have stepped into the role of taking care of a parent, or a close one, kudos to you. You are a hero and are worthy of praise and respect. But let's not blend everything together. Being a caregiver does not define you. You are much more than that. Without a doubt, your situation is one that demands consideration. However, as hard as it may sound, you too, can be on the receiving end of love.
I had my soul mate for many years, but it's over now.
Some have been lucky enough to experience true love until, one day, death paid a call and took the loved one away. The widow or widower is left behind with a broken heart and countless loving memories. Understandably, the last thought on that person's mind when "death do us part" is seeking love again. Many cultures or religions have a prescribed time for widowhood. Our school of thought, though, is different. Any wound needs time to heal, but it will vary based on a variety of factors: the nature of the loss, the convalescence conditions, the age of the bereaved, and so on. Firemen often fight fire with fire. Why would you discard love as the antidote for your love ache?
I'm too (fill in the blank).
This is the all-encompassing physical attributes category: too fat, too short, too skinny, too bald, too tall, too hairy, etc. So what? That's how nature works! Variety, originality, and diversity are what the world is about. Your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful to someone walking the same Earth as you at this moment. Your job now should be to shift from a place of "too much bad" to one of "plenty of good" in the prospect of finding love again!
Granted, getting past the love excuses implies work and effort if one wishes to break free from a self-defeating attitude. But it can be done. The first question to ask is: Do you want to find a fulfilling relationship? If the answer is "yes," start by defining what that love looks like. Then, address the false stories you've been hiding behind so you can start walking confidently towards the relationship that awaits you.
Authors and relationship coaches Diane and Mario Cloutier found each other in 1998 after they both had experienced unfulfilling relationships. Their new book, Relovenship™ - Look Within to Love Again! (Xclamat!on Media, 2015) gives inspiration, hope and a step-by-step methodology to people who have had romantic disappointments and are still looking to find "the one." Mario Cloutier is founder and chief creative officer of Xclamat!ion Marketing. Diane Sawaya Cloutier enjoyed a successful career in managerial roles with Fortune 500 organizations before focusing fulltime on the couple's ReLovenship™ book and seminars. For booking inquiries or to learn more about the authors, go to ReLovenship.com.